Building long last durable buildings is one way of approaching green building. Another approach, which was discussed in the TechnoGarden scenario of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, is designing ephemeral buildings that are there when needed and removed when they are not, allowing other uses of the land.A new adaptive architecture approach to the design of Irish seasonal houses has been developed by MacGabhann Architects. The project called Tideaways is part of Ireland’s contribution the Venice Biennale architecture exhibition. They propose houses and develops that are designed to respond to changing seasons and housing use.
In a Guardian article Vanishing trick for Ireland’s second homes (Sept 6, 2006) Owen Bowcott writes about the project:
The Tideaways designs refined by the MacGabhanns envisage rows of three terraces on the coast located inside existing communities. The first row would float on pontoons and could be towed to a harbour when unoccupied. The row behind would rise and fall, on hydraulic rams, with the tide; in winter they could be sunk down to ground level, disappearing into the landscape.
The third row would be permanent and would provide homes for long-term residents of the village. The houses, timber or metal-framed, would be mainly two bedroom bungalows.
“Our model would ensure there was less impact on the landscape and better planning in villages. We have not built these yet but the Irish government has been very supportive.
“The proliferation of holiday homes has the potential to destroy the very landscape that attracts people in the first place. Despite being in use only 10-20% of the year, these buildings are visible 100% of the time.”