The original looking Hanging Home in Malta was envisioned by Chris Briffa Architects and is located in Naxxar, Malta. The main challenge for the architects was to develop a functional and comfortable residence on a relatively small lot of 250 square meters. Moreover, the zoning regulations in the area state that only 40% of the land can be constructed. The winning idea was cantilevering half of the house over the pool area in order to gain space.
The resulting Hanging Home accommodates an impressive open plan living and dining area, two large en-suite bedrooms, a home-office, a study, a three-car garage, a swimming pool and a large courtyard. From the street, the white mass of the cube is gently contrasted by louvered doors, inspired by Maltese tradition. The opposite facade is completely different, showcasing mainly glass and opening up the living space. A concrete hanging slab was used to “propel” the social area towards the swimming pool and garden.
Value for money is not, and never was, the same as being cheap. Value for money means making the most of whatever budget is available. A good example of this is Hayes Primary School in London, by Hayhurst and Co. Having to contend with a tightly controlled 3 million local authority budget, they worked with the existing structure of the primary school to give it a much needed update. A striking polished stainless steel brise-soleil facade installed at the school’s entrance, gives the school’s many different buildings a sense of identity, while new classrooms have been created in a range of shapes and sizes, and are often flooded with natural light
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests