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Free CD : Dr. Fixit’s Interactive Guide to Healthy Construction with June ‘10 IA&B issue

Exploring Sustainability

Presented by

VOL 23 (10)

JUN 2010

Rs. 150

18 IA&B - JUN 2010

Reviving Sustainable Cultures

A proponent of sustainable design for more than 30 years, Bob Berkebile, FAIA, a principal of BNIM Architects, is a leading architect on sustainability. He is the founding chair of the American Institute of Architect’s Committee on Environment. In a tête-à-tête with Sarita Vijayan, Editor & Brand Director Indian Architect & Builder Magazine, Bob Berkebile reveals his green ideologies that make a difference. Photograph: courtesy SEWC

let’s partner SV. In your career, you have launched a lot of initiatives. What are your current initiatives to change the perception of sustainability? BB. The things that are holding my intentions at the moment are community based initiatives so we are still designing and building buildings. But we are focusing more and more on clusters of building that could be described as neighbourhood or a city or a region. We are right now doing a master plan and design project for a place called Oble in Ohio and it is a partnership between the college that is located there and the city. We agreed into an agreement that we are developing this plan for them and that we will make the place into the first post-carbon economy in North-America, which basically requires everything to change. Building design changes sources of energy, changes how we grow, prepare and consume our food and all the other materials that are required to support human life, all of those systems need to be re-analysed and re-designed and changed. SV. In your career, you have achieved so much but have you been able to change people’s attitude towards their life and towards this planet through architecture? BB. We find in well designed environment, particularly where the participants, the stakeholders have a direct role that when they create a future that is truly beautiful and regenerative it does in fact increase human potential because it is a part of them, their place and in that environment we can measure increase in human health and in productivity. We can measure the increased test scores in school, in health care facilities, we can determine that people actually go back home sooner with fewer drugs. What is more difficult to measure is the real important part and that is how our hearts and spirits and our sense of community are affected by the designs of buildings and communities that we are creating. SV. Does architecture make people or do people make architecture? BB. It is interesting that we have always thought that architects create spaces and those spaces celebrate a culture and I think that is true but I think that we are more and more aware that this is an on-going creative multi-generational dialogue. I believe good architects are listening to the emerging culture and to the earth and are beginning to help our society and culture develop strategies that will take us far into the future more successfully, rather than creating objects on the landscape that are not connected to the genius of a place or a culture. It is, I think, a collaboration between the designer and all the stakeholders and that includes subtle voices of nature and not just human beings. SV. Do you think sustainability is a new term considering it has gained precedence due to growing global warming? How is the world connecting with this attitude of life and living? BB. First of all I think sustainability is a temporary word, we are all referring to it because we don’t have a better word. But if we think about it, other important errors have been identified after the fact. We now refer to the period in history as the industrial revolution but it wasn’t the case when it was born. And so this term sustainability will disappear and a better term will arrive. For me personally the reason for this is that sustainability implies maintaining the current system, sustaining what exists and that would be

a disaster strategy. So we are seeking a new approach and a new strategy that would be more about thriving than sustaining. It is not important what the term will be, what is really important for all of us as human beings is to connect in a new way and to build an environment and a community that not just allows us to survive but also thrive and really realise our full potential as human beings. SV. On one side, we speak of sustainable life. On the other side we make thousand developments. How do we reach both phenomena living on the same planet? BB. There is something about human spirit that wants to be the fastest or the tallest or the richest or something. And this urge to build the tallest building is attached to that. It is all ego in my mind and its too much money in the wrong places and I think it is an extraordinary move at the time when, the current way of life on this planet is obsolete. That is why we are finding that the resources are more and more expensive because if everyone lived like the western world we need 5-6 planets of resources and that is a broken obsolete idea but we are still moving in that direction. And the real magic is for all of us to simultaneously or in thousands of places people waking up to the reality that it is a failed system and when you look at large pattern science, when failure occurs you find more radical behaviour, especially amongst the people who have been controlling the existing system. In a way you can take this as a good thing because as this gets more radical it means that there is more change taking place so it is the old system flexing its muscles and showing it can still build even taller building. But when you start looking at it, it means that people just waste a lot more time just going to their office or their home when they are going half a mile in the air to get there and when they are bringing in resources from all over the planet to make that system work it is enormously expensive, it separates people from one another and from nature, which is the most fundamental quality of life. So hopefully by this contrast between this absurd obsolete system and this new sense of more healthier, appropriate better quality of life, as the contrast gets better it will be easier to choose which direction to take. SV. What are your views on the Indian initiatives towards a better life and a sustainable future? BB. What inspires me most about India is the beauty of the people and the resilience that I have experienced here, under pretty tough conditions, in terms of, community infrastructure and economic resources. I consider that people even under dire circumstances have a very good disposition and are optimistic about what can happen. And I find that really exciting because it is that spirit and that attitude and that culture that is available here that could transform this system and could leap forward over many of the mistakes that the western society has made. Our part of the world holds all the record for consumption waste and pollution. So, right now in India in my mind there is a tug of war going on between being seduced by this obsolete way of thinking and developing a western approach to city building or taking the best of this culture that exists and taking the portions from us in terms of technology, resource management, things of that nature and creating a new society and a new economy and a new sustainable, healthier model for a design and community building.


LET’S PARTNER Sharing over three decades of experience and insights on pioneering the sustainable design movement with Sarita Vijayan, Editor and Brand Director, Indian Architect and Builder Magazine is Bob Berkebile.


CURRENT Au courant updates on architecture exhibitions, competitions and news.


PRODUCTS Featured are contemporary, innovative and state-of-the-art products from around the world.


POST EVENT ‘Avant-Garde’ Visions Lafarge presented an exclusive fully-paid opportunity to visit the World Expo 2010, Shanghai to architects as its special invitees, through a simple contest.


‘Discovery’ in Bühlau

Buildings’ as a part of its Healthy Construction Lecture Series.


Delwara Community Toilets, Rajasthan Bella Vistaâ in Italy The energy conservation techniques of underground hotel complex designed by Matteo Thun.


Earthe Towne, Greater Noida The LEED certified residential township ‘Earthe Towne’ in Greater Noida.


Yeosu Oceanic Pavilion, Korea

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TECHNOLOGY Saving for a ‘Rainy Day’ A slender mechanism, conforming to the shape of a water tower that would generate rain on its own, is conceptualised by French architects Ramdam.

FOCUS EXPLORING SUSTAINABILITY Conserving African Heritage The Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre by Peter Rich is a classic specimen of sustainable architecture combined with the rich traditional heritage of the African continent.

A marine system that explores the ecosystem of oceans.


BOOK REVIEW Romancing the Red Stone Highlighting the best of Mughal architecture, especially their love for the red stone, is Yashwant Pitkar’s book—The Romance of Red Stone: An Appreciation Of Ornament on Islamic Architecture In India

Sustainable community toilets designed by Vir. Mueller Architects in Rajasthan.


Healthy Construction Dr. Fixit Institute arranges a lecture on ‘Sustainable Construction & Green

A harmonious and eco-friendly learning environment using natural materials.



Apprise of the world’s five most fascinating construction projects.


‘Energie’ Heritage Rising from a defunct industrial wasteland, the Bio-Towers in Germany showcase a sustainable and different perspective, framing them as impressive pieces of architecture.

en jer ts G . G s drea e g n e s t u e D r. Fi x i t s n A T e © age: & Ty i n t a r y C D n Pra c t i c m I r n o i e Co v e plim onstruc t m o C C y d: e Ad He a l t h u l a V

Chairman: Jasu Shah Printer & Publisher: Maulik Jasubhai Editor & Brand Director: Sarita Vijayan Deputy Editor: Sujatha Mani Senior Writers: Hina Nitesh, Ritu Sharma, Hema Yadav Writers: Renuka Singh, Maanasi Hattangadi Visualiser: Mansi Chikani Web Designer: Sandeep Sahoo Editorial & Events Co-ordinator: Abhay Dalvi Subscription Co-ordinators: Sunita Lumba (Delhi), Abhijit Mirashi, Sheetal Kamble Production Team: V Raj Misquitta (Head), Prakash Nerkar, Arun Madye Brand Manager: Sudhanshu Nagar Head Key Accounts: Meha Shrivastava


Energy Roof Capturing the sun’s rays and wind’s breath, is a sculpturesque twisting canopy of steel ribbons by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU.


Biomorphic Styling Greek architectural firm dARCH Studio drapes a fashion store in Athens using recycled corrugated cartons.


Sustainable Multiplicity HOK Architects substantiate a university campus design rooted in vernacular strategies certified as the world’s largest LEED Platinum project.


Paradise Island A high-profiled, zero-energy homes by Berlin-based Graft Lab Architects is creating waves for its sustainability quotient and alluring design.


Evolved Courtyard House Pune-based firm Design Praxis has realised a contemporary house befitting the vernacular courtyard house typology and Laurie Baker’s material innovations.


The Learning Curve Led by architect Sami Rintala and Associate Professor Hans Skotte, a team of architectural students outline a humanitarian project for Safe Haven Orphanage.


Bridge of Dreams Atelier Li Xiaodong interprets the vernacular essence of China to lease a new life into a school project which is an eclectic symbiosis of the traditional and the contemporary.


Green Dynamism Danish Architects 3XN have delineated a 100 per cent self-sufficient pavilion that is an interactive trend-setter in the emerging sustainable technologies.


Misty Perceptions French architects Nicolas Dorval-Bory and Raphaël Bétillon have conceived a misty edifice built on the lines of climate responsive design approach.


Rain, Reserve, Recycle Polish architectural students Ryszard Rychlicki and Agnieszka Nowak make use of rainfall capturing techniques in a skyscraper design as an answer to the depleting water resource.


The Intangible Sustainability Tracing the roots of ‘Eastern Naturalistic Philosophy,’ the Taichung Convention Centre, China, embraces nature and culture with a modern eco-skin.


Extracting Hope, Changing Lives Applying the technique of pumps to create an artificial lake in Sudan, Hugon Kowalski renders a water tower skyscraper to resolve the drought-stricken problems of the region.

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current m_ART Competition

HP Skyline 2020 Category Type Deadline

: : :

National Architects & designers July 15, 2010

Design concepts that would make a difference to the urban skyline, are invited for building iconic structures. Skylines can be seen as infusions of perception, imagination and desire that are embedded in a building. It is not about changing the skyline but transforming it with innovative designing ideas. For further information, contact: Web:

Design Williamsburg Waterfront Performance Venue Category : Type : Deadline :

International Professionals and students in architecture and designers Registration: August 13, 2010 Submission: August 16, 2010

suckerPUNCH invites applications for the integrated design of an innovative music venue in the East River State Park located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The new park is the place for free performances by progressive independent artists at the JELLY Pool Parties’ summer concert series that draws 10,000 fans to the spot on Sunday afternoons. suckerPUNCH challenges designers to build a network of stages and facilities which can accommodate these performances through an advanced design strategy. Being the epicentre of avant-garde music, art and fashion, Williamsburg looks forward to an architectural intervention that incorporates the most groundbreaking design ideas, techniques and processes. The stages are meant to be temporary as they can be renewed and reused in future events. The design needs to be climate responsive and flexible to changing weather conditions. For further information, contact: Web:


Solutia World of Color Awards Category : Type : Deadline :

International Architects, interior designers, glass fabricators, furniture designers, glazing engineers and other industry professionals August 15, 2010

Category Type Deadline

: : :

International Open to all Registration: August 31, 2010 Submission: September 28, 2010

With the competition Opengap aims to redefine the concept of ‘market’ as a commercial space, reinforcing the value of handwork and to promote direct contact between the artist/craftsman and the client. The competition invites proposals that provide a contemporary vision of urban markets, adequate to current way of life, without loosing its traditional, social, historical and cultural essence. The competition is open to all architects, designers, architecture students and to people around the world interested in the topic. Competitors may subscribe individually or as a team of maximum of 5 people. The proposal submission should include two digital images in .jpg format, not bigger than 4MB. The images should have a horizontal format. For further information, contact: Web:

Who’s The Next 2.0? Category : Type : Deadline :

International Architects and designers Registration: September 01, 2010 Submission: September 03, 2010 seeks to redefine the design concept of affordable luxury. The competition challenges designers to come up with livable, aesthetically pleasing and plush homes executed in smaller and affordable housing. This opportunity opens doors for the design community to create new home designs and delivery methods that meet today’s restraints and needs. Competitors will choose from two user profiles and design a single family home that suits their requirement. In this contest, the focus will be on affordability and constructability so all entries should be aimed at a final construction cost of $220,000 to $410,000. For further information, contact: Web:

SHIFTboston Moon Capital Competition Category : Type : Deadline :

International Architects, space-architects, scientists, engineers, urban designers, landscape designers, artists and futurists September 03, 2010

The first ‘Solutia World of Color Awards’ is a global design awards program for honouring architects, interior designers, glass fabricators, furniture designers, glazing engineers and other industry professionals. The awards will recognise the innovative application of coloured laminated safety glass in building design and interior spaces across the world.

SHIFTboston is calling on to submit most provocative ideas for the moon. It seeks to collect visions that will provoke thought on the moon as a new destination. The call is for radical ideas for new lunar elements such as rovers, growing pods, inflatable structures and lunar habitats. The honorary recipient will receive a cash prize and be present at the Moon Capital Forum at the Cyclorama in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday, October 21, 2010.

For further information, contact: Web:

For further information, contact: Web:

28 IA&B - JUN 2010

current Stanley Greenberg: Architecture under Construction Date : Venue :

Now to September 06, 2010 Chicago, USA

Although futuristic architecture has often inspired new age art photographers and video artists, Stanley Greenberg is the first to introduce a documentary-style lens on the subject. Greenberg’s radiant large-scale black-and-white photographs discover advanced structures in the process of being constructed. Greenberg focuses on views that are rarely seen in the final building. He highlights the intricacy of modern-day construction and the residual visual unfolding of spaces ensuing from these feats of structural gymnastics. His pictures are able to highlight the technologies and disciplines applied in building incredible structures. For further information, contact: Web:

AA Bangalore Summer School 2010 Date : Venue :

August 02 to August 12, 2010 Bengaluru, India

AA School of Architecture, London, Zaha Hadid Architects Computation and Research Group (ZHACDRG), Autodesk Inc and Department of Architecture and BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore, bring an exclusive architectural workshop and one day conference to Bengaluru. The workshop will discover the association between modern software technology, design techniques, creative expression and manifestation of all within India’s evolving economy and prehistoric built traditions and encourage architectural creativity to respond to the intricate spatial and material performance constraints of the new age. For further information, contact: Web:

Auroville Green Practices Seminar


Date : Venue :

August 26 to August 28, 2010 Auroville, India

Zero Carbon Date : Venue :

August 26, 2010 Birmingham, UK

The seminar will focus on sustainable features and the prac ticalities of zero carbon homes. There will be discussions about sustainable construc tion methods and the standards for best prac tice in sustainable design set by BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). Zero Carbon would be an insight into detailing, use of materials, sustainable technologies, energy usage and generation. Also, ideas and solutions for retrofitting present domestic and commercial buildings to become more sustainable would come for ward. For further information, contact: Sue Spencer Email: 0044 (0)121 233 2321

Natural Ventilation Date : Venue :

September 15, 2010 Cardiff, UK

This seminar will talk about the principles and practice of natural ventilation using advanced laboratory and computer modelling techniques and case studies. It will bring together architects and engineers interested in using design concepts for low energy loads for buildings. It will also introduce the concepts of natural ventilation in buildings and the challenges of its implementation. For further information, contact: Email: 0044 (0) 2920 228987

East Coast Green 2010 Date : Venue :

September 16 to September 17, 2010 Atlantic City, USA

The international township near Puducherr y, Auroville is renowned for its green thinking and sustainable practices. Over 30 Auroville exper ts are going to present their latest projects and experiences in the for thcoming seminar covering topics on landscaping, organic food, renewable energy, water har vesting, waste management, appropriate building technologies and ecological awareness including visits to demonstration sites. .The event invites project developers, consultants, architects and decision makers involved in the planning of ecological townships and residential complexes.

East Coast Green 2010 conference will set a standard for meeting the Architecture 2030 objectives. As sustainability being the priority for AIA and climate changes crossing state and regional boundaries, the conference will find solutions for further measures. Legislation, codes/ metrics, planning, buildings and tectonics are among the tracks to be covered in the conference. Projects in categories from residential to historic preservation will be selected.The keynote speakers will be Bill Reed, Regenesis, Delving Deeper, Integrative Design Collaborative; Ed Mazria, Architecture 2030; Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Riverkeeper and Waterkeeper Alliance.

For further information, contact: Web:

For further information, contact: Web: www/

30 IA&B -JUN 2010

current RIBA Awards announces 2010 winners Winners for 2010 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awards have been declared. RIBA Awards for architectural brilliance will be given to 102 buildings in the UK and Europe. From a small rounded loo for bus drivers in London to the Neues Museum in Berlin, from a zero-carbon house to the energy substation for the 2012 Olympics, RIBA honour has been bestowed on a range of architectural works. The high arts bagged several awards for some great work with galleries, museums, theatres and auditoriums. Educational buildings shone with securing 17 out of 93 UK awards. The RIBA Awards, which have been celebrated since 1966, have been given to all the public spaces like pavilions, monuments, Liverpool Pierhead and the Infinity Bridge in Teesdale have fetched an award. RIBA Awards honour buildings that have made a significant contribution to the local environment.

David Chipperfield bags 2010 Wolf Foundation Prize David Chipperfield has received the 2010 Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts (Architecture) from the Wolf Foundation, Israel for his work on the Neues Museum in Berlin. The project has also received the BDA (Association of German Architects) ‘Grosse Nike’ overall award for ‘remarkable achievement in terms of architecture and use of urban space’. The Wolf Foundation extolled David Chipperfield for being an ‘extraordinary architect, who has instated significant refinement and quality to a contemporary interpretation of classical architecture, as a profound principle, rather than just an image.’ David Chipperfield and Peter Eisenman jointly received the prize from the President of the State of Israel in a ceremony at the Knesset, Jerusalem, on 13 th of May 2010. The award recognises innovative architect and educator, for advancing the discipline of architecture through both theoretical texts and outstanding buildings of profound consequence.

AS + GG’s energy-positive Masdar HQ as part of 2010 National Design Triennial


Masdar Headquarters is part of the 2010 National Design Triennial, which is being held from 14 th May to 9 th January 2011, at the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. Masdar Headquarters is designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. The Triennial series focuses on the most innovative, progressive designs at the centre of contemporary culture. The exhibition spotlights design solutions that support ecological stewardship, social equity, accessibility and creative capital in 134 projects from 44 countries. Presently in the early stages of construction outside Abu Dhabi, Masdar Headquarters has been particularly designed to produce more energy than it consumes. Its signature aspects comprise the world’s biggest solar panel array and eleven soaring cone-like structures to give natural ventilation, bring in natural daylight into the interiors and offer structural support for the roof canopy. Design for Masdar Headquarters is catered to suit this year’s Design Triennial theme, ‘Why Design Now?’

High Solar Rotterdam Tower by Monolab Sky-high Rotterdam Tower by Monolab aims to achieve solar power to its fullest with a skin of photovoltaic panels. With a height of 450m, the Rotterdam Tower design would connec t Europe’s biggest por t to the cit y by reaching into the ver tical landscape. D esignated as a mixed-use struc ture, the tower will include public, commercial and residential spaces. A complex series of gondolas, which move up, down and diagonally across the tower, will give passengers slight ver tigo while offering them a beautiful view of the cit y.

Lodha presents the World’s Tallest Residential Tower Lodha Developers, Mumbai’s largest and India’s No. 1 unlisted real estate company, announced the launch of World One – the tallest residential tower in the world. Located on a large 17 acre site in Upper Worli, Mumbai, this masterpiece will stand close to half a kilometer tall and 117 storeys high. At over 450m when ready, it will comfortably dwarf Q1 in Gold coast, which at 323m, is currently the world’s tallest residential tower. True to its global stature, World One will be concurrently premiered across the globe in New York, Tokyo and Mumbai.

‘Innovative City’ by Higher Colleges of Technology with Daniel Libeskind and Siemens The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) has inked a contract with Studio Daniel Libeskind and Siemens AG to design and build the ‘Innovation City’. It’s a high-tech educational and technological center, which will be the future abode to Abu Dhabi Men’s College, CERT and HCT’s Central Services division. Studio Daniel Libeskind’s other university projects include the Creative Media Centre for the City University of Hong Kong, the London Metropolitan University Graduate Centre, and the campus master plan and research centre for Leuphana University in Germany. Siemens, as the technology associate of choice, will contribute to the project with solutions that add more value and competence in buildings through sustainable technology. Siemens will incorporate sub-systems of newest technologies like building automation and security systems, smart grid, students and faculty processes, e-learning, connectivity and prospective green energy production.

Zaha Hadid’s Maxxi opens in Rome Zaha Hadid’s National Museum of Twenty First Century Arts, Maxxi opened in the Roman suburb of Flaminio. The completed building is the first exemplary series of interconnected buildings proposed by Hadid in her winning competition entry of 1999. The museum’s opening programme will have a retrospective of the Italian architect Luigi Moretti. Also, an exhibition named Spazio will showcase site-specific installations by global architects like Diller, Scofidio & Renfro, Lacaton & Vassal, R&Sie and West 8.

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products Bucchero Reminiscent of old world, designer Siba Sahabi has created a unique series of vessels made with black wallpaper. The series known as Bucchero consists of nine pieces comprising of carafes, goblets and cups. The hand-crafted pieces are made from black wallpaper used for its strength and resistance to light. The paper vessels are inspired by characteristic black Etruscan ceramics, which emerged from Etruscan, a folk which lived during 800 to 100 B.C. in Toscana. Bucchero ceramic is black in colour due to the pottery being fired in an atmosphere charged with carbon monoxide in place of oxygen. Such a technique is called ’reducing firing’ and brings out a shiny metallic appearance. The designer has formed a relationship between history and the new age with ongoing significance of cultural melting pots.

Shine: Wall Washing Machine Contact: +31 (0)6 141 734 37

Heated Fur niture Studio Vraay designed a family of electric heaters that reduces the differences between object, sculpture and furniture. The objects are heated up electrically through a condensed electrical heating component, which is conceived to meet the new age ecological standards. The objects are mobile in usage due to their ‘plug and play’ design. The range titled ‘I am furniture’ is divided into four pieces, namely: Little sister, Big brother, Siamese twin and Parents.


Image: © Rene van der Hulst

Contact: Bas van Raay

34 IA&B - JUN 2010

products Story Telling Green Wallpaper BKLYN Designs 2010 showcased beautiful wall-coverings by designer Katie Deedy from Grow House Grow. Deedy’s ‘Naturalist’ collection of wall coverings depicts intriguing tales of past female scientists. The entire collection is in a narrative form and is also high on the eco-quotient. The designer reuses leftover ink, paper from certified trees and ensures that the product is manufactured in an energy efficient manner. The papers for wall coverings are made with sensibly sourced fibre, which are chlorine free. All suppliers adhere to one of the internationally recognised forestry or chain of custody programs. Their paper supplier creates around 50 per cent of its electricity through low-impact hydroelectric generators, while 100 per cent of the mill’s short paper fibre is retrieved and used in the agricultural industry for nutrient rich compost or animal bedding.

Contact: Katie Deedy Robison Owner/designer T: 770.883.2709 F: 718.228.6157 Email: Web:



FibreC is a thin-skinned glass-fibre reinforced concrete panel, which can serve as a cladding material on the façade. It can also be used for uniquely designed interior spaces. It is available in ten different colour shades. The variety ranges from light white (bianco) over different grey shades to red, brown and green. It is a material with high-strength and flexibility, which can be used for flat, curved and various other shapes and forms. Formed parts and 2D elements are custom-built to meet flowing transitions from interior to exterior surfaces and a smooth covering for edges.

Contact: Tel: +43 6542 690 329 Email:

36 IA&B - JUN 2010

products Snowflake Painting an emotion in the air is designer Tokujin Yoshioka’s vision that got its meaning in the form of hundreds of transparent plastic sticks. ‘Snowflake’, which was showcased at the Kartell showroom in Milan, is part of ‘Invisibles’ collection of clear plastic furniture. Tokujin Yoshioka, along with Claudio Luti thought about this collection of furniture that expresses invisible or formless style of seating. The designer is inclined towards bringing forth designs with the essence of natural phenomena and invisible elements. Snowflake wipes out the idea of an object and creates scenery of a sitter floating in the air. Such furniture gives an impression that it is invisible. However, the object takes form as soon as it is touched by light. The designer has created a surreal world with several crystal clear prism plastic sticks. Transparent sticks altogether have been given a dash of white colour to exude a snow-like appearance to the visitors.

Contact: Kei Ueda Tokujin Yoshioka Design 9-1 Daikanyama-cho Shibuya-ku Tokyo 150-0034 Japan Tel: +81-3-5428-0830 Fax: +81-3-5428-0835 Email: Web:

LED Light Fixtures


With LED Light Fixtures, Daniel Rybakken’s idea was to integrate elements of his work and theories related to daylight into architecture. Titled ‘Daylighting,’ it keeps a human mind balanced and refreshed with the help of artificial lights. Due to lack of natural light in interior spaces, the designer has used natural light reflection with LED lights. These lights will create artificial sunlight reflections on interior walls. Designer Rybakken has used more than 3,000 LED lights that radiate the natural tint of sunlight through lighting fixtures in the shapes of parallelograms, which give the impression of sunlight sneaking in through a window.

Image: © Kalle Sanner and Daniel Rybakken

Contact: Daniel Rybakken Design Studio Karl Johansgatan 152 414 51 gothenburg SWEDEN (new address) Tel: +47 911 45 600 Email:

38 IA&B -JUN 2010

Novacem Imperial College London has invented Novacem, which has changed the traditional technique of Portland cement. Novacem is a green cement system, based on magnesium oxide and exceptional mineral additives, eradicating the usual heavy CO 2 producing bases like limestone and calcium carbonate from the mix. The production of this new brew reduces CO 2 emissions than Portland cement, as it requires lower temperature processing. Novacem focuses to reduce global warming by locking atmospheric CO 2 into construction materials. The cement hardens even in application by absorbing greenhouse gas and continues to do so as it gets older. This new technology strengthens the development of varied ‘carbon negative’ construction products. Every ton of Portland cement substituted by their product will save nearly three-quarters of a ton of CO 2. Contact: Tel: +44 (0) 20 7594 3580 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7594 1333

Spider Silk Material Researchers from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen and the University of Bayreuth have discovered a material that is five times stronger than steel. Known as Spider Silk the elastic fibre of the material looks delicate resembling the way spiders weave their web. The researchers are in process of envisioning an artificial spinning tool that will imitate a spider’s silk glands, which would eventually form a material that could have innumerable applications from medical to construction. Spider Silk is formed through protein chains that consist of stable connections. Scientists have been trying to find out the way the molecules in the silk are knit together closely within the silk gland without plodding.

Image: © Tanakawho

M ateria l s

Image: © Luc Viatour

Contact: Dr. Andreas Battenberg Technische Universität München Corprate Communications Center Campus Garching Boltzmannstr. 17 R 301 85748 Garching, Germany Tel.: +49 89 289 10510 Fax: +49 89 289 10512 E-Mail:

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products Waltzer The BBQ Walzer was designed with a purpose that the air for heating the charcoal ascends from the base and flows through the tube body. MOM’s BBQ Waltzer is made of steel and stainless steel, which weighs just 24KG. Though, it has a big roller at the front of the base, it can be easily moved and carried over smooth surfaces like grass. The grill can be taken off and used in a dishwasher.


Milton Rack


Grain, a designing firm has introduced a bicycle rack named Milton. In fact, it is a functional piece of street statuette for all New Yorkers. It is likely to inspire rider-ship by creating visibility and interest for bicycle commuting. It references Milton Glaser’s iconic 1977 ‘I Love New York’ logo to become a modern cycling icon for the city. Its clean and incessant form enables it to fit into any neighbourhood with ease. The unique and slim three-dimensional text design aims to promote bicycling while also connecting with the uncompromising, avant-garde nature of the city. Milton has the ease of installation, security and comfortable functionality for cyclists. The original Milton Rack can accommodate a minimum of five bicycles. Milton Slim is a constricted design for installation in areas with space limitations.

Contact: James Minola Grain Web : T: 2069659302

IA&B - JUN 2010


construction brief

‘Discovery’ in BĂźhlau Gerd Priebe Architects & Consultants have designed a sustainable Childcare Centre ‘Discovery’ in BĂźhlau, which emphasises on applying eco-friendly materials and design structure for a spacious and harmonious learning environment. Compiled by: Renuka Singh 


hildcare Centre in BĂźhlau, Germany will materialise Gerd Priebe Architects & Consultants’ (GPAC) dream to build a pre-school that symbolises a sustainable approach towards resources and energy through its form, construction and material. They aim at designing a creative and spacious childcare centre that could provide emission free energy, recycle rainwater and waste water and offer a pleasant environment. The ‘egg’ is the main form applied in designing the childcare centre. Space has been given an interesting meaning with exterior views by the form of ‘eggs’. The interaction of ‘open’ and ‘closed’ roof spaces invite sunrays and light up mythical creatures on the walls and floor spaces. Ground floor consists of all the rooms required for the childcare centre. Entrances from the east and the west are located on the north side of the building. There is a central cloakroom and the parking area directly adjacent to the entry. The upper floor has a conference room, lounge space, a sanitary tract and staffs’ dressing rooms. Basement has the technical and maintenance work space. Individual rooms for the infant groups are located near the entry area. GPAC conceptualises the building to be a double wall textile reinforced concrete (TRC) shell construction. Usage of TRC enhances the construction by lessening mass that eventually minimises the use of raw materials that are used in usual structures. Such a double-curved construction brings out the perfect ratio of stability to material thickness. As the structures are drawn from just one form, they allow serial production of the same design, which is economically viable. The construction does not have any conventional roofing, wind and waterproofing or drainage. Nearly 90 per cent of surface water can be stored in near-ground water gutters. There is a ‘discovery zone’ situated in the middle of the ‘eggs’, which is designed as a solar collector. Frameless triple-glazed glass panels make the roof, which are supported by tension cables between the glass layers. The glass surface has a little slope to help the drainage system. High-tech technology allows nearly 35 per cent of the glass roofing to be clad in semi-transparent photovoltaic modules. For heat storage, the solid concrete slab composed of a lightweight concrete with clay aggregate ‘Liaporbeton’, is bedded on lava gravel. A hot and cold air forced ventilation system with heat recovery is the energy concept for the building, which is according to the operational hours of the building. The system is virtually free of maintenance, highly efficient and functions without CO2 emissions. The ventilation system simply recirculates the air beyond the operational hours. Integrated semitransparent photovoltaic roof modules or a fuel cell can provide electrical power to pumps, filters, ventilation system, lighting needs and the kitchen appliances.










1. Emission of light through open and closed roof spaces in the egg-like form of the ‘Childcare Centre’. 2. Site Plan.

FACT FILE: Project Location Status Architect Photographs

: : : : :

Childcare Center ‘Discovery’ BĂźhlau, Germany Unbuilt Gerd Priebe Architects & Consultants courtesy the architect

construction brief

IA&B - JUN 2010


Delwara Community Toilets, Rajasthan The dry climate of Rajasthan supported the idea of dry-composting Delwara Community Toilets,. Designed by Vir.Mueller architects, the toilets will meet the sanitation needs of the villagers and eventually sustain the environment.

1 Model of the Community Toilets


ir.Mueller architects and partners have decided to build community toilets in Delwara, Rajasthan. Dearth of public toilets, especially for women prompted this project, which is commissioned by the NGO —A National Foundation of India and Seva Mandir (a social welfare and community development organisation in Rajasthan). The project aims at providing necessary sanitation services through dry-composting toilet type. It will be locally constructed without any waste, prevent groundwater contamination and will save water unlike the existing septic tank based toilet. The plan allows the waste to be recycled; collected in sealed drums, dried and used as fertiliser in the orchard on site. The main highway bisecting the village is the chosen site, hence the orchard serves as a community space for village meetings. Also, at the village community’s behest, the architects incorporated a small shop for toiletries in the design plan. The architects have envisaged that the rainwater collected from the metal roofs would propel the design, for which beaten oil cans will be used as metal shingles over trusses fabricated from locally-grown bamboo. The toilets are supposed to be built as a frame structure with reinforced concrete columns and beams and local sandstone infill. Stone craftsmen from the village have proposed to carve stone window screens and wash basins. The water will be gravity fed to the washbasins. The overspill from these basins would be utilised for the planter beds irrigation. The concept of this low-tech, water conserving system has received encouraging response from the villagers of Delwara, as it’s apparently suitable for the parched desert climate of Rajasthan and it boosts the environment, as well.

2 1. Courtyard at Delwara community toilets 2. Interior view of community toilets.

FACT FILE: Project : Delwara Community Toilets Location : Delwara, Rajasthan, India Status : Unbuilt Architect : Vir.Mueller architects Partners : Christine Mueller / Pankaj Vir Gupta Project Manager : Harshvardhan Jain Project Team : Saurabh Jain,Sarah Gill and Helena Westerlind Photographs : courtesy the architect

construction brief

IA&B - JUN 2010






Bella Vistaâ in Italy Architect Matteo Thun designs a green hotel on the mountainside in Italy. It’s the underground complex that uses all natural resources for energy conservation that preserves the environment.

triple-pane windows that also control sound. Heat pumps preserve heating and cooling through the constant water temperature of a local natural spring. The hotel at the mountainside is aimed at making the most of the green features of our planet earth. The architecture of the eco-friendly hotel reflects the local culture and interprets it in a true Italian way.


ow the striking Italian Alps will have an eco-friendly hotel at the National Park of Stelvio from architect Matteo Thun. The hotel is designed in a way that it will have a chain of underground buildings and the series will be joined together by surging green roofs. The complex strives to be environmentally suitable due to its modest design ideologies that include ground-source heat pumps that help in energy conservation. Besides, the choice of materials used in the construction of the units is carefully considered in order to reduce the complex’s impact upon the atmosphere.The hotel consists of eleven separate units and each unit is designed to rise slightly in the ground with a huge, south-facing window that overhangs from the hillside. To keep the temperature moderate inside the units, they are fixed into the earth and have a vegetable-cladding on the roof. Each window has a deep extension above to provide cool shading in summers. There is also the earth sheltering that keeps the noise levels low. Energy efficiency is maintained with the help of

1. Surging windows of the underground hotel. 2. Underground hotel set in the Italian Alps. 3. Night view of the underground hotel. 4. The artist’s rendtion of the hotel.

FACT FILE: Project Location Status Architect Photographs

: : : : :

Bella Vistaâ National Park of Stelvio in Italy Unbuilt Matteo Thun courtesy the architect

IA&B - JUN 2010


construction brief

Yeosu Oceanic Pavilion Yeosu Oceanic Pavilion is designed under the partnership of EMERGENT and KOKKUGIA for the 2012 Expo in Korea. The marine pavilion Yeosu explores the ecosystem of the ocean.


MERGENT and KOKKUGIA have teamed up to design a floating marine Expo Pavilion, Yeosu for 2012 Expo in Korea. The designers have applied intricate computation that represents a loose, indefinite way of working that favours effects over self-justifying processes.The pavilion is being designed as a space that marks the ocean as a living organism. Ocean ecosystems and human culture merges with this pavilion. Active reorganisation of matters and energies around and underneath the building has been added by the architect, where the species choose its environment as much as the environment chooses its species. Yeosu has a theme of the living ocean and her coastlines. The structure is founded on a collection of soft membrane bubbles fused together with a solid monocoque shell. Specific to their materiality, the two systems are distinguished by patterns of surface articulation. Nonetheless, features are likely to migrate, hybridise and become superfluous. Fiber-composite shell in the form of deep pleats and mega-armatures give structural stiffness, while the vaulted ETFE membranes are stabilised by fine, double-pleated ‘Air-beams‘. Microarmatures, known as Mohawks contravene between shell and membrane, forming the structural and patterned continuity between systems. Colour is used to visually strengthen transformations in structural behaviour. However, colour gradients are neither totally indexical nor are they entirely smooth. Thus, colour usage is an active and extensive source of architectural surfeit. Natural daylight sneaks into the interior of the building with the help of the ETFE membrane bubbles, which also offer a bit of a thermal barrier and insulation. Due to its extreme lightweight quality, the structure can be easily deconstructed after the celebration is over.


 1. Overview of Yeosu. 2. Yeosu structure seen across the ocean. 3. Sunlight emits through the ETFE membrane bubbles.

Project Location Status Architect Partners

: : : : :

Project Manager Project Team Lucy, Photographs

: : :

Yeosu Oceanic Pavilion Korea Unbuilt EMERGENT KOKKUGIA, Roland Snooks and Pablo Kohan Tom Wiscombe David Stamatis, Chris Eskew, Brent Graham Thompson and Zeynep Aksöz courtesy the architect

56 IA&B - JUN 2010

Saving for a ‘Rainy Day’ French Architects Ramdam conceptualises ‘Castle in the Sky’ in the form of a water tower that would generate rain on its own. The mechanism to produce rain is another initiative towards eco-friendliness. Text: Renuka Singh Photographs: courtesy the architects

The castle has a public garden, a sky deck and a unique mechanism to create rain.



amdam Architects from France have gone beyond building castles in the air and have introduced an interesting concept of creating rain! The architects have envisaged a water tower known as ‘Castle in the Sky’ for Latina, Italy that would have a public garden area, a sky deck and a unique mechanism to vaporise water. The lean architecture of the water tower leads a territory that is traditionally devoted to water management. The first step towards producing rain would begin with infiltration that leads to evaporation, followed by vaporisation and precipitation. The infiltration method is processed in an area of 2000sqm of tertiary activities, which amounts to the water tower’s semi-buried foundation. Entrance to the reservoir unlocks the first pavement from the street to the underground that includes a pond. The tower’s shaft is encrusted with exceedingly reflective metal so that it vanishes as it ascends to the sky. It mingles with the water reservoir, the sky deck and gardens. Visitors can access the place through an elevator in the shaft. Vaporisation takes place on the rooftop of the tower. The sky deck can be used for festivities or simply enjoying the landscape. There is a huge landscaped public park at the bottom of the tower that filters rain and storm water into the water tank. Water is inflated into the pool to dampen the sky gardens and as moisture accumulates in the air around the tower it is supposed to precipitate onto the park beneath.




Currently, ‘Castle in the Sky’ is at a conceptual stage. It was designed for a competition idea called ‘Prix W’, which is conducted by Foundation Wilmotte every two years. By this design and concept, the architects wanted to reflect the water towers in the seventies in the city of Latina. The idea of producing rain is backed by a new age recreational programme that aims at becoming an icon for ecological matters.







diagram 1




Detail Sectional Terrace 1:50

+64.68 Creeping vegetation and shrubs +63.88 Wall watering vegetation +63.47 Automatic goutle by drop

+50.27 with tall trees guardrail fall protection concrete slab high performance

Structural steel postponing efforts on the outskirts of water tower 80 cm topsoil complex drainant sur bac collaborant rubber shoe

Plan walkway level

Caillibot metal Sprinkler

Visitor’s Reception Area











Recreation space on the top.

FACT FILE: Project

Verdant setting on top of the tower.


Location : Client : Status : Architect : Area :

Castle in the Sky Latina, Italy Foundation Wilmotte & City of Latina Conceptual Ramdam Architects 3000sqm

60 IA&B - JUN 2010

‘Avant-Garde’ Visions Lafarge frames an exclusive opportunity to ‘fly’ its winning participants to World Expo 2010, Shanghai through an elementary contest, as a part of its Lafarge Global Architect Campaign.


afarge Global Architect Campaign initiates an endeavour ‘AvanteGarde,’ the Indian vertical, to conceive a platform for recognition through the Lafarge Hall of Fame Awards and to promote innovations in architecture and construction. As a part of this initiative, Lafarge promoted a contest that would present an exclusive fully-paid opportunity to visit the World Expo 2010, Shanghai from 8th June to 11th June 2010. Profiling its theme, ‘Better City, Better Life,’ the Expo extending form 1st May to 31st Oct, 2010, will be a rhapsody of city cultures, urban lifestyles and future city blueprints. Lafarge offered this chance to attend this renowned fair as its special invitees through a quiz contest. The contest was factored into four simple phases wherein the architects were invited to identify landmark projects pictorially aligned by Lafarge in its contest form. The form replete with a filled questionnaire was the key to win this fabulous trip. Aftab Rasool, Sr. Architect, Pragrup, Bengaluru; Bijan Kumar Chakraborty, Director, Acme Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata; Deepak Pant, Sr. Designer, Adrianse India Pvt. Ltd., Delhi and Sanjay Singh, Director (Projects), Arcop Associates Pvt. Ltd., Delhi forged the final selected architects who earned the chance to ‘fly’ to the Expo. Mr. Olivier Chaudet, CEO, Lafarge Boral Gypsum India (LBGI) accompanied the winners as the

principal host through the trip. The team convened in Delhi on June 8th to begin their exciting journey. The schedule laid out over three days commenced with a visit to the exhibition and a conference including talks by Jacques Ferrier, Architect of the France Pavilion. The special invitees attended lectures and workshops on variegated tracks such ‘Affordable housing and sustainable cities’, ‘Housing and cities, outlook for the future’, ‘France-deconstructing the home’, ‘Morphology’, ‘Policies’ , ‘Durability’, ‘Society,Diversity’ and ‘Typologies and construction systems;. Privileged to be a part of this informative excursion, the invitees and speakers summarised the workshops with a conclusion session on June 10th 2010. This contest was a part of a continuous effort on part of Lafarge as a collaborative venture with the architecture and design community to encourage innovative interactions globally. Last year, Lafarge Global Architect Campaign sponsored an all expense paid trip to BATIMAT, Paris. BATIMAT was an exemplary opportunity for the architects to attend the world’s leading construction exhibition featuring a variegated range of products, services and equipments related to the AEC industry.

post event

Healthy Construction As a part of its ‘Healthy Construction Lecture Series,’ Dr. Fixit Institute convened a series on ‘Sustainable Construction & Green Buildings’ to define a new angle to sustainability. Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP) Recycles abundant green energy, Composite Construction Economics in Sustainability and Masdar City Initiatives. This coverage considered primal factors such as reduction of energy waste and material aspects of sustainability. As an illustrative exemplar he showcased Masdar City, Abu Dhabi as an initiative taken by other countries to leave behind the lowest environmental footprints. Expressing appreciation for genesis for such a green approach, Dr. Gajanan Sabnis said, ‘It is good to know that private organization like Pidilite par tnering with the construction industr y to come up with green solutions for buildings like ‘Pidilite Greenprint’. Profiling Dr.Fixit Institute’s green missions, A. K. Chatterjee, Director, Dr. Fixit Institute said, “The vision of Dr. Fixit Institute is to ensure that correct construction practices are adopted in India.


r. Fixit Institute of Structural Protection and Rehabilitation (DFISPR) have organised the Healthy Construction Lecture Series to promote the Global Best Practices amongst the Indian construction industr y. The series manifested a platform for interactive exchange of ideas related to construction and avant-garde technology advances. As a par t of this series, lectures on ‘Sustainable Construction and Green Buildings’ commenced on 4th June 2010 in Benguluru and 5th June, 2010 in Mumbai. Led by Dr. Gajanan M. Sabnis, Ph.D., P.E and Emeritus Professor - Howard University, the synopsis of the lecture progressed over derived points from the speaker’s own experiences from his expansive career. Dr. Gajanan M. Sabnis is highly renowned as a teacher, researcher and a mentor, demonstrating his multifaceted excellence in the construction industr y. He belief lies in the fact that if we want to sustain our urban future there is no option but to build in ways that not only reduce environmental damage but which improve the health of ecosystems and protect natural resources, by adopting green building practices. Delineating his intention to advocate green practices, the overall breviar y reviewed sustainability principles like optimise site potential, minimise energy consumption, protect and conser ve water, use environmentally preferred products , enhance Indoor Environmental Quaity (IEQ), and optimise operational and maintenance practices. The core abstract explored tracks like Energy Efficient Home, Building Blocks of an Energy Efficient Building, Energy Efficiency in Buildings,

This time the focus is on impar ting knowledge to industr y professionals on the need to build with the future of the globe in mind. For this we have chosen Mumbai as the venue since this is a city with the highest population density and maximum construction activity. Through the Healthy Construction Lecture Series, we bring international exper ts in the field of Waterproofing, Structural Protection, Repair and Rehabilitation, Sustainable Construction, to share their exper tise with the leading lights of Indian construction industr y, thereby enabling the Indian architects and engineers to better facilitate execution of global best practices in the countr y.”

Dr. Fixit, the waterproofing expert, one of the most trusted brands and renowned in the Indian Construction Industry has promoted the concept of Healthy Construction in India through the Dr. Fixit Institute over the last decade. The aim is to encourage best practices in the construction industry through educational courses, expert lectures and publications. Outlining this objective; Pidilite has created special interactive software for the Builders Community. The “Interactive Guide to Healthy Construction” not only covers the entire gamut of solutions provided by Dr. Fixit but also includes application of other Pidilite brands like Fevicol, Mseal, Roff etc. The informative package is exclusively available as a complimentary gift with this issue. The aim is to provide right solutions and as a proper guide to the designing community in their endeavours.

IA&B - JUN 2010


book review

Romancing the Red Stone ‘They designed like giants and finished like jewellers’ — this analogy for Mughal architecture in India has been explored in the book ‘The Romance of Red Stone: An Appreciation Of Ornament On Islamic Architecture In India,’ a formal compilation of photographs depicting Indian Islamic culture at its best.


he journey of Islamic art and culture is the assimilation of various influences. The Mughal Empire in India is known for its rich tradition and architecture. The lineage of Mughal emperors were prolific commissioners of monuments and their architecture is the finest representation of ornamentation in structures. The highlight of the Mughal architecture was the usage of the native red sandstone inlaid with white marble and all the surfaces ornately carved on the outside and sumptuously painted inside. Extensive use was made of the low arches and bulbous domes, slender minarets with cupolas at the four corners, large halls, massive vaulted gateways and delicate ornamentation characterise the Mughal style. The ateliers of the Mughal kings patronised all type of artisans, who displayed a rich palette of natural colours and created overwhelming geometries and patterns. A delicate elegance and refinement of detail, illustrate the magnificent palaces featured in the book. Capturing the intricacies and technical skill of Mughal artisans is architect and photographer Yashwant Pitkar. His photographs allow the reader to appreciate the exquisite craftsmanship of Islamic architecture in India in his book—The Romance of Red Stone. The text, provided by his fellow

colleague at Sir J.J. College of Architecture, Mustansir Dalvi, is precise and compliments the visual treat offered by Pitkar. The pictures reflect the Mughal’s love and treatment for shape, form, beauty and red stone, capturing the essence and minute artistry of the Mughal era. A must have for any avid traveller or explorer of Indian architecture, the monuments featured allow reflections of the past, giving an almost sensual experience of places visited and an effective feel of the intricate craft. The breath taking calligraphy, which forms a part of the ornamentation of Mughal architecture, is also captured by Pitkar. With the help of landmark structures like the Qutub Minar, Moti Masjid, Itmad-ud-daulah, Jami Masjid and Red Fort, Pitkar traverses the rich heritage of Mughal architecture. His camera captures the geometrical complexities abstracted over entire surfaces and the tapestry of intricate patterns. Furthermore, Pitkar’s images work at a deeper philosophical level. The viewer is made aware of the inner meaning of aesthetic representation, the different ways of inducing the immeasurable, the plays of multiple superimposed levels and of patterns that continue beyond the photographer’s frame suggesting the infinite. The content is classified into the categories of: Symbolism in Indian Islamic Architecture, Aspirations of the Muslim Artisan Islamic Ornament, Formal Balance and Symmetry, Geometry, Calligraphy Common Forms in Islamic Ornament, Vegetal/Floral, The Niche, The Arabesque, Water Motifs Mughal Architecture, The Mughal Karakhana, Akbar’s Architecture and Syncretion at Sikri. Pitkar’s photographic gaze identifies with that of a Mughal miniature painter, shuting out dominating forms, taking the viewer close to the buildings, into the aesthetics of surface. Dalvi’s text reveals various intricacies and the grace of Islamic architecture, guiding the reader in understanding the symbolism of ornamentation in Mughal architecture. The book elucidates how artisans and patrons came together in India, integrating two divergent views and cultures to create lasting imprints of a fusion of Islamic and Hindu traditions at its zenith.

– Reviewed by Hema Yadav

Book: The Romance of Red Stone: An Appreciation Of Ornament On Islamic Architecture In India. Photographs: Yashwant Pitkar Text: Mustansir Dalvi Publisher: Super Book House Language: English ISBN: 978-81-900809-4-1

63 IA&B - JUN 2010



Sustainablity is

m ulti-dimensional Connect yourself with the earth not with the world

Status of the city is based on the flyovers

As cities grow, complexities grow

My buildings are not green but yet sustainable

Simple sensibilities give you answers

S ustainability

Man proposes CPW disposes

It is easy to say one should conserve

64 IA&B - JUN 2010

Conserving African Heritage Part of a poverty relief program for one of the most complex hierarchical systems in Southern Africa, architect Peter Rich’s Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre ingeniously imbibes traditional sustainable concepts, while conserving the local and artistic heritage of the country. Text: Hema Yadav Photographs: courtesy Robert Rich



The building nestles in the picturesque landscape of the Park.

lassified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the important archaeological discoveries made here—the picturesque landscape of Mapungubwe National Park is dotted with fast tracks of veldt with rifts of beautiful native trees such as the fever tree and the baobab tree, flat-topped hills, jagged horizontal ledges and groups of rounded stony hillocks. A site of historical importance as graves containing artifacts from the 9 th to 12 th centuries were excavated here indicating the site’s occupation by traders of Egypt, Persia, India, Malaysia and China. In order to preserve these priceless treasures, the present owners South Africa National Park (SANP) hosted a


site plan


Key Plan sketch

The timbrel vaulting is carried out using 600-year-old traditional method.

68 90

cross sections


competition in 2005 for the design of an Interpretation Centre on a plot set away from the main archaeological site. Won by South Africa-based Peter Rich Architects, the design brief outlined an imaginative exhibition space for displaying the historical relics of civilisations, who have occupied the area from the 9 th century till the present time, while simultaneously raising awareness of the vulnerability of the local ecology and of its preservation. Situated at this ancient site where the rivers Limpopo and Shashe converged, the dome shaped structure juts out of the hilly landscape in a series of cluster formations. The entrance to the centre is lined through a valley where the building merges naturally with the surrounding rocky plateau. Built on the side of a mesa using ecological methods and materials, the 1,500sqm Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre stands in view of the original archaeological site. The centre provides a stunning vista of the site’s unique flora and fauna and one experiences the sequence of changing directions, the orientation and variety of structures, from lightly covered walkways to vaulted spaces, all punctuated by open courtyards landscaped with rocks, plants and pools. The beatific structure is proof of the ingenious organisation of a complex and of its historically potent site. The centre of the structure is visually contained by two hollow cairns that evoke the route-markers found in Southern African cultures. A series of stone cladded vaults form the interior of the centre, allows free space for interaction and storage of precious artifacts. The economical and environmentally sound timbrel vaulting, used to construct the billowing forms that expose the arched edges of their thin shells, is the highlight of the design. A 600-year-old local traditional method was used to construct the vaulting by pressing soil cement tiles, thus allowing the design to be materialised with minimal framework and devoid of steel reinforcements. The domical language of the structure is punctuated by delicate walkways that create a zigzagging ramped route throughout the complex. Locally sources stone and rubble are used for the outer surface of the building, giving it an authentic rustic look and also blending it with the topography.

The stark African sunlight creates mesmerising patterns with the help of rusted steel screens and fused coloured glasses, while a huge oculus lights up the entrance. The cavernous first hollow cairn marks the arrival point of the building followed by the spacious second cairn, which is the exhibit area of the centre and houses the Southern African icon—the golden rhinoceros. The structure is divided into upper and lower volumes and visitors to the centre can navigate their way around with the help of ramp and stairs, leading to the highest point of the site providing a view of the rugged Mapungubwe hill and the flowing Limpopo River. While the centre has proved to be a structure rooted in sustainability and its traditional location, the project has served as a boon to the unskilled labour of the region. During the construction process of the centre, unemployed local people were trained in the manufacturing of stabilised earth tiles and in building the timbrel vaults. This knowledge has been accepted into the culture of the region, with the masons continuing the skills they have learned by using the remaining tiles for their houses in nearby villages. The structure has been nominated for several awards including the Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction in 2008. It also, won the World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona, 2009. Reminiscing of days gone by, the centre is the lifeline for the people of Mapungubwe, while it is a poetic ode to the concept of grassroot sustainability.

FACT FILE: Project : Location : Client : Architect : Design team : Initiation of Project : Completion of Project :

Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre Mapungubwe National Park, South Africa South African National Parks Peter Rich Architects Peter Rich, Heinrich Kammeyer, Anne Fichett and Desrae Dunn October2007 June 2010

70 49 IA&B - JUN 2010 Originally the bio-towers were used to purify wastewater from the town’s coking plant by way of internal trickling filters.

‘Energie’ Heritage The Bio-Towers are the final relic, rising from a green industrial wasteland of Lauchhammer like a castle in the Scottish highlands. Photographs: courtesy Biotürme


aunchhammer is a town in southern Germany, which has an unusual development structure, with districts distributed like islands amid a landscape of trees, meadows and industrial wastelands. The closure and demolition of the many briquette factories, power plants and coking plants has removed the fabric that glued the town’s districts together. One of the casualties was an entire coking plant, which produced coke suitable for smelting from lignite in a technologically demanding procedure, which vanished from the cityscape. Not many of us would think of industrial towers as impressive pieces of modern architecture but a closer look reveals that they are, in fact, amazing structures. They have to be able to not only do the job they were built for–guiding smoke or

steam, storing agricultural products or cooling fluids–but to withstand all of the surrounding environmental stresses placed upon them. These fantastic industrial towers are often overlooked but stand as proof of impressive industrial achievements. These amazing bio-towers at Lauchhammer once filtered phenol rich wastewater from the coking plant with the help of bacteria but they were taken out of service in 2003. Once doomed to destruction, they have since been saved and are now used to teach visitors about the industrial history of the area. The IBA and the monument preservation authorities believed that demolishing the BioTowers would represent a huge and irreplaceable loss to Lauchhammer’s identity and to the memory of the first lignite coking plant in Germany.


Bio-towers represent the memory of the first lignite coking plant in Germany.

The towers was also equipped with two glazed building turrets to give visitors a special view of the towers and the former coking plant site.

Feeling that this industrial relic had great potential for a new cultural use, the IBA banded together with the listed building authorities in a year-long fight to preserve this unique industrial monument, working strategically with city and local associations and groups like the Traditionsverein Braunkohle, the Heimatverein, the Lokale-Agenda-Gruppe and other bodies. In 2005, the Biotürme Lauchhammer Gmbh, specially created by the foundation itself, took over the complex and, as contractor, began extensive renovation work. The renovations and conversions took about two years. Based on a plan by the Cottbus firms Jähne & Göpfert and Zimmermann & Partner, one of the towers was also equipped with two glazed building turrets to give visitors a special view of the towers and of the former coking plant site. In the area directly around the towers, the coking plant’s old geometrical grid structure has been recreated in concrete crosses to show visitors how the Bio-Towers were once part of a much larger facility. The Bio-Towers industrial monument was finally opened for visitor tours and events in 2008. The Bio-Towers have now been given a new lease of life as a place of remembrance and a venue for cultural events.

The coking plant’s old geometrical grid structure has been recreated in concrete crosses to show visitors how the bio-towers were once part of a much larger facility.

72 IA&B - JUN 2010

Power Roof Serving both as a canopy and a gateway to visitors of the popular archaeological underground passage at Via Mazzini, the Energy Roof by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, is conceived as an energy sponge capturing the sun’s rays and the wind’s breath. Photographs: © COOP HIMMELB(L)AU

COOP HIMMELB(L)AU developed the design of the roof with the goal to generate energy for the city.


t is a structure that could be easily mistaken to be a sci-fi monster character eating away the historical city of Perugia, Italy. But hold on, there is more to this new paradigmatic designed roof than what it appears to be. It is an ‘Energy Roof ’ designed by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU with an aim of generating energy for the entire city of Perugia. Conceived as an energy sponge capturing the sun’s rays and the wind’s breath, this roof not only serves as a canopy along Via Mazzini in the centre of Perugia, the bustling ancient city, but at the same time creates the entry point to the archaeological underground passage leading through the history of Perugia. The passage connects the city centre with the mini metro station Pincetto. Historical documents show the existence of the old Etruscan city wall in the area below Piazza Giacomo Matteotti which COOP HIMMELB(L)AU proposes to excavate as part of an underground


public gallery space exhibiting the history of Perugia. Openings in the ground of the Piazza Giacomo Matteotti visually connect the underground passage with the ‘Energy Roof’. The ‘Energy Roof’ is self-sufficient and is powered by both wind and the sun. While the orientation of the west wing is optimised in relation to solar radiation, the east wing captures wind. The west wing of the canopy is covered in transparent solar cells, which are oriented to optimise energy production. The east wing captures the wind and generates energy through five wind turbines places within the structure of the canopy. The roof consists of three layers: the energy generating top layer, the structural layer in the middle and a layer on the bottom as a combination of laminated glazing and translucent

pneumatic cushions. The top layer includes transparent photovoltaic cells to generate electricity and shade the sun. The orientation of the individual cells is generated and optimised by a computer driven scripting program. Furthermore five wind turbines that are placed inside the structural layer are generating additional energy. Both the roof and the underground passage are energy self-sufficient. It is certainly a crazy looking architectural addition to the city, but it’s really quite creative and serves as an example for other cities to incorporate renewable energy generation into architectural icons and urban sculptures. Currently in the planning process, the designs have many hurdles yet to jump, but if approved the ambitious concept would bring not just an ultra-modern icon to the city but a reawakening of the city’s own history.

The new paradigmatic design of the ‘Energy Roof’ creates a distinctive and highly recognisable icon for the city and a statement for aesthetic sustainability corresponding with the ancient buildings of Via Mazzini.

74 IA&B - JUN 2010 Synthesis of cardboard cartons and sheets was used to style the biomorphic interiors.

Biomorphic Styling F Greece-based architectural firm dARCH Studio showcases a collaborative venture ‘Papercut’ with fashion designer Yiorgos Eleftheriades to face-lift a fashion store using corrugated packaging cartons. Text: Maanasi Hattangadi Photographs: courtesy Vassilis Skopelitis and Elina Drossou

ashion vistas are the new realm that is exploring sustainable avenues by forging creative exchanges within brands and contemporary architecture. Designers are discovering the synergies between architecture and fashion through techniques of pleating, stapling, cutting and draping; from traditional tailoring to designing buildings that are flexible, interactive, inflatable and even portable. Devising an eclectic inventive style with a touch of stagecraft to it, Greece-based firm dARCH Studio has refurbished a fashion store ‘YEshop in house’ articulating cardboard sheets. The


Indirect lighting illuminates the corrugated surfaces.

project is a thoughtful site strategy conforming to the client’s requirements. Comprising of an exhibition space, lounge area, party space and an area for small scale fashion shows, the 90sqm ‘in house’ shop had to be contrived as a cohesive profile. The starting point of this renovation stemmed from the resourcefulness of the architects to build on the client’s ephemeral requirements. Fashion and architecture—both disciplines remain rooted to the basic task of enclosing space around the human form. Shadowing this thought, the

architect’s concept plays with the same spatial framework of imagery and techniques as a designer’s way of creating garments by studying the anthropometrical aspects of a human body. The approach was formulated by repurposing hand-made paper and corrugated cartons into architecture. Expressing an idea that was rooted in sustainability, the interiors are made by recycling 1500 sheets of corrugated cartons in combination with 2000 blueprint patrons (horizontal sections of the curved parts) and low cost OSB wood into walls, displays and sittings. The existing furniture was arranged

in a multi-utilitarian way, in order to bring forth the two new constructions. The walls, a crucial element of the design were viewed as singular syntheses as they weave the space into a homogeneous entity. The southern wall ‘Synthesis 1’ is draped in 5mm thick corrugated carton in stripes. The corrugated side of the carton is exposed as the front finish implying the furniture to be visually unified with the wall. To accentuate the open spatiality, the massive units are mounted on the walls wherein the tables dually function as lightings, the bookcase as a coffee table stand and display


The form of the walls convulates to accomodate accessory displays and seatings that trace the human body curves.

case. Intensifying natural light and facilitating a free circulatory space, the metallic hangers spiral out in a radial composition. ‘Synthesis 2’, the eastern wall is outfitted with a fluid connectivity of corrugated carton sheets display, responsive to ‘Synthesis 1’. As a human body is adorned with accessories, the wooden rectangular displays are niches within the biomorphic mass highlighted by built-in concealed soft lighting. The curves in the cardboard trace the human body profile enabling a relaxed posture in the seatings. The layered wall configurations act as transposing components that modulate the space into a visually interesting element. The whole existing area unfolds into a new experience owing to the interplay of materials, value and texture. The project, a challenging prospect of an experimental adventure with paper, renders a sculpturesque mood to the place.

The existing furniture was rearranged in a multi-utilitarian way to emphasise open circulation space.

Emerging from a contrast of luxurious designs and sustainable solutions, the shop is an exemplary juxtaposition of two very different ways of life. Both architectural and fashion


The tables and bookstands doubly function as lightings and display cases.

Rectangular wooden boxes that will display accessories are recessed within the walls.

language merge in these interiors to suggest a new type of dynamic space that will not only be a gateway for commercial endeavours but also introduce a sculpturally sustainable perspective to interior design.


The concept directly expounds on the same principles that a fashion designer uses to create his garments.

Project : Location : Architect : Client : Collaborators :

Papercut Athens, Greece Elina Drossou (dARCHstudio) Yiorgos Eleftheriades Nikos Karkatselas and Chrysa Konstantinidou

78 IA&B - JUN 2010

Sustainable Multiplicity

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology(KAUST) by HOK Architects, multiplies the goal of sustainability from environment, function, design and execution perspective.

Text: Fatema Kabir Photographs: JB Picoulet; courtesy of HOK

KAUST campus integrated together with its landscape like Arabic cities.



hile the Arabian architecture is stepping away rather than evolving from its roots; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology project integrated local strategies in innovative formats to befit the contemporary needs while holding firm grounds with the vernacular of Saudi. The project will eventually be a landmark of an environment friendly design; rooted in vernacular foundation. Its first step towards its goal was achieved when it got certified by Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) and was also realised as the world’s largest LEED Platinum project. To substantiate its roots in the vernacular incorporation; the HOK team employed vernacular design techniques to solve environmental issues. Similar to traditional Arabic cities, the university campus has been compressed to reduce heat loss through extensive exterior surfaces. Inspired from the Arabic Bedouin tent system, the campus is given a combined roof system that extends across all building masses discarding the physical boundaries between different labs and academic areas, blocking the sun from facades and covering pedestrian areas. This flexibility of the system accommodates every type of lab and academic department hence reducing the function specific, multiple roof designs. The circulation areas are shaded and semi-closed to control temperatures




ro a


Key Plan

Red sea


Town center

KAUST campus within development

kaust campus

Red sea

0 10 20

Research park


master Plan

Aerial view showing Arabic Bedouin Tent System.

1 Applied Mathematics 2 Research Laboratory 3 Research Laboratory 4 Research Laboratory 5 Research Laboratory 6 Greenhouse 7 High Bay Laboratory 8 Engineering Sciences Hall 9 KAUST Library 10 KAUST Commons & Dining Hall 11 Data Center 12 Campus Mosque 13 Administration Building 14 Student Centre 15 Conference Centre 16 Auditorium 17 North & South Garage


campus of buildings

brought close

gardens and pools

connection devices

shaded with big roof

ventilated with towers

section diagram

Formatives environmental straegy highly insulated metal roof terracotta rainscreen

Campus interpretation of cultural references

mashrabiya solar screening

the souk courtyards with dramatic light

arabesque ornament diagrid structures

integral screening

Common matrial approach

nocturnal culture buildings transform at night

monumental glass stone plinth

Energy efficiency diagram

Sustainability Diagram - Laboratories and Pedestrain Spine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

High performance roof Solar tower Passive ventiation High performance glazing Integrated shading Local evaporation Passively cooled courtyards Filtered daylight

KAUST sustainability diagram

82 inspired from Arabic markets or traditional souk. At the same time by use of varied fenestrations and “Mashrabiya” (Arabic screening) methods the pedestrians achieve an interesting play of dappled and or dramatic light at times. As a resource efficient design these liveable circulation areas are made profound use of. The circulation spine is made into an active outdoor concourse that houses conference areas, meetings points, offices and retail spaces.

42 per cent water reduction), energy (27.1 per cent annual energy cost savings, 7.8 per cent on-site renewable energy, 80 per cent of glazing shaded year-round) and materials (20 per cent recycled content, 38 per cent regional materials, 99 per cent wood from Forest Stewardship Council sources, 80 per cent construction waste management). KAUST’s overall energy savings is 27.1 per cent better than ASHRAE 90.1-2004 standards.

Even though the concept for sustainability is laid in the roots of the culture, the design team had to adopt couple of active measures to respond to the climate demands. Most efficient MEP systems were used to make it further energy resourceful namely; chilled beams, heat recovery wheels, displacement ventilation, smart lighting controls, variable frequency drives and low-flow duct design. The strategic single roof is covered with photovoltaic cells. The photovoltaic cells and solar thermal arrays support the domestic hot water requirement for the lab buildings. The project in a nutshell delivers outstanding performance in the areas of water (78 per cent reclaimed water, 100 per cent wastewater reused and

The design evolves from cultural roots to attain its environmental requirement is not yet a surprise against the multiple layers of sustainability achieved by it. Preserved coral-reef ecosystem for use as marine sanctuary and research areas, lays the foundation of researchers in cultural and site roots. The lightning speed of one year in which the project was finished utilising maximum available resources and manpower makes the project economically sustainable from the design and execution perspective. The project used a deserted undeveloped land as its site reviving the country’s wasted resources. Hence, one can call it multiplying sustainability.

KAUST: covered walkway due to the common roof system.

KAUST integral shading (Mashrabiya).

KAUST passive cooling courtyard (Arabic Bedouin tent system).

KAUST filtered daylight (Mashrabiya effect).


KAUST interior of the Solar Tower serving technologically and culturally.


KAUST Solar Tower.

Project : Client : Location : Architect : Sustainable Certification :

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology ARAMCO Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia HOK LEED-NC 2.2 Platinum

84 IA&B - JUN 2010 The futuristic shape of the structure is composed of a bamboo frame.

Paradise Island Exclusive, swanky and majestic, Graft Lab’s ‘Bird Island’ is a dynamic amalgamation of natural materials with modern technology that transports ‘sustainability’ to a new high. Text: Hema Yadav Photographs: courtesy the architect


t a glance, it might look like a huge space-ship anchored at bay but in reality the billowing white design is a part of a striking urban renewal project in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Designed by Berlin-based Graft Lab the modern, sustainable ‘Bird Island’ project is composed of an eco-friendly bamboo frame wrapped in a sustainably sourced silicone glass fabric which lets the structure sway with the wind, while giving residents a unique and constantly changing view of the sky. Designed for the exclusive gated community of Sentul Island, the futuristic shape wrapped in sub-Asiatic flora will cater to the elite and niche consumers. The 35-acre site will house six bio-homes with negligible environmental impact. With attention to the environment, the firm has applied integrated strategy to develop zeroenergy homes. The airy voluminous structure has transformed the traditional relationship between open and closed spaces by using natural vegetation as part of


Dining room Lounge

Living room


On suite bathroom Master bedroom

Bedroom Utility room Guest toliet Waste recycling cabinet

On suite bathroom

Vehicle charging station Bedroom


architecture. Inspired by nature, plants are used to divide the living area, while the most innovative method is adopted in material used. Therefore, while bamboo framed structure, lemon grass as mosquito repellent, rainharvesting, grey water recycling system are in place, the main attraction for the structure is its white billowing sustainably sourced skin, which creates shadows and fascinating patterns, while providing privacy to its residents. Wrapped around a bamboo frame the transparent silicone tensile fabric is a key element in energy recovery system. The silicone, PVC preferred for its resistance to high humidity and UV rays of the South Asian territory, becomes a tool for collecting rain water and for temperature control and ventilation of the interior, reducing the need for air-conditioning. The house has been designed to optimise the use of building materials, thereby reducing cut-offs and keeping construction waste to a minimum. The construction materials have been chosen where appropriate from renewable or recycled materials. The design also utilises many environmentally preferable materials

and methods. Special attention has been paid to select materials either for their low embodied energy or for their superior durability and performance. Because of the house’s location above a small waterway the sky is reflected in the materials and water surrounding the property. The spectacular structure provides an expansive outdoor living deck to enjoy the water’s surface. The rooms are naturally insulated to prevent heat gain and are cooled by harvesting cold rainwater in collection spaces in the ceiling during the day and by using cross ventilation during the night. A maximum amount of economical and energy efficient floor area is created and the construction materials have been chosen when appropriate from renewable or recycled materials. This attention to detail has earned the island more than 90 credits of LEED ratings. Dubbed as the ‘test bed for sustainable living and responsible development,’ the ‘Bird Island’ is paving the way for enhanced sustainable architecture in Malaysia and hopefully, the whole world.


roof plan


Skin The skin is a tensile, environmentally friendly fabric through which the outside world is seen. The skin turns and twists along the facade changing its transparency and guiding the view of the residents out to the landscape and views of the area. Viewed together, the individual strands of fabric create patterns which flow naturlly over the skin



The house is located above a small waterway providing an outdoor deck.


Project : Location : Client : Year : Materials Used : Area :

skin structure

Bird Island Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia YTL Land Development Design Competition 2007 Structural concrete with fly-ash Cellulose rigid insulation Blockwork structural walls with fly-ash Permeable concrete access paving Recycled rubber roofing with recycled rubber tire granulates Hardwood timber cladding sub-frame Teak exterior decking Bamboo tent structure Privacy curtains from organic materials Hardwood Glu-Lam timber floor joists Bamboo plywood Local natural stone cladding Local natural stone flooring Local natural stone wall finishes Aluminum window framing: Thermally broken window and door frames. Low-E argon filled double glazing for optimal insulation Reflective vapour barrier Sliding tinted single glazed doors in timber frame Metal grid parking platform, minimum impact lightweight structure Mosquito netting 16,000sqft

IA&B - JUN 2010


Evolved Courtyard House

Dhayari Bungalow by Pune based architectural firm Design Praxis evolves courtyard house typology and adopts Laurie Baker’s innovations to befit the contemporary, yet holding on to its roots.

Text: Fatema Kabir Photographs: courtesy the architects

Dhayari Bungalow: Facade reflecting material efficiency.


nvironment friendly designs were called rural architecture until today when in the name of sustainability, the local influences have evolved to befit the contemporar y. Located in tropical climate; the Dhayari Bungalow adopts a vernacular residential house typology of a cour tyard house and Laurie Baker’s material innovations to evolve and befit the contemporar y. Provision of photovoltaic cells from future perspective makes the design more energy efficient. The

roof sheeting is also of white colour, which reflects most of the heat. Architect Laurie Baker has been a pioneer in innovating with material that binds the culture to the contemporar y even today. Use of his ‘Rattrap’ bond saved 75 per cent of brick in the design in comparison to a standard brick layout in the same length wall. Use of his filler slab roofing is another such example for simple economic design. Design Praxis team did not end at Laurie Baker’s innovation. They

focus roots

Dhayari Bungalow: louvers made from shipwreck wood

Lauri Baker’s filler slab implemented in the bungalow.

Interior view showing play of light.

successfully recycled timber and exploited the obtained stone to its fullest. 40mm thick plywood for music room floor was obtained from the deep freezer of the ship wrecker. White pine/chil timber beams obtained from shipping yard ser ved as suppor t system for the floor. Old doors were altered to fit new dimensions. The louvers, door frames and the window frames were made out of recycled wood from the strips. Traditional basalt fetched from Belgaum region of Karnataka,

was used for ex ternal wall in contrast with the white limestone and the chipped leftovers of the white stone were used for landscaping. The architects exploited the sloping site to evolve sustainability not only with material but also in design. Owing to the immediate constraints of no municipal water supply lines on the site the design team was forced to adopt rainwater conser vation as a design


Dhayari Bungalow: interior view showing use of local matrerial and natural light.

element. The runoff rainwater was captured in an underground tank of 20,000 litres capacit y. Then the water was pumped to overhead tank in the loft space of the house. Solar panels located on the roof supplied energy to heat the water. Also the multiple fenestrations at lower levels and provision of louvers at upper levels allows the cour t yard concept to work in a fluid manner complimented by the contoured charac teristic of the site that lets the cross ventilation work bet ween the leeward and windward sides encouraging play of natural light and ventilation. While being energy efficient the opening al s o ca p t u re s s t rate gi c views of the site. Strategy of jux taposition p l aye d i n ca p t u ri n g the views is also seen to create ambiguit y in t h e f a รงa d e. O n e ca n keep guessing the front faรงade, it could be a ny o f t h e f o l l ow i n g ; the elevation seen from the road while app ro a c h i n g t h e h o u s e, the one opposite the main gate, the one fa c i n g t h e s i d e l a n e o r the one viewed from the garden. While the f ro nt f a รงa d e re m a i n s ambiguous, D esign Praxis answers multiple q u e ri e s o n ro o t b a s e d sustainable design.

The ambiguous external facade of the bungalow.

FACT FILE: Project Client Location Status Architect

: : : : :

Dhayari Bungalows CS Shekar Dhayari, Pune Completed Design Praxis: Shivendu Jauhari, Neha Saxena and CS Shekar (owner)

IA&B - JUN 2010



The bookshelves run the full height of the concrete walls.

The Learning Curve For a team of fifteen Norwegian student architects from the Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU), headed by architect Sami Rintala and Associate Professor Hans Skotte, their project for Safe Haven Orphanage proved to be a learning curve in sustainable living. Text: Hema Yadav Photographs: courtesy Andreas G. Gjertsen & Tyin Tegnestue


reating a vivid rainbow in the lives of Safe Haven Orphanage kids is a two-storey structure constructed by a team of architects. Situated at the Thailand-Myanmar border, in the Ban Tha Song Yang region of Thailand, the orphanage provides refuge to 42 children of varying ages. Supporting them in their endeavour is TYIN Tegnestue—a non-profit organisation working for humanity through architectural projects. As the orphanage was in dire need of a library for the children, TYIN organised a workshop inviting fifteen students from the Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU) to build the required structure. Under the tutelage of Associate Professor Hans

Skotte (NTNU) and architect Sami Rintala of Rintala Eggertsson Architects, the students embarked on creating a structure, which was sustainable, costeffective and most importantly merged with the surrounding landscape. The designing brief called for a structure made of local material, as this would be easy and affordable to maintain and local building techniques to create a structure that would solve the problems of learning in a practical way. This provided a great opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience of real problems on site and make decisions with real consequences. The team traced the design roots to traditional architecture, making use of available natural


The building utilises local material and building techniques.

Trenches filled with gravel ensure sufficient drainage during the rainy season

Stone from the site is used for the foundations and stairs

Computer area Entrance area

The floor area of the main room is left open

To tasanees house



To the kitchen and bathhouse

Plan 1 : 100


The upper floor is reserved for lounging or playing games.

lava stone from the site, concrete bricks, wood and bamboo. Working on a stringent budget, the team had to research various methods of natural ventilation systems and sunshades, which was incorporated in the form of an open bamboo faรงade, which provides ample sunlight and ventilation. Keeping the construction process simple, the architects used a bed of large rocks gathered on-site as the base for concrete. The structure is divided into two floors, with the upper floor reserved for activities like lounging, reading and group discussions. The entrance at the lower level creates a buffer between the outdoors and indoors and divides the ground floor into a small computer area on one side and a larger library room on the other. Bookshelves run along the full height of the concrete walls, while the floor is left unfurnished for the different activities of the children like practicing games and crafts. A comfortable floor for the children to play on is provided by the solid construction made of iron and wood. The architects have managed to create a flowing space, ideal for interaction and learning, while educating the people on the benefits of sustainable living. The library is a welcome addition for the Safe Haven community; providing an ideal refuge for the children of the orphanage.


The ground floor comprises of the library and the computer room.

Project : Location : Client : Professors : Organiser : Sponsors :

Safe Haven Orphanage Library Ban Tha Song Yang, Thailand Safe Haven Orphanage Hans Skotte and Sami Rintala TYIN Norsk Betongforening, Bygg uten grenser, Minera Norge Spenncon and Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU)

94 IA&B - JUN 2010

The bridge is a symbolic structure connecting the past with the present.

Bridge of Dreams Traversing the timeworn root of sustainability is the school built by Li Xiaodong in Fujian province of China. Nominated for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the school is an eclectic assimilation of traditional with the contemporary. Text: Hema Yadav Photographs: courtesy Li Xiaodong


etaining the old world charm and leasing a new life to centuries of tradition is a school designed by Atelier Li Xiaodong. Located in the remote village of Xiashi, China the school is an effort to invigorate the village community with respect to their traditions and beliefs. The architectural brief specified the need to sustain the traditional architecture through a contemporary language. This was achieved by combining different functions into one space—a bridge that connects two ancient castles from across the creek and a school to provide education, a playground and a stage for the community. The bridge is

symbolic in connecting the past with the present and also the future. The culmination of school and bridge in a single design is the highlight of the project. The steel structure is supported on concrete piers and covered in thin wooden slats, which also acts as a small shop. Keeping in mind the rise and fall of the terrain the school is designed like a box girder, giving the building its twisting shape. The interiors are almost identical with wedge shaped classrooms tapering towards the middle of the structure, where the public library is situated. The two classrooms can also be used as a theatre by the community by sliding and folding the doors. The steel frame is wrapped in a veil of slim timber slats, which filters light and tempers the interior with cooling breeze. Although people can use the school as means of crossing the creek an alternative narrow walkway anchored by tensile wires is suspended underneath the school structure as a second and direct means of crossing the creek. The design is punctuated by physical lightness and spatial fluidity, catalysing a sense of history.


site plan


The combination of school and bridge in a single design is the highlight of the project.

The design of the school is like a box girder.


The structure uses sustainable local material like wood and bamboo.

The classrooms can be used as a theatre by folding and sliding the doors.


The school also acts as a spiritual and community centre.

The school is not just a school but also acts as the social and spiritual centre for the entire village. Nominated for one of the highest honours in the architectural field, the nominee for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture blends in with its rustic setting and is an intelligent contemporary take on the archetype of the inhabited bridge.


The bridge school merges with its rustic setting providing an educational hub for the local children.

Project : Xiashi School Location : Xiashi Village, China Client : Xiashi Village Completion : 2009 Architect : Li Xiaodong/atelier Project team : Chen jiansheng, li ye, Wang Chuan, Liang Qiong, Liu Mengjia and Nie junqi Collaborator : Hedao architecture design (Fujian and Xiamen) Contractor : Zhangzhou Steel Site area : 1,550sqm

100 IA&B - JUN 2010

Green Dynamism Danish architects 3XN have defined new paradigms by testing the limits of what is possible to construct out of biological materials. Their ‘Learning from Nature’ —a 100 per cent self-sufficient pavilion is a trend-setter in the field of ‘green.’ Text: Hema Yadav Photographs: courtesy Adam Mørk and Steven Achiam

The pavilion comprises of cutting edge technology and intelligent materials.



he möbius strip with its twisted frame and flaming green colour resembles a playing surface for kids. Designed by Danish architecture firm 3XN as part of the ‘green architecture for the future’ exhibition for the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, the simplistic structure is a pavilion designed by using cutting edge technology within the parameters of sustainable design and intelligent materials. For, building sustainability is not just a matter of learning from nature but also creating architecture that integrates in our behavioural pattern and even in our culture. The result is a striking pavilion built of bio-composite materials, which creates a dynamic interaction with its physical surroundings and its users. Aptly titled, ‘Learning from Nature,’ the pavilion is inspired by nature, while its shape symbolises the biological cycle, expressing the continuity and eternal cycles of nature. The concept for the pavilion was evolved for addressing three basic human needs: need for shelter, for rest and for contact. Encompassing these attributes the strip is designed as both roof and a bench, where the user can experience nature and space simultaneously. Created using materials in a recyclable and fully bio-degradable physical framework, the pavilion acts like a humidifier; purifying air by utilising energy from the sun to break down pollutants. What distinguishes the pavilion from its contemporaries is the innovative use of materials in its structure formation. For the outer shell glass fibre composites have been substituted with biocomposite from flax fibers cast in biological resin. Highly compressed cork sheets replace polystyrene foam for the inner core. The phenomenal structure was constructed within a span of four months with the involvement of 20 different companies and produces its own energy with the help of visitors. A dynamic interaction between the visitors and the pavilion is achieved by the kinetic energy generated by the feet of thousands of visitors walking on the floor of the pavilion. The floor is piezoelectric, which absorbs energy from people walking on it and converts it into electricity, while flexible solar panels power LED light fittings. The mode of expression and material consumption is digitally designed to meet the exact needs, i.e. 14 layers of fibre and


The phase-changing material used in the pavilion slashes energy cost up to 15 per cent.

103 84mm of cork are specifically designed to meet the dynamic forces arising from wind load and the load from people walking on the surface. The coating of nano particles keeps the surface clean and the use of phase-changing materials results in an exchange of energy during the daily shifts in temperature. The phase-changing materials cut costs up to 10 to 15 per cent on heating and cooling of buildings, providing the pavilion the ability to retain heat. When heated by the sun, the material changes from a solid to liquid form, retaining the energy and releasing it again when the temperature drops to exactly 23°C. When the temperature drops the material solidifies and releases energy. The process helps the pavilion to remain cool when the temperature increases and vice versa. The thermo-chromatic surface treatment shows the tracks left by the visitors when they touch the ribbon. At the end of its life, the whole pavilion can be broken down and can enter into the biological metabolism of nature. Charting a new course in the field of holistic architecture, the recipient of JEC Innovation Award 2010 emphasises that bio-degradable materials require less energy than aluminum or concrete by utilising complex mode of expression, pushing the limit of what is obtainable and achieveable with sustainable materials and is proof of the innovative architectural design of tomorrow.


(Above) Materials like PCM, cork and natural fibres were used to develop the pavilion.

Project : Location : Client : Architect : Structural Engineer : Engineer : Producer : Partners : Design Team :

Learning From Nature Louisiana, USA Museum of Modern Art 3XN Bill Lynch, Berkeley COWI StageOne BASF, Ashland Inc., Amorim, Cork Composites, Libeco- Lagae, Flex Cell, Phillips, Scenetek, Noliac Motion, Optima Projects Limited, NetComposites Ldt, Nano-X GmbH, Teknologisk Institut, 3M, Risø and DTU Kim Herforth Nielsen, Kasper Guldager Jørgensen, Rasmus Møller, Christian Bundegaard, Stian Lenes and Morten Myrup.

104 IA&B - JUN 2010 Shrouded in a misty haze, the form will crystallise itself in an abstract volume as a floaitng landmark in the city of Maribor.

Misty Perceptions French architects Nicolas Dorval-Bory and Raphaël Bétillon have conceptualised climate responsive design approach to be the new architectural dimension for an art museum for the city of Maribor, Slovenia. Text: Maanasi Hattangadi Photographs: courtesy the architect


reen Energy is the way of the future. Elements like imaginative architecture and modern technology are shaping the face of future designs. Climatic responsive designs have accentuated the thinking of today’s designers. The proposed art museum ‘Water from the Sun’ designed by Paris-based architects Nicolas Dorval-Bory and Raphaël Bétillon is one such project that explores the emerging concept of climatic and energy analysis used in buildings. Sited on the main axis between the north bank and Koroska street in the city of Maribor, Slovenia, the art gallery defines a new landmark for the city. Echoing its climatic orientation, the building is a shimmering water film with reflecting glass tubes. The architecture is visualised as a temporal dimension dissolving the lines between the structure and landscape. An amphitheatre tracing the natural contours of the land announces the access to the museum centre. Shrouded in a misty haze, the spatial volume floats above ground materialising into a cultural plaza. Designed around the three parameters: volume, circulation and climate, the project outlines the sustainable factors in simple yet emphatic

way. The centralised cube is structured as a Rubik’s cube about 54x54x27m, poised over the ground. Three modules of 27 boxes accommodate the museum’s functional needs. An interplay of innovative technological aspects and minute detailing profile the green credentials of the building. The architects illustrate climate performance as an important tool for architectural expression. The outer envelope encases the building as a double skin with visible multilayer aluminum foils on the underside enabling over-insulation. An innovative solar cooling technique has been contrived as a new meteorological dimension to the architectural setting. The vacuum tubes of the south facade heat the water to a temperature of 80ºC, which is then sent to an adsorption machine wherein silica gel is used as the adsorbent. Cold water flow is routed through a separate heat exchange process. The north façade conceals tubes that contain the coolant necessitated in this process. This technology integrates the total cooling essential in the museum. The heat collector tubes dually function to preheat the buildings in winters. To ensure proper diffusion, the water system is articulated within the thick concrete slabs. The exterior of the museum also showcases a cooling misting system unique to this building.


garden coffee

key plan

exterior gallery

exterior gallery outdoor auditorium

ECC 2012 information centre

Evolution diagram of the floating elevation

site plan


meeting room 150m 2

galery shop 150m 2

Clockroom lockers

managers office 25m 2 PR marketing event management 25m 2 cuators and educatiors 80m 2

Clockroom 100m 2

Group coat hangers drawers chest

accounting 20m 2 City daily room

waiting room 35m 2

multipurpose entrance hall /open space 415m 2

sanitation tea room 24m 2 25m 2

ECC information



sanitation 82m 2

secretariat 10m 2


kitchen 52m 2

sanitation 26m 2



restaurant 230m 2


storage 10m 2

coffeeroom 100m 2

bar 24m 2

lower level plan A

A residental apartment 110m 2

book storage room 45m 2

study room 22m 2 reading club 22m 2 storage room

storage room



projection cabin


translator cabin

photography Education workshops ceramics



upper level plan A




The technical services have been pushed outside the core onto the outer facade.

The streamlined technical façade supports hundreds of high pressure nozzles that conform to an occasional misting system. The filtered sprays spewed by these nozzles create an artificial cloud leaving the building in a foggy blur. This outstanding creation envelopes the museum and can be mechanised to forge dynamic situations incase of events or to refresh the ambience. The roof of the cubic volume is composed of shading and photovoltaic panels which contribute to the energy flow. Following the example of Pompidou Centre, all the services are regulated in a peripheral alignment highlighting the programmatic, climatic and ecological functioning. Transparent cylindrical tubes evolved from corrugated glass impart spatial connectivity to the different areas of the museum. The two tubes in the east cater to the museum staff while the tubes in the west are open for the visitors use. The entire sequence converges at the central tube that is cultivated as a meeting space. Oriented centrally in the tubes, the

structural core also houses the elevators. The glass towers not only support the circulatory functioning but also embody ventilation ducts in its system. A geothermal heat pump extradites the heating/cooling air through an underground air channel, thus taking care of the entire ventilation of the whole museum. The interior functioning of the building is zoned according to the inter-climatic assessment, like the storage areas are drafted in the basement where the climate is more constant. This new atmospherically sound understanding enables the genesis of an evolution of spaces and materiality based not on the traditional architectural values but dictated on the influence of technological foundations. The museum’s exhibition spaces are extended over two levels of large open spaces. The second level which is screened against light and temperature variations is used as a permanent gallery space. An ‘Architecture Centre’ is also encompassed on the second level which allows the allocation for temporary


solarpanels -1400m 2

tubularfacade -solar thermal cooling -solar water heating -mist/snow production -sun shading

GLASSFACADE -low etriple glazing

STEEL FRAME STRUCTURE -super structural box


EXHIBITIONS RAMP -5% ramp -perm to temp exhibition

VERTICAL CONNECTIONS -central elevators -concrete stuctural columns -helicoidal stairs/escalator -corrugated structural glass

MAIN PLAZA -building programatic base -vehicle access

stairs to river -scaffolding stairs

Building components diagram

isometric view


sectional perspective

isometric view of climatic zoning

exhibits. Capitalising on the natural light and appropriate coverage of the roof, the temporary exhibition setups are provided on the top levels. Upto 3000sqm in the outdoor terraces can be adjusted to include the exhibition space. The flooring in these modules is redeemed with offsets of +/-4m in order to gain a 12m ceiling height advantage. These elemental considerations help in accommodating large artworks in a dual level exposure. The transition of these works to the upper level is facilitated by electric elevators laid in the glass tubes.


solar panels sun shade beams / matural exhibition rooms lighting

sun shade tubes

solar thermal collector facade

adsorption chiller water cooling facade

micro-climate exterior terrace cooling/heating through concrete slab

artificial mist sprinkler

artificial mist sprinkler cool water flow(solar thermal cooling) heat exchange between stale air and fresh air fresh air income extracted stale air

adsorption chiller machine geothermal heatpump

section of climatic zoning

climatic diagrams



solar thermal cooling

ground -coupled heat exchanger

cooling artificial

ground -coupled heat exchanger

solar + geothermal warming

geothermal heat pump

geothermal warming

geothermal heat pump


The central glass tube convenes into a meeting space defining a cultural plaza.

The interior spaces open out to the core shafts that house the elevators.

Encased in a heat exchange interface, these innate volumes act like an isolated refrigerator ensuring a fluid climatic control. Not dictated by a conventional architectural language, the architects have framed a program centric to climatic parameters to build an urban catalyser. An active tubular heat-exchange interface, double-skin insulation, photo-voltaic panelled roofing system and cooling mist culminates into a regenerative meteorological mechanism evolving into a blurred building proffering new perceptions.


The temporary exhibitions are aligned on the top floors to take advantage of the maximum natural light.

Project Location Client Architect Design team

: : : : :

Water from the Sun Maribor, Slovenia City of Maribor Nicolas Dorval-Bory, Raphael BĂŠtillon Dorval-Bory, Raphael BĂŠtillon, Guillaume Freyermuth and Paula Gonzalez Balcarce

112 IA&B - JUN 2010


ain eserve ecycle

Exploring new realms of water conservation, Polish architectural students Ryszard Rychlicki and Agnieszka Nowak have put forth a skyscraper design using avant-garde technology.

Text: Maanasi Hattangadi Photographs: courtesy the architects


ater conservation has been one of the main standpoints in green architecture. The new conservation responsive architecture is striving towards fairer and more sustainable allocation of resources. In perspective of this data; rainfall harvesting can be patterned into a radical conservation technique to fuel the ever-growing need. A survey suggests that 150 litres of water is consumed daily by an individual out of which 85 litres can be replaced by rainfall. Over a million years, plants have perfected a fool-proof mechanism to capture this rainfall. Mimicking these bio-diverse opportunities, Polish architectural students of H3AR bring into focus a technological aspect in designing a skyscraper ‘Capture the Rain’ for a skyscraper competition for eVolo. The architects employed numerous modelling and shaping experiments to outline the outer façade interface in order to optimise the collection of rainwater. Improvising on this process, they contrived a skin mechanism that transforms the building into a cohesive rain collecting machine. Evolved from this comprehensive analysis of rainfall directions; the building takes the form of an indented cylinder wherein the roof and external shell capture the rain. The distinctive curved roof, that houses

The structures indented form has been specially designed to formulate a cohesive rain-collecting technique.


The concept of the tehcnology traces the rain capturing process that the plants have perfected for years.

Rendition of the model outlining the rainfall capturing technology.


a hydro botanic water treatment unit, caps the wave-like building. An assimilation of water reservoirs are channelised as a funnel and reed fields to form this filtration unit which conducts the usable water to the spaces below. The tubular structure is profiled with catchments that capture the rain. The streamlined perforated envelope is structured to forge a network of gutters transmitting the flowing water. This filtered water is used to fulfil the requisite needs of the inhabitants. The surplus of this harvested water is further sent to reservoir storage under the building. The water captured and processed by the building may be used for flushing toilets, feeding washing machines, watering plants, cleaning floors and other

114 4000m2


115 domestic applications. The architects have creatively adapted ecological realities to shape a lifestyle which is low on environmental impact and yet highly productive. Befitting the cutting-edge complexities integrated in the building, the architects have also obtained a formula which shows the daily water usage percentage that can be replaced by rainwater harvesting. The proposal understands the water consumption of its inhabitants and devises means to contribute towards its solutions. Deviating from the conventional, the architects have conceptualised a special mention award-winning skyscraper not as building but as a interactive inter face that encases a per formance matching its lofty goals for sustainable design.

detail of gutter

Out Hydro Botanic Water Treatment Unit


diagram of hydro botanic water treatment unit

Project : Location : Client : Architect :

‘Capture the Rain’ Skyscraper New York City, USA Skyscraper Competition, eVolo Ryszard Rychlicki and Agnieszka Nowak

116 IA&B - JUN 2010

The Intangible Sustainability Evolving from the ‘Eastern Naturalistic Philosophy’, Taichung-Convention Centre by MAD Architects; rebinds culture and nature in the essence of sustainability. Text: Fatema Kabir Photographs: courtesy the architects


Aerial view depicting the mountainous buildings covered by their volcanic lava.


astern Naturalistic Philosophy is exemplary in reviving the most primitive theories on life. When MAD Architects conceived the Taichung-Convention Centre to be developed in Taiwan, China; they were conscious of the city requiring a metropolitan landmark that would renew the urban life while holding on to the cultural arenas firmly. Though each building on the campus varies in height from 39m to 85m constituting several floors yet simply achieving height was not the aim. The idea was

to bring Taichung into the realm of world class cultural cites, hence they adopted ‘The Eastern Naturalistic Philosophy’ as their concept. Charles A. Moore (1901–1967), professor of comparative philosophy at the University of Hawai mentions in his book ‘Philosophy East and West’ about the naturalistic philosophy of the Chinese. The philosophy emphasises on equality, common identity and synthesis of multiples. It is best described by the word


Master plan reflecting common roof system growing from the earth.

‘empty’. When a mind is free of all thoughts it travels from the tangible world to the infinity of the cosmos. The vacuum at that level treats multiples as a single and hence there is no multiplicity or inequality in the infinite. The philosophy exalts nature by believing in spontaneous transformations, as reflected by nature in itself. Based on the philosophy, the project aimed at creating an amalgamation of architecture of nature of human. The campus consists of multiple mountain shaped buildings weaved into a common innovative urban skin that appears to grow from the ground, travel to the peak and vice versa. The pleated characteristic of the skin also makes the structure appear as active volcanoes with flowing lava around, blurring the cities physical boundaries.

Night view: Mountainous structures on fire.

In the quest of manmade and nature concord the campus implements landscape ideas from traditional Chinese gardens, which were characterised by manmade landscape elements.


Manmade landscape integrated with the manmade buildings

Hence on site we see; a single tree, a patch of bamboo or a pond, as central figures of the gathering spaces. It is not a surprise if these manmade elements are successfully blended into the natural environment when all the mountainous structures on site have been gracefully merged to the ground. While the structure is amalgamating itself with the surrounding landscape, the open courtyards, common balconies and vertical circulation bind the inhabitants with the structure and within themselves. The philosophy when evolved, can see glimpses of technology incorporated in the design. The common skin is integrated with photovoltaic panels, which use solar power reducing energy consumption. Owing to the continuous pleats and transparency on one side, the skin also provides natural light and ventilation. This project yearns for a greater meaning in sustainability than just local material and climate responsive interpretations. It is the

Interior view of the pleated volcanic roof system


Interior space opening and integrating with the external landscape.

intangible qualities that conceptualise the sustainability approach of the centre. The centre with its philosophy based design looks forward to evoking quests to know the truth of life and evolve from there. It is a modest attempt at reviving and sustaining a long lost traditional philosophy by influencing other up-coming projects of the city, to adopt the traditional philosophy and thereby formulate the urban landscape of the city so as to enter the world class cultural cites.


Interior view reflecting the massiveness of the manmade structure.

Project : Taichung-Convention Centre Location : Tai Chung, Taiwan Director in Charge : Ma Yansong, Dang Qun Design Team : MAD Architects: Jordan Kanter, Jtravis Russett, Irmi Reiter, Diego Perez, Dai Pu, Rasmus Palmquist, Art Terry, and Chie Fuyuki Type : Office, Hotel, Retail, Exhibition, and Convention Halls Site Area : 70,318sqm Building Area : 216,161sqm Building Height : 39m-85m Structure : Vertical Circulation, Enclosure System Skin : Pleated Skin System with Double Photovoltaic Glass

122 IA&B - JUN 2010

Extracting Hope, Changing Lives

Addressing the growing need of water in Dafur, Sudan, Polish architectural student Hugon Kowalski of architectural firm H3AR has profiled a multi-purpose building that will pump water from an underground lake. Text: Maanasi Hattangadi Photographs: courtesy the architect The water-pumping technological skyscraper shows a ray of hope to the drought-stricken region of Sudan.


The towers are planned as a trinity that will stabilise the micro-climate and enable the creation of an artificial lake in their midst.



1 2


3 8 7


4 7 6 plan, building 1, floor, 0 scale 1:250





n the African country of Sudan there has always been a struggle to find a new source of fresh water, a struggle that has caused many conflicts in the past. However, with the recent discovery of an immense underground lake, many are hoping these conflicts will soon come to an end. Designed as a part of eVolo’s skyscraper competition, Poland-based Hugon Kowalski’s skyscraper proposal in Dafur, Sudan defines a means not only to pursue a viable water source but also to sustain life. Kowalski’s scheme takes the water crisis into account and has developed a tower to aid in the finding of underground water and creating an artificial lake. Drawing inspirations from the basic concepts of a water tower and ‘Baobab,’ the African ‘upside down’ tree from Savannah, the building is conceived as a towering structure of 7120m which will be a focal point

plan, building 2, floor, +4 scale 1:250

4 5


for the formation of a whole new village. The concepts of the building align itself to eco-friendly architectural principles. The structure employs alternative sustainable and construction techniques by stacking compressed sun-baked clay bricks, made on site, composed of a rough mixture of earth, cement and water. The choice of this technology simulates minimal energy use and low environmental impact. The structure embodies a multi-functional aspect—housing water pumps, a treatment plant, a hospital, a school and a food storage centre. Introducing a calculative technological facet, the design contrives extraction of water from subterranean resources through application of pumps. These pumps facilitate an integration of two water circulation processes that have been developed for the heating/cooling exchange of the building. They extract the water from the aquifier and pump through the building, enhancing


Light filters into the interiors through the patterned sun-baked clay bricks.

Masterplan of the envisioned triad of towers.

The brick composition of natural materials which outlines the facade.


the heating and cooling. The water will be treated and reserved in the core of the building as a water provision meant for domestic usage. The architect has managed to tap the available resources through good design and effective water management. “This building is meant to provoke economical development but also stimulate cultural exchange and the coexistence of the three different religions and languages,� says Hugon Kowalski. The planning involves a symmetrical triad of towers that will stabilise the micro-climate, shading the area created by them and enabling a creation of an artificial lake as a solace for locals to escape the arid climate. Still a concept, the project features outline its immense possibilities to have far-reaching consequences. It showcases a spectrum of hope, for the drought-stricken region, interspersed with social responsibility on one extreme and an innovative architectural technique on the other.


Water pumping technology details

Project Location Client Architect

: : : :

Watertower Skyscraper Dafur, Sudan Skyscraper Competition, eVolo Hugon Kowalski, H3AR

June 2010  

VOL 23 (10)

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