Retaining the culture of the place and practicing vernacular techniques on the structure is another direction of the approach followed to attain sustainability. Several organizations, such as LEED provide certification for sustainable and green architecture to encourage more architects to follow such practice.

In the present scenario, designing a project is bounded by strict building regulations that limit unconventional practices. Considering these limitations, several architects have successfully achieved sustainability in different approaches. Adaptive Reuse, provision of public spaces, net-zero construction, biophilic architecture, and passive design are some of the few sustainable trends followed by the architects. Retaining the culture of the place and practicing vernacular techniques on the structure is another direction of the approach followed to attain sustainability. Several organizations, such as LEED provide certification for sustainable and green architecture to encourage more architects to follow such practice.

1. START MUSEUM, SHANGHAI – JEAN NOUVEL

The Start Museum in Shanghai is an adaptive reuse project of a 20th-century warehouse of Nanpu Railway Station. The project retains the old railway tracks and two carriages as part of the museum, along with the personal art collection of famous curator He Juxing. The building also consists of a cafe, restaurant, and a library. 

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image 1_©http://www.jeannouvel.com

2. INNOVATION SQUARE, FLORIDA – PETER BUSBY

Innovation Square is an urban development project that thrives on the entrepreneurial energy of the University of Florida. The square is a walkable district for the university that aims to build a community based on research and know

ledge. The space has multiple green pockets, creating a pedestrian-oriented streetscape. The Ninth Street is a zone in the square that utilizes stormwater management and is also one of the most massive gathering spots in the city. 

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image 2_©https://perkinswill.com/project

3. WHITTLE SCHOOL, WASHINGTON D.C. – RENZO PIANO

Focused around a glass-enclosed courtyard, this school conceptualizes “School in a park” with great importance given to green spaces although situated in an urban landscape. The project brings this new function to the former headquarters of Intelsat designed by John Andrews in the 1980s. The existing structure is known for successfully implementing sustainable design, thus retaining the exterior structure of the building with minimal additions. 

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image 3_©https://www.whittleschool.org

4. THE HARMONY HILLS, RAJASTHAN – YATIN PANDYA

The design of the housing project for the Bichhuvada village in Rajasthan has an organic approach by not disrupting the contours of the existing site. The structure is climatically responsive and built facing the beach. Multiple layers of open terraces and spillovers project the majestic view of the beach and the green landscape of the village. 

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image 4_©https://footprintsearth.com/projects/housing

5. SNOWDON AVIARY REFURBISHMENT, LONDON – NORMAN FOSTER

Constructed in 1965 by architect Cedric Price, The Snowdon Aviary in ZSL London Zoo is one of the most popular locations in the zoo. More than fifty years old with a need for serious repair, the society proposes a plan for refurbishment that maximizes public interaction through community learning space. Primate enclosures with vertical supports of varying heights replicating the natural habitat are added features to the aviary. 

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image 5_©https://www.fosterandpartners.com

6. ELEPHANT REHABILITATION CENTRE, TRIVANDRUM – G SHANKAR 

The proposed renovation of the rehabilitation center in Kottoor, Trivandrum aims to provide a natural habitat free of any encasement. The area also includes an elephant viewpoint with a large bathing area, a veterinary clinic, and an elephant natural history museum with awareness and training classes. Recycle of elephant dung, biogas plant, and other waste management measures focus on a zero-waste environment for the elephants to roam freely along with a general beautification of the place. 

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image 6_©https://www.habitattechnologygroup.org

7. SOMA MASTERPLAN, BANGALORE – KEN YEANG

This upcoming project in Bangalore is an eco-master plan focusing on four sustainable approaches based on color schemes – Green (open spaces), Red (Human community), Grey (Clean technologies), and Blue (Water conservation). The arrangement of buildings is in harmony with easy access to basic amenities, based on Vastu Shastra principles. The passive building designs, vertical linear parks, and bioclimatic skyscrapers are some of the clean technologies used in the design. 

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image 7_©https://archnet.org

8. MOCKERNKIEZ CITY DISTRICT, BERLIN – ROLF DISCH

The Model project for Mockernkiez in Berlin aims to create a self-governed ecological city with the focus given on community living and human interaction. It is a collaborative project of five architects with architect Rolf Disch playing a significant role in its implementation, who is known for his contribution to solar architecture. The architects are also committed to developing fire-resistant planning for the city. The location of the city near Gleisdreieck Park makes it an ideal locus that branches to other parts of the district. 

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image 8_©http://www.rolfdisch.de

9. DELHI PUBLIC SCHOOL, DELHI – ASHOK B LALL

The well-known school is organic in terms of planning integrated by a raised walkway and a covered auditorium. It blends into the existing landscape on-site, creating an enriching experience as one enters the space. The building is air-conditioned through earth air tunnels installed beneath the playground. The pre-cooled air flows into every corner of the building through the under-seat ventilation system. 

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image 9_©https://www.ashokblallarchitects.com

10. AUSTRALIAN OPAL CENTRE – GLENN MURCUTT

The Opal center will become a global hub for research and training centers related to opal.

This project is climatically responsive to the semi-arid condition of Australia and provides a new model for a sustainable approach in such a climate. The structure has a self-sustaining power generation unit, a water recycling system, and waste management. The building also incorporates a passive cooling system and utilizes the earth’s thermal mass. The concrete used for construction reuses the excavated soil from the site. 

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image 10_©https://www.australiandesignreview.com

CONCLUSION

Architecture must adapt to its present site and aid in enhancing the environment. Sadly, many such projects continue to be conceptual as its implementation poses criticism of impracticality. Thus, breaking out of the framed box of building restrictions is a necessity in bringing out the best from the site. Modern architects must fight through not only the building restrictions on the place but also convince the importance of a building assisting in a better environment.

Gopika Pramod
Author

Gopika Pramod is an aspiring architect and writer whose thoughts are expressed as beautiful sketches in the readers' minds. She loves to bring a different perspective that is frequently seen but failed to observe and keeps her mind open to new ideas.

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