Coral Constructs

This project aims to explore the potential of growth-based architecture to reduce waste in our passive building practices by drawing inspiration from the symbiotic relationship between corals and photosynthetic algae.

Date:            April 2023

Coral Constructs ×

As cities rapidly expand to accommodate the demand for growth, construction has become commonplace, leading us to overlook the long-term consequences of shaping our built environment. Toronto, like other global cities, faces a bombardment of new developments to keep up with the unrealistic demand for growth, resulting in mass urbanization that escalates environmental degradation by generating increasing amounts of demolition and construction waste. A notable example of this problem is the city’s existing artificial headland, the Leslie Spit, constructed primarily from discarded construction waste. The consequences of this type of aggressive urbanization will only escalate existing levels of environmental degradation and continue to divide our built and natural environments.

To move toward a more sustainable future in our built environments, we must consider integrating growth and living organisms into our designs, moving away from our obsolete traditional architectural practices and unnecessary waste generation. By utilizing growth-based opportunities in architecture, we can design a future where buildings are both autonomous but also contribute to their environment. At an individual level, the incorporation of living organisms like algae in architecture can provide benefits such as insulation and energy generation through photosynthesis. On a larger collective scale, this integration can also support the surrounding ecosystem by providing natural air filtration and promoting food production. By mimicking natural systems such as the coral-algae relationship, we can build an environment that promotes a cyclical process, reducing waste associated with construction and fostering a sustainable future city.