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    Matthew Power Photography

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Saunders Boston Architects shape the future of architecture with sustainable innovation

Nav Pal
06 Mar 2020

More than 130 leaders in sustainable innovation gathered at Cambridge-based Saunders Boston Architects’ event, SBA100: Looking Forward in February 2020

Spread over two floors at the Allia Future Business Centre, a previous Saunders Boston Architects project, more than 130 leaders in sustainable innovation attended Saunders Boston Architects’ event, SBA100: Looking Forward, to gain insights into how innovations in technology may shape the architecture industry and support sustainable living in the future. The evening consisted of a range of thought-provoking presentations and an interactive workshop, which was conducted by the Saunders Boston Architects team and guest speakers from the University of Cambridge, Allia Ltd, Polysolar Limited and Sika AG.

Led by Margherita Cesca, Senior Architect at Saunders Boston Architects, one of the first presentations focused on education, schools of the future and green technology. Representatives from the University of Cambridge presented research on plant generated electricity and autonomous vehicles, discussing the roles they could play in future education building design. Hamish Watson, CEO of Polysolar Limited, a leader in solar innovation, also joined the presentation; exploring how buildings can become sources of power when architects collaborate with solar energy specialists.

Saunders Boston Architects’ Director, Darren Heffer, and Allia Future Business Centre CEO, Martin Clark, joined forces to present innovative ideas on adaptable living and care housing; specifically discussing the role that technology will play in shaping human habitats in the future, and how architects can innovate to design smart buildings that better serve the needs of residents.

Focusing specifically on sustainability and self-sufficiency in the future, Saunders Boston Architects’ Director, Nick Green, presented on the future of the Fen, a vision for self-sustaining settlements in unique environmental contexts. Under the same theme, Nick Jackson, Architectural Assistant at Saunders Boston Architects, led a presentation on material and energy flow in the 21st century, which explored the growing need for a circular economy for sustainable development.

The final presentation at the event was conducted by Henri Villanueva, Project Architect at Saunders Boston Architects, and Maxime Liard, of Sika AG, who discussed additive manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing, and the role that they will play in the future of construction. Running in parallel with all of the presentations was a futuristic and interactive workshop that utilised VR technology to envision living underground as a possible solution to climate change and overpopulation.

The SBA100: Looking Forward event marked the end of a series of fantastic celebrations for the company. We have enjoyed looking back at our history and legacy both in Cambridge and further afield, and future gazing to how we will innovate as a practice over the next 100 years; using architecture and design to lead innovation in sustainable solutions.

Nick Green, Director at Saunders Boston Architects

The event was a culmination of centenary celebrations for the practice, which has marked 100 years since inception and 50 years in Cambridge. The festivities included a series of architectural walks through its past projects, a 110km bike ride from its original office in London to its current headquarters in Cambridge, and a centenary event that launched the practice’s new branding at the Fisher Building in St John’s College, Cambridge - a project delivered by Saunders Boston Architects in 1989.

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