Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ugh, that green building "standard" look....

Do you know what I'm talking about? You know, that standard look of a "green building?" It has clean lines, minimal accessories, and an obvious appearance of, well....being green! It's just opinion to say that this expanding style of architecture is "ugly" but I almost feel the urge to yell that it's true! For example, the building to the right is from a Korean architect firm named Mass Studies and it's main feature is the herb/flower garden that is planted on the facade of the building. It's intriguing at first, but after looking at it for a while I just find it awkward and ugly.

I don't think that a green building should necessarily yell "HEY, I'M A GREEN BUILDING!" to an extreme literal sense, like the fashion retail store to the left that looks like something out of Jumanji. I don't think that "green" should become a new style, but rather an incorporation into what already exists. Don't get me wrong, I think very modern architecture is intriguing and can be very beautiful and welcoming, but it's starting to become extreme. Style is an opinion, and not everyone has the same opinion, which goes without saying that everyone isn't going to like modern architecture. Architects nowadays are changing the way they think and build. Green building is on the rise, and eventually it is all we will be building. I'm hoping that one day, new codes will come into place that will require a building to meet a minimal LEED point value to even be built. But in order to do that, we need to learn to build "green" without appearing "green."

An example of what i'm talking about is to the bottom right. This is the new dormatory at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. This building looks very typical: no fancy windows or grass growing on the walls or stagnant building appearance, but this building is actually the second building on the college's campus to have a Gold LEED certification, meaning that the building has reached eco-friendly benchmarks such as energy and water conservation, reduction of green house gas emissions, and waste that is sent to landfills....but you would never guess. I find this building to not be the most attractive building, but it also doesn't scream "HEY LOOK AT ME, I'M GREEN!!!!"

The point I'm trying to make is that the label of "green building" needs to die out at some point. I AM NOT saying we need to stop green building, what I'm saying is that architects need to incorporate it into whatever type of building they are constructing. The flaunting and bragging of having a LEED certified building is going to get old at some point because there will be too many of them to care. I do think that every new building should strive to be built as a LEED certified one, but I also know that the circumstances, economy, and resources make that goal seemingly out of reach....right now. President Barack Obama is making strides to turn our country into a "green" one, and it has taken way too long. One thing he does fail to mention is that not only will turning our country green provide more jobs, turning our buildings green will provide even more. Major points towards a LEED certified building are won by using materials that are manufactured and made within a certain distance of the building site, which means that more business' and jobs could be made by making our building construction materials in America. More jobs would be needed for the installation of solar panels, water recycling systems, energy efficient circuitry, and much much more. Architecture has taken a sharp turn, and it is a very powerful and well-needed turn too. Now we just need to put our foot on the throttle.

In response to: "The Bad News About Green Architecture" by Cathleen McGuigan of Newsweek

1 comment:

  1. "normalflauge" aside, I actually prefer the look of the first building pictured.