David Adjaye, in partnership with Bedrock and the city of Cleveland, unveiled the masterplan for the Cuyahoga Riverfront, a 15-to-20-year vision that will transform 35 acres of the riverfront to improve accessibility, equity, sustainability, and resilience of the downtown area. The design embraces the city’s rich history and connection to nature and creates a sustainable infrastructure that prioritizes pedestrian movement and activates open public spaces. David Adjaye, a British-Ghanian architect, has been awarded Britain’s Order of Merit, making him the fifth architect to be appointed the honor.
Sustainability: The Latest Architecture and News
Zaha Hadid Architects and Architects 61 unveiled the design for the new Science Center in the Jurong Lake District, Singapore. The 52,460 square meters complex aims to make science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) more accessible through specialized amenities, educational programs, and interactive experiences. The building is expected to open in 2027, which also marks the 50th anniversary of the Science Center and aligns with the Singapore Green Plan 2030.
Largely driven by rural migration to cities and overall population growth, 68% of people worldwide will live in urban areas by 2050. By doing so, many will benefit from greater access to basic services, proximity to public transportation, and better education and employment opportunities. But the pursuit of living urbanized lives also leads to isolation from the outdoors –be it a forest, a meadow or the mountains– that can negatively impact our physical and mental health. Exposure to nature has long been proven to reduce stress levels, boost mood, foster productivity and, above all, enhance well-being. So, considering we typically spend around 93% of our time indoors (and that the pandemic has magnified that statistic), now more than ever we find ourselves seeking a connection with the outdoors and all its inherent benefits. Architects thus face the important challenge of bringing nature in, which is precisely where biophilic design comes into play.
Zaha Hadid Architects has joined Ukrainian authorities to present the Odesa Expo 2030 bid proposal, an event planned to become the first Expo to be hosted in Eastern Europe. The masterplan is designed with legacy and sustainability in mind. The central pavilions are configured to be transformed into Ukraine’s first fair exhibition hub after the closing of the Expo, while the national pavilions are designed to be dismantled and redeployed as new civic buildings throughout Ukraine.
Country houses usually are found in remote areas, therefore, they often demand placement strategies that respect the context and dialogue with the landscape while bringing more thermal comfort and natural lighting. Most of the time, these solutions bring passive strategies that, along with the choice of materials and construction techniques, can provide an even more sustainable project. Get to know seven Brazilian residences that are examples of this theme.
In interior design – and many other design disciplines – it is much easier to be unsustainable. Buying or developing custom solutions for a room often requires less time and research than purchasing second-hand materials or concern for waste flow and the circular economy.
But the construction and decoration industry can no longer afford the luxury of ignoring the environmental impacts caused by their activities.
Interior architects and designers have often claimed that a well-designed office space will translate into greater productivity, creativity and worker satisfaction –yet the impact is greater than most tend to imagine. Recent studies suggest that good design positively impacts company culture, fosters a sense of community and creates a healthy, happy and motivating environment. In fact, it directly influences the recruitment and retention of talent: “workplace design significantly increases the attractiveness of employers to potential candidates.” Proper lighting, a flexible layout and biophilic features are all important factors to consider during the planning stage. But to fully address user comfort and well-being, these must be combined with excellent furniture design. After all, integrating high-quality ergonomic pieces is a simple way to boost mood and enhance functionality and aesthetics when creating or redecorating the workspace.
The 2022 United Nations Conference of the Parties, more commonly referred to as COP27, was held between November 6 and November 18, 2022, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The conference included more than 90 heads of state and an estimated 35,000 representatives, or delegates, from 190 countries. These conferences are aimed at encouraging and guiding countries to take effective action against climate change. While the conferences address a larger set of issues, the built environment is recognized as playing a major role in ensuring that sustainability targets are achieved.
The Building to COP27, a group of sustainability-focused built environment NGOs and organizations, is working to position the built environment as a critical sector to achieve the needed transition to a resilient and zero emissions future at COP conferences. The group aims to raise awareness of the impact that the building sector can have while pointing out that more drastic measures need to be taken, as most countries do not include full building decarbonization targets, and certain areas, such as building materials are under-addressed.
Recent statistics suggest that if someone lives until they are 80, around 72 of those years will be spent inside buildings. This makes sense if we bear in mind that, when not at home, humans are working, learning or engaging in fun activities mostly in enclosed, built settings. Contemplating current events, however, this number is expected to grow. In an increasingly chaotic and uncertain world, marked by the ongoing effects of climate change and the global pandemic, the desire to stay indoors in a protected, controlled and peaceful environment is stronger than ever. Architects face an important challenge: to create comfortable, productive and healthy interiors with well-regulated parameters, considering factors like indoor air quality, daylighting and biophilic features from the initial stages of design. Of course, this involves choosing materials sensitively and accordingly, whether it be by avoiding certain health-harming components or by integrating non-toxic products that soothe and promote wellness.
There was a time when buildings wanted to be mountains, roofs wanted to be forests, and pillars wanted to be trees. As the world began to go into a state of alert with the melting of glaciers and the consequent rise of Earth’s temperature, architecture – from a general perspective – was concerned with imitating the shapes of nature. Something close to human-made “ecosystems”, seen by many as allegoric and decorative, in service of marketable images of “sustainable development”.
“Superstorm Sandy in 2012 was a wake-up call for NYC and made the city realize it needed to better prepare for climate change,” said Adrian Smith, FASLA, vice president at ASLA and team leader of Staten Island capital projects with NYC Parks. Due to storm surges from Sandy, “several people in Staten Island perished, and millions in property damage were sustained.”
On the 10th anniversary of Sandy, Smith, along with Pippa Brashear, ASLA, principal at SCAPE, and Donna Walcavage, FASLA, principal at Stantec, explained how designing with nature can lead to more resilient shoreline communities. During Climate Week NYC, they walked an online crowd of hundreds through two interconnected projects on the southwestern end of the island: Living Breakwaters and its companion on land — the Tottenville Shoreline Protection Project.
The motto of the Solar Decathlon Europe 21/22 was to convert and expand rather than to demolish and reconstruct. Recycling windows, using biodegradable materials for luminaires and connecting light with sensors represented just some innovative examples of the international university-level student competition in Wuppertal, Germany. For the first time, the competition presented an award for sustainable architectural lighting. This was a question of quality as much as quantity, and that applies equally to daylight and artificial light.
One of the most significant cultural events in the Middle East, Dubai Design Week represents a platform that offers individuals and companies the opportunity to showcase their design experience and to open conversations about the most pressing issues of our times. Developed in a strategic partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), the event presents a series of immersive, large-scale installations that highlight the festival’s theme: Design with Impact.
This year’s program is focused on designing a sustainable future. To promote this, Dubai Design Week has invited international and regional architects and designers to create installations that demonstrate creative design thinking, to introduce innovative materials, and spark conversations about the ways in which design can have a positive impact on the environment.
At a historical moment when industrialization and urbanization are continuing at a fast and predatory pace, we need to design and produce spaces that can adapt to new realities. Based on this need, concepts that can guide the transformation and production of future cities emerge.
Cities are filled with waste materials and the need to reuse existing resources has become key in fighting the increase in waste production. More than a third of all the waste generated in the EU comes from construction and demolition, containing different materials such as glass, concrete, bricks and ceramics. But how to manage this staggering amount of waste production from construction? According to the Spanish Law on Waste and Contaminating Soils, concrete and ceramic waste with no considerable processing can both be reused in construction . By combining reused material waste with technology, architectural design can create innovative solutions that contribute to minimizing environmental impact.