Balancing aesthetics and sustainability

Balancing aesthetics and sustainability
Contributed photo

IN OUTDOOR space design, expertise is crucial for balancing aesthetics with sustainability. 

Ar. Renzo Edrian G. Reyno, project development officer II of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Davao Region, emphasizes the importance of considering environmental factors without sacrificing aesthetics. 

Reyno's design approach prioritizes natural airflow in outdoor spaces, reflecting the concept of allowing Mother Earth to breathe. Outdoor spaces are intended for both human relaxation and interaction with nature. 

Despite the common use of concrete in the Philippines, he opts for paver blocks to ensure air and moisture permeability.

“This approach yields various benefits, including lower temperatures, creating a cooler and more relaxing atmosphere. It helps mitigate issues such as stagnant water puddles during rainy periods,” Reyno, an architect and master plumber, said.

From an architect's viewpoint, aesthetics and functionality are intertwined. He believes that functional spaces can be aesthetically pleasing and vice versa, striving to create designs that maximize effectiveness, efficiency, livability, and beauty simultaneously.

Reyno emphasizes the importance of considering the entire ecosystem when designing outdoor spaces. 

He advocates for the use of local native plants due to their adaptability to the area's climate, cost-effectiveness, and ecological benefits.

His philosophy integrates beauty and purpose. Each element in his designs serves a meaningful function, contributing to the overall impact and functionality of the space, avoiding superficial ornamentation. 

He noted that designing outdoor spaces presents particular challenges because they are intended as breathing areas. Unlike indoor spaces where only the occupants are considered, outdoor designs must account for people, vegetation, and the entire ecosystem, making them more complex to plan.

Architects have limitless opportunities to utilize spaces effectively while prioritizing environmental concerns. Recognizing the importance of considering environmental factors in both outdoor and indoor design ensures sustainability without sacrificing aesthetics or visual appeal. AJA

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