The Rise Of Sustainable Design

1365 Words6 Pages
Introduction Sustainability, today’s buzz word that has gained popularity as more people have become aware of its importance, can be seen in the designed sites that function in harmony with the landscape and natural systems. The rise of sustainable design can be contributed to the advocacy of environmentalism through organizations and increase of designers with environmental philosophies. Michael Manfredi and Marion Weiss are examples of such designers, bringing sustainable design to the public realm. Influenced by their social and cultural experiences, Weiss and Manfredi bring together the architectural and the natural. One of their best examples of this is Brooklyn’s Botanical Garden Visitor Center, which serves as “an interface between…show more content…
In figure 1 you can see the visitor center’s lines and shapes, which help guide the visitor from the street into the various sectors of the garden. Light is feature key to the site’s form. The visitor center’s many windows allow light to be important in creating its form. The large use windows also lessen the dependence on electricity use for artificial lighting, maximizing natural illumination. “The curved glass walls of the center’s gallery are a mediating surface between the building and the landscape” . The visitor center’s white color gives it a modern and sleek aesthetic. Another major component of the site is its asymmetry, adding to its sinuous organic form. The center’s spatial elements create a “nuanced progression of outdoor, indoor, and covered spaces” , which keeps a strong connection between the outdoors and indoors. The visitor center also contains recycled material and salvaged materials from the trees that were cut down for construction. These elements are key to the visitor center’s form and can be seen throughout Weiss and Manfredi’s designs. Today, the importance of sustainability has spread into design. This is apparent in the Botanical Garden’s visitor center. The center’s placement between the urban and natural landscape represents today’s new movement in sustainability, which no longer has the urban and the “natural” separated or merely juxtaposed but integrated into each other, coming from the concept of “rus in urbe”. The
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