Ecological structures have evolved to where they are today based on our understanding of construction materials and technological growth. This type of sustainable architecture is as of recently becoming widely accepted within the world of design and engineering. The design principles of ecological structures have undergone great transformation in a short time both conceptually and physically. To illustrate this point, I’ve chosen five strong examples of sustainable ecological structures from the late 1800’s to the early 2000’s. These particular examples are a small sample of the many to be found, but are some of the most interesting pieces in my opinion. The way sustainable design is illustrated through these photos explores the many possibilities these ecological structures can provide.
5 Green Metamorphic Designs
1. Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, 1893 (Lord & Burnham)
This botanical garden is green is more ways than one. Silver LEED certified, it’s known as the most “energy-efficient conservatory in the world”.
2. Villa Savoye, 1930 (Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret)
A rooftop garden is just one of 5 points of architecture Le Corbusier encouraged throughout his life. Many may think that rooftop gardens are a recent or new trend, but this idea has been around since the 20’s, and Le Corbusier was the concept’s forefather.
3. Thumb House, 1972 (Mike Reynolds)
This was Reynolds’ first “Earthship” ecological structure that started him on his Biotecture journey. This Thumb House was made from recycled and natural materials, like reused beer cans and plastics.
4. Masdar City, 2006 (Norman Foster + Partners)
Foster + Partners have always incorporated sustainable thinking into their designs. However, this eco-city which holds many similar principles as Arcology, is a far better example of their efforts in this area.
5. Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2010 (Shigeru Ban)
This beautifully majestic art museum holds sustainable ecological design principles such as vegetative roofs and solar panels. The Centre is known for its large and unique roof structure, one of the most complex roof designs ever created.
Although dramatically different in design, these structures represent a movement that continues to develop into more than just a concept to consider.