Dream homes have three things in common – a design molded after the owner’s personality, comfort and site-specific architecture. The Balcony Over Bronte exemplifies this trio, opening its interiors towards the Bronte beach nearby via a carefully constructed balcony that inspired its name. Designed by Luigi Rosselli Architects, this family home in Sydney, Australia, was built on a battle axe block accessed from the street via a narrow drive. Imagined as a perfect place to enjoy a young family life, the residential construction culminates with an amazing balcony defining the top floor. Overseeing the construction, architect Corrado Palleschi and interior designer Alexandra Donohoe presented the client with an elegant collection of spaces showcasing a black and white color palette throughout. Floors are connected by a floating staircase flooded by natural light – this sculptural element constructs an inspiring dark timber/glass duo that shapes the core of the house. Social and private spaces are composed of interesting details that break the monotony of the black and white duo, pierced by colorful furniture items for a bold overall look.
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
An example of a huge success is Heneghan Peng Architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Using the large difference in level across the site, the architects created two folds in the landscape. Bold, but not conflicting with the rather bleak natural environment, these folds draw all the man-made areas together and create one fitting man-made break in the natural landscape. In the words of the architects themselves, There is no longer a building and a landscape, but building becomes landscape and the landscape itself remains spectacular and iconic