Architect’s egos are deflated as clients have dropped off the cliff with the current financial crisis. Many are staring at possible redundancy. Huge housing projects are being cancelled.
All is not doom and gloom however if the winners at this year’s Emerging Architecture Awards are anything to go by. The winners for the Houses catergory were Anna Heringer with BASEhabitat, Brac University and Dipshikha; see their project outline here (pdf).
You will see this entry comprises three individual homes created by the HOMEmade project, and a mixed-use education facility (the DESI building), all of which use local materials, labour and aspiration. Mud and bamboo are the local materials, available at minimal cost, neither involving energy-expensive manufacturing processes. The buildings are two-storey, a 100 per cent intensification of site use, minimising the amount of land currently being taken out of agricultural production.
Energy needs are met 100 per cent by use of solar panels, with warm water provided via a solar thermal heating system. The combination of very basic building methods and modes of technology is intended to act as a guide to other communities in this densely populated country: double the size of your homes in a way that does not impinge on agricultural land, and which sits lightly on the planet.
Anna Heringer’s website is here.
BASEhabitat (Austria) have an interesting website too. They concentrate on architecture in developing countries. Their remit;
BASEhabitat wish to reduce the contradictions: between basic needs and aesthetics, between ecology and the economy, between prosperity and poverty, and between usefulness and poetry.Today we can erect buildings in which no outside energy is needed to provide a pleasant internal climate, buildings that use the resources of their location rather than destroying them, that enrich the environment and offer people new challenges and new work.
This post looks at just one of the Emerging Architecture Awards winners. Have a look at some more for inspiration.