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Cradle to Cradle – CO2 Neutral – Plus Energy – Low Tech – Recycling


In 1961, the Berlin Wall was built and John F. Kennedy took office as President of the United States of America. Yuri Gagarin was the first man to fly into space. And in Munich, in the south of the Federal Republic of Germany, Detail was founded. For this very special issue celebrating the magazine’s 60th birthday, instead of a nostalgic retrospective we opted to take stock of the present and look to the future of architecture.

Our roadmap was provided by the pressing issue of climate protection and the earth’s dwindling resources. What strategies and concepts do ­architecture and the building industry possess to confront the ­climate emergency? We take a look at the circular economy in the construction industry, show specific solutions for lowering emissions, and discuss the CO2 footprint of buildings and their life cycles. These issues may not have been on the agenda of the Jet Age 60 years ago, but today there is no doubt that architecture and the building industry bear great responsibility for climate protection. With smart applications and concepts, they can make a vital contribution to this task for society as a whole. The future will be ­measured by the decisions made about each ­building today.

What is needed for true systemic change in the construction industry? The committed pioneers in our interviews make sober assessments, but also articulate their vision and demands for political action. “What can we do about the climate ­emergency?” we ask Michael Pawlyn of Architects Declare. Nora Sophie Griefahn from Cradle to Cradle (C2C) explains why we need to fundamentally rethink ­construction. Hermann Kaufmann considers the development of timber construction and its future. Anders Lendager, a pioneer of circular ­construction, focuses on the urban mines of the future. And Amandus Samsø Sattler of the German Sustain­able Building Council (DGNB) has clear ideas of how architecture can be approached in an entirely new way.

Countering the climate emergency requires immense effort on all our parts, and the course for this has not yet been set in architecture. But there are already some practical examples that anticipate the way of the future. For this issue, our editor Heide Wessely compiled exemplary projects for climate-friendly building. Regardless of their function, they share thoughtful design and sustainable construction methods, from office buildings built with single variety materials to low-tech architecture with reduced emissions. We also document compelling examples of Cradle to Cradle and Energy Plus concepts, which have been stringently implemented right down to the choice of materials and details.

Do climate-friendly buildings ultimately depend on the attitudes of builders and architects? This ­conclusion is confirmed by the South Tyrolean ­architect and industrial designer Matteo Thun in our portrait. For our special Interiors section, we also present the accomplished refurbishment of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Kaan Architecten drew on the historic 19th-century ­structure as a valuable resource for their interior redesign.

On the occasion of Detail’s birthday, we have received many warm messages from our readers, with many architects and designers among them. They too share their view of the future – as does Jan Wurm of Arup, who lays out his urban vision in his essay on Biopolis.

On 22 June, we will be delving deeper into future strategies for ­cities at our digital anniversary congress, and we look forward to seeing you there. As a thank you for your interest in Detail and years of loyalty, a notebook is enclosed with subscriptions. Let us continue to work together on the issues of ­climate protection in architecture.

This magazine
DETAIL 6/2021

Cradle to Cradle – CO2 Neutral – Plus Energy – Low Tech – Recycling

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