Sustainability in Development
MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong, has revealed its design for ‘Courtyard Kindergarten’ in Beijing. Located on the site of a traditional siheyuan courtyard that dates back to 1725, MAD’s scheme includes a new building that not only protects the existing buildings but also restores them for use. The design features a dynamic floating roof that surrounds the historical courtyard. While preserving the cultural heritage of the site, it forms a multi-layered urban narrative, where old and new coexist.
Margot Krasojevic has designed a medical cannabis farm for both rural and urban agricultural programmes. In light of Spain recently becoming an advocate for the use and distribution of medical marijuana, this project is part of the initiative to use architecture as a tool for this legal transition, as well as addressing necessarily relevant growth conditions. As with all her work, this project embraces sustainability as part of the environmental growth considerations, using carbon-negative materials, native of the hemp plants surrounding the building.
The new home for Shenzhen Energy Company looks different because it performs differently; the building skin is developed to maximise the sustainable performance and workplace comfort in the local subtropical climate of China’s tech and innovation hub in Shenzhen.
The imposing heights and traditional industrial aesthetic of King’s Cross’ reborn Gasholders grant me with a heart-warming sense of nostalgia as I work through this month’s issue of FC&A. I distinctly recall passing these once obsolete grand edifices on frequent occasions as a young child – their shells intimidating and ungracious in my architecturally-fresh eyes. Today, however, I can appreciate the city’s intrinsic connection to its industrial heritage and the golden age of craft – and interpret these ‘eyesores’ in a modified, more graceful light. The restoration of our historical architecture is vitally important, and re-purposing old period structures for new employment has never been more vital – particularly in the wake of the UK’s largely-documented housing shortage. WilkinsonEyre’s salvation and transformation of King’s Cross’ industrial landmark has done just that; sensitively amalgamated the historical architecture I recall from back in the ‘90s whilst coinciding with Britain’s housing crisis.
Sited in southwestern France, near the Pyrenees, the city of Toulouse is steeped in history with 16th- and 19th-century structures, Gothic churches and Medieval villages. Known as France’s fourth-largest city after Paris, Lyon and Marseille, the ‘pink city’ – as Toulouse is informally known, due to its abundance of terracotta-bricked buildings – has it all; the pleasant, picturesque towns and villages, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a university dating back to 1229. One thing that remained missing, however, is a modern-day, sky-reaching tower that rises above the historical streets of the city looking out across the charming panorama of the Pyrenees. Thanks to American-Polish Architect, Daniel Libeskind, this is set to change with the addition of a curvaceous design enshrouded in flora, known as the Occitanie Tower.