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Climate Change: The Latest Architecture and News

The Trends that Will Influence Architecture in 2019

It is, once again, the time of year where we look towards the future to define the goals and approaches that we will take for our careers throughout the upcoming year. To help the millions of architects who visit ArchDaily every day from all over the world, we compiled a list of the most popular ideas of 2018, which will continue to be developed and consolidated throughout 2019.

Over 130 million users discovered new references, materials, and tools in 2018 alone, infusing their practice of architecture with the means to improve the quality of life for our cities and built spaces. As users demonstrated certain affinities and/or demonstrated greater interest in particular topics, these emerged as trends. 

Reframing Climate Change as a Local Problem of Global Proportion: 4 Ways Architects can Deliver Change

Bankside 123 in London creates new routes, public spaces and retail, with three simple rectilinear buildings set within a permeable public realm designed to reconnect the site with its surroundings. Image Courtesy of Allies & Morrison
Bankside 123 in London creates new routes, public spaces and retail, with three simple rectilinear buildings set within a permeable public realm designed to reconnect the site with its surroundings. Image Courtesy of Allies & Morrison

The latest UN special report on climate change, released in October 2018, was bleak - perhaps unsurprisingly after a year of recording breaking temperatures, wildfires, floods, and storms. The report, released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reiterated the magnitude of climate change’s global impact, but shed new light on the problem’s depth and urgency. Climate change is a catastrophe for the world as we know it and will transform it into something that we don’t. And we have just 12 years to prevent it.

How Urban Planning Can Help Us Cope With Climate Change

Cities are hotter than surrounding areas because of a climate phenomena that is known as the urban heat island (UHI). While scientists have studied this effect for decades, new information has recently come to light that points to the way we arrange our cities as a key contributor to raised temperatures. The results could help city planners build our future cities better.

The Environmental Cost of Cement, and What to Do About It

For thousands of years, concrete has been a foundation of the built environment: the most widely used man-made material on the planet. However, as architects, and the public alike, sharpen their focus on the causes and effects of climate change, the environmental damage caused by cement has become a subject of unease.

As exhibited in a recent in-depth article by Lucy Rodgers for BBC News, cement is the source of about 8% of global CO2 emissions. The piece was written off the back of the UN’s COP24 climate change conference in Poland and found that in order to meet the requirements of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, annual cement emissions must fall by 16% by 2030.

The AIA Toolkit for Architects in the Era of Climate Change

A misconception often surfaces in design circles that architectural beauty and evidence-based environmental performance are mutually exclusive. To address this, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) is releasing a new tool that can assist architecture firms in designing high-performance energy-efficient buildings.

Despite the federal stance on paramount environmental issues, the AIA upholds and advocates for the responsibility of architects to mitigate against the effects of climate change. Aware that the construction industry consumes nearly 40% of the energy supply nationwide, the AIA COTE® Top Ten Toolkit presents a series of strategies to promote sustainability without compromising the design.

Albion District Library / Perkins + WillFort Mason Center for Arts & Culture / LMS Architects Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery / DLR GroupFamily House / LMS Architects+ 6

ecoLogicStudio's Bio-Digital Curtain Fights Climate Change by Filtering Air and Creating Bioplastic

London-based architectural and urban design firm ecoLogicStudio has unveiled a large-scale “urban curtain” designed to fight climate change. “Photo.Synth.Etica” was developed in collaboration with Climate-KIC, the most prominent climate innovation initiative from the European Union, to “accelerate solutions to global climate change.”

Photo.Synth.Etica, currently on display at the Printworks Building in Ireland’s Dublin Castle, captures and stores one kilogram of CO2 per day, the equivalent to that of 20 large trees.


Boston Publishes Radical SCAPE Plans to Combat Climate Change

The Mayor of Boston and SCAPE Landscape Architecture have collaborated on a vision to protect the city’s 47 miles of shoreline against climate change. The scheme lays out strategies which will “increase access and open space along the waterfront while better protecting the city during a major flooding event.”

The vision forms part of the Imagine Boston 2030 initiative while using the city’s Climate Ready Boston 2070 flood maps, targeting infrastructure along Boston’s most vulnerable flood pathways.

South Boston vision. Image © SCAPE / City of BostonBoston Harbor Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of BostonDorchester Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of BostonEast Boston Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston+ 5

Reimagining Cities in the Face of Climate Change and Migration

Migration as a result of changing climate has already begun. And while this poses enormous challenges for governments - particularly at a global moment that seems indisposed towards immigration and immigrants - there is also the concern that heritage will inevitably be lost. In places like Scotland, rising sea levels have put ancient sites at risk; the same is the case in island nations in the Pacific. As mounting environmental risks become more inevitable day by day, cities around the world are turning to more resilient forms of architecture and urban planning to combat both short term shocks and longer term pressures as a means of ensuring their future.

DeltaSync's floating geodesic domes propose an alternative space for human habitation and food production.Architect Vincent Callebaut's "Lilypad" project is a multi-use, floating ecopolis that is intended to house up to 50,000 climate refugees per floating structure.Manhattan will construct a massive wall and park to guard against rising sea levels, providing adaptable and interactive public spaces in the process.. ImageCourtesy of Bjarke Ingels GroupCopenhagen-based firm SLA's "The Soul of Nørrebro" is an integrated climate adaption project that transforms the city's Hans Tavsens Park into a rainwater catching basin that will help irrigate the city and combat urban heat island effect.. Image© SLA / Beauty and the Bit+ 11

Climate Tile Designed to Catch and Redirect Excess Rainwater From Climate Change

The Climate Tile is a pilot project designed to catch and redirect 30% of the projected extra rainwater coming due to climate change. Created by THIRD NATURE with IBF and ACO Nordic, the project will be inaugurated on a 50m pavement stretch at Nørrebro in Copenhagen. The first sidewalk was created as an innovative climate project that utilizes the Climate Tile to create a beautiful and adaptable cityscape. Aimed at densely populated cities, the tile handles water through a technical system that treats water as a valuable resource.

Climate Tile. Image Courtesy of THIRD NATUREClimate Tile. Image Courtesy of THIRD NATUREClimate Tile. Image Courtesy of THIRD NATUREClimate Tile. Image Courtesy of THIRD NATURE+ 12

3XN's Waterfront Climatorium Pays Tribute to the Fishing Culture of Lemvig, Denmark

3XN, working in collaboration with Orbicon and SLA, have won a competition for the design of a new climatorium in Lemvig, Denmark. The scheme seeks to form a modern interpretation of the area’s nature and fishing culture, while also influenced by local climate conditions.

The predominantly timber scheme balances a dual role of a public amenity serving science and the arts and a working laboratory geared towards the mitigation of climate change.

via 3XNvia 3XNvia 3XNvia 3XN+ 4

Animalesque Berlin AA Visiting School

The Berlin AA Visiting School, an arm of Architectural Association School of Architecture, is still accepting registrations for their cutting edge lecture- and seminar series from the 6th till the 17th of August 2018. Participants will learn to adapt their design perspectives from anthropocentric to human-animal co-perspective, design and construct “The Insectarium”, and actively participate in Berlin’s political, ecological, and planning scene through talks and interactive sessions with an amazing roster of speakers ranging from legendary Raoul Bunschoten, Francois Roche, UNStudio, ARUP, Emanuele Coccia and Ricardo de Ostos!

The immersive multisensory experience will enhance the practical applications of helping wildlife

Kenzo Tange Gymnasium and 7 Other Threatened Sites Receive $1M in Preservation Funding

Eight sites from the World Monuments Fund’s 2018 World Monuments Watch list have been awarded $1 million in funding from American Express to support much-needed preservation and restoration initiatives. The sites were selected based on their vulnerability to specific threats like natural disasters, climate change or social forces like urbanization that have left them neglected.

Habitat: Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Planet

Climate change is the biggest challenge facing our planet. There has never been a more important time to understand how to make the best use of local natural resources and to produce buildings that connect to ecosystems and livelihoods and do not rely on stripping the environment or transporting materials across the globe.

The culmination of years of specialist research, Habitat: Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Planet, a once-in-a-generation large format publication, gathers together an international team of more than one hundred leading experts across a diverse range of disciplines to examine what the traditions of vernacular architecture and its

Final Winning Design Concepts Released for Resilience by Design's Bay Area Challenge

One year after the launch of Resilient by Design's Bay Area Challenge, led by TLS Landscape has presented the final nine design concepts. The Bay Area Challenge launched with a call to action to "bring together local residents, community organizations, public officials and local, national, and international experts to develop innovative solutions that will strengthen our region's resilience to sea level rise, severe storms, flooding, and earthquakes." The idea formulated as a “blueprint for resilience” that can be replicated and utilized locally and globally. Other urban challenges will also be addressed, including housing, transport, health and economic disparity as a means of not just protecting the current regions, but strengthening them.

The elite, collaborative teams include world-renowned designers like BIG, Mithun and HASSELL+.

Read on for more about each of the final design concepts.

The Estuary Commons: People, Place, and Path Forward - All Bay Collective. Image Courtesy of Resilient by DesignThe Estuary Commons: People, Place, and Path Forward - All Bay Collective. Image Courtesy of Resilient by DesignIslais-Creek - Hyper Creek - BIG + ONE + Sherwood. Image Courtesy of Resilient by DesignIslais-Creek - Hyper Creek - BIG + ONE + Sherwood. Image Courtesy of Resilient by Design+ 46

Nepal's "Vertical University" Will Include 6 Campuses In 5 Climatic Zones to Teach About Climate Change

Courtesy of KTK-BELT Studio
Courtesy of KTK-BELT Studio

KTK-BELT Studio, a not-for-profit organization based in rural Nepal, is currently working with local communities to create a fascinating "Vertical University," which will teach students about biodiversity and environmental conservation in 6 "living classrooms" positioned along a vertical forest corridor that stretches from 67 meters above sea level to the top of an 8,856-meter peak. These 6 stops encapsulate the 5 climatic zones of Eastern Nepal: tropical, subtropical, temperate, subarctic and arctic.

The project explores the specific impacts of climate change in each climatic zone, creating “classrooms” where students can walk from Koshi Tappu to Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third tallest peak in the world, and learn onsite from indigenous farmers about the biological diversity of each area. By teaching place-based skills in these micro-conservation hubs, the project aims to conserve and activate local knowledge. Each of these “classrooms” responds to the visual and cultural cues of its unique landscape, with one campus focusing on a flood-proof design in a heavy monsoon area, and another mimicking the semi-nomadic lifestyle of local yak-herders.

Courtesy of KTK-BELT StudioCourtesy of KTK-BELT StudioCourtesy of KTK-BELT StudioCourtesy of KTK-BELT Studio+ 16

A Tale of Misplaced Trust in News Media Wins 2018 Fairy Tales Competition

Blank Space, in collaboration with The National Building Museum, has announced winners of their fifth annual Fairy Tales competition, unveiled in front of a live audience at the Washington D.C. National Building Museum. The competition saw submissions from 65 countries, with 3 prize winners, a runner-up, and 9 honorable mentions chosen for their exploration of current events and the creative process through well-crafted short stories and artwork. The winners were chosen by a jury of 20 leading architects, including Daniel Libeskind, Bjarke Ingels, and Maria Aiolova.

HASSELL + MVRDV's Proposal to Improve the Bay Area's Resilience in the Event of a Disaster

Following recent natural disasters including the Northern California wildfires, the HASSELL + team have been inspired to reimagine the San Francisco Bay Area as a vibrant community hub, equipped to provide temporary facilities in an emergency. As part of the competition Resilient by Design, the ten teams were asked to provide solutions for the waterfront through site-specific conceptual design and collaborative research projects.

Courtesy of MVRDV and HASSELL+Courtesy of MVRDV and HASSELL+Courtesy of MVRDV and HASSELL+Courtesy of MVRDV and HASSELL++ 13

Call for Papers: TAW 2018 International Scientific Conference

An integral and substantial component of TAW 2018, the International Scientific Conference aims at exploring contemporary research activities and design tactics that deal with the topic of co-habitation from different perspectives and within different fields of interest, directly or indirectly related to architecture, city, and landscape. Through the observation of different tactics adopted by researchers and professionals, the hope is to identify new research and design trajectories.