An Architecture for the Common Good
The goal of Green is to create more responsible buildings. But a Green building, no matter how well intentioned, typically looks inwards within the boundaries of project site and building shell. The search for sustainable solutions, we now know, cannot be confined to the scale of standalone buildings. In Asia, these past decades, we have seen neighbourhoods and public space replaced by private enclaves. There has been a systemic degradation of parks, rivers and water bodies. These transformations affect the well-being of all citizens, especially those with less income.
The search for a sustainable Asia calls for a new way of seeing buildings and their relation to cities. Buildings are embedded within wider urban systems such as energy and water grids, biodiversity and habitat networks, public and social space. The health of each system is affected by every insertion, every new development. When systems are degraded, as a result of rampant or thoughtless development, the city and its inhabitants suffer.
But what if buildings – even ones that are privately owned or profit making – were designed to connect or repair the systems in which they are embedded? What if a shopping centre becomes a part of a biodiversity network? What if a condominium is also a community farm, shared by the neighbourhood? What if an office building is part of an urban flood protection system?
The question before us is ‘how’. How do we integrate architectural design and engineering with landscape design and urban planning? How do we create new social contracts between building owners and the community? How might governments craft policy so that all developers, even the ones who seek to make a quick profit, have an obligation to facilitate common good?
The goal of this competition is to craft a vision for a new kind of urban development, one that is generous, restorative and net-positive. Can each project – if it engages systems in a positive way – turn the Asian city around, restoring natural and social capital that has been eroded in recent decades?
Each entry shall make a case for how the proposal, through replicability, represents a strategic idea for a sustainable Asian city.
Site selection is at the entrant’s discretion and should be explained clearly in the submission.
Only sites in Asia or Australia will be accepted.