Reflecting on issues of importance in contemporary architecture, Tatiana Bilbao rediscovers rammed-earth as a valuable, prestigious building material. Her house in Ajijic, Mexico is an ever-changing dialogue between design and nature, in which this traditional material becomes both a sustainable construction solution and an interpretation of contemporary aesthetic sensibilities.
LAN architecture of Frances uses materials to characterise a student housing complex in the La Chapelle district of Paris, next to the redeveloped ZAC Pajol area. The themes of integration and privacy are addressed along with reduction of energy resources, earning the work Habitat et Environnement THPE certification in France.
The plan for a house in Gerês National Park in Portugal is an example of the kind of architecture that sets aside formal advocacy to draw its inspiration from nature and mould itself completely to its requirements, revealing one of the many faces of sustainability: the one based on attentive use of materials and interaction with the landscape.
By combining “canonic” materials such as brick and glass with straw, architect Arjen Reas meets the needs of sustainability while permitting interaction between the environment and the landscape, between the private and the public. His plan for a home in Zoermeer (the Netherlands) is a work of contemporary form and content.
RRA’s recently completed plans for a lookout over the fjords of Trollstigen is a work in which both materials and composition are inspired entirely by landscape. Cor-ten steel changes colour with the action of time, camouflaging the construction and demonstrating that being sustainable does not just mean consuming less energy: it means reducing visual impact on the environment.
Thomas Phifer’s Salt Point House is an open space organised around a closed-in core containing utility areas and technical installations to leave the glass walls entirely free to provide shelter without blocking the view of the landscape.
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