Main Architecture and design Architecture Goes the Whole Way

Architecture Goes the Whole Way

Architecture Goes the Whole Way

What features nowadays architecture of highrise buildings? What are the trends of its further development? On these and other questions of Tall Buildings magazine answered Carlos R. Gomez - the architect whose projects are characterized by bold unexpected solutions.

Mr. Gomez, what are the main trends in the development of modern architecture?

In recent years many architectural projects derived from parametric calculation are appearing. The trends are caused by technology, but behind the technology must always have a brain that conceived them. Projects that are based simply on “beautiful Computer Generated Images (CGI)” without a firm foundation behind, they are doomed to failure.

In relation to landscape architecture, to what extent should the concept of the future building be depended on the characteristics of national architecture and location?

Future projects, both architecture and landscaping, should be adapted to local needs and requirements where they are to be built using appropriate materials and construction systems on each location. We cannot continue building in the same way or with the same materials in geographical and climatically opposed locations. The age when the air conditioning and heating could fill gaps in our buildings’ deficiencies is over.

In your Bamboo Skyscraper project, which was a finalist of the World Architecture Festival 2015 in the category “Architecture of the Future” is presented a method of using diagrid hyperboloid structure, which was invented by Russian architect V.G. Shukhov and patented in Russia in 1896. Is it possible in this case to say that “everything new - is well forgotten old”? What do you think, what kind of construction innovations may we face ahead?

As you know, Barcelona is the city where I was born, and where Gaudi had his greatest works. Talking about hyperboloid structures, Gaudi and Shukhov carried out similar experiments practically simultaneously, but independently, and in my case the Catalan architect was my inspiration. The new becomes old quickly, because the trends set by technology and imposed by market’s supply and demand. That is the reason why the answer to your question, to me is very simple: Nature. We have the best example to our fingertips in daily life. Nature should be the point of inspiration to create projects that will govern the future of the construction and innovation that has to perform it.

In your opinion, is sustainability is the main trend in architecture of the future?

In my opinion, the wrongly called ecology or sustainability, should not be a trend in the future of architecture, but should be a necessity and an obligation, if we want to continue living on this wonderful planet.

Your Bamboo Skyscraper project is multifunctional and includes residential area, offices and public spaces. That implies accommodation a large number of people in the building at the same time. Thus there is need for a large number of parking spaces. How do you solve this problem?

Why should we always go anywhere by car? Since the advent of the automobile in the early s. XX and its expansion to the current way of life, we have experienced that the evolution of cities has become a chaos, due to the skyrocketing number of cars. In the future’s metropolis there should be alternative modes of transport capable of absorbing the individual needs of people and the common needs of all citizens. If we fail to evolve in that sense, life in the cities is nothing short of unbearable. Living since China 3 years ago, we as a foreigners must be removed in order to drive back the driving license, so I decided that the best option was to take a taxi, metro and bicycle. And I can assure you that I am much happier with a car, I spend a lot less money, and going to the same places.

Architects who design skyscrapers point out such a negative factor affecting contemporary projects as delays in construction process. As a result a building becomes out of date before its construction is over. Have you experienced such a problem with your projects? If so, how did you manage to overcome it?

Delays in the process of building a skyscraper are almost inevitable due to many factors. Mainly due to circumstances that cannot be controlled by the architect or the construction project manager. While it is true that in recent years have been greatly improved in time and economic terms, due to the use of BIM in the process of architectural projects, the only way to control these deviations, is the industrialization and prefabrication of the building in a factory workshop, before being put on site. That was one of the reasons to design our “Containscraper”, in order to reduce time and cost of its execution.

Your concept shows maximum use of the building footprint. You have also solved the problem of insolation of the premises that will definitely improve quality of people’s lives. It seems that the construction of such a dominant implies further development of the infrastructure of the surrounding area. What do you think?

Can you imagine a tree without roots? It could not stand or feed itself. That is precisely what happens to a skyscraper without an infrastructure that supports it. The construction of large buildings must always be accompanied by investments in infrastructure to feed those giants designed by man. India is at this time in their economic and constructive turmoil, and so the Indian government should increase the investment in infrastructure.

What was the main idea of this project?

This project has had a lot of media attention due to the controversial nature of its social character. We have received much praise but also a lot of criticism for it. We accept those critics and we use them to improve our work. The main idea is as a whole, provide more quality of life to people who are in that impoverished area of Mumbai. Increasing the size of the apartments; significantly increasing the public space in the future will enjoy, which is currently none; improving the quality of the air they breathe due to the greater height of the building; or maximize the views in every direction around it; always trying to keep the particular way of life of its inhabitants.

Construction of social housing is always associated with some financial limitations that are often reflected in the exterior of the building. How do you solve this problem? What were the architectural, engineering and design frills you had to sacrifice to meet the budget?

Your statement is true. The construction of social housing is always associated with economic limitations, and often what first cuts in those budgets is the design of the building, giving priority to its functionality. In our case, the design of the building is given by the modular construction system offered by the shipping containers. The lower cost of them allows us to not have to sacrifice these “frills” that you mention, but has let us to include other engineering elements that will improve the lives of its inhabitants, such as recycling water or the inclusion of renewable energy for their consumption.

Your Containerskyscraper looks like a twister-tower. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of skyscrapers?

Our Constainscraper is not a twister-tower. The containers are rotated in their position, changing it on their immediate superior and inferior. Our building’ silhouette starts with circular base that evolves to become a rectangle at the top, but does not rotate. This is the reason why our project is also cheaper. We use the versatility of shipping containers to rotate between them, giving the appearance of dynamism to the facade, which in turn allows us to “individualize” each of the housing units, while maintaining the rigidity and economy of a standard structure, giving as a result in a reduction of construction time.

What do you think about the architecture of Russian skyscrapers, in particular, located at the territory of MIBC Moscow City? Which one do you like best?

Probably one of the greatest desires of an architect is to do a great work in his birthplace, in this case for me is Barcelona. Although if I had the honor of building in a metropolis like Moscow or New York, it would be a dream come true. The project’s long to realize there is probably not yet conceptualized, since I’m always challenging myself to improve and take another step towards the perfection that does not exist.

Your architectural projects amaze by their ingenious design. Have you ever think to try yourself in design of travel accessories or clothing design?

I’ve always felt attracted by the industrial design, and more since the 3D printers exist, which allow you to realize the most incredible models. Yes, one of my pending themes is to enter the world of nonarchitectural design.

What advice would you give to young architects who would like to become the architects of your level?

They should become daydreamers. Working with passion and dedication. In the world of architecture not worth half measures. They should take a path and follow it steadily to its end, without fear of being wrong. Who makes no mistakes does not learn, and therefore does not improve.

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