Audi Urban Future Award - the architects:
CLOUD 9, Barcelona
Enric Ruiz-Geli and his interdisciplinary architectural team Cloud 9 in Barcelona work at the interface between architecture and art, digital processes and technological material development. The architects’ multifaceted projects include stage sets and buildings, installations and industrial products, and are realized together with various collaborative partners. Cloud 9 is committed to the use of new technological developments and the performative character of architecture, which creates intelligent structures in emulation of nature.
Enric Ruiz-Geli founded Cloud 9 in 1997. The Spanish architect and artist has been awarded the Research and Development Award of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (2008) and the Catalonian Premis MediAmbient for sustainable architecture (2009), among others.
The most important projects of Cloud 9 include the “Villa Nurbs” in Empuriabrava, an organically formed, ecological and futuristic house. For the recently completed Media-TIC Building in Barcelona, the architects also made use of a high-tech membrane equipped with a digital, controllable mechanism that facilitates the absorption of sunlight.
Enric Ruiz-Geli, Cloud 9
What is the first thing that comes to your mind with regard to the topic “urban future”?
A Green New Deal: The Third Industrial Revolution, "TIR" (conceived by Jeremy Rifkin):
Pillar ONE: clean renewable energies
Pillar TWO: buildings as power plants
Pillar THREE: hydrogen technology and fuel cells
Pillar FOUR: smart grids
Towards G.G.G. (Global Green Growth)
Do you have a personal idea of what this future could look like?
On the one hand: performative, educational, social, cooperative . . . like science. On the other hand: ubiquitous, indeterminate, abstract, poetic . . . like fiction.
What is your impact as an architect or landscape architect on this topic?
The No. 1 cause of global warming is . . . buildings, buildings, . . . buildings. Buildings produce 40% of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.
As architects, we are responsible. We are a generation based on oil . . . and we are the solution.
We are the designers of this empathic architecture, of cars, homes, public spaces . . . Our consciousness is moving from geopolitics to biosphere politics.
Do you think mobility concepts will change the future of the city, or do urban conditions change our concept of mobility?
We will not solve global warming without acting strongly on the existing city model and existing mobility model.
The existing reality is determined by the urban condition and today's mobility.
We are interested in adding value and innovation to both aspects of the existing reality as one.