One thing we’re seeing for sure is an increasing amount of activity in the masterplanned, sustainable city area. Last January, schmidt hammer lassen architects won an international competition to design ECOBAY, a new town situated on the Paljassaare peninsula near the Estonian capital of Tallinn. In collaboration with Buro Happold Consulting Engineers and Møller & Grønborg, ECOBAY has been designed with everything one would need in close proximity: housing, schools, local shops, businesses, and other amenities — all within walking or biking distance. In addition, the town will utilize geothermal, small-scale wind, and surplus energy from the nearby wastewater facility.
Although fluid in appearance, the buildings have all been situated with strategy. Building spacing has been calculated to maximize solar gain and, at the same time, diminish heat loss due to overshadowing. The masterplan also creates "dunes" that absorb and filter harsh winds blowing in from the Baltic Sea.
Structures within the town will vary in terms of size, shape, and sustainability. Some homes will be designed to reduce energy consumption by up to 70% over conventionally designed structures. The entire town will accomodate roughly 6,000 people and should be completed over the next 15-20 years. It should be exciting to watch the city as it sprouts into existence.