Ecogram: The Sustainability Question

OCT. 19th-25th, 2008
The Sustainability Question
at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation
Dean: Marc Wigley
Faculty: Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D. &
Ioanna Theocharopoulou, Ph.D.

Benjamin Prosky, Director of Special Events
Melissa Cowley Wolf, Associate Director, Alumni Relations
more TBA: www.ecogram.org

X-OLOGY Magazine: Fab Tree Hab

"Going Green - Tree houses are branching out".
by Jane Gleeson,
X-ology, p.19, Winter 2008.


Riva Ring 2023

A design for Riva – like that of any city – must harmonize desire, context, and
constraint. Physically, the site is blessed by its dramatic proximity to the Black
Sea, by rolling hills, by a sinuous river, by green fields and forests, by intimate
beaches, by an existing town of intimate informality, by a protected forest buffer,
and by its easy proximity to Istanbul.
It is, however, challenged by salt winds, demanding topography, by the risk of
becoming a mere commuter dormitory, by existing plans and infrastructures, and
by a pattern of land holdings and regulations that demand what may be a too even
distribution of building across the site. Riva is no tabula rasa and our approach is
shaped by a set of prior decisions we might not have made. For example, were
there an effective way of consolidating and transferring development rights, it
would be possible to create a much more compact city, one less challenged by
low densities and sprawl.


The Masdar Competition

The MASDAR Biome is
both a revolutionary and an evolutionary structure intended to embody the best available practices for both sustainability and sociability. Like the new city in which it sits, the MASDAR Biome will be a visual and functional landmark on the pathway to a rational planetary future. We strongly believe that this future must penetrate every aspect of city building, that the ecological perspective has long taught us that natural systems are complex, distributed, and dynamic. We hope that this project, in this remarkable city, will play its role not simply within the perimeter of its own property but as a key actor for the city as a whole and for the new cities its construction so dramatically portends.
As we illustrate in our submission, our proposal will embody and expand upon virtually all of the suggested technologies laid out in the project brief. Understanding that sustainability must be achieved on both supply and demand sides of the equation, we have worked closely with our engineers not simply to assure the lowest energy (actual and embodied), water, waste, emissions and air quality, toxicity, and life-cycle cost, via consumption or production. And, we have sought to achieve this with a maximum emphasis on the most passive available systems. Throughout, we have utilized these technologies not simply as the means to technical solutions to environmental projects but as a way of foregrounding the importance of the people – and the needs of their human bodies – who will occupy this space.



Telegraph UK highlights the Fab Tree Hab

Ideal Home Show: Why tomorrow never came Chris Stevens, Telegraph.co.uk, March 8, 2008. "Days of future passed: Predictions that stil have potential Grow your own buildings MIT architect Mitchell Joachim has been working on a building called the Fab Tree Hab, which is constructed out of living trees. These trees are physically bound together to form a solid structure. The next step would be to genetically engineer a tree to grow in the shape of a house. The tree would form walls and floors as it matured, and grow a new extension every year." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/main.jhtml?xml=/property/2008/03/08/ptomorrow108.xml