Green Awards Edition | Winning Projects and Designs from FuturArc Prize 2013 and FuturArc Green Leadership Award 2013.
What is a productive urban landscape? That was the question asked in the brief of this year’s FuturArc Prize. The answer is in part food grown within the city. And by extension this concerns related questions of waste handling, energy and water sourcing. The winning entries tell us that there is another layer of possibilities. The two first prize winners—one reimagines Yogyakarta, the other, Bandung—seek to restore urban networks, typically waterways. Both offer city-dwellers new public space and livelihood opportunities. In light of this, we’ve created our Green Awards issue cover to imagine how Ho Chi Minh City would look like if it were a productive landscape.
Winners of the FuturArc Green Leadership Award—the other competition we run each year—make up the bulk of the featured projects in this issue. Here too, there are emerging ideas. The house at 30 Jalan Rukam is a mesh of greenery and architecture; it’s hard to tell which ends where. Rarely has a small residential development become a draw for biodiversity: bats, butterflies, birds. The CIC Zero Carbon Building is a technical feat with the latest in systems thinking. True, it is meant primarily to be a showcase of know-how, but it also offers a new urban space for the people of Hong Kong. Competition results and winning panels can be found here.
In the FuturArc Interview , Sanjay Prakash, an Indian architect known for his environmental stance, mentions that in the globalised world we inhabit, we have forgotten to design spaces for people. The profession of architecture has been reduced to building construction. The second FuturArc interviewee, Kevin Mark Low from Malaysia, laments the loss of a certain something in the design profession: a genuine insight into the human condition. Both seem to suggest that finding this missing sensibility is a pre-condition for sustainable development.
They are right, of course. The projects in the Main Feature (Small Projects, Big Impacts) speak volumes for how community placemaking can be good for people and planet. And while the majority of entries to the FuturArc competitions describe the struggle between humanistic aspirations and technical ambitions, the winners tell us that there need not be a conflict. Done right, they reinforce and amplify each other.
For all these stories and more, visit www.futurarc.com. New subscription discounts are now available to BCI Asia Research Partners, FuturArc Collaborators and students. There is also a special 50% discount for 2-year subscriptions. Subscribe now and get a free copy of Architecture@ Yearbook.