During the years of planning Shillim, “green,” “sustainable” design started to gain currency. LEED and other environmental guideline systems began to guide architecture and landscape design around the world. Between 1997 and 2012, the practices pioneered at Shillim early on — reforestation, sustainable storm-water management, grey water recycling, minimum-impact standards, for example – shifted from fringe to mainstream. Today the place uses almost 500 KW capacity of solar energy to run its administrative buildings and recycles almost 100% of its food waste that is converted into organic compost used back in the landscape. But the “green” methods deployed at Shillim were never the end; it was the design of remarkable buildings, which are intimately engaged with and express this unique landscape, that drove the project. The team never adopted a purist attitude that held ecology as more important than design; rather they wove together the design and environmental agendas.
London Architectural Association School of Architecture
London Architectural Association School of Architecture joins the Shillim Institute and Foundation in a pioneering knowledge exchange and design studio, pursuing a unified mission to conserve, enhance and advance the land of Shillim.
Studio Diploma 18, led by Barcelona architect Enric Ruiz-Geli, focuses on sustainability, biodiversity, and global warming. Bringing together multi-cultural intelligences from Taiwan, Italy, Ecuador, Peru, Israel, China, United Kingdom, Iran, Ukraine and Montenegro, the studio sets out to understand the landscape of forest, savannah and farmland, documenting the ecosystem using multi-sensory technologies to observe, archive and analyse the land of Shillim. From the data collected, the studio will create prototypes of designs that will activate various segments of Shillim, to transform Shillim from a retreat to a spiritual home for all.