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The Winds, They Are A-Changing: Architecture + Weather

The winds, they are a-changing: a look at 10 best architectural projects created in response to weather.

Skygrove, image via HWKN

It has been a trying week or two here in New York City, to say the least! A good portion of the East Coast is still suffering the effects of Sandy, with many people still without power and stranded in their homes. Even Architizer has been forced to temporarily relocate to Brooklyn because our Midtown office is still inaccessible.

With all the talk about super storms and changing weather patterns that have been dominating headlines, we can’t help but think about the future of Architecture + Weather. We’ve already spent the past week speculating on the topic, with posts about buildings that have survived natural disasters and futuristic designs that have the potential to save us from these impending storms. Now, it’s time for us to dig a little deeper into how exactly the weather shapes architecture. We’ve selected projects that were designed as specific responses to natural crises brought on by a variety of atmospheric events. The Architecture + Weather Award will recognize the best projects in this category.

Below are 10 projects developed in response to changing weather patterns. Have a related project you’d like to be featured? Send it to, in addition to submitting it to the A+ Awards program!


Sietch Nevada

Designed by MATSYS

Exhibited at Out of Water | innovative technologies in arid climates at the University of Toronto

Read more about the project here.

Sietch Nevada is a new urban prototype that reimagines the infrastructure of the American Southwest. An underground urban community, Sietch Nevada makes storage, use, and collection of water essential to the form and performance of urban life.


Halley VI Research Station

Designed by Faber Maunsell and Hugh Broughton Architects


Read more about the project here.

The winner of an international design competition, the new Halley VI Research Station is a hydraulically elevated ski-based module. Perched atop stilted legs, the module responds to annually rising snow levels while the ski base allows for easy relocation.



Designed by su11 Architecture + Design

Exhibited at Open House | Intelligent Living by Design at the Vitra Design Museum/Pasadena Art Center

Read more about the project here.

duneHouse is a new prototype for alternative housing communities developed for desert climates in Nevada and California. As both individual and community developments, duneHouse maximizes the limited resources provided by the desert while softening the impact on the surrounding habitat.



Designed by HWKN

Read more about the project on the Architizer database here.

Conceived to operate in a “wetter world”, Skygrove fits into a new typology of high-rise structures that means to accommodate the rising tides and unpredictability of mother nature. Described as part environmental infrastructure and part vertical office park, Skygrove is a self-sufficient entity designed for independent survival during a disaster.



Designed by MVRDV for Make It Right

New Orleans, Louisiana

Read more about the project here.

A reinterpretation of a classic shotgun house, MVRDV’s concept bends the typical home in two directions to create a carport at the front and a shadow garden in the rear. Both the living room and the bedroom are elevated above flood water level, allowing for escape from the front and rear porch.


Ark Hotel

Designed by Remistudio

Read more about the project on Architizer here.

The floating shell-shaped hotel is built to withstand rising flood levels and even tidal waves. The self-contained biosphere offers guests security, with a mixture of structural supports that evenly distribute weight and which proves invulnerable to earthquakes.


Dusty Relief

Designed by R&Sie

Bangkok, Thailand

Read more about the project here.

In a city filled with pollution and CO2 residue, Dusty Relief utilizes an aluminum envelope and an electrostatics system to collect dust particles, helping to mitigate the grey shroud that covers the urban environment.


Whangapoua Sled House

Designed by Crosson, Clarke, Carnachan Architects

New Zealand

Read more about this project on Architizer here.

The Whangapoua Sled House was designed to accommodate a family of 5, providing them with sandy beaches, an oceanfront view, and a quick escape route for when disaster strikes. Situated in the erosion zone of New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula, the architects equipped the structure with a built-in sled, allowing the mobile beach home to be towed to higher ground as flood waters begin to rise.


Glass Igloo Village

Hotel Kakslauttanen


Read more about the project here.

Designed after years of research, the Glass Igloo Village in Kakslauttanen, Finland, provides guests a 360º views of the snowy, northern-lights while keeping them warm and toasty in their comfortable bungalow. Each igloo is constructed of thermal glass, ensuring fog-resistant views, even at temperatures of 30º below.


Transient Response System (TRS-1)

Designed by Adrian Ariosa and Doy Laufer

Read more about the project here.

Designed by students at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, the Transient Response System is a deployable architectural base that has the ability to assemble at short notice. The tower provides immediate shelter for victims of natural disasters, serving as a rally point and residential tower once flooding subsides.

Architizer is hosting the world’s definitive architectural awards program, with 50+ categories and 200+ jurors. As part of an ongoing series, we’re spotlighting projects that fit the “Plus” categories, which tap into topical and culturally relevant themes. Today, in an effort to show you examples of good candidates for the Plus awards, we present ten “Architecture + Weather” projects. To see a full list of categories and learn more about the awards, visit

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