Asian Eco-Forward Architectural Firms
These are some eco-forward architectural firms demonstrating their approach to sustainability and net-zero energy buildings.
Eco-minded architectural firms in Asia are leading the way through
their works of sustainable design and earth-friendly practices – WOHA, SERIE + MULTIPLY, VTN ARCHITECTS, NERI&HU DESIGN
Sustainable design in Asia may have lagged behind the Western countries during the last decade, but Asian architects and designers have certainly caught on to the green agenda since then. The green movement in Asia today is seeing a significant acceleration in sustainable design practices and the state of green building in Asia is looking brighter than ever. Doing their part to keep the planet liveable, more and more architectural and design firms all around Asia are tackling design projects with an emphasised focus on minimising the environmental impact through the use of renewable materials, passive design solutions, sustainable planning and contextually appropriate responses. These key heavy hitters are taking the green movement into their own hands, challenging the conventions of design and embracing innovation to pave the way in imagining sustainable cities of the future, one building at a time. Here are a handful of worthy Asian architectural firms who look to the future as a greener, more sustainable environment we need to pass on to the next generation.
A well-known name worldwide, Singapore-based WOHA and its work have become synonymous with green architecture. Founded by Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell in 1994, the firm has been filling the skylines of Singapore and beyond with buildings that look more like vertiginous gardens than typical glass-and-steel structures so common in urban environments.
While WOHA’s signature projects include Parkroyal on Pickering and Oasia Hotel Downtown in Singapore, the firm has been setting new benchmarks for sustainability regionally as well – most notably, with the recently completed Sky Green development in Taichung, Taiwan and the yet-to-be unveiled Singapore Pavilion for the Dubai 2020 World Expo.
SERIE + MULTIPLY, UK/SINGAPORE
The collaborative venture between London-based Serie Architecture and Singapore-based Multiply Architects has been a dream realised for the sustainability movement in Asia. The firms began their collaborative partnership in 2013, winning the competition for the Net-Zero Energy Building at the National University of Singapore School of Design & Environment.
The school, completed in late 2016, emphasises energy-efficient active and passive technologies and is Singapore’s first new-build net-zero energy building. Serie + Multiply has also recently completed Oasis Terraces – a mixed-use project with retail, health and communal amenities that integrates an abundance of green spaces, garden terraces and urban farming to create a social nexus for the neighbourhood.
VTN ARCHITECTS, VIETNAM
Faced with the problem of rapid urbanisation in its own country of Vietnam, VTN Architects aims to breathe green spaces into some of the world fastest-growing cities through its projects and design philosophy. Some of the firm’s most well-known projects to date include Breathing House in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City and Stepping Park House, both of which use passive design strategies and greenery to reduce energy consumption and reinvigorate their surrounds.
VTN Architects recently took home three Green Good Design 2019 awards from the European
Centre for Architecture, Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and Gold medal at Arcasia Award for Architectures 2019 for its “Castaway Island Resort” project.
SHIGERU BAN, JAPAN
Shigeru Ban is a pioneer in designing with easily available and affordable materials, most well known for his innovative work with paper tubes as a structural material. Having established Shigeru Ban Architects in 1985, Ban has worked with recyclable materials to redefine the relationship between nature and architecture, designing everything from private residences to corporate offices and museums.
His humanitarian work in building temporary shelters for disaster-struck areas, like the Cardboard Cathedral and Onagawa Container Temporary Housing, has been instrumental in global disaster relief efforts. In 2014, Ban received the highest architectural accolade for his work – the Pritzker Architecture Prize – that honoured his consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through architecture.
NERI&HU DESIGN AND RESEARCH OFFICE, TAIWAN
Having founded their eponymous design studio in 2004, Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu have been instrumental in expanding the idea of craft and craftsmanship in architecture and interior design in Asia and beyond.
With completed projects in Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and ongoing commissions in London, Stockholm and Cologne, Neri&Hu’s particular focus on sustainability, adapted re-use of existing buildings and learning from the past has led the firm to experiment and push the boundaries of sustainable design in projects like Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat and Suzhou Chapel.
“Sustainability is very important in our work. We have to leave this world a better place for our next generation,” says the design duo about the recurrent focus on mindful and sustainable design in their works. “Minimising wastage and insisting on quality so that things last longer is not only basic but essential.”
Read about other eco-friendly projects here.