arcVision 6 – Environment


Sustainable development, conceived as the search for a new and improved balance between civil society, the economy and the environment, stands out as a necessary priority ensuring economic development combined with a better quality of life.


Although the world is experiencing irrational turbulence, forget the anxieties more or less connected with the end of the millennium – the secular debate about nature’s domination over culture or vice versa involves the business world in first person. The company is a responsible entity, the main player in economic expansion which is the motor of so-called progress. This is a concept that can be found at the center of analysis and debate, in the search of a balance that will ensure “sustainable” development. The greenhouse effect, the hole in the ozone layer and the exploitation of resources have produced a wide and generalized level of conflict between producers and civil society. It is a quarrel that must be settled through the evolution of international regulations and “ecologically correct” behaviors. The very same industries today view environmental policies as a source of competitive advantages, radically modifying their previous attitudes. In the new planetary structure, with an increasingly mature society, the new concept of “corporate reputation” is growing stronger; a concept that includes immaterial components like civil and social responsibility, safety in the workplace and emotional appeal. These ingredients have by now become indispensable aspects of any company’s strategy. A new awareness of individual roles has spread through the largest companies as well. They have embraced the decisive importance of environmental management systems. Legislators, administrators and regulatory authorities have been called upon to commit to a unified and systematic effort to support companies on this challenging and demanding road. The European initiatives follow the strategic indications supplied by the Union, outlined by the Commission for the Environment through a program which is broken down into six key points: it is a scientific approach that assigns the research community a fundamental role.

No other discipline but architecture, with its natural sensitivity for interaction between man and environment, could have been more sensitive to and in tune with the new production and creation procedures. Production with low pollution levels, the usage of biotechnologies, and reduction of energy consumption are all conditions that must be considered necessary for construction, though they are not in and of themselves sufficient. We also need to defend and protect the psycho-physical well-being of man and the historical-architectural – not only the material – heritage to produce various types of architecture which can become “skies, clouds, hills, foliage, waves and vortices.” The uniqueness of the objective does not exclude the multiplicity of possible solutions, including the Fishing Museum in Karmøy, which is built as a cubist rock; the formal understatement of the Bo01 Expo in Malmö; the careful reading of the environmental conditions for the construction of the Al Jufrah Administrative Center in Libya; the material coherence of the plant for the production of drinking water in Joinville. And there is more – the contamination of languages amalgamated with the spirit of the site for the “Fabrica” communications center in Catena di Villorba; the highly sophisticated technologies of the Locarno aerial cable car station; the “urban sculpture” represented by the Moerenuma Park in Sapporo; the microcosm that reproduces the infinite universe of the underwater world in the Oceanarium in Lisbon.

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