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Meet the Dezeen Sustainability Shortlisters

September 29, 2021By Bethan Andrews

Discover the architects, designers and interior designers pioneering a greener approach to design

From inventing new techniques of design to developing innovative solutions on behalf of a global waste and sustainability issue, the Dezeen sustainability shortlisters make it to the list through their commitment to changing the future of our planet. The world’s most influential architecture and design magazine judges the entrants based on celebrating projects that make positive environmental and social contributions. Let’s take a look at some of those in the three new categories that have caught the judges (and our) eyes…

(sustainable interior)
Bermonds Locke, London

Bermonds Locke is a place that has arrived on the scene and stolen everyone’s hearts over the last year. The 143-bedroom Apartment Hotel, co-working space and restaurant was built in an old office block and is now incredibly popular due to its Instagram-friendly aesthetics, buzzy social scene and, as it happens, incredible sustainable foundations. Aiming to be a sustainable urban paradise, architect practice Holloway Li curated a living experience carved out of recycled construction site materials. Based on Californian desert design, they used upcycling and ​​concrete testing cubes destined for landfill to find new purpose in the beautiful building. According to Dezeen, ‘standard industrial processes were adopted to prolong the lifespan of materials, aiming to uncouple the space from the typical wasteful 5 year fit-out cycle.’

(sustainable interior)
Furniture Pavilion, Shanghai

Talk about innovative, the Furniture Pavilion in Shanghai is pushing the boundaries when it comes to designing temporary spaces. Focusing on how materials can be recycled for secondary use and how buildings, too, can be used in different ways time and time again, ROOI Design and Research have designed a fabulous solution for buildings that are needed in different ways at different times. Plywood has been used as it’s a brilliant material for secondary use, and the building has been designed to be easily assembled or disassembled on site within 48 hours. After the first exhibition in it, the entire building was cleverly transformed into 410 sets of tables and chairs for nearby communities.

(sustainable design)
Alive by The Living

A new vision for probiotic buildings, Alive by The Living means that we don’t just need to be getting our probiotics from yoghurt these days. Instead, as Dezeen tells us, this prototype ‘promotes human health by promoting diverse microbial communities through the calibration of light and air flow. It involves a room made of porous, organic material with both macro-spaces for humans and micro-spaces for microbes—and interfaces for exchanges among different species.’

(sustainable design)
Common Sands, Forite Tiles

We’re always keeping our eyes open for interesting and fashionable ideas in response to global calls. Electronic waste is a chronically under-discussed element of the sustainability fight, and something that needs to have a platform so that we can factor it into global solutions. It’s brilliant to see a pioneering solution to the problem with this nomination. Common Sands, Forite is a collection of recycled glass tiles made from the glass components found in discarded ovens and microwave ovens. Developed in a collaboration between Studio Plastique, Snøhetta and Fornace Brioni, the product is as a result of years of experimentation and is about creating sustainable, smart and refined architectural products from an abundant yet unexploited group of materials.

(sustainable building)
The Arc Green School, Bali

Green School Bali is an institution we’ve long looked up to, followed along with its journey and, now, we are so thrilled to see it’s new building, The Arc, being showcased on the Dezeen Sustainability Shortlist for Sustainable Building. The Green School is synonymous with pioneering education in sustainable design practices such as bamboo building and architecture. It’s fitting, then, that this bamboo structure is the first of its kind, a series of bamboo arches spanning 19 meters, interconnected by anticlastic gridshells which derive their strength from curving in two directions. Bamboo is one of the greenest construction materials out there and Dezeen have commended it as ‘a refined design with unparalleled beauty, which stands as a testament to Green School and IBUKU’s commitment to expanding horizons in sustainable architecture and design.’

(sustainable building)
ciAsa Aqua Bad Cortina, South Tyrol

This all-wooden high-alpine home in South Tyrol, next to the Dolomites, was built with sustainability its utmost priority. The three above-ground floors consist entirely of wood from the surrounding forests: the load-bearing structure made of spruce, the interior surfaces and the specially made furniture made of solid hand-planed stone pine. The facade is clad like a tenon with hand-split larch shingles. The concrete for the basement consists of dolomite rock from the stream flowing by, enriched with the hotel’s own thermal water. The aspect of sustainability and regionality is of great importance: local materials (no synthetic materials), processed by local craftsmen.



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