In 2011, construction will begin on Forwarding Dallas, a hilltop-inspired community that combines renewable energy and rooftop greenery with practical and cost-effective design. Could we be looking at the model for sustainable urban architecture?
Portuguese architectural firms Atelier Data and Moov designed Forwarding Dallas for the Re:Vision Dallas competition, which solicited sustainable designs to construct on a city block in downtown Dallas. Forwarding Dallas took the top prize, which means it will actually be built, with construction starting in early 2011.
The design is inspired by natural hills, with different portions of the hills designated for different uses. The valleys are filled with public green spaces; vegetation, including food, will be grown on the step-filled slopes, and the peaks are topped with solar panels and wind turbines. The plan is for the community to be completely self-powered, and it even features a rainwater collection and storage facility.
But the community — which will include apartments, a gymnasium, a cafe, a daycare, and exhibition space — isn't merely sustainable; it's also a practical, cost-effective design. The construction is completely prefabricated and streamlined for rapid construction. The purpose of projects like Re:Vision Dallas is to provide cities with a model for off-the-grid architecture that's quickly realized and doesn't break the bank.