In this issue, we highlight a house designed by Margaret and Charles Rennie MacKintosh as the Project of the Month. We look at the well-being of vacations, and there is more about our projects under construction, a new team member, and what's going on in Luxembourg.
 
Newsletter - September, 2019
The Biodiversum designed by Valentiny Architects in Remerschen demonstrates how wood ages (see below).
 

Greetings from Sahar

Welcome to our September newsletter. We hope that you find it an interesting, educational, and fun way to keep in touch with us.

 
In this issue, we highlight a house designed by Margaret and Charles Rennie MacKintosh as the Project of the Month. We look at the well-being of vacations, and there is more about our projects under construction, a new team member, and what's going on in Luxembourg.

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Project of the Month: Hill House Designed by Margaret & Charles Rennie MacKintosh

At the end of the 19th century, the sisters Margaret and Frances Macdonald helped create what was later known as the "Glasgow Style" of art and design. At their "Macdonald Sisters Studio", their innovative work was a contribution to the international art nouveau movement and was inspired by Celtic imagery, literature, symbolism and folklore.

Around 1894, Margaret and Frances met the architects Charles Rennie MacKintosh and Herbert MacNair at the Glasgow School of Art. The four of them began exhibiting their work together and in 1900 Margaret and Charles were married.  Although Charles has been widely credited for their work and Margaret not often spoken about, she was recognised at the time with Charles writing to her, "Remember, you are half if not three-quarters in all my architectural work…"

The Hill House completed in 1904 was a collaborative effort of the pair and "exemplifies MacKintosh’s approach to combining traditional Scottish values with modern international ideas" according to Alyn Griffiths of Dezeen magazine. Click below to read and see more from Dezeen.

How the Color and Texture of Natural Wood Ages Over Time

In August, we took an afternoon trip to Remerschen to have a nice team building lunch and a tour of the architecture of the area. One of the places we visited was the Biodiversum designed by Valentiny Architectes (top photo of the newsletter). The exhibitions in the center are wonderful for children and adults to learn about the natural history of the region.

The building was designed to resemble a Celtic boat pulled ashore, and the woodwork done by Steffen Holzbau is exemplary. The roofing is of Alaskan Yellow Cedar shingles that age into a silvery grey within about 9 months. The natural tannins and oils in the wood protect it from rot and mould meaning this roof can last 40 to 50 years.

In many of our projects, we use wood that is innovatively oxidised and impregnated with natural linseed oil so that the already soft tones age far more subtly and change the original colour very slightly and uniformly over time. These wood facades do not need to be retreated and will also last many years. An example is the project pictured above in Meispelt where we have used a Dura Patina wood facade built by Prefalux. This facade is of white pine harvested from regions in German Bavaria and Switzerland.

The Well-Being of Vacations & Work

As the summer holidays come to a close, it's a good time to reflect on how important getting away from it all is for our wellbeing. But we need to keep those positive effects going after we get back to work.

Many studies show that time off reduces stress and the risk of a heart attack or stroke, but these effects can be short lived upon returning to the office if the workload is too high and the design on the office and home environment interferes with our circadian rhythms and connection to natural light and fresh air.

Business management that recognises health and wellbeing in the work place creates a more effective and energetic team. Psychologist David Ballard emphasises, "A supportive culture and supervisor, the availability of adequate paid time off, effective work-life policies and practices, and psychological issues like trust and fairness all play a major role in how employees achieve maximum recharge."

Crossword Puzzle of the Month

Have fun with our crossword puzzle of the month. Just click on the image to get the pdf which you can print out and fill in.

Last Month's Solution

Upcoming Luxembourg Events

The Schueberfouer is underway! This funfair set in the Glacis Square of Luxembourg City is the biggest of the year and the oldest in Europe. It was founded in 1340 by John the Blind, Count of Luxembourg and King of Bohemia. Over 2 million people visit the annual event that will soon be listed on the UNESCO Intangible Heritage list. Click on the picture for more.

Saharchitects Welcomes a New Team Member, Delphine!

We want to introduce our newest team member, Delphine Fietz. Delphine studied architecture in Strasbourg and Germany. After earning her Masters degree and professional license in France, she worked as an architect for 5 years in Luxembourg before taking a year to travel throughout Asia from Japan to Nepal. We are happy she is back in Luxembourg and on the Saharchitects team!

 
Saharchitects
33 rue de la gare
7535 Mersch
Luxembourg
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