How do you feel about sustainability in design and architecture?
Andrea Vattovani: This is a subject that has recently become very common. I believe that in architecture as well as in every field of our life it has become extremely important to become sustainable. We consciously avoid the use of materials that are not consistent with our vision, whilst also pushing to build more greenly with our clients. Many of whom have independently begun to understand the scale of the issue.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of sustainable architecture?
AV: Well, the benefits are not always something you can appreciate straight away. It is more part of a philosophy that we must start to adopt. Considering the situation nowadays, especially global warming for example, which has never been as bad as this year, I think that we need to reconsider how we build.
Do you think that development of sustainability nowadays influences the creative part of designing the projects?
AV: Of course it affects it, especially as far as budget goes. Many times especially in smaller cities you cannot afford to build sustainably and also manage to have a certain freedom in materials and aesthetics. I think we need to improve the general quality of architecture anyway. Lately there have been a lot of constructions that are very depressing, basically big boxes. I believe it will have an influence on the psyche of people.
Which of your projects do you consider exemplify sustainable design?
AV: Well, one very simple example is the project we are working on in Beirut. Sustainability doesn’t always mean choosing intricate solutions. We created a design that relates to the architecture before the civil war as we saw how the older architecture in Beirut worked with the climate. So we decided to do a design that always creates shadows and never catches the sun, implementing the use of something very simple: curtains.
What in your opinion, does the future of sustainability in design and architecture look like?
AV: I think that the future will surprise us much more than we think. Right now, considering the current situation, we should maybe also focus on temporary catastrophe resistant constructions that are fast and efficient. I mean this generally, not only with architecture. We need to change a lot of habits on this planet and become more sustainable in all that we do.