December 11, 2020
by Laura Millan Lombraña
Spectacular technology breakthroughs, multiple trillions of euros in investment, and an economic overhaul won’t be enough to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050—it also will need a new look.
Bloomberg Green invited De Smedt, Casper Mork-Ulnes, and Koichi Takada, all architects are known for their focus on sustainability to perform an exercise of the imagination. The rules were simple: Pick a place in Europe, design a single-family home to suit that climate, and make it produce more energy than it uses. —With James Tarmy
Sunflower House, by Koichi Takada
“Modernism was based on a static style—a combination of steel, glass, and concrete that I call dead materials. What we are looking at in the 21st century is a shift from industrial to natural. It’s about celebrating the living material and living architecture.”
The Sunflower House, designed for the Italian region of Umbria, should withstand and profit from the warming Mediterranean climate, where heat waves are becoming more frequent and more extreme.
Each floor hosts a two- or three-bedroom apartment, and each building can be as high as three stories. Scalability opens up the possibility of creating a climate-positive neighborhood inspired by sunflower fields, in which the plants self-organize, adopting a zigzag pattern that avoids overcrowding and maximizes exposure to sunlight.
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