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How to really do sustainable design in 2021

Beautiful, functional and sustainable buildings? Yes, please!
From the Valley in the Netherlands to the Aquarela in Ecuador, 2021 post-pandemic architecture around the world is innovative, green and socially conscious.







Unlike the name may suggest, the Valley is not the kind of traditional Dutch house in the countryside where the Girl with a Pearl Earring can be seen walking out of, a bouquet of tulips in hand! Instead, the 75,000 sq. m. project, by MVRDV, stands high and proud in the middle of Amsterdam’s Business District.

This well arranged mixed- used concept architecture marries residential units with 7 stores of office space. It scores higher in its overall sustainability impact thanks to the greenery that covers the buildings as well as the central area in between the towers, which is dedicated to a central green space and takes the shape… well, of a valley!

Nature in design is also celebrated in Shilda Winery, a project by Architecture X, set in the Georgia wine country. The winery is a prime example of architecture immersing itself within the environment and harmoniously connecting nature and design.







Shilda Winery finds smart approaches to sustainability, like using the thermal mass of the soil to optimize the cooling of the structure or building the facade facing north, to avoid direct solar gain. This ultimately solves the issue of high annual solar gain in a very dry environment.

Our green design 2021 edition won’t be complete without, the new project of architect and Pritzker Prize winner, Jean Nouvel, with MEDEM and Humboldt Arquitectos, in Quito, Ecuador. Aquarela is composed of nine towers and is set to host 600 residential units, plus a spa, barber shop, a gym and tons of other amenities.

Aquarela aims for the least possible impact on our environment by using renewable resources, heating the water with solar panels, and by immersing the project into 1.5 hectares of outdoor greenery, spread between vertical gardens, terraces, and walkways. Not to mention the project’s overall design blends with the surrounding Cumbaya valley for visual harmony and continuity.


Even though 2021 architecture optimizes the potential of the site with bioclimatic designs, saving energy installations and lots of greenery, most of the materials in use are still virgin and almost the same as in conventional buildings. But true green design requires the use of sustainable materials to help reduce the building’s carbon footprint.

So when building green, consider instead composite materials made with minerals which is 100% recyclable, resistant to bacteria and produces no VOC emissions. “Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose” to protect our environment and keep your expenses low by investing in the super innovative Stone Paper, the latest renewable material made out of minerals that can be self-recycled repeatedly.

Stone Paper is not only the winner because it is the most affordable and sustainable material to build with, it can also have a million other purposes for your project. Use it to create the furniture or the fabrics of your interior design, for example. Now your architecture can be beautiful and wholesome from the inside out!

For more information on how Stone Paper can help the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry make an impact in the sustainable world visit


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