Let me get two things straight: I believe that whatever we build has to be sustainable. I do not believe that architecture should be the province of the elite, either of taste or of money.
There has been a great deal of willful misreading and selective quoting of the arguments I have tried to set forward recently in response to editorials and articles produced by New Urbanists, neo-traditionalists, and those who think that environmental concerns should dominate not just how buildings work, but how they appear.
I believe that we have to create buildings that use minimal natural resources. I do not believe, however, that the path to sustainable architecture necessarily runs through the mitigation use of scarce resources in either construction or occupation by using gadgets or expensive variations on standard building technology to, for instance, store heat in walls.
I think that we rather, first, have to ask the question in all cases: Do we really need more buildings? The challenge to architects is to find ways in which they can use their skills and knowledge not just to produce buildings on demand, but to find ways in which they can contribute to a better (in a social sense, above all else) environment by finding ways to reuse existing buildings and materials, or perhaps to find solutions for companies, institutions, governments, or individuals that do not involve the construction of new space. Sometimes you don’t need a new building, just a better conception of who or what you are and how you function. This is the fundamental dilemma architects must face: How not to simply build, but to make our environmental and social situation better—and still get paid.
If a new building is absolutely necessary, it should be good. It should work well and answer all codes, but that is only the beginning point. It should use minimal amounts of energy both in construction and in use. It should offer spaces that do not imprison and pigeonhole us. It should enhance its site. It should be beautiful.
Read the Full Story HERE >>>> via What It Means to Make Good Architecture – Architect Magazine.