Green Sky Thinking is Open-City’s annual showcase of London’s most innovative sustainability initiatives, writes Hattie Hartman
With the intensity of Ecobuild behind us, the next major event on the green calendar is Open-City’s Green Sky Thinking week from 28 April to 2 May. Green Sky Thinking is Open-City’s annual showcase of London’s most innovative sustainability initiatives. More than 50 informal seminars are presented by practitioners for practitioners - more than half on location in the latest green venues. Its purpose is knowledge-sharing and moving the sustainability agenda forward.
Now in its fourth consecutive year, Green Sky Thinking continues to showcase London’s leading sustainable design innovators. The week will launch at City Hall, which is an encouraging show of support from the GLA. The Green Sky launch always demonstrates Open-City’s superlative ability to gather a broad audience of built environment professionals.
The week-long event is a fantastic opportunity to network with a wide range continuum of players from the built environment spectrum. A good number of architects participate, but no silos here. Clients, the public sector, designers and suppliers are all out to share best practice in informal settings where it is easy to meet, ask tough questions or delve into technical detail. Open-City’s cross-disciplinary reach shines through in numerous partnership-hosted events this year. Make, Mace and British Land will host a discussion on responsible sourcing through procurement.
The AJ is delighted to partner with the London School of Economics on a breakfast event which will be held in the sixth floor café of O’Donnell + Tuomey Architect’s BREEAM Outstanding Saw Swee Hock Student Centre (pictured). LSE director of estates Julian Robinson will share insights on how a client selects an architect who can deliver a high environmental brief, and a panel of four architects from differently sized practices - Paul Hinkin of Black Architecture, Yeoryia Manolopoulou of AY Architects, Alan Shingler of Sheppard Robson and Sarah Wigglesworth of Sarah Wigglesworth Architects - will discuss how to ensure that initial high sustainability aspirations are delivered.
Another highlight will be Thinking Green 20 x 20, Open-City’s own event which will provide a Pecha Kucha-style platform for emerging designers. Paul Davis + Partners and Penoyre & Prasad will host two book launches on retrofits - one residential and one non-domestic. Both these books break new ground because their case studies include actual performance data. And Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects will repeat last year’s popular Green Sky pub quiz. A further dozen practices represented this year are by now Green Sky regulars, including AHMM, Allies and Morrison, Baca Architects, BDP, Bennetts Associates, Cullinan Studios, ECD Architects, E2 Architects, Nicholas Hare Architects, Hopkins Architects, Make, David Morley Architects and Sustainable BY Design. Newcomers include Architecture PLB, Hawkins Brown, PRP Architects, RCKa Architects and SOM.
Themes which emerge from this year’s 55 listings reflect the latest trends in green design. Health and well-being are moving up the agenda, building performance is increasingly under the spotlight, while value (key to convincing a client) can be demonstrated through an ever-growing evidence base.
After the recent flooding, adaptation is slowly coming onto the radar too.