Greening the European City. (View).As we become increasingly urban, living in rising densities, discussing how we collectively influence and are influenced by the built environment is unavoidable, Living in harmony "Living in Harmony" is an episode of the 1967-68 television series The Prisoner. It differs from most other episodes of the series in that it does not begin with the show's standard opening credits sequence. with the planet is no longer a green-field issue limited to privilege for a few rural dwellers who can afford to focus on autonomy and self sufficiency. With brown-field sites and grey buildings to re-appropriate, notions of collective and responsible interdependency ought to prevail. Sustainability--which is after all the silent 'sssss' behind the green debate--should be understood at all levels of the development food chain, from client and contractor right through to end user.
So when gathering speakers for the Architectural Review's Greening the European City seminar last month, which was generously sponsored by Merk, it was essential that the complexity of the problem was clearly communicated. Collaboration throughout the briefing, design and construction phases must be pursued, and so a broad range of speakers was invited to contribute. Cosy conversations between a group of interested architects clearly would not have been enough, and this was appropriately reflected across the over 170 strong audience with contributors and observers including, engineers, landscape architects, ecologists and construction industry representatives.
Following a brief introduction by AR Editor Peter Davey, in which he stressed the need to find the 'strategy and tactics' of future urban generation, Nicholas Grimshaw Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, CBE (born 9 October, 1939) is a prominent English architect, particularly noted for several modernist buildings, including the international railway terminal at London's Waterloo Station and the Eden Project in Cornwall. got proceedings under way. As an appropriate starting point Noun 1. starting point - earliest limiting point
terminus a quo
commencement, get-go, offset, outset, showtime, starting time, beginning, start, kickoff, first - the time at which something is supposed to begin; "they got an early start"; "she knew from the at the outset of the day, Grimshaw's EVA Eva
to marry winner of singing contest. [Ger. Opera: Wagner, Meistersinger, Westerman, 225–228]
See : Prize
1. Eva - A toy ALGOL-like language used in "Formal Specification of Programming Languages: A Panoramic Primer", F.G. principle was introduced; with a commitment to developing an environmental system, Environmentally Viable Architecture, was, he argued, key to making 'greenness a reality in our minds', and as such he presented seven of EVA's 12 principles that specifically related to the European City: Flora and Fauna, Embodied Energy Embodied Energy refers to the quantity of energy required to manufacture, and supply to the point of use, a product, material or service. (As an analog of embodied water, embodied energy might also be called "virtual energy", "embedded energy" or "hidden energy"). , Transport, Cleaner Energy, Waste, Public Spaces and Urban Icons were, he said, all essential. Beginning with his own AA diploma project, which read the city as a tapestry which was only ever to be reinforced, darned darned
Adj. 1. darned - expletives used informally as intensifiers; "he's a blasted idiot"; "it's a blamed shame"; "a blame cold winter"; "not a blessed dime"; "I'll be damned (or blessed or darned or and repaired as a patchwork, rather than wiped clean as a tabula rasa tab·u·la ra·sa
n. pl. tab·u·lae ra·sae
a. The mind before it receives the impressions gained from experience.
b. The unformed, featureless mind in the philosophy of John Locke.
2. , he reviewed some of his built work from Camden Town For other uses of "Camden", see Camden.
Camden Town is an area of North London, England, in the London Borough of Camden. Camden Town is sometimes referred to simply as "Camden", but it should not be confused with the borough. to his latest exercise in urban surgery with his Bath Spa Bath Spa may refer to any one of the following, all of which are in Bath, a city in Somerset, England:
Stefan Behnisch from Behnisch, Behnisch and Partners of Stuttgart continued the morning session with an equally broad overview, speaking with clarity and a quiet conviction about issues that went far beyond the technical limits of building skin. Should we avoid repeating patterns, he asked, where green design becomes just another novelty that fades away? Is environmental health a luxury unaffordable un·af·ford·a·ble
Too expensive: medical care that has become unaffordable for many.
un during times of recession, or should it be seen as a civic duty, a national sport, a category of high morals? How can environmentally appropriate design become a core discipline? Can we convince office workers to share printers, use flat screens or wear jumpers in the winter and tee-shirts in the summer?
With unrivalled wit, Belgian Lucien Kroll began simply by saying 'I have nothing to say', choosing instead to parody mass-produced high-rise living by showing images of rabbit hutches and bird cages, and by making parallels between sheep following sheep and Gropius' nonsensical notion of designing for standardized urban families. He dicussed how he chose to contrive con·trive
v. con·trived, con·triv·ing, con·trives
1. To plan with cleverness or ingenuity; devise: contrive ways to amuse the children.
2. disorder when creating homes appropriate to the individuality of human nature, which when seen beyond the apparent naivety na·ive·ty or na·ïve·ty
Artlessness or credulity; naiveté.
naivety or naïveté
the state or quality of being naive
Noun 1. of his architectural models had produced many successful and popular examples of reused and remodelled obsolete housing blocks.
In stark contrast to Kroll, Christoph Ingenhaven's crisp architectural drawings were iconic, engaging and immediately convincing. As one of the only contributors to address seriously the notion of truly Greening the City in its literal sense, he presented a series of seductive before and after images of Berlin's new Green Scape.
In response to the ludicrous plan to reconstruct Hohenzollern Palace, in Ingenhoven's mind's eye mind's eye
1. The inherent mental ability to imagine or remember scenes.
2. The imagination.
in one's mind's eye in one's imagination
Berlin was seen transformed with a landscape that captured the ambition and power of New York's Central Park--an ambition also evident in his new landscape park in Stuttgart where the city's park will sweep above the subterranean Train Shed
A train shed is an adjacent building to a railway station where the tracks and platforms are covered by a roof. The first train shed was built in 1830 at Liverpool's Crown Street Station. (AR April 2003), encapsulating his vision that Stuttgart will be beautiful, and easier and more healthy to inhabit.
A quieter, but equal ambition was evident in the work of Italian architect Mario Cucinella, with evocative examples of urban intervention, like his virtually invisible subterranean visitors centre in Bologna. Having recently returned to practice in Italy from France, he explained the conflict of pursuing sustainable design within the contexts of Italian law and cultural heritage, recalling one instance where to gain planning consent he had to convince the authorities that his simple passive ventilation rooflights were actually mechanical rooftop plant.
The ever enthusiastic services engineer, Max Fordham began the afternoon session with a pacy delivery of environmental facts, figures, and rule of thumb guidelines. Focusing on his collaboration with Feilden Clegg Bradley for their new National Trust Headquarters in Swindon, he discussed his latest theories: including a Personal Adjustment Graph--which plotted how dress should reduce from thick trousers and jumpers in the winter, to being naked with flip-flops in the summer, and his more plausible desire to convince the National Trust to accept ambient lighting Light that comes from all directions. Contrast with "directional lighting," which is made up of a light source with parallel light rays that do not diminish with distance. Also, contrast with "positional lighting," in which the rays are not parallel, but diminish in intensity from the levels as low as 250 lux.
Belgian Architect Philippe Samyn, and French landscape architect Alain Cousseran, drew the afternoon to a close with further examples of their innovative projects, such as Samyn's solution for erecting wind turbines in remote areas and Cousseran's work with Patel Taylor on the Thames Barrier Park
The Thames Barrier Park is a 22 acre park in London's docklands, named after its location on the north side of the River Thames next to the Thames Barrier. .
The presentations were concluded after each session with questions that in many ways demonstrated that few of the speakers sufficiently addressed the issue of the city as public realm. Questions like how important are external microclimates that buildings create through their effect on sunlight penetration and wind patterns, and do architects give sufficient consideration to natural wildlife habits within urban contexts? Inevitably as is often the case when two or three architects are gathered together, the issue of detailed design also emerged, raising perhaps the most pertinent question of the day, which was, when considering energy efficiency, sustainability, and user comfort, should glass naturally be the architect's first choice when specifying materials?