Archive for 'Editorials'
In countries where energy costs are high, buildings rely less on high-tech conditioning and more on simple features such as brise soleil to create natural shade. The Modernist gems of Sao Paulo show how climate response can be both inspirational and livable. Image: Ciccillo Matarazzo pavilion, Mark English Architects
A Tulane University geographer reframes the debate about the fate of below-sea-level New Orleans. “The city still has over 2,000 open lots all above sea level – a precious natural resource whose use we should prioritize for human occupancy. Filling in these pockets would also help mend the urban fabric that was torn by the population exodus ongoing since the 1960s. And we can do this without marginalizing low-lying neighborhoods.”
(Map courtesy Prof. Richard Campanella)
“When I visited New Orleans last fall, there was no way to prepare myself for the despair I felt when walking through the Lower 9th Ward, even 6 years after the storm. What was most dismaying was seeing ‘celebrity architecture’ masquerading as sustainable housing. A vacuum of leadership at every level has left the task of ‘salvation’ to celebrities … with projects that are an exercise of vanity over practicality.
What place does LEED certification have in a disaster recovery if it makes construction so costly that only a handful of homes get built? Whose intentions are really more important?”
– Mark English, AIA