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O’ Mighty Green : Greenwash

Greenwash Project – by STAR strategies + architecture

9 Jun 2011

O’ Mighty Green

STAR strategies + architecture

Sustainability currently shares many qualities with God; supreme concept, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; creator and judge, protector, and (…) saviour of the universe and the humanity. And, like God, it has millions of believers. Since we humans are relatively simpleminded and suspicious and need evidence before belief can become conviction, Green has come to represent sustainability; has become its incarnation in the human world. But sustainability, like God, might not have a form, nor a colour…

Eco-friendly Villa Savoya, Poissy – Le Corbusier, 1929:
O' Mighty Green

1. Emancipation
In a desperate attempt to give shape to an all-encompassing ideology the Green proves to work as the quickest and easiest representation of sustainability. The Green is the only symbol able to keep pace with today’s lack of patience and hunger for images; a Lady Gaga-Sustainability: effective, noticeable, creative, sensationalist. In a persistent effort to become the allegory of Sustainability, Green has been emancipated as its caricature.

Sustainable Concentration Camp Auschwitz I, 1940:
O' Mighty Green

2. Function
If the Iconic buildings simply needed to be iconic, the Green buildings simply need to be green. Green as a function. Green allows sustainability to be bought per m2, or to be painted on, or glued on. Sustainability is a Photoshop filter in CS6: Ctrl+Green.

Sustainable Cenotaph for Isaac Newton – Boullée, 1784:
O' Mighty Green

3. Style
Modernism, Postmodernism, Deconstructivism… We have now definitely entered Sustainabilism. Unlike in previous movements every architect can be a Sustainabilist: whether avant-garde, commercial, young, established… It can be even combined with other styles: Eco-Deconstructivism …
Architectural magazines and commercial brochures found a common language: the Green. Green is also the point on which the architect, the client, the developer, the politician, and the user agree. For the first time ever we have a genuine International Style.
-Green buildings can be Ducks or Decorated sheds, and there are some interesting cases of being both at the same time: the Decorated Ducks.
-Green should be added as the sixth principle to Le Corbusier’s five points, and as the fourth quality to Vitruvius’ triad: Venustas, Utilitas, Firmitas and Sustinebilitas
-The built … product of Sustainability is not sustainable architecture but Green. Green is what remains after Sustainability has run its course or, more precisely, what coagulates while Sustainability is in progress, its fallout… *Taken from Junkspace by R. Koolhaas
-Green is the new Black.

Berlin Eco-Wall, 1989:
O' Mighty Green

4. Religion
-Green works as faith. Saint Green will watch over the sustainable architects, and will guide them in the Green direction. -Green works as confession. The guiltier we feel, the greener we try. The green-looking is usually indirectly proportional to its sustainability achievements. Green has the capacity of reducing all that matters to one single problem, and one single solution: Green.
-Green is double-miraculous. As if trying to heal cancer with aspirins, Green is the phenomenal formula that turns sustainable everything that it touches. It can also hide graceless designs. Ugly Green buildings are more readily accepted than ugly buildings.

Environmentally Friendly Nuclear Power Plant, Dukovany:
O' Mighty Green

5. Ambiguity
But the Green also hides a perverse dimension… As in a David Lynch movie; everything appears to be calm and harmonious but there is something disturbing… rotting… The Green is the common lie, the secret consensus, the perfect crime; everybody knows that it cannot be that good, that it cannot be that easy, but why bother? It sells, and there is enough Green for everybody.

O’Mighty Green – STAR strategies + architecture, 2011 All images © STAR strategies + architecture, 2011

Team STAR strategies + architecture: Beatriz Ramo, Francesca Rizzetto with Milou Wijsbeck and Babak Jabery

STAR strategies + architecture : Profile on e-architect

STAR strategies + architecture

STAR is a practice dealing with architecture in all its forms. STAR strategies + architecture was founded by Beatriz Ramo (1979, Spain) in Rotterdam in 2006. STAR is interested in all topics directly or indirectly related to architecture, and works on projects and research of any scale in the fields of architecture, urbanism, and landscape design. Several awards in International Competitions for public buildings, housing, infrastructure, and urban planning in the Netherlands, China, Iceland, Lebanon, and Spain STAR have gained STAR international recognition. STAR remains continuously active in research and writings and is engaged academically to several schools and institutions in the Netherlands.

STAR believes that architectural thinking is stronger than even architecture itself.

STAR strategies + architecture

STAR strategies + architecture – Selected Projects

Mirador del Palmeral, Elche, Spain
Mirador del Palmeral
picture © STAR strategies + architecture

Mirador del Palmeral

The Re-Creation of the European City
Re-Creation of the European City
image © STAR strategies + architecture

The Re-Creation

House of Arts and Culture, Beirut, Lebanon
Lebanon Architecture Contest
picture © STAR strategies + architecture

House of Arts and Culture Beirut

Dutch Architect Office

Rotterdam Architect

Sustainable Architecture – Selection

Ecocities, London
London Eco Office
photo © Andy Spain

LEED System : View by Romi Sebastian. 12 Aug 2010

Sustainable Design : article by Trevor Tucker. 15 Sep 2009

Biomass : discussion by Alastair Kerr, Director General. 29 Mar 2010

Globalisation Architecture : article by Trevor Tucker. 8 Jun 2010

Sustainable Building Design : article by Trevor Tucker. 18 Aug 2009

Nature Architecture : article by Trevor Tucker. 15 Sep 2009

Sustainable Buildings : article by Adrian Welch. 12 Sep 2006

Comments / photos for the Greenwash Architecture page welcome

O’ Mighty Green