by Peter Buchanan
In the spring of 2000, The Architectural League of New York launched an exhibition, "Ten Shades of Green," with Peter Buchanan as curator. Its purpose was to showcase examples of sustainable buildings that demonstrate some or all of ten aspects of green design including low energy/ high performance, renewable sources, recycling, embodied energy, long life, connection to urban context, and occupant health and happiness. — Editor
One example in the Ten Shades of Green exhibition was the Jubilee Campus (1999) extension of the University of Nottingham, in the United Kingdom, designed by Hopkins Architects (formerly Michael Hopkins and Partners). The firm reclaimed industrial land in a project in which architecture and landscaping, sun and wind, and an ingenious environmental strategy work together to produce pleasant conditions for study and socializing.
The Jubilee Campus is a milestone in green architecture. It pioneers an innovative strategy, a combination of mechanical and wind-driven ventilation, as well as bringing together a wide range of other green strategies. Despite starting with an industrial "brownfield" site, the buildings are now embedded in verdant nature.
More than that, the landscaping, the architecture, and its environmental systems are intimately fused into a single formal and functional whole. The landscaping is an intrinsic part of the architectural environmental systems: it filters and cools the air approaching the buildings and even extends onto the roofs to improve insulation and prevent the build-up of reflected heat. It also purifies the water running off roofs, roads, and parking areas.
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This article is excerpted from Ten Shades of Green: Architecture and the Natural World by Peter Buchanan, with permission of the publisher, The Architectural League of New York.
Towers promote stack ventilation on the Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham, designed by Hopkins Architects.
Photo: Martine Hamilton Knight
Jubilee Campus in its urban context.
Photo: University of Nottingham
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