International office MVRDV has been selected by the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs to design the Hoowave Water Factory, a large-scale redevelopment of Huwei’s Beigang and Anqingzhen waterways. The project combines a strategic master plan with the landscape design in an effort to move beyond the mono-functional approach for controlling and distributing water. Besides storing and capturing water, the proposal also opens up access to the river and the natural ecosystem by integrating cycling paths, cultural amenities, and ecological systems. The master plan also includes a comprehensive strategy for flood resilience while improving the quantity and quality of available water. The project is expected to be completed in 2026.
Ecological Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News
The Athens International Airport was decommissioned in 2001, leading to two decades of work for the local government to establish funding and a governance mechanism to transform the 600 acres of unused space into Europe’s largest coastal park. The site has a layered history, from prehistoric settlements to the construction of the airport in the 20th century and the site being used for as an Olympic venue in 2004. Architecture office Sasaki is leading the design to transform the site again and create the Ellinikon Metropolitan Park, a restorative landscape and climate-positive design that will serve as a park, playground, and cultural center for the city of Athens. Developers are planning to break ground early next year.
In line with the United Nations agenda of climate neutrality by 2050, the Rome City Council has announced the establishment of a Laboratory titled “Laboratorio Roma050 – il Futuro della Metropoli Mondo", a project proposed and led by Italian architect Stefano Boeri, which aims to draw up an ecological vision for Rome in 2050. The urban regeneration project consists of 12 young architects and urban planners under the age of 35, along with 4 renowned architects as mentors, who collectively have specific experience in terms of studies and research regarding the Italian capital.
Founder of the Berlin-based firm Kéré Architecture, Francis Kéré, has won the 2021 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture. Presented by the University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, the award is one of four honors recognizing achievements in architecture, citizen leaderships, global innovation, and law. The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals recognize the exemplary contributions of recipients to the endeavors in which Jefferson excelled and held in high regard.
Establishing strong connections between urban and nature, tradition and innovation, and economy and culture, SOM has designed a master plan for the Central Area of Guangming District, Shenzhen, China. A new benchmark of ecologically integrated development, the project will lead the next generation of urban growth in the Greater Bay Area.
Chinese architect Mingfei Sun has designed an environmentally oriented urban hub for Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Titled SURGE, its natural aesthetics and technological forwardness are intended to communicate a J.M.W. Turner-esque awe for the power of nature, making it an oasis of high aesthetic and ecological value.
In a design proposal for Soprema’s new company headquarters in Strasbourg, France, Vincent Callebaut Architectures envisions an 8,225 square-meter ecological utopia. The building, called Semaphore, is described in the program as a “green flex office for nomad co-workers” and is dedicated to urban agriculture and employee well-being.
An eco-futuristic building, Semaphore is inspired by biomimicry and intended as a poetic landmark, as well as aiming to serve as a showcase for Soprema’s entire range of insulation, waterproofing, and greening products. The design is an ecological prototype of the green city of the future, working to achieve a symbiosis between humans and nature.
The “Bosco” design schematic utilizes timber construction and ecological design practices to create a multi-sided residential city block. Not only are the private domestic spaces important, but the definition of ‘living space’ is expanded to include private outdoor and shared spaces.
In this way, the wood exterior becomes an extension of the interior. The use of timber, throughout, and the simple language of Bosco’s underlying geometric forms create a well-articulated and homogeneous ensemble of housing components.
For the "Imagine Angers" international design competition, Vincent Callebaut Architectures worked in collaboration with Bouygues Immobilier group to submit a proposal for the French city at the intersection of social and technological innovation, with a focus on ecology and hospitality. Named Arboricole, meaning “tree” and “cultivation,” this live-work-play environment gives back as much to the environment as it does its users. Although WY-TO prevailed in the competition, the Callebaut scheme succeeded in winning the public vote.
At times, Landscape design lacks proper consideration or its overlooked within architecture, as a result of current but preconceived notions within architectural practice and education that privilege building over site, or the constructed over the existing. While at face value, landscape is treated as an abject and constant entity of sorts, the reality is that it possesses a layered complexity of patterns and ecosystems, much of which is increasingly impacted by our own actions, more significantly than what meets the eye.
At the same time, the definition of landscape is constantly evolving to encompass a greater number of influences and factors. We have cultural, built and ecological landscapes, which influence one another and come about as a result of the intersection between the architecture and the environment that we are presented with. As a result, it is important to view terrain in a more holistic light, acknowledging its ecological underpinnings and well as the anthropological effects it is subject to, both physically and theoretically. Here is a list of five online resources, which investigate the interdisciplinary nature of landscape design and its relation to architecture and culture.
In the recently concluded Bandirma Park competition, TARI-Architects in collaboration with Derek Pirozzi Design Workshop LLC, were awarded third prize for their proposed revitalisation of the Turkish city’s ecological core. In light of the competition’s vision of Bandirma as a new innovative hub, the proposal by the two practices combines the central Design Institute with excavated public spaces to minimize the architecture’s footprint on the park and its context.
Under the acronym B.R.E.A.K., or "Bandirma Regeneration As Knowledge," the project’s focal point is the Design Institute – “an operation that will attract a large number of academic gatherings from the Turkish region for hosting exhibitions and research conferences” from its vantage point overlooking the city and harbor.
Emphasizing a diverse combination of ecological, infrastructural and urban programs in their envisioned design, Istanbul and Madrid-based design practice Openact Architecture has been named the winner of the Bandirma Park Competition, which invited ideas to “introduce Bandirma to the world."
Titled ‘A Path of the Fields’, the winning proposal presents a layered approach to the revitalisation of a former military and industrial brownfield in the industrial Turkish city of Bandirma.
The area is defined by Openact as both “an open, interactive, collective and productive focal point locally and regionally” and “an idea factory in the city of factories”, allowing for the exchange of ideas between the public and professionals. By centering the park around a Design and Research Institute, the intent is to create an environment that will strengthen Bandirma’s socio-economic standing, and offer a new hub for the city’s future, while seamlessly integrating into the natural ecological identity.
Chinese architecture firm Penda, known for their ecologically sensitive designs, has redesigned the tent in a bold new way for the AIM "Legend Of The Tent" Competition. Their proposal, ”One With The Birds," is a flexible and sustainable structure that integrates sleeping pods into the forest canopy. Inspired by Native American Tipis, which are moveable and reusable, the structure, made from bamboo sticks latched together with rope, leaves no impact on the site nor causes any harm to the bamboo itself.
A mock-up of the project will soon be installed as a temporary hotel. According to the architects, “after the temporary hotel is deconstructed, the materials can be reused as scaffolding on a construction site or reused as another temporary hotel on a different location.”
Learn more about this remarkable structure, after the break.