In May a group of 17 Stirling prize-winning studios, including Zaha Hadid Architects, David Chipperfield Architects and Foster + Partners, declared a climate and biodiversity emergency. In an open letter they called for a shift in behaviour to avert catastrophic global warming.
Many architecture studios downed tools in September for the Global Climate Strike. The Architect’s Climate Action Network formed to bring together likeminded architects, including some from Studio Bark who designed easy-to-build modular building blocks for the Extinction Rebellion protests.
Dezeen columnist Phineas Harper urged architects to develop even more radical responses to the era of climate change. At the inaugural Architecture of Emergency summit experts discussed the problem, with some calling for the industry to ditch concrete-hungry designs in favour of timber.
Foster + Partners pledged to make all its own office buildings carbon neutral by 2030, and Snøhetta went one step further by vowing to only design carbon negative buildings within the next 20 years.
Zaha Hadid’s legacy
Although she passed away in 2016, Zaha Hadid’s legacy lives on. 2019 was the year that many of the projects the British-Iraqi architect had designed were completed posthumously.
In May the first match was played in the Al Wakrah Stadium, designed by Hadid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. In August pictures were released of the completed Opus hotel in Dubai, formed of two conjoined towers.
September saw the completion of the huge, starfish-shaped terminal for Beijing Daxing International Airport and in November the Leeza Soho skyscraper completed and took the title of the world’s tallest atrium.