”It’s all about people.” David Kong, who is an architect and partner at one of the world’s leading architect firms Foster + Partners, made this statement multiple times during his talk at Trends & Traditions. Taking his starting point in Foster + Partners’ impressive and advanced work around the world, he spoke about how to create the future’s way to live, work, and be together.
“We continue to learn from the past and creatively embrace the challenges of the future.” With this quote from the founder of Foster + Partners, David Kong set the scene for what Trends & Traditions represents to him. That the past and the present continuously influence each other and the way we approach our challenges.
Accompanied by a slideshow, David Kong covered some of the topics and projects that Fosters + Partners have solved around the world. And in space.
Climate, architecture, and population
Both the climate with increasing temperatures and rising waters and not least the rapidly growing world population are key factors when you plan the future’s buildings and town squares. David Kong showed several projects from e.g. Abu Dabi, Singapore, India, and Marseille, where the challenge has been to create shaded areas and comfortable environments, so people gather and have a good time. For instance, he showed a project from Singapore, where the architecture created wind movement and shadow and made the experienced temperature fall from 41 to 28 degrees Celsius.
“If you get the places right, people will come,” David Kong underlined.
A good example of how the architect firm has made people come together is the harbor in Marseille. Here, Foster + Partners have rethought the whole harbor area by removing cars and creating a gathering point at the main square. The element that gathers people is a giant roof that creates both shade and reflects movement from the crowd and the ocean.
”It’s all about people. All about creating spaces for people to enjoy and be together,” the experienced architect stated.
To make room for nature and incorporate it in projects is also important for the future’s building constructions. And to make sure that people come together. David Kong demonstrated examples from a cruise terminal in Hong Kong that is deserted six months a year. With a public park on the roof of the cruise terminal, they have created a green gathering point that now attracts people all year around.
Apples headquarters, which was dominated by parking lots and buildings, has been transformed to a park with a circular main building hidden in the middle. This once again demonstrates that green environments are the future.
At Foster + Partners it is often about redirecting traffic, creating room for people, and developing new ideas for the infrastructure. For instance, David Kong showed two amazing projects – the first was for Nissan, where they developed the idea of charging electric cars on the road, when cars are parked, which provided an answer to how the future’s fuel stations will be.
The other was from space. The European Space Agency wanted to build on the moon, but did not want to bring materials from Earth, since this would be too expensive. To solve this, Fosters + Partners found a way to combine moon dust and 3D printing technology to create new buildings.
”It’s all about happy people – and what surrounds them. Happy people create happy and healthy environments,” David Kong said when he finished his talk.