nature-friendly sustainable architecture
Unfortunately, sustainability has become a marketing tool in architecture. A good building already covers the criteria for green building certification. A visionary architect with common sense starts to design a good architectural product and
sustainable design is the natural result of this product. I cannot imagine the concept of sustainability only as a field of architecture.
Sustainable architecture is meaningful only when all means affecting society, such as economy, culture, production, human rights and politics, are sustainable. It would be unfair to dissociate architects from these issues – we are the reflection of society. I think it is not right to see architecture as a mere object, a work of art by thinking everything else is just perfect. From this point of view, I am one of those who think that high quality architecture takes place in a sustainable life and it cannot be separated.
greatest challenges of sustainable design
I don’t think any architect will have difficulty in sustainable design. We have excellent consultants and material manufacturers who are experts in sustainability. However; as the architectural community, we are going through hard times and we always avoid talking about these problems and their solutions. Architecture publications and institutions tend to work on product-oriented content, rather than focusing on general problems and they consider everything from the perspective of visibility. Above all, I perceive concepts like “sustainability” or “green building” as an innocentlooking but insidious blanket covering the major issues. I can’t remember how many times I had answered and given interviews about sustainable architecture so far. At the end of the day, we have come to today’s situation since for years we kept discussing the sustainability of buildings rather than the sustainability of the architectural environment and the profession. I think the biggest problem is that the concept of sustainability keeps us in a comfort zone.
Even our architectural design decisions cannot be a matter of discussion anymore.
I think that the architectural publications have a big share because the questions
about sustainability are not specific, almost like they are drawn from a ready pool.
Publications need much more care, effort and time to prepare specific questions.
But this is, unfortunately, not possible within the current publishing environment,
which has become an extremely fast visual consumption environment because of the internet, cheap labor and low budgets. That is why we are constantly questioning whether our buildings have green certificates whereas nobody focuses on our architectural design decisions, the challenges we face and the problems we solve. The concept of “sustainable design” is an illusion that takes us away from reality.
main advances & future developments in sustainable design
As I mentioned earlier, there are many experienced experts and producers specialized in this field. Since we have been dealing with these issues for years, we are technologically independent than before. I believe that in the future, there will be buildings operated without almost zero energy. But this does not mean that our cities will become more livable. I do not think that good architecture and urban design will be produced with algorithms and certificates. I always believe that improved social values, human labor, and diligence will be required.
the future of nature-friendly architecture
I think “nature-friendly architecture” is one of the most dangerous, deceptive concepts. The most nature-friendly architecture is the one that is never built.
In my opinion, it is an illusion to try to produce naturefriendly architecture without creating a political and social environment that will allow us to build less and a new system of economic values that will enable the structures to last longer. Even if each floor of a building is full of trees and consumes zero energy, the existence of a skyscraper is totally against nature.
If we totally accept that it would not be possible to build a completely nature-friendly building, perhaps we can focus on these issues for the better. How can a building be designed with minimal harm? We need to raise this topic from that point of view. In this economic and social environment based on consumption, where the value of change is much higher than the value of use, I do not think that the future of the architecture will be nature-friendly enough.