Architecture has changed over the centuries – from ornate Greco-Roman pillars to clean minimalistic lines. The latest revolution has come in the form of futurist technology – buildings that make the most efficient use of natural resources, simply by being ‘smart’.
With good design, it is possible to create living spaces that give more than they take from the environment, through zero-carbon footprint and the optimal use of space and light. Here are a few buildings around the world which have got the equation right:
- The Edge, Amsterdam – Imagine an office that knows when you walk in its doors, and gets a desk for you – sitting, standing, meeting room or more – based on your schedule. It knows how bright and how cool you like your workplace and fixes it wherever you go. That, in a nutshell, is The Edge, also rated as the world’s greenest building.
- The New York Times Building, New York – It’s a 164-year-old newspaper, but its offices are an ode to the future. The New York Times’ headquarters is the first building in the United States to have a high-rise curtain wall with a “ceramic sunscreen” to reduce the need for artificial lighting.
- CapitaGreen, Singapore – How much of nature can you bring into a concrete building? CapitaGreen pushes this idea to its limits, with a façade that incorporates living plants and a windcatcher structure on the top that draws in cool air into the lower levels. And to top it all, its rooftop garden, pointedly named the ‘Sky Forest’, has over 40 different kinds of trees and shrubs.
- The Shard, London – Designed to look like it was ‘rising out of the Thames’, the Shard was designed with sustainability at its core. The 11,000 glass panels that make up the façade reduce heat from the sun by 95%, thereby drastically reducing the need for air conditioning.