Is Crowdfunding Effective for Architecture?


Crowdfunding—or inviting the crowd to contribute capital to get projects off the ground—has firmly established itself as an effective way to fund all manner of creative projects, from an aerial urban bamboo garden to an Oscar-winning film. Now a new report prepared by massolution for the American Institute of Architects highlights crowdfunding’s potential when it comes to architecture.

Crowdfunding, according to the report, can allow architects to work directly with local communities to discuss, develop, and implement design ideas. It can support innovation by making “passion projects,” which are unable to secure funding through conventional ways, a reality. Two recent projects really highlight this potential.

Part of the I Make Rotterdam project, the new Luchtsingel footbridge connects the northern parts of the city, once cut off by traffic-heavy roads, with the city centre. The 350-metre-long bridge was not funded by the City of Rotterdam but rather by citizens who wanted to see it happen. Each of the bridge’s 17,000 wooden planks bears the name of a donor.

The BD Bacatá, soon to be Colombia’s tallest skyscraper at 66 storeys, will be realized with 3,000 people supplying $145 million of the $240 million development cost. These small investors will then own shares of the building, which is being hailed as the “first skyscraper built by common people.”

Is crowdfunding an effective way to realize architectural projects?

[Top Image: A rendering of the new Luchtsingel bridge in Rotterdam.]

April 9, 2013 | No Comments (yet!)

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