A house at Pipers End, Hertfordshire, UK by Níall McLaughlin Architects.

Photo credits: Nick Kane.

The concept of this house, designed by Níall McLaughlin Architects, is disarmingly simple. In plan it is rendered as five strips. A concrete reflecting pool, a loggia of thin columns supporting a metal canopy, a box of timber framed glass, a wooden box, and a thicket of silver birch trees.

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Sebrae National HQ, Brasilia by Gruposp.

Responding to the constrictions imposed by Brasilia’s urban plan, Gruposp, an association of architects that coalesced around the idea of winning significant competitions, planned a complex of buildings that we might think of as something like a campus.

Important objectives were: the integration of user with the building and landscape, flexibility to plan and change office layouts, and sustainability both economically, and environmentally.

Their efforts have seen this building shortlisted for this year’s World Architecture Community awards. Read more

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Nesting nicely: Tree house for the Eden Project by Jerry Tate & Blue Forest.

The Biodiversity Nest is a treehouse designed by Jerry Tate Architects for the Eden Project, a collection of domes in England that enclose a range of climatic regions that include a small piece of rainforest.

The Biodiversity Nest will provide an education space perched in the tree canopy as part of the Rainforest Canopy Walkway Project. Read more

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EarthWall 2 by Ward + Blake Architects.

EarthWall 2.

Winning the Architecture category of the International Design Awards is Ward + Blake for their EarthWall 2 house.

The architects consider their design a product of the site’s spatial qualities, in particular its flat vast horizons, and a product of the physical material of the site, the earth itself. Read more

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Great Fen Visitor Centre, UK by CMJN.

Images: CMJN.

The Great Fen Visitor Centre is a convincing attempt to intervene in a delicate landscape that man has radically altered since the 17th century, but which nature has resolved into a stable ecosystem of great beauty and value. The Fens were marshlands drained for agriculture. Subsequently, great swathes of peat were cut from the land for both fuel and agricultural nutrient. The result now, is a series of waterways teaming with diverse wildlife.

The French Practice CMJN won a competition with this delicate proposal they liken to a precise surgical intervention that, like acupuncture, works to enhance the natural rhythms and resources of the body. Their aim is to cause minimal disruption to the site’s ecological balance, whilst restoring the landscape to work more closely with the annual cycles of rising and receding water. Read more

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