While green building still stands as the architecture industry’s most pressing and popular sector, an up and coming industry facet – one that could be seen as a response to the same catalyst as the green building trend – is also making its mark on the mainstream realm.
Resilience planning is a growing sector in the architecture world. The past few years have seen the world faced with a barrage of natural disasters, from earthquakes to tsunamis, hurricanes and droughts, our natural environment is reactive and can wreak massive damage.
Whether these increased freak elemental forces are a result of climate change or otherwise, the loss of life, infrastructure and the built environment are too great for the global industry to ignore, with nations independently developing architecture that is durable in even the most extreme circumstances.
While Japan will always stand as a leader of earthquake resistant housing and skyscraper buildings that literally sway with the seismic action, industries in Turkey and the US have also shown their commitment to earthquake protection, with Turkey’s newly developed airport a testament to resistance design.
While such designs often focus on larger buildings, resilience architecture is now becoming relevant in even the most individual of developments – housing.
The US industry has been making strong steps toward developing housing concepts that cleverly protect owners from the elements.
One house in Los Angeles, designed by Fernando Herrera, takes the notion of basing form on function to a new level, using materialized ‘strands’ to make up the body of the structure that mimic the flow of the topography and how this resonates with the area’s seismic activity.
This kind of shape is an experiment in stability, with the flow of the contours – or strands – mimicking the land and acting as roots into the ground.
While this concept is certainly more left of centre than many other concepts and built structures, it does offer a new and creative spin on resilience planning, working with the natural elements rather than specifically against them.
This in itself shows the sophistication of the sector of resilience architecture, a sector that is ever-evolving.
Natural disasters are commonplace around the world. The key message coming from the most recent of resilience architecture projects is that working with the environment is far more progressive than working against it when endeavouring to create durable structures to withstand elemental extremes.
If that means swaying with natural forces, or creating deep roots that hunker into the ground, this ‘fighting fire with fire’ spin is certainly a positive and progressive direction for this growing sector.