Buildings are capable of living many lives. As architects we strive for timelessness, designing for the past, present and future of a project. Through the framework of Long Life + Loose Fit, the architect is storyteller: able to envision the histories surrounding a place and to imagine the future lives of buildings, to respect conception and legacy equally, and to appreciate the full life cycle of physical space.
For a building to last, it must welcome the shifts of its occupants, programs, contexts, and climates. A range of possible scenarios must fit into its essential design. By intentionally creating a durable and pliable space, we enable it to gracefully respond, evolve, and even improve with age. It becomes the physical framework for current and future societies to create, preserve, and revisit meaning and consequence.
To consider immediate goals and unknown futures is a challenge, but a rewarding one. Each time that we reimagine a structure through adaptive reuse, intentionally plan for the expansion of an organization, or anticipate resource scarcity, we have created an opportunity for a building to extend its life and further enrich its users.
In exploring Long Life + Loose Fit, we will delve into questions like:
+ Can the design process benefit from understanding the legacy of an unbuilt structure?
+ What is the length of architectural life-cycles?
+ In what ways can we retrofit durability and resiliency into the existing building stock?