Editor's letter

Moving towards a circular economy

Carbon emissions are expected to increase by 2.7 percent in 2018, according to new research, published by the Global Carbon Project. With the entire future of the world in serious jeopardy, architects must move fast to contribute to the solution


Read on turning pages | Download PDF | sign up to CLAD

In the wake of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is warning that we have just 12 years to act in the face of global climate change to avoid catastrophe, the future of our planet has been a frequent topic of conversation in our house.

The other day, my 10-year-old son burst into tears and said he worries all the time about the future. I understand his fears; it’s easy to become overwhelmed in the face of the challenges ahead.

He’s not alone – the American Psychological Association has validated ‘eco-anxiety’ as a clinically legitimate diagnosis.

We’re approaching crisis point when it comes to the environment. Now is the time for us all to take serious action.

Architecture has a key role to play when it comes to averting climate catastrophe, as our built environment is one of the world’s biggest consumers of raw materials and a major producer of waste and carbon emissions.

To comfort my son, I told him that what gives me hope is the fact that every day I speak to people in the profession who are working to come up with real solutions.

I’m not talking about a token green roof or solar panels on an otherwise unsustainable building – because I see plenty of projects that are green in name only. I’m talking about people who are taking this issue seriously, and who are coming up with ingenious, practical ideas that will actually make a difference.

In this issue, I interview Kim Herforth Nielsen, founder of Danish architectural practice 3XN. Herforth Nielsen and his team established in-house green think tank GXN in 2000, with the aim of researching sustainable materials and building methods.

The team at GXN are particularly interested in the circular economy model, which sees buildings designed so that when they come to the end of their useful life, they can be dismantled and the materials which were used to construct them reused.

Arup has teamed up with GXN and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to produce First Steps towards a Circular Economy, a report exploring how circular economy principles can be translated into everyday practice.

Construction is underway on the 3XN-designed Quay Quarter Tower in Sydney, in collaboration with Arup. This project sees two thirds of the original tower retained, while materials from the demolished third are being reused in the new building. It’s great to see an example of circular economy principles being applied.

It’s time to move away from a make/use/dispose economy which too often sees building components ending up in landfill and to recognise that natural resources are finite, and we simply can’t continue to use them the way we have been.

Our planet is changing. Architecture must too.

company profile
Company profile: Polin Group
Market leader in design, manufacturing and installation of waterslides and water leisure developments.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Profile: Caroline Bos
"I like art that is against the mainstream, slightly off, with a twist"

UNStudio’s co-founder on the unexpected challenges of designing Australia’s tallest skyscraper

The restaurant features custom-designed furniture
Daniela Colli
"The alternation of light and shadow is essential to give dynamism to a space"

Italian architect Daniela Colli tells us how she looked to classical art for inspiration on how to deal with light and shadow in her latest project

Sustainable projects include the University of Washington’s Life Sciences building and the Philips Academy, Snyder Centre
Din has worked on a range of sustainability-focused projects
"It’s imperative the architecture profession takes a proactive approach to tackling the realities of climate change"

Perkins+Will’s new sustainability director

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
A giant bear watches over Aarhus’s harbour. The playground is part of Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s Dokk1 library project
Ole Barslund Nielsen founded Monstrum in 2003 with Christian Jensen. The two met when working in theatre scenography
"Failing and falling can be a good thing"

How his background in theatre set design inspired Ole Barslund Nielsen to create playgrounds with a difference

The curved, “voluptuous” structures were inspired by Hadid’s work
"I fell in love with Zaha Hadid"

Black Panther set designer Hannah Beachler

CLAD people: Vincent Callebaut
"It’s about tracing the evolution of thermal practices"

Eco architect Vincent Callebaut has won a competition to redesign ancient thermal baths in the Savoyard town of Aix-les-Bains, France

features
"The Norwegian coast inhabits such beauty"

The world’s most ambitious underwater buildings

The OPC features a range of community outdoor spaces
Van Valkenburgh studied landscape architecture and fine arts at Cornell University and the University of Illinois
"Building a park is the ultimate act of democracy"

The US landscape architect on why the Obamas are his kind of clients

Profile: John Rhodes
John Rhodes
"It’s about the celebration of people coming together. If you can manage that well, a venue can become very special"

HOK has been tasked with designing a truly flexible arena for Valencia. John Rhodes is up for the challenge

cladkit product news
Volvo partners with Reef Lab Designs to encourage ocean biodiversity
The tiles are made from marine-grade concrete and recycled plastic fibres
Lauren Heath-Jones
Car manufacturer Volvo has partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab to create an environmentally-friendly ...
Water inspires Zaha Hadid Design x Rosenthal collaboration
The collection consists of three smaller collections: Weave, Strip and Lapp. Weave was inspired by 'the fluid lines of Zaha Hadid's sketching hand'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal to create a new collection of vases. Called the Lapp collection, ...
Alusid's Sequel collection combines craftsmanship and sustainability says founder
The Sequel collection is billed as the 'most waste-efficient and sustainable' on the market
Lauren Heath-Jones
Alusid, a creator of eco-friendly surfaces, has partnered with Parkside to launch the Sequel range, the brand's first collection of ...
cladkit product news
David Rockwell partners with Jim Thompson for dream-inspired fabric collection
Rockwell has designed 12 multi-use fabrics inspired by dreams with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson
Lauren Heath-Jones
Renowned architect David Rockwell has created a collection of fabrics with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson. Called Dreams, the collection was ...
Mater partners with Ditzel family to create eco-friendly furniture using reclaimed plastic
The furniture uses plastic from recycled fishing nets
Lauren Heath-Jones
Mater, an ethical design brand based in Denmark, has launched a furniture collection made from plastic reclaimed from the ocean. ...
Baux creates plant-based acoustic panels
Baux has worked with scientists from the Royal Institute of Technology to create Baux Acoustic Pulp, a plant-derived acoustic solution
Lauren Heath-Jones
Baux, an acoustic products brand based in Sweden, has developed a line of biodegradable acoustic panels, using a plant-based material ...
cladkit product news
BD Barcelona Design reveals Cristallo by the late Alessandro Mendini
Cristallo was the last design from acclaimed designer and architect Alessandro Mendini
Lauren Heath-Jones
Design Studio BD Barcelona Design has released Cristallo, a limited-edition cabinet designed by the late architect and designer Alessandro Mendini, ...
Tom Dixon Studio to relaunch iconic Pylon chair
Pylon was first designed more than 20 years ago
Lauren Heath-Jones
Originally conceived in his metal workshop in the early 90's, the Pylon chair was Dixon's attempt to create the world's ...
Paul Kelley pushes 'technical boundaries' with modular furniture cube system
The system is designed to enable users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, where they are in complete control of the design and function of their furniture
Lauren Heath-Jones
British designer Paul Kelley has created a modular magnetic cube furniture system that enables users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, ...