Some of the most picturesque projects are those built in the mountains; the rustic cabin wrapped with a floor-to-ceiling glass panel that overlooks the snow-covered trees. Visually, the architecture exudes an enchanting feeling, but is it truly a habitable space? When houses are built on an elevation of 3,000 meters, installing a fire element alone is not efficient or sustainable. Spaces on such altitudes or particular geographic locations require to be treated thoroughly, beginning with the architecture itself. Whether it's through hydronic in-floor heating systems or wall-mounted chimneys, this interior focus explores how even the most extreme winter conditions did not get in the way of ensuring optimum thermal comfort.
One of Paulo Mendes da Rocha's main design gestures in the Pinacoteca renovation project was to create a new longitudinal axis for circulation, moving its entrance to the south face of the building. Metallic walkways, which cross internal courtyards covered by skylights, enable new dynamics of circulation between the rooms, transforming a neoclassical building into a museum with a contemporary program.
The ability to completely renovate a space by demolishing parts, making additions, altering functionality, and improving ambience is one of the most admired functions of the architect. In housing, this significance is even more apparent, since adapting housing to contemporary demands, through a well-thought-out plan, can drastically improve the quality of life of the occupants.