This comprehensive text delves into the transformative journey of architecture. It examines the historical perception of buildings as static objects and evolves to discuss contemporary practices focusing on adaptability, sustainability, and reuse. Highlighting the urgent need for environmental consciousness in construction, it explores adaptive reuse approaches like infill, re-skin, re-program, and expansion. The piece also details the process and significance of retrofitting in enhancing building efficiency and sustainability, outlining steps like initial assessment, structural evaluation, and service enhancement. Emphasizing a paradigm shift towards buildings as dynamic platforms, it advocates for policies and standards that foster a more adaptable, circular built environment.
The circular economy is an industrial system that intentionally prioritizes the restoration and regeneration of the biosphere. The main goal is to eliminate waste by focusing on innovative business models emphasizing a more forward-looking approach to materials and product management. Bio-based materials fit within this alone, derived from renewable biological resources, such as plants, animals, and microorganisms. They can replace traditional ones in a wide range of applications, including packaging, textiles, consumer goods, and construction-related products.
The research project “Anatomy of Public Space: A Multidisciplinary Perspective” is a collaboration between Park Plus (the research unit of Park Associati), LAND Research Lab® (the research and innovation think tank of LAND Group), and Fondazione Transform Transport ETS (the non-profit research foundation launched by Systematica Srl). The project aims to study public space from the different perspectives of the three components of the working group (i.e., architecture, landscape, mobility) in order to present a multidimensional narrative of the role of public space in contemporary cities. The connection between the different components of public space and the human body is meant to define new perspectives with which to view public space through a multi-sectoral lens.
All processes of recovering raw materials from waste materials destined for end-of-life are configured as "urban mining." In this new view, waste generated by cities and urban environments is looked at as a valuable resource, aiming to use anthropogenic production rather than geological resources to meet the demands of the construction industry. Commonly, "mining" refers to the recovery of precious metals from "technological" waste. However, to date this term has been used more generally to refer to the recovery and monetization of any material from any waste stream, including construction and demolition waste. Our new project MI.C is one of the first building in Europe to implement an urban mining approach in its construction process: we will reuse part of the existing concrete to build the new structure and most of the existing façade to clad part of the interior spaces.
The “dry” garden arises in response to the need to adapt green spaces to new climatic conditions, such as extreme temperatures, wind and very rare but torrential rains, mainly due to climate change. The goal is to create a resilient and self-sufficient garden, with very occasional irrigation in the warmer months, leaving the rest to what the ecosystem offers. Climate change causes temperature rises, lengthening and shortening of growing seasons, less predictable rainfall patterns, and increasingly intense storms or periods of drought. The resilience of a dry garden allows you to create a landscape that supports future generations: its biodiversity is better prepared to survive the harsh climate.
Sixty years after biophilia was first defined as 'love for life' by the German psychoanalyst and writer Erich Fromm, and twenty years after the term was used by the American biologist Edward Wilson to indicate an empirical experience of deep communion with nature, we wonder, as designers, if it is possible to recreate a natural environment within our living spaces that reduces or even eliminates the gap between us and nature, thereby connecting us with our most authentic self.
Concrete: difficult to live with, but difficult to do without it. Although the result of a seemingly banal mixture of cement, water, and inert, this material has been the absolute protagonist of our building scene since remote times and has contributed, in part, to project us into the modern era. A large part of the adaptation strategy to the crisis imposed on us by climate change involves methods through which we will review our approach to the use of concrete, whose production cycle is among the most emissive in human industry.
The studio has always considered the facade as one of the expressive elements underlying its language. The envelope theme was investigated from multiple points of view. Park Plus has explored technical ideas relating to transparency and double skin, formal studies regarding the purely compositional and geometric approach to support projects in the competition phase, circular architecture concepts that linger more specifically on the theme of reuse and use less canonical materials such as, for example, recycled plastic, integration with the architectural elements of mobile devices to protect the internal environments, as well as absorbing surfaces towards solar facades.
The result of the research carried out by Park Associati with Bollinger+Grohmann on the wide and still partly unexplored potential of wood in present and future architecture.