Inspirational and recreational, Casa Cubo (the name sais it all) is an (almost) rectangular house, designed by Studio MK27, in the city of Sao Paolo. The uncluttered residence is entirely made of concrete, showcasing contemporary metallic finishings. The ground floor is structured as an open space but the interior can be “hidden” under sliding metallic panels (for an additional amount of privacy). The house is surrounded by luxuriant vegetation, being perfect for spending time to recharge your batteries. It’s like a mini jungle sprinkled with natural zen elements, that makes you forget about the city rush!
There’s also the wooden deck, that gives you a warm feeling of tranquility: it’s like you are sitting nearby the lake, admiring its transparence, without thinking of something specific, but losing your thoughts into its lucid infinity. The asymmetrical openings are adapted to the landscape. The interior is bright and breezy, inviting the nature inside. The splash of natural green can be wonderfully admired from the open space living room or from the terrace. It gets really beautiful in the evening, at dawn, when you can hear the wind whispering while sitting and enjoying a good book. Such a wonderful and neat house! Isn’t it?
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.
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