Should architecture compromise with nature at end?

Blog11       Yujia Fangimg_6959

This Monday, I went to the Lecture” Recalibrating Zero” presented by Annette Fierro, Architect & Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She is talking about today’s architectural projects go “zeroing” and become sustainable. She brought the line” Architecture should be secondary to the landscape, to the nature” Which is surprised me. Indeed, we are planting more and more trees around our architecture projects in order to improve the environment and increase the green areas. In my opinion, architecture and landscape should always be working together instead of being secondary to each other. She presented her project in the end. As the picture shows, those black dots are trees and circles around them are roots of them. The propose of the project is to build a living space without hurting the roots of trees. This project fit her concept that architecture serves nature. However, I believe there are more problems we need to deal with since it’s in forest and the weather is moisture and hot sometime. We need to have tubes for water come in and may be underground to control ventilations and temperature of the room. Those tube may eventually hurt the roots too. More importantly, we can not get rid of those otherwise we are building a unsuitable place for people to come in then it’s meaningless as an architecture. In the other side, if we do make it become a comfortable space to stay, it may be harm to the forest environment. I think we should separate architectures from landscape. Trees need to be together close to grow stronger and faster because they need to compete for sunlight. Architecture need to be useful first so that it can be cooperate with those other components. I will say maybe we should let nature and architecture having their own spaces but not too far from each other. So they can have their own development and also benefits each other in larger picture.


One comment

  1. Week 13 Blog Post – Jingbo Huang

    I didn’t go to the guest lecture on Monday, but I think Annette Fierro’s idea of architecture serving landscape is surprising and interesting. I agree with her opinion of architecture being secondary to landscape and nature, but I think her example project is a little too extreme. I believe, to be truly sustainable and green, switching to a more complex design in order to protect a little surrounding environment is not worthy,and does not help the environment that much.
    Architecture is built for human’s shelter to ensure our safety, and furthermore comfort and well functioning. In her project she intentionally design the building to avoid hurting tree’s root, which is very understandable from the aspect of protecting nature, but what she does might causing problems or difficulties on comfort and function. In this case, a more complex design requires designers to reorganize the programs in the building because the form changes. The form of building is being restricted by the surrounding roots, and programs in the building have to be rearranged in order to be perfectly put into the building and function well. Designer may sacrifice certain comfort to make sure programs fit in. Furthermore, a more complex design consuming more energy and material to complete is a question for us to think about, does it worth it?
    There are ways to make sure architecture has less and limited impact on surrounding environment other than simply change the form of it. From building material innovation and selection, to reduction of pollution and waste and even balance the waste and gain. In the long run, saving energy and natural resources is more effective than saving several trees on site. Plus, it is always possible to carefully move the trees away and replant them. Even though it might cause some death of trees, but it maximally saves nature as a whole.

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