Thomas Schroepfer’s latest book titled “Dense + Green: Innovative Building Types for Sustainable Urban Architecture” (Birkhäuser 2016) was reviewed by Hwang Yu Ning, Director Land & Liveability, Singapore Prime Minister’s Office, in Better Cities Issue 64, April 2016:
In this magnificent new book, Dense + Green: Innovative Building Types for Sustainable Urban Architecture, Thomas Schröpfer, a professor at the Singapore University of Technology & Design, presents a comprehensive look at how ecological design is influencing building typologies. Dense + Green covers developments in Asia, Europe and the US. With a slate of well-respected experts, the book provides a good overview of current thinking at various levels.
The 304-page hardcover book is beautifully published by Birkhäuser. As a practitioner, I find the 25 in-depth international case studies, especially essays from Herbert Dreiseitl and Kees Christiaanse, very helpful in understanding how different strategies come together for successful dense and green developments. The case studies are well supported by informative building drawings and photographs as well as detailed write-ups about the strategies and green features to offer readers a richer appreciation of the featured developments.
The practice reports by Foster + Partners, MVRDV, WOHA, T.R. Hamzah & Yeang are another instructive element of the book. They provide interesting glimpses into the evolving design approach and strategies at these leading practices as they pursue the dense and green agenda. These reports further underline the diverse pathways that could be taken with each firm producing very distinct architecture.
The book ends with Professor Schröpfer’s essay on “Future Trajectories”, which he lays out on three levels – urban, architecture and ecology. His final sentence in the book particularly resonated with me: “We must ‘retool’ the profession to think of these problems as our own task, not of others, to shape a dense and green future for our urban environments.”
Please follow the link to download Better Cities Issue 64 and read the review.