Each year the World Architecture Festival hosts an inspiring exhibition that acts as a canvas for Architects to paint their vision upon. Last year the theme was ’50:50’, a look back at architecture of the past 50 years, and a look ahead to the future. This year it’s housing.
As climates change and the human populace continues to grow, housing is most definitely a worthy, if not needed, focus. The shortlisted projects approach with an exciting variety of concepts. From wooden skyscrapers, to starter studios for homeless Londoners, no brick is left unturned.
Some of the featured starchitects this year include Zaha Hadid Architects, BIG, Studio Gang and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
Included in this year’s ‘housing’ category is one of the last personal pieces from the late Zaha Hadid. Located in Singapore, the development is made up of twelve villas and seven residential towers. The towers ripple towards the sky with a wavy structure. This is because they taper inwards towards the ground to optimise public space, according to the firm in their submission. Rooftop pools as well as natural ventilation and crosswinds are used to counteract the tropical heat.
The judges selected several buildings from hot, tropical climates, due to their use of natural ventilation. Another shortlisted project is the 81-storey Vincom Landmark 81 (LM81) in Ho Chi Minh city.
Described by Atkins, the firm submitting the skyscraper, as “a bundle of square tubes that progressively diminish in number to offer the tower’s bold spire-like form.” It is soon to be the tallest built structure in Southeast Asia. Whilst skyscrapers don’t typically have the most sustainable reputation, the developers stand firmly beside this project as a feasible approach to the needs of the future.
The project offers relief to problems in more ways than one. On the top of these “square tubes” are rooftop gardens and swimming pools, adding natural regulation of temperature. Ian Milne, senior design director at Atkins argues that when coupled with efficient public transport, tall towers are a sustainable solution to the growing urban populations of Asia. It allows a large amount of people to be housed on a limited physical footprint. This combination in turn reduces car ownership significantly, reducing emissions of carbon.
An estimated 1,600 people will live in LM81, and thus the increased need for transport will be met by a new metro station as well as river taxis.
If the contents of the World Architecture Festival are anything to go by, then the future will be green and tall. Keep an eye out for more updates on the event, there’s an incredible range of projects that are well worth checking out.
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