Designing buildings has become one of the most competitive areas in the field of architecture. People have grown the taste for advanced, new and unique buildings, possibly designed in the most unimaginable regions like flooded areas, earthquake places, hurricane-stricken places, the moon, or even in the sea. Investors and people seek for the best designs to begin their business or have their dream home. People interested in providing leisure activities always look out on the best architecture for maximum customer attraction. Every art and design of a building has its special and thrilling impact on people that make specific pieces of the work to stand out among other pieces presented at the same period. This essay aims at analyzing one of the best buildings designed in the year, giving reasons why it happens to be the best and how it contributes to architectural culture. It also provides a comparison of the building to two other great buildings presented at the same period.
The architect's journal (AJ) happens to be one of the best architectural journals around the globe, known for coming with big, beautiful, unique and standard buildings. AJ established 122 years ago in the United Kingdom, in the year 1896. It is run by the metropolis international company and is directed by Christine Murray. The journal aims at presenting the information on architectural work, presenting housing and building designs and establishes a connection between the theory and the art and design of buildings. Over the years, AJ has made continuous success through its talented building designers who bring out the new and best houses that impress many people (Dillon & Kane, 2017, n.p).
At East Anglia, archetype managed to finish the thatch-clad enterprise center, in July 2015 which managed to be among the buildings of the year in the UK. The building is among the unique creations designed around the globe. It is specially made with thatch cassettes, making it the greenest building on the planet. The architects show a completely new way of using thatch. The project applied cassette cladding as the new way of decorating and making the greater part of the overall material used to finish the building (Dillon & Kane, 2017).
The art involved incorporating both modern and traditional crafts work. The building was the first appealing success of the combination of the two construction methods, the ancient and modern. Local Joiners and Fox Joinery constructed the cassettes, while a talented group of people led by Stephen Letch, a master in thatching, helped in making the thatch cassettes to straws. Thatch is a traditional way of roofing, involving palm leaves, straw or reeds. It has been neglected for a while due to the upcoming modern longer lasting roofing methods. However, the building has done its best to show the beauty and elegance of thatch cassettes, which has made it stand out among the buildings finished within 2015/2016. The building enlightened the local thatch business people on the way forward to bring back the taste in traditional architecture like thatch cassettes (Aktas & Ozorhon, 2015, n.p).
70% of the building is made of bio-degradable material. Also, it consists of the super-airtight envelope with few plug loads. The roof has an area of 480m2 covered in photovoltaic arrays which contributes to about 44MWh of power every year. The building has low carbon count, predicted to be a quarter of a normally constructed building, which happens to be environmentally friendly (Aktas & Ozorhon, 2015, n.p).
The building has made great advancements in the field of architecture in various ways. For instance, it is a mark of the beginning of successful combination of the traditional and up to date construction methods. It will open great and new ideas in a way that does not leave the old building traditions behind, but instead improves them into something worthy and appealing to the new generation. The traditional ways were always environment-friendly as opposed to the modern ways (Watson, 2016, n.p).
The building happens to house the Adapt Low Carbon Group which looks for better ways to conserve the environment and reduce global warming. Global warming is one of the main problems affecting the whole planet today, and any invention working out for better environmental conditions is far much better than the modern non-biodegradable techniques. Architectural culture requires originality, will to uphold the traditions of the nation and other world cultures and the unity of humanity. Almost every ancient culture used thatch as a way to make their homes and houses at some point, which used to be good, manageable and environment-friendly. The building brought back the sense of traditional ways of housing, which creates a cool and less contaminated air environment (Shoubi, Shoubi, Bagchi & Barough, 2015, p.41-55).
Future construction projects look up to the building to make up their designs. The use of thatch cassettes is economical because the resources are readily available or can be planted. The resources are also renewable because more can get planted. The building has achieved the best environmental safety standards in a long time, almost achieving the BREEAM Outstanding and Passivhaus certification. Being a two-story building of a total of 3400 m2, it has the lowest count of carbon due to the carbon-negative thatch material which makes it so safe. Also, thatch is good at insulation and is good for rain screen protection (Macdonald, Normandin & Kindred, 2015, n.p). Upcoming buildings can adopt the thatch cladding. The architects were creative enough to use the cassettes to uphold the thatches on the sides and walls of the buildings. This technique was very special and applicable to any other building shortly. The cassettes get designed in a way to reinforce the thatches such that the builders can work from the inside, avoiding the risks involved in working at great heights. It also makes its necessary to work any form of weather because of the ability to work from within the building (Fedoruk, Cole, Robinson & Cayuela, 2015, p.750-763).
However, the structure faced some competition within the same year, 2015 from other well-designed buildings. For example, the Plymouth School of Creative Arts is one of the designs that posed a big competition to the thatch clad building. It is commonly known as the red house made for the younger generation of about 4-16 years to develop their artistic talents. The building was designed to reflect the societal value, federal standards and the educational standards of its purpose. Red house has the art of encouraging creativity and skills to flow within tutors and the children (Knight, 2018, n.p).
The values set by the school guided the design of the building, which was the creative part of the plan. The building reflects on the school values through the construction of three interlocking spaces that represent unique, clarity and legible learning atmosphere. The red house is a gateway to Plymouth and a great achievement to the local community (Essex & Ford, 2015).
Another building that was competitive to the thatch clad building was the city hall in Buenos Aires. The building is installed with terraced working floors, which are highly flexible. The creation represents the entire neighborhood of Parque Patricios (Lederman, 2015, p.47-67). The building is environmentally friendly and big enough to hold 1500working staff comfortably. The building has a glass entry that allows for natural lighting to the better part of the building. It is designed to offer good communication among office departments (Golden, 2017, n.p).
In conclusion, the rising population with enlightened minds increased advanced technology and big challenges. The world has many long-lived challenges that trigger young minds to come up with new architectural work that can withstand the uncontrollable environmental issues. Thatch housing input across the globe can reduce the cases of air pollution. Also, architects need to think wide to come up with houses that can withstand areas with strong winds, tsunamis, very cold or hot weather or and places on the planet. Art and design is the best field to grow talent and help solve many surrounding issues.
Fig. 1: A Picture of the Thatch Clad Building.
Aktas, B. and Ozorhon, B., 2015. Green building certification process of existing buildings in developing countries: Cases from Turkey. Journal of Management in Engineering, 31(6), p.05015002.
Essex, S.J. and Ford, P., 2015. Urban regeneration: thirty years of change on Plymouth's waterfront.
Dillon, M.B. and Kane, S.R., 2017. Estimating Fallout Building Attributes from Architectural Features and Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Building Descriptions (No. LLNL-TR-728739). Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA.
Fedoruk, L.E., Cole, R.J., Robinson, J.B. and Cayuela, A., 2015. Learning from failure: understanding the anticipated-achieved building energy performance gap. Building Research & Information, 43(6), pp.750-763.
Golden, E.M., 2017. Building from Tradition: Local Materials and Methods in Contemporary Architecture. Routledge.
Knight, H., 2018. The Impact of Arts Education Programmes on Anti-Racist School Practice in the South West of England (Doctoral dissertation, University of Plymouth).
Lederman, J., 2015. Urban fads and consensual fictions: Creative, sustainable, and competitive city policies in Buenos Aires. City & Community, 14(1), pp.47-67.
Macdonald, S., Normandin, K.C. and Kindred, B. eds., 2015. Conservation of modern architecture. Routledge.
Shoubi, M.V., Shoubi, M.V., Bagchi, A. and Barough, A.S., 2015. Reducing the operational energy demand in buildings using building information modeling tools and sustainability approaches. Ain Shams Engineering Journal, 6(1), pp.41-55.
Watson, G.B., 2016. Designing sustainable cities in the developing world. Routledge.
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