Green Architecture For The Future
With the growing awareness of our need to preserve the environment, architects, scientists, philosophers, engineers and chemists are joining forces to develop new solutions to the many challenges that arise when sustainable cities, landscapes and environments are to be established.
Louisiana’s exhibition shows some of the complex initiatives and future scenarios that are mushrooming up on a global scale. Solution that meets mankind’s needs for technology, comfort and growth right now, without depriving future generations of their needs.
The exhibition is divided into three sections (The City, Climate & Comfort, and Metabolism) with each theme clarified in four “future” experimental laboratories that pinpoint the concept of sustainability.
The massive population drift to the cities everywhere in the world makes the urban situation the most important focus for sustainable development. Population growth, population density and infrastructure are the greatest challenges.
The Spanish architectural team Ecosistema Urbano work to rethink the city at several levels. The two architects, Belinda Tato and José Luis Valléjo, talk about their work as urban acupuncture in both the existing city and in new urban neighborhoods, that require social, communicative and aesthetic upgrading.
|We are strongly focused on public space. We are interested in the social aspects of architecture, and when you consider what makes a city, then what happens between the buildings is more important to us than what happens inside them. That is a point that has been forgotten for a long time. We are also working to see the city as a whole system. There is a tendency to separate things into architecture and urban planning, where urban planning has been considered less cool and creative for a long time. Calling ourselves Ecosistema Urbano reminds us and others that the city should be a goal in itself – there is really a need to improve our cities.|
|/Belinda Tato & José Luis Valléjo|
The tree of air is a light structure that is self-sufficient and can be dismantled. It consumes only what it can produce through photovoltaic solar energy collection systems.
The New City
LAB 2 follows Foster+Partners planning of Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, the first CO2-neutral city in the world. Inspiration from Arab culture and building customs is combined with wind towers and solar cells to supply energy and ventilation for natural cooling of the desert city.
|To believe in a sustainable future is to trust that it will result in a better world. The city of the future has to be a more attractive place in which to live and work. If Masdar or any sustainable initiative does not result in a great place to be, if it isn’t a city that you really want to live in or visit, if it does not lift the spirits, then it is not fulfilling a central part of its function.|
|It was important for us to prove that it is possible to create cities without CO2 emission and without waste. So we imposed the limitation on ourselves that all energy and all garbage was to be generated and treated within the area we had been assigned. It was important not just to prove it, but also to do it visibly, so people begin to think about what it is we do.|
|/Stefan Behling & Gerard Evenden|
The City section also include other projects from around the world. French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s initiative “Rethink Paris” – the reestablishment of Paris as a cohesive city, conceived by ten selected architects.
MVRDV’s project “Paris Plus” has several elements. The Synthesis, defining the spatial agenda for the city, proposes a series of 17- large scale interventions. The goal is to make Paris highly accessible by creating a new central station at Les Halles, and by adding a new metro line and two underground motorway ring roads. This, together with the creation of new “Grand Axes” and a buried infrastructure along the Seine, liberates space for new urban living in green environments.
Tower of Tomorrow, designed by William McDonough & Partners, is a skyscraper that works like a tree, makes oxygen, distills water, produces energy, and changes with the seasons. The shape of the building is aerodynamic, reducing the impact of the wind, while its curved form reduces the amount of material needed for construction, increases structural stability and maximizes enclosed space. Flora abounds, with a green roof and three-story atrium gardens planned on the western side of the building.
The architect Ken Yeang has has formulated an architectural philosophy he calls “ecomimesis,” which means that architecture imitate nature’s ecosystems to create a balance between organic and inorganic mass. Architecture designed according to ecological principles should also reflect this visually. According to Yeang a “green” building should look green and express the climate and vegetation of the place. Read Ecodesign By Ken Yeang
The SIEEB project by Mario Cucinella Architects, a joint venture of the Italian and Chinese Governments, involves a new 20,000 square meter faculty building at Tsinghua University which houses a Sino-Italian education, training and research center for environmental protection and energy conservation. The building is designed as a showcase for the potential reduction of CO2 emissions in China. The design integrates passive and and active strategies to control the external environment in order to optimize internal environmental conditions.
Climate and Comfort
This section explores new principles for energy-saving and energy-producing architecture, the use of solar cells, wind towers and water power, new kinds of heating and ventilation and climatic potential for comfort, as well as examples of the aesthetic generated by new materials and construction types.
In LAB 3 French architect Philippe Rahm relates to meteorology and thermic systems demonstrating how it is possible to integrate such systems as an architectural principle in the formation and utilization of space.
The Atmospheric home is the prototype of an apartment where you no longer occupy a surface, you occupy an atmosphere. As they leave the floor, the functions and furnishings rise; they spread and evaporate in the atmosphere of the apartment , and the stabilize at certain temperatures determined by the body, clothing and activity. Our proposal is to make allowances for these physical differences in the distribution of temperature in the space and to exploit them by changing the way we live; to replace a horizontal way of living with a vertical one where we can occupy different heat zones, different layers, different heights. And thus to create a global ecosystem like a kind of astronomy of the home, where combinations of temperature, light, time and place are reconfigured.”
This theme includes several aspects of the cyclic idea; the recycling of materials, the development of new “intelligent” materials, reusing materials that are gradually made sustainable, and the lifetime of new projects.
One theoretical approach is the “Cradle 2 Cradle” principle conceived by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart. Together they have developed ways of showing consideration for the environment, rethinking production and recycling methods, and improving them by ensuring a technical as well as a biological cycle based on the lessons of nature.
|If humans are truly going to prosper, we will have to learn to imitate nature’s high effective cradle to cradle system of nutrient flow and metabolism, in which the very concept of waste does not exist…|
|/McDonough & Braungart|
Nike is an example of a company that is working to introduce Cradle 2 Cradle on all levels. Nike’s shoe “Nike Considered” is designed so the sole is no longer glued to the shoe, but clicks into a geometrical “seam.” The shoe no longer contains certain chemicals, so the whole shoe can be composted or recycled for new purposes after use. Nike’s best selling running shoe, the Pegasus, celebrating its 25th anniversary, is the first pinnacle running shoe to be Nike Considered Design.
The architects of Lab 4, R&Sie(n), work with energy systems that involve everything from biological processes to human relations with the built-up landscape and magnetic energy.
The specific conditions of each place are turned into potentials and function as design principles. The architects apply the inherent energy of their architectural programs to the specificity of places, and use these parameters to generate their architectural idiom. The underlying factors here are reflections on the ecosystems of buildings and materials, their lifetime and perishability.
|What we have set up here at the Louisiana is part of a building, a pavilion, that bears its own death within it, its own cessation. Earlier in the history of architecture people worked with temporary buildings, temporary installations, but they typically used modules and easily dismantled elements or tents, inflatables etc. that could be transported somewhere else. What is new here is that we work with materials that have time built in; in the course of the four month of the exhibition our little building will go through different phases on its way to its final dissolution. That is how it is programmed, created as it is from water´soluble polymers based on sugar and corn. The moisture in the room and in the pond in which the structure stands will slowly make the building decompose and melt; those who visit the exhibition at an early stage will have quite a different experience from those who come a few weeks later.|
United Bottle Group UBG
Dirk Hebel, Tobias Klauser, Hanspeter Logo, Jörg Stollmann
United Bottle is both a PET water bottle and a prefabricated building unit. Leading producers of mineral water as well as NGOs use it for their water sales or distribution. Filled with local materials, United Bottle turns into a construction material for temporary or even long-term shelters.
Greeting to the Sun
Coast promenade in Zadar, Croatia, 2007
The installation is a small copy of an installation on the Zadar coast promenade in Croatia. The installation in Louisiana Park is connected to a computer showing the exact images as the installation in Zadar. Light energy from the sun is transformed into electrical energy to create light experiences after sunset. The primary role of the installation is to facilitate physical and symbolic communication with the sun, but its practical result is the production of electrical energy to light up the whole coast promenade.
3XN designed the third pavilion, not yet installed, demonstrating cutting edge possibilities with sustainable and intelligent materials. We will, of course, update the article.
Spearheaded by 3XN’s in-house Research and Design Department, the project has been a joint collaboration with over twenty partners, including COWI for engineering and light design and Stage One Composites for production.
|The Pavilion has given us the opportunity to showcase the possibilities which exist in building with sustainable and intelligent materials. Our objective has been to show that Green Architecture can be dynamic and active. We often think that we need to minimize use of resources at all costs. Instead of focusing on consuming the least amount of energy, we need to focus on producing and using energy and materials in a more intelligent way than is the case today.|
|/Kim Herforth Nielsen, Founder and Principal architect of 3XN.|
An illustrated exhibition catalog, with several interviews and descriptions of projects, is available at the Louisiana Museum.
Green Architecture for the Future is the second exhibition in Louisiana’s exhibition series The Frontiers of Architecture I-IV. The first exhibition in the series, Cecil Balmond: Unfolding New Dimensions (2007), was an exploration of the relationship between science and architectural design.