Face[s] of Sustainability An anthology of essays in search of [an/the] aesthetic[s] of sustainable architecture
No速Way Graduation Studio, 2015 Eindhoven University of Technology
Preface By ir. Maarten Willems
Colophon Face[s] of Sustainability
No®Way Graduation Studio
Keywords Sustainability, Architecture, Design, Aesthetics, Pluralism
Graduation committee ir. Maarten Willems dr.ir. Faas Moonen dr.ir. Jos Bosman
Editorial Giuseppe Bonavita Patrick van Dodewaard Christian Fredrix Sjoerd te Bogt Supervisors ir. Maarten Willems dr.ir. Faas Moonen dr.ir. Jos Bosman Preface by Maarten Willems With contributions by Arslane Benamar Sjoerd te Bogt Giuseppe Bonavita Julie Bosch Jos Bosman Thijs Clement Patrick van Dodewaard Stijn Faarts Christian Fredrix Hasana Haidari Steven Huyps Anna Igumnova Laurent Khuat Duy Leonique Winnen
Students Arslane Benamar Sjoerd te Bogt Giuseppe Bonavita Julie Bosch Thijs Clement Patrick van Dodewaard Stijn Faarts Christian Fredrix Hasana Haidari Steven Huyps Anna Igumnova Laurent Khuat Duy Johanna van Warners Leonique Winnen
Images are important. Sometimes they are even too powerful as they are able to dominate other senses. Pallasmaa had every right to warn us for the ocular bias in architecture 1. Nonetheless images are a ubiquitous way of communication. We see things, and if we cannot see them we visualize or imagine them. In iconography we even try to capture abstract ideas in visual images. Sustainability is such an abstract notion but it lacks an obvious image. Or perhaps even more precise; it is linked to an incoherent variety of images. The reason for this is that sustainability, in particular in architecture, is a confusing and indistinct concept. A wide range of parameters has significant impact on its expression in the built environment. From the selection of materials to corporate branding, from local traditions to technology, from social structures to government policies, from minimizing transport to generating energy, from water management to passive houses. Every specific focus seems to result in an entirely different architectural language. The 13 students involved in the graduation studio No®Way have been sifting, unravelling, and scrutinizing this complex constellation we casually refer to as sustainable architecture, highlighting a specific theme or aspect in each of the contributing essays.
Institute Eindhoven University of Technology Department of Architecture, Building and Planning Architectural Urban Design and Engineering
The aim of this research, in the long run, is to develop a kind of ‘taxonomy’ for sustainability. Analogous to what Linnaeus did for biology, a useful description of different taxa might enable us to discuss, study and understand the past, present, and perhaps even the future of the aesthetics of sustainable architecture.
Date 01-09-2014 - 24-08-2015
This book is the proud result of the collective work of dedicated students. It is a truly wonderful anthology of those various faces of sustainability and a humble but tremendously encouraging step towards a better understanding of what sustainable architecture (might) look(s) like. Ir. Maarten Willems – July 29, 2015
© 2015 The authors Printed by Printenbind Circulation 18 copies Published by Eindhoven University of Technology Department of Architecture, Building and Planning Architectural Urban Design and Engineering Date 07-08-2015
1. Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin. Architecture and the Senses. John Wiley: New York, 2005.
A The allegory of sustainability The difficult (if not impossible) â€˜relationshipâ€™ between Sustainability and Aesthetics
Buildings shape and articulating contextual quality
Context shapes buildings
The effects of future technology on the aesthetics of sustainable buildings.
Influence of context on the aesthetics of sustainable architecture
The relation between shape and sustainability
Evolving the vernacular
The digital revolution in architecture
Sustainability in the concept of Regionalism an its aesthetical value
Why we need [some] sustainable expressionism
Integration between technology and sustainable architecture
The aesthetics of passive building
Flexibility, reuse and recycling Versatile appeal
The essence of sustainable materials
The cultural side of sustainability
Introducing the writers:
The effects of future technology on the aesthetics of sustainable buildings
The relation between shape and sustainability
by Sjoerd te Bogt
by Patrick van Dodewaard
ABSTRACT When we talk about sustainable buildings, it raises a particular stereotype image, the â€œsustainable lookâ€?. This essay looks at the history of the sustainable design movement, to recognize a trend in this sustainable look in order to predict where this look is going. To achieve this, technologies currently under development will be examined to determine what impact it could have on the future sustainable building. By combining these future technologies with the trend derived from history, a prediction can be made on how the sustainable look will evolve in the future.
ABSTRACT It would seem logical that shape and sustainability are directly connected to each other. Reality however, shows that this is not the case. Since sustainable buildings are mostly sustainable due to technological add-ons and not because of their sustainable design. This is peculiar, since the shape of a building characterizes its environmental behaviour. So why do we use it barely? And when architects use it, they use it in a unacademic way, we shape buildings after plants. This essay explores how sustainable buildings and their shape are related to each other, but more important, how shape and sustainability should be related. This relation is explained on the basis of three strategies by Lance Hosey: -Conservation, attraction and connection-. Buildings should be shaped in such a way that they use less energy and materials, they must be shaped beautifully, and third, their shape should relate directly to its context. By combining these strategies it becomes possible to use shape and sustainability in an integral design approach that people actually appreciate.
The digital revolution in architecture
Why we need (some) sustainable expressionism
Integration between technology and sustainable architecture
The aesthetic of passive building
by Giuseppe Bonavita
by Christian Fredrix
by Hasana Haidari
by Julie Bosch
ABSTRACT The advent of digital tools in architecture radically transformed the way of doing and thinking architecture. More than just speed up the design process, the computational capabilities allows new investigations both in the field of aesthetic and sustainability. This research is an investigation of the main figures that theorized and practiced the use of digital tools in architecture.
ABSTRACT Media loves them, big buildings showing off their sustainability using Renewable Energy Infrastructures (REI). Is this expression of sustainability in the built environment a new trend, a hype or a style? This essay explores the ‘sustainable expressionistic’ buildings, their features, the motives, and logics of clients, architects and developers. Eight example buildings will be observed and analysed according to these motives and logics. It will discuss the positive effects and the dangers of expressing REIs in the built environment.
ABSTRACT Sustainability is an issue that is discussed for many years in different fields of art and science. Recently it has become an important issue of consideration in the education of architects too. Awareness of this responsibility towards the environment came a bit late in the field of architecture and engineering. That is the reason for this issue not having a proper place within the architectural field. As can be concluded by studying the large range of publications in the field of sustainable design, sustainability is most often seen as a technical problem that should be solved with technological devices. In this essay the separation of technology and architecture is discussed. Also the consequences of this separation with regard to the aesthetics of architecture are pointed out with the help of a comparison between two realized designs. To make these buildings better comparable they are chosen within a very specific part of approaches to achieve sustainability: generating renewable energy using photovoltaics. Besides, a proposal is given to change the design process in order to make architecture more sustainable by integrating sustainable technology and architectural design. Hereby attention is paid to the role of technology in the aesthetics of the design.
ABSTRACT Passive building methods play an important role in sustainable building. Instead of using complex technologies people build by making use of their surroundings to create a pleasant indoor climate and by using durable materials to reduce their ecological footprint. But is this still a current way of describing passive building? When looking at developments in the field of passive building we see a lot of changes. To receive a ‘passive house certificate’ there are a lot of requirements that these buildings have to meet on energetic level nowadays, and this is not achievable without the adaptation of active technologies. With this, the aesthetic of these buildings has also experienced a drastic change. In this essay the factors that contribute to this (changing) image of passive building will be explored, in order to say something about the aesthetics of passive building.
Influence of context on the aesthetics of sustainable architecture
Evolving the Vernacular
Sustainability in the concept of regionalism and its aesthetical value
by Stijn Faarts
by Leonique Winnen
by Anna Igumnova
by Steven Huyps
ABSTRACT Sustainability imposes a new set of principles on the production of architectural form and aesthetics in response to the consideration of environmental variables. A research study has been conducted to gain insights into context related architecture. With the use of reference projects that strongly relate to their context on a conceptual and design level. This essay will discuss the conceptual thinking in relation to context and the manner in which this influences the aesthetic appearance of the most characteristic part of sustainable architecture, the building envelope. The two reference projects that will be discussed are the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Nouméa (New Caledonia) by Renzo Piano, and the Dutch embassy in Amman (Jordan) by Rudy Uytenhaak. The goal is to review both context related design approaches and the aesthetics that consequently follow this approach. The unique part of the Dutch embassy in Amman is that it not only relates to the context, but also to the Dutch identity. The way in which Rudy Uytenhaak dealt with this dualistic design approach in relation to the work by Renzo Piano will be reviewed.
ABSTRACT Vernacular architecture naturally contains different sustainable principles according to some, like energy efficiency and the use of local resources and materials. From the 1960s on the amount of studies about vernacular knowledge with regard to sustainability increased. These studies mainly focused on the quantitative performance of vernacular elements, in this essay also qualitative aspects are taken into account. Vernacular architecture is about the range of available resources within a specific context based on evolving experiments and knowledge, as a response to specific needs, reflecting local traditions. In this essay the value of this knowledge is determined and also in which ways this knowledge should be applied in contemporary designs. Reflecting on an example from the book New Vernacular architecture, the Tjibaou Cultural Centre by Renzo Piano in New Caledonia.
ABSTRACT Globalization of modern architecture leads the world to the loss of regional identity and feeling of genius loci – aspects that make this planet culturally diverse. The concept of Regionalism opposes the globalization trend and tends to connect the architecture with its environment and regional culture. One of the key aspects of Regionalism is preserving Genius Loci. In order to understand the main ideas behind the concept this essay first will identify the meaning of genius loci and further reveal the aspects of Regionalism. In the intention to stay close to the “roots” it is important to stay modern and keep the connection with new technologies. Modern technological attributes of sustainability such as solar panels, windmills, green walls and water reuse systems often appear as a flashy element and a visual detection of sustainable building, which creates a prejudice view on sustainable design. In many minds sustainability is defined as a certain style of architecture with specific aesthetics 2. In this essay some aspects of sustainability and aesthetics will be described to make a full basis for understanding the subject before analysing case studies.
ABSTRACT The built environment is subject to high structural vacancy rates due to inflexibility of existing building stock. Solutions to this dispute could be found in versatile housing which can be characterized as a dichotomy in adaptability on the one hand and flexibility on the other hand. Adaptability applies to versatility of the outer envelope of the building whereas flexibility relates to the space enclosed by this envelope. Adaptability hereby serves as a framework for flexibility to take place. Adaptability can be achieved by an oversized structure with transient infill customized to the identity of the dweller. Flexibility subsequently can either be obtained by multifunctionality through sliding walls and furniture or by polyvalence. Polyvalence architecture allows for various interpretations without intervention of architectural adaptions. It allows form to be put to different uses as a result of its spatial configuration. Polyvalence architecture is different from function neutral architecture in the sense that it provides a stimulus for individual interpretation and an incentive for identity.
The Essence of sustainable materials
The cultural side of sustainability
by Laurent Khuat Duy
by Thijs Clement
by Arslane Benamar
ABSTRACT Constantly bombarded with new demands of low ecological imprint, cost reductions, reduced construction times while still keeping good aesthetical qualities, it is becoming increasingly difficult to elaborate a coherent design that integrates all requirements on time. It is often tempting to return to the traditional wellmastered methods of building. This article explores how an industrialized modular system can help achieve these goals at once. It explains why such a system can be made globally sustainable, in the sense of the triple bottom line approach (environmentally, economically and socially). The consequences for the aesthetical qualities of the building are discussed, and future development perspectives are proposed. Practical case studies illustrating current implementations of the system are described.
ABSTRACT The term sustainability is the main topic of the coming decennia. Sustainability contains a broad range of terms and usages. Designs are called sustainable if they satisfy at least one of the terms of sustainability. Sustainability of materials is often forgotten term. Materials form an important aspect of the buildingâ€™s design and therefore the use of materials must be carefully overthought. The life cycle assessment of a material, it examines the total environmental impact of a material through every step of its life from raw material production to disposal, is an important aspect to take into account. A designâ€™s building should be as sustainable as possible, starting with the right selection of materials. It is a critical choice in the terms of material sustainability.
ABSTRACT This essay focuses on the social and cultural dimensions of sustainability as a necessary addition to the common environmental issues. Based on official definitions of sustainability, we address here the most diffused symptoms of a sustainable architecture that, for market dynamics, often limits itself to purely technical aspects. The aim is to understand how cultural and social elements can be incorporated in a project through an aesthetic experience. To achieve that, a wide range of examples from different disciplines related to the built environment is provided.
A The allegory of sustainability An introducing essay by dr. ir. A.H.J. Bosman
The difficult (if not impossible) ‘relationship’ between Sustainability and Aesthetics How the famous triad ‘Utilitas, Firmitas, Venustas’ changed into ‘Use, Sustainability, Aesthetics’ – and how it turns out to be hard to agree on such triad as a possible agenda for architectural practice and education today written by dr. ir. A.H.J. Bosman
Figure 1 Johan Nieuhof, a 17th century “design of a Dutch embassy” – as (mis)understood by Francois Roche (see end of this essay). This sketch by Johan Nieuhof of a Chinese landscape may be celebrated as the allegory of sustainability at the base of 1.) Roche’s fascination for this drawing (as explained in this essay), and 2.) the M3 research in this book, in which various students have reflected and documented the relationship between nature-oriented organic design and the notion of sustainability.
A historical excursion may explain more about (1.) How sustainability as a name became part of the triad before Modernism, (2.) How it disappeared out of the argumentation on form, because of Modernism, (3.) How it returned from a position outside of architecture into a new type of argumentation on form and the informal, and (4.) that it seems to prefer various kinds of the ‘informal’ as its possible aesthetic position. 1839 In the Nederlandsch bouwkunstig Magazijn 1 of 1839 sustainability (duurzaamheid) is defined as one of the three basic principles and goals of building art, next to utility and beauty. “Het beginsel der nuttigheid bepaalt den stand, de grootte, de inrigting, en plaatselijke betrekkingen der gebouwen; dat der duurzaamheid , de wijs van dezelver zamenstelling en den aard derzelver bouwstoffen; en dat der schoonheid, dezelver voorkomen als werken van smaak.” So it is a particular choice of words, to use nuttigheid (usability), duurzaamheid (sometimes translated as durability and today quite standard as sustainability) and schoonheid (beauty) as terms that, previously, in Latin were occupied by the concept of utilitas, firmitas and venustas, in the famous triad of Vitruv. Most probably paying attention to efficiency and cost have been the reason for the Dutch application of the term duurzaamheid. The term ‘durability’ appears also in various later reformulations of Vitruv’s triad (also in recent years, by Dutch practitioners) 2, as the following diagram shows.
On the website of Dutch architect Paul de Ruiter, he states his position regarding sustainability (in the English version) as following: “Building[s] which energise, inspire, make people happy and increase productivity are intelligent buildings with a clear influence on society. They vitalise and therefore lead to new insights and better performances. The coherent combination of daylight, heat, energy and sustainability is very evident with this.” From an aesthetic point of view many of Paul de Ruiter’s buildings continue the International Style. His statement on buildings that “energise, inspire, make people happy and increase productivity” is modernist as well. Style and argument are one. These contradict with what the Locus Foundation celebrates with its yearly Global Award for Sustainable Architecture. The work of the five winners of 2014 gives a good picture what the Locus Foundation appreciates as expressions of an aesthetic of sustainability. The difference is: an architect like Paul de Ruiter searches from a technical/ technological point of view for types of innovation that may contribute to ways of improving building, as may be measured by the performance of energy use and potential re-use of materials of buildings. Its intention of contributing to a notion of
Historical excursion: 1839, 1929, 1939, post-World War 2, 1970’s
Figure 2 Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2014 1. Christopher Alexander - Arundell, Great Britain 2. Tatiana Bilbao - Mexico city, Mexico 3. Bernd Gundermann - Auckland, New Zealand 4. Martin Rajnis - Prague, CSR 5. West 8 - Rotterdam, NL /Brussels, Belgium /New York, USA
sustainability is based on calculation and technological innovation, while the Locus Foundation and UNESCO promote sustainable architecture as a variety of expressions that demonstrate an attitude dealing with a sensibility toward the environment, to context. That is implicitly about postInternational Style alternatives. About a
conscious ‘other’ aesthetic. Dealing with ‘aesthetics’ has always been related to place and time, so to context. Already Marcus Vitruvius Pollio argued with his triad about how buildings are placed in context. Using the triad in an argument on aesthetics cannot otherwise than deal with a specific context.
1929 Ninety years later, in 1929, the international architects association Les Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM, with Le Corbusier as the most famous and influential member) held a congress in Frankfurt. The congress compared solutions for housing for the minimal income households. The city of Frankfurt had realized at that moment various housing estates, based on modernist principles. The most radical one was
the housing estate Hellerhof, designed by Dutch architect Mart Stam. It was during this congress that the new agenda for architecture was practiced that was formulated one year before (by Mart Stam and the ABC group, who changed a lot in the original proposal for basic principles, as originally proposed and formulated by Le Corbusier), at the castle of La Sarraz, Switzerland. An agenda in which social engagement was judged to be more important
Figure 3 Scheme by Maurits Voorhorst, 2012
than sustainability (as practiced up until that period with the knowledge of traditional materials and handwork). What was previously occupied by ‘utilitas’ and ‘firmitas’ was from then on considered as one integrated ‘engineering’ type of attention that needed to be addressed with a social attitude, while the idea of ‘venustas’ was considered as a possible result that needed not to be addressed as a primer principle anymore. Because a good form would be the result of ‘following’, during the design process, the requirements of functions/functionality. The Dutch architectural association De 8+Opbouw (Mart Stam being its chairman) defended this principle as the starting point of architecture, with an impact in Dutch practice till the 1970’s. Influential De 8+Opbouw members became university professors: Van Eesteren, Van den Broek, Van Eyck, Bakema and Hertzberger at the TU Delft, and Apon at the TU Eindhoven. Van Eyck, Bakema, Hertzberger and Apon extended Mart Stam’s idea of ‘function’ to the one of social
1 Nederlandsch bouwkunstig Magazijn, of Tijdschrift tot verbetering, nut en voordeel in de Bouw-, Timmer-, Beeldhouwkunst en Meubelering, benevens onderscheidene Kunsten en Ambachten, daarmede in betrekking staande. Zamengesteld op de wijze van het Engelsche ArchitecturalMagazine van J.C. Loudon, enz. Om maandelijks te worden vervolgd. Te Amsterdam, bij M. Schooneveld en Zoon. 2 Maurits Voorhorst, 2012: Three basic principles Utilitas: the first quality Vitruvius distinguished is ‘usability’. Buildings and towns must be made so that they can be used for the purpose they’re designed for. Venustas: secondly, ‘beauty’ is a fundamental item for buildings and town design. Firmitas: to make sure the build environment stands the test of time they must ‘durable’, deliberated and solid.
Figure 4 Drop City, early 1970’s
meeting in collectively used spaces (inside and outside buildings), what for them – as the ‘young generation’ of the modern/functionalist movement – was the essential starting point for working in a ‘modern’/‘functionalist’ way 3. However not everyone agreed with the CIAM position, as represented by De 8+Opbouw in the Netherlands. Henry Russel Hitchcock and Philip Johnson presented already in 1932 their opinion that modern architecture was defined by an agenda of aesthetics. They named that agenda International Style. Hitchcock and Johnson explicitly opposed their agenda to that of the CIAM and their German name for modern architecture: ‘Neues Bauen’ (= het nieuwe bouwen = functionalism, as guideline for/ profile of architectural design). In conclusion: from 1932 till the 1970’s the agenda for ‘modern’ architecture had replaced the Vitrivian triad by two different ways of looking at the same type of modernist architecture: ‘utilitas’ and ‘firmitas’ were replaced by the notion of a (social) attitude of
Figure 5 & 6 Paolo Soleri, Arcosanti, since 1970’s
Neues Bauen (‘form follows function’), whereas the notion of International Style defended the idea of form follows modern aesthetics. Use (function) and aesthetics (form) became the two main principles, while sustainability was not anymore an agenda issue for both positions. From 1939 onwards: the remarkable but marginal role of Scandinavian Modernism In particular one architect, whose work was respected by the two different positions of Neues Bauen and International Style, continued to work with the heritage of traditional materials and local handwork (and because of that, implicitly maintained sustainability as a principle, from an aesthetic point of view): Frank Lloyd Wright. From 1939 onwards Wright’s position became extended with the one of Alvar Aalto, as someone pleading for local architecture, working with local, natural materials (Finland), and after 1945 as well with the one of Swedish ‘New Empiricism’ (promoting to work with local materials in a modern way). More in general Scandinavian
3 The younger generation united in Team Ten, who took over the responsibility for CIAM and the way it was transformed by them into another type of platform for discussion during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Hertzberger and Apon were not members of Team Ten, however directly involved in the production of its Dutch architectural magazine, Forum.
modern design (and, inspired by Scandinavian design, also in postwar Swiss architecture) did hold up, in modernist architecture, a notion of what in the Netherlands had been called duurzaamheid (sustainability) in 1839. Notwithstanding in general the impression has been that sustainability was OFF THE AGENDA during the period in which the position of modern architecture of CIAM and Team Ten were dominating the practice and teaching of architecture. Efforts to deal consciously again with sustainability, from the 1970’s onwards It is for that reason – being off the agenda of the architectural debate and education – no surprise that sustainability has been reclaimed again from the margin of architectural practice, by those who practiced a ‘drop out’ attitude during the 1970’s (drop out = consciously stepping out of the framework of working and studying conform the expectations and rules of the establishment of society). Strategies of recycling and the first prototypes of zero energy houses
were developed by those with a conscious ‘antiarchitectonic’ agenda, like Graham Caine, Peter Crump and Bruce Haggert at the Architectural Association in London 4. The anti-architecture attitude preferred anti-formal motives of expression. Informal design was the result. The use of geodetic domes in Drop City 5 is one of the most famous examples of a type of building that recycles. The primitive hut type of use of the ‘industrial’ appearance of the geodetic dome in Drop City may be seen as related to handwork form making at the base of the earth-casting techniques of Paolo Soleri, as practiced by him in Arcosanti (in central Arizona, north of Phoenix): “The goal of Arcosanti is to explore the concept of arcology, which combines architecture and ecology”. The domes of Drop City and Arcosanti itself (that got a lot of attention in the 1970’s, to a degree to become a model for an ‘alternative’ practice of making architecture and cities) reactivated an idea of expressing nature along geometries of vegetal (and sometimes animal type of forms – that much later would appear in the work of Calatrava) that
became part of a base of reorientation in the search of an alternative design practice since the experiments with digital design in the 1990’s. The theme of the role of nature as inspiration was dedicated a book and exhibition ‘Nature design – from inspiration to innovation’ (2007). Theoretical practice in the new millennium In the new millennium the return of sustainability on the agenda of architectural design in congresses and schools of the built environment is often linked with the results of digital design’s aesthetic habits. The possibilities that software (such as Maya) offers has been a big motor behind the development of these habits. It made it easy to design relative complex fluid forms, with an appeal to organic, natural forms. However it is first with a certain decorum that such habits seem to communicate about sustainability: Buildings with an organic expression and covered with green vegetation seem to appeal and ‘represent’ the idea of sustainability. Maybe the general public, even more than designers themselves, want to recognize ideas being communicated by the expression of built form. As if form may
4 In 1972 Caine built and designed ‘Street Farmhouse’ with Haggert and other friends. It hit national and international headlines as the first structure intentionally constructed as an ecological house, appearing on an early BBC documentary introduced by a youthful Melvin Bragg. While their fame was brief, their ongoing influence on prominent green architects including Howard Lindell, Brenda Vale and Robert Vale and Paul Downton has been more enduring. (Source: Bristol Radical History Group). 5 Wiki: Drop City was a counterculture artists’ community that formed in southern Colorado in 1965. Abandoned by the early 1970s, it became known as the first rural “hippie commune”. The last of the iconic domes was taken down only in the late 1990s, by a truck repair facility which now occupies a portion of the site.
follow and communicate concepts such as sustainability that directly. One of the few architectural offices that questioned this practice, by dealing with it in a more critical and experimental way is R&Sie(n), Paris. In its/his designs R&Sie(n)/Francois Roche exploits the mythological, if not fairytale type of fascination that is at stake here, by pointing at a 17th century etching by Dutch adventurer Johan Nieuhof (who made drawings of landscapes, animals and vegetation on his trips to Brasil, for the Verenigde Westindische Compagnie, and to China, for the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie):
Figure 10 Francois Roche, Stéphanie Lavaux, Jean Navarro, Pascal Bertholie, A museum for contemporary art in Bankok, 2002
Figure 7 & 8 Sketch by Johan Nieuhof
Figure 11 R&Sie(n)/Francois Roche, Green Gorgon (Project), Lausanne, CH, 2005
R&Sie(n)’s design for a museum about ice and glaciers in Valais in the Swiss Alps talks about a similar fascination as Nieuhof’s drawing: R&Sie(n) exploits the habit of using
organic forms, in the very literal type of way that supports the idea of an architecture that wants to communicate the principle of sustainability. Only R&Sie(n) pronounces the habit so radical in terms of design, that, as a habit of representation, it is raised to the level of an allegorical presence (asking oneself ‘how did this fascination reach us?’, ‘where does it come from?’), by entering consciously the involved fairytale dimension, and exploring its roots; the drawings of Johan Nieuhof from the 17th century being one of them (and identified as such by Francois Roche), next
Figure 9 Francois Roche, Stéphanie Lavaux, Jean Navarro, Museum about ice and glaciers in Valais, CH, since 2002
to Onadrims’ fantastic tree images. Through the architecture of Francois Roche, the drawing of Johan Nieuhof of a landscape with hollowed out mountains with stairs through it, on which people walk, acquires the dimension of an allegory, in the manner of Plato’s allegory of the cave. In Nieuhof’s case, as interpreted by Roche, it is about a type of organic architecture that informs people how to look and be involved with nature. How to raise consciousness being involved with nature,
being part of it as a human being, with the help of architecture. How a certain type of building can contribute to such consciousness. In other words: through the elaborations and designs of Roche the drawing of Nieuhof becomes retrospectively the allegory of the hollowed out mountain as a building, the allegory of sustainability, in the way it is relevant for architectural design.
Figure 12 Question: would it be possible to read this typical practice/image of sustainable design in Norway through the lenses of Nieuhof/ Roche’s allegory of sustainability?
Against sustainability as agenda item of a school of architecture, but in support of R&Sie(n)’s allegorical representation of the similar Quite remarkable is that the school that invested most money and time (=studio work) in the experiment with digital design during the 1990’s – the graduate school of architecture of Columbia University in New York, where Francois Roche of R&Sie(n) teaches today 6 – articulates a pronounced skepticism toward the term ‘sustainability’ that various schools of the built environment use as part of their agenda (like the TU Eindhoven). In the words of Mark Wigley, who was up until the summer of 2014 the dean of this school: “Words like ‘sustainability’ have absolutely no meaning. To be non-stupid with energy – I think that’s kind of minimum condition. Saying you’re into sustainability is like a school of architecture being proud of having computers. It’s a word without ambition – to sustain, not to elevate. It’s inherently kind of pessimistic, bureaucratic. The question is how to take advantage of the radical optimism of the architect in a way that has real impacts on global life.” What Wigley means with the radical optimism of the architect he illustrated at other occasions, for example with his book on the New Babylon project of Dutch visual artist Contant Nieuwenhuys, and in his introduction to the work of R&Sie(n): “As an introduction of Francois Roche’s lecture at Columbia […], Mark Wigley brilliantly elaborated on the fact that a lot of contemporary architects are self-proclaimed “experimental”, “provocative”, “on the edge”, “innovative”; however the proper of such characteristics is to disturb people by their novelty and few architectures can be defined as such nowadays. Wigley then affirmed that Roche was one of those few who lead you in the uncomfortable zones of experimental architectures and narratives.” 7 In fact Wigley is not only skeptical about
using ‘sustainability’ as an agenda for a disciplinary approach, but as well when it comes to the other themes on the agenda of the built environment department of TU Eindhoven: ‘smart living environment’ and ‘quality of life’. Wigley: “The smart city is not a smart idea. It’s basically a business model used by companies who can persuade mayors to use their software platforms and treat their entire cities as corporations, which can be managed through metrics. That’s not very smart in the end, since there is only one outcome, which is the profit of those particular companies. They depend on the success of the particular platforms used. Information companies now are like what traffic engineers used to be in the past. Are IBM, Siemens, and other companies genuinely interested in the new potentials and political consequences of living together? No. So I think the term ‘smart city’ needs to be shot.” Where is Wigley’s firm criticism about? It seems – comparing the discussed dean positions of New York and Eindhoven, when it comes to define research ambitions for designers of the built environment 8 – that there survive strong echoes of the discussion on architecture and its agendas from the period of the late twenties up until the seventies. Wigley’s arguments define a position that defends the argumentation practice of the architect as one who relates to aesthetics in the first place, in the line of Hitchcock and Johnson, while in European schools of the built environment, like the TU Eindhoven, there seems to reign an echo of the agenda of Neues Bauen and the way it paid attention to the notion of use on the first place.
Is there a conclusion? According to Wigley and others the study and practice of aesthetical viewpoints is related to a specific discipline (the one of architectural thinking), that may/must include sustainability as a possible consequence. According to Westra and others the study and practice of utilitarian viewpoints is related to a discipline (the one of the integrative designer), that may/must include sustainability as a possible consequence. The tendencies to think in such explicit different ways make it difficult, almost impossible, to reactivate sustainability as the third pole of a Vitruvian triad, as it was the case before Modernism. Aesthetics and Use remain (like in the period of Modernism) the two surviving poles from Vitruv’s triad, that stand by themselves for two different approaches to architectural design that may/must – since the new millennium – include sustainability as one of its aspects.
For the content of this M3 research it seems to have been a wise decision to enter the debate on the topic of the Aesthetics of Sustainability from three sides of the spectrum, and its specific sensibilities (without immediately assuming any ‘truth’ in the middle): (1.) ‘Buildings shape and articulate contextual quality’, being the approach of architects that work on the topic of sustainability from a technological, innovative point of view (and discussing who among these architects succeeds to articulate contextual quality with the help of these innovations), (2.) ‘Context shapes buildings’, being the approach of architects that pay attention to how context defines a sensibility that is at work in an approach that deserves the label ‘sustainable’ from an aesthetic, social, energy and material performance point of view, and (3.) ‘Flexibility, reuse and recycling’, including various approaches that use sustainability as a guideline for reusing existing buildings.
6 Francois Roche is managing one of the research-advanced studios at Columbia Gsapp since 2006 7 http://thefunambulist.net/2010/12/23/great-speculations-an-architecture-des-humeurs-by-rsien/ 8 The New York faculty offers, as does Eindhoven, six different disciplines of graduation. The main difference between them is that one can study building physics in Eindhoven and not in New York. It seems that the themes of Eindhoven (sustain…) have been applied first and most pronounced in the field of building physics. The absence or presence of that discipline seems to influence a difference in agenda sensibility.
B Buildings shape and articulation contextual quality Sustainability as a guideline
This chapter shows that shape, aesthetics and sustainability are inseparable and interconnected, they have enormous influences on each other. Forms define the spaces around us, they are influenced by its context but can also be derived from motives of expression as well as motives of sustainable design. Equal sustainability can be reached in different forms by either biomimicry, careful analysis of the context or parametric designs, each leads to a different aesthetic quality. Methods and logics are subjective; preferred and hated. These pluralist approaches are celebrated through the first essays. This is followed by the fact that active technology is of great importance in sustainable architecture. Often technological devices or techniques are used to make a building more sustainable by either producing energy or reducing energy use or loss. This role is becoming of greater importance,
therefore these discussions are presented. In one essay several technologies from past and present are discussed. Furthermore a prediction of technological innovation in the future is presented. Related to an integrated design process, another essay discusses the integration of technologies and aesthetics. Opposed to this, passive techniques play an important role in sustainable architecture, these are discussed in the last essay. Due to the growing interest in energy-efficient building and the introduction of passive house certifications, these techniques have developed extensively. With this, the aesthetic of these buildings has also experienced a drastic change. The relation between these developments and its aesthetics is discussed.
The effects of future technology on the aesthetics of sustainable buildings written by Sjoerd te Bogt
Brief history of sustainable design
Introduction A few decades ago, the concept of sustainable architecture was reserved for a small niche market. No one outside of the most die-hard nature-fanatics would have given it a second thought, much less sought out ways to make their own homes more Eco-friendly. Today however, it seems exactly the opposite. Every company seems to want to be green and are screaming at their customers what they are doing, why they are good for the world and therefor you should buy their products. People want to be green, they want to make a difference and do something positive for the world. Green is everywhere nowadays, you see it in politics, television, fashion, internet, the supermarket. Where a decade ago the general public didn’t care about sustainability, the stories about global warming and depleting the earth have reached people. Everyone knows by now that being sustainable is a virtue, a goal to strive for. Being sustainable has moved from hippies to mainstream, being sustainable is the new big trend, being sustainable is cool. Architecture is also caught by the sustainability trend, sustainable buildings start to pop up more and more, almost everyone wants to do something sustainable with their building in some way and because sustainability is cool and the good thing to do, you want to show it.
So the question is, as with all trends, how will the “sustainable look” trend evolve over time? How will the aesthetics of the sustainable buildings change with the development of new technologies and the change of people’s expectancy of building design? If we have an idea as to where the trend is heading, we can design according to that, instead of making buildings that have fallen out of grace only twenty years after they are build. The goal of the essay is therefore not to accurately predict the future, predict what technologies will break through or predict what the future city will look like. This is only used as a tool to predict the main trend of how sustainable design will look like in the future. To predict this trend, the essay will first look at the recent history of the “sustainable look”, to see how or if it changed, this way we can more accurately see where the trend is heading. The rest of the essay will focus on what technologies are now being developed that will influence the aesthetics of sustainable building of the future, to look at these technologies and predict what effect these will have.
“One thing that they all have in common is they have a particular “sustainable look”, a new style that is driven by the wish to show that they are good for the world.”
This is clearly visible for example in the car industry, where the green cars all have a slightly different look than their regular cousins, just so it’s visible that you are driving a car that is better for the world. The same holds true for buildings, most of the buildings that are green want to show that in one way or another and a lot of different approaches are used for that; showing their green technology, material choice, making references to nature and so on. One thing that they all have in common is they have a particular “sustainable look”, a new style that is driven by the wish to show that they are good for the world.
The real start of sustainable design is rather hard to pinpoint on one particular time. You could say it all started way back with vernacular design, some pick the oil crisis of the seventies others say it has only just started now with mainstream acceptance. McLennan states that you can divide it in four different beginnings: the biological beginning, the indigenous vernacular beginning, the industrial beginning and the modern beginning.1 Here the modern beginning is the interesting one to look at for this essay, as this starts in recent history, with the oil crisis in the 1970’s.
As the rest of the essays included in this book research this current aesthetic style of sustainable buildings, this essay will take a small peek into the future. Because, in my opinion, great building design needs to withstand the shrills and latest trends to achieve a design that can withstand time and still be appreciated 50 years from now, as buildings have such a long service time. I think that everybody will agree that sustainability is here to stay but how the aesthetics of sustainability will evolve is an interesting topic.
Figure 1 The Earthship in Brighton by Michael Reynolds
Figure 2 The Raven Run house in Kentucky by Richard Lavine
Figure 3 the Balcomb solar house by Lewington
Seventies Even before the seventies people became more conscious of our heritage to the world when creating our build environment. It was the oil crisis though that leveraged a real change, as designers started to look at how we can design our buildings to be more energy efficient to reduce cost. The dependency on oil also became painfully apparent, so architects started rediscovering vernacular strategies of the past and began experimenting with ways to use the sun for heat and electricity. They formed passive, climate responsive, bioregional design strategies that are still the basis of sustainable design today. All sorts of alternative energy and waste technologies started to be integrated into buildings. People like Michael Reynolds started exploring alternative building materials for his new Earthships. 2 Many different, sometimes crazy, experiments were built of which most failed and some slowly improved.
Out of all these different experiments you can discover a general trend in the seventies. Antony Denzer calls it the “solar renaissance” with their typical “solar houses”, these buildings are characterized by “an eccentrically shaped structure with oversized sloped glass walls and diagonal cedar siding ... an earth berm ... a Volkswagen van nearby.” 3 It is called solar renaissance because these are not in particular a product of only the seventies, these type of buildings were also developed in the decades before, but were revalued and popularized in the seventies. This essentially became the stereotype green building description that formed the perception of the general public on how sustainable architecture looked and functioned like. 4 That image wasn’t a real positive one, as all the buildings in this decade were all quite experimental and the goal was not yet to create beautiful buildings but to prove the concept of sustainable design was feasible. This perception of sustainable architecture would stick for a long time to hurt the movement for the next 20 years.
Figure 4 Uber Solar Home by Tamory Lovins Figure 5 The solar house of Alan and Mary Spector of Lafayette Figure 6 The Saskatchewen conservation house
Figure 7 Chesapeake bay foundation Figure 8 Derasmus pavilion Figure 9 Wildflower center
Eighties Energy prices started to drop again, the oil crisis was over. This reduced the need to conserve energy greatly and this lead to a huge drop in sustainable design. On top of that, the sustainable buildings that where build in the seventies turned out to have sick building syndrome. A term used for buildings that have bad indoor air quality which gives its inhabitants heath issues. This hurt the perception of sustainable architecture even more. The number of new green architecture participants was dropping to just a small dedicated group that still believed in the greater design philosophy of sustainable design. 5 The movement didn’t progress much in this decade but made a few slight adjustments to the buildings of the seventies to make them more pleasant to live in. This involved reducing window size and increasing the insulation, following the principles of what later would evolve in the passive house principle. 6 A great example of that is the Saskatchewan Conservation House, which pioneered that already in 1977 but it was more widely used in homes throughout the eighties such as the examples below. Nineties Interest in the sustainable design movement started to grow again, as the effect of environmental decline became more visible. A few important initiatives where started such as the Rio earth summit and different magazines that focused on green design emerged. The scope of sustainable design is broadened in this decade. Previously it was mostly about energy production and reduction, as could be seen in the solar focused designs, now the field also started to map environmental impact of materials and resource management.7 This greatly influenced the sustainable look, as it now became more than a one trick pony. This evolution is reflected in the new sustainable test standard LEED, introduced in the mid-nineties, which made it possible for the first time to really test how sustainable a building is in a whole instead of just listing some green features. These improvements in the sustainable design movement weren’t without result, as the buildings produced started to become a lot better as a whole. As can be seen in the listed projects (figures 7,8 and 9), materials and design in general are becoming more important but also more complicated. The broadness of sustainable design and the fact that these are all tested by LEED, makes most of the building design also quite complicated. To solve this multitude of new demands, they mostly looked to the latest technologies to solve the sustainable performance of buildings. 8 At the end of the nineties even great and important architects as Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano started recognizing the importance and benefits of green design, a big step in making the movement an important design philosophy in architecture. 9
Zeroes Green design is now finally becoming accepted and is starting to go mainstream, not only within the architectural community but also politicians start to see the importance. There are some cities that even need a certain minimum LEED level for every new building. The general stigma that is created in the seventies with the solar homes is finally starting to wear off. Green buildings are now starting to be praised to actually be better than its common counterpart on health, cost and productivity.10 Architects really start to embrace sustainability and are also demanded to build sustainable buildings in a lot of cases. This does not mean that every building made is sustainable though, as many clients still feel that a sustainable building is a hassle and more costly. In addition to that there is a big amount of buildings that wants to be green but only has a few green features, a consequence of a lot of architects being new to this field of design. The general level of sustainable design is rising though and more and more exemplary sustainable buildings are being made as demonstrated by the number of platinum LEED buildings popping up around the world. The difference in regard to the previous decade though is that the sustainable design solutions don’t mainly come from new technologies but all sorts of other disciplines.11 A greater emphasis is laid on (passive) design, materials, natural airflow and so on. This also changes the aesthetics of sustainable buildings, making them more honest and understandable, as the hidden technical solutions don’t need to correct a bad design.
Figure 10 BedZet housing project Figure 11 Californian academy of sciences Figure 12 The council house 2
Figure 13 The Sunny ESF gateway center
Present It’s hard to distinguish any trend in this decade as it’s only half way through at the moment of writing, it looks though that the upward trend is only continuing. The greatest change is that politics and the general public start to demand more sustainable products and buildings. The main points where sustainable building design is practiced though is still in large public buildings and offices. The housing stock is where the trend really needs to catch on in the coming years.
The future of sustainable design
The evolution of local solar energy production
Throughout history of sustainable building design, the scope has continually broadened. Where it first only encompassed energy production it has added better insulation, life cycle assessment of materials, comfort and productivity. The sustainable look also evolved quickly through these changes, the buildings that are built now start laying greater emphasis on design and less on specific green features a building contains.
With the continual improvement of efficiency of photovoltaic cells and the steady lowering cost per panel, solar energy is getting more accessible and suitable for more regions. It is one of the only forms of energy generation that is suitable for single house application and is therefore the main driver of increasing sustainable local energy. In a way it can be said that the term “solar homes” from the seventies is still applicable today, as solar energy is almost always present in sustainable buildings throughout the globe.
How the look will evolve further into the future is the interesting question. Although nobody can answer that exactly, as this is greatly influenced by how “fashion in architecture” will change, we can look at one of the important drivers behind the improvement and change in the sustainable building movement: new sustainable technologies. These new technologies that are going to be used in the future are already in development at this moment. This makes it, together with the trend derived from the history, a lot more reliable for determining where the sustainable movement is heading. Custom printed PV cells
Different sustainable technologies from different disciplines will be covered. These are all grouped together on what specific impact they will have on the future aesthetics of sustainable buildings. To give all these different technologies a place, a reference to each other, the Gartner Hype Cycle will be used. This is a model, developed by the analyst company Gartner to “provide a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities. Gartner Hype Cycle methodology gives you a view of how a technology or application will evolve over time”.11
The technology is therefore still in high development; improving efficiently to even higher numbers but also diversifying in ways to apply this technique in even more places. Figure 14 Gartners hype cycle for sustainable technologies
3d printing building parts
Co2 absorbing concrete
One of the areas of diversification is colour printed photovoltaic glass. This new area of research is aimed not at producing panels with higher efficiency but at providing a more attractive option to designers. This way want to increase the adoption of solar energy and make it a viable option for areas that are now are left unused.12
The university of Michigan and Oxford are a few of the parties that are developing this product and are using similar ways to achieve that. They use an organic semi-conductor (perovskite) in place of the electrolytes, this organic material can be printed onto glass or other materials and you don’t have to worry about extensive sealing and encapsulation like when using toxic materials. On top of that, the manufacturing of the cells will cost 50 percent less than the cheapest thin-film technology currently out there with efficiencies already reaching 17% on the current prototypes. A reference product will be launched as soon as 2015 to license to manufacturers, making this a technology that could find its way to market very quickly.14
High altitude wind power Nuclear fusion
Energy producing paint
High efficienty PV panels
Self growing building materials
large scale bioplastics
Photovoltanic windows Giant offshore windmill parks
Peak of inflated expectations
Trough of Disillusionment
Slope of enlightment
Years to mainstream adoption: 0 - 5 years
5 - 10 years
Plateau of productivity
10 - 20 years
more than 20 years
Figure 15 + 16 Semi-transparent colour printed photovoltaic cells
The effects on future sustainable buildings
Figure 17 Fully transparent photovoltaic cell from University of Michigan
Another research that has the same goal, is the production of truly transparent photovoltaic cells for use as regular windows. While this technique isnâ€™t as far as the semi-transparent ones, it is a very interesting technique to look at, as this could also greatly increase the area that PV cells can be used.
That is not where the deployment of solar energy will stop, as the researchers from the University of Sheffield have created high efficiency perovskite solar cells that can be applied using a spray painting process. This is made possible because the perovskite only needs to be one micrometre thick compared to 180 with silicone.
This technology is in developed by the Michigan state University and MIT. These both work with a thin organic film that can be layered on top of glass. This layer passes through the visible light (thus being transparent) and uses the invisible parts of the light spectrum (ultra-violet and infrared) to generate the solar energy from. This technique is currently still in the prototyping face with an efficiency of just 1%, this is expected to increase to about 5% while still maintaining its completely transparent quality.15 16 While this is very little compared to for example the semi-transparent printed solar cells, the technique has the possibility to be very cheaply implemented in the production of standard glass sheets as just another coating, thus by pure quantity increasing solar energy significantly without influencing aesthetics whatsoever.
While the researchers have now only managed to get an efficiency of 11% with their current experiments, they expect to reach the same 19% as the other perovskite cells.17 The great advantage obviously is that the paint can be applied to all kind of surfaces and be scaled up or down very easily. The application in architecture will first come from factory produced parts though, as a controlled environment with specialized spray machines is still needed but it is expected that it will eventually become available to consumers in spray paint form.
These new technologies will not replace the standard solar panel any time soon, as these are continually made to be more efficient. They will however give the possibility to greatly expand the surface that is used to produce solar energy, as these technologies will keep getting cheaper and become a new standard. This makes it possible for every type of building to produce energy in a kind of way, as no surface is useless for production anymore. The total amount of locally produced solar energy will grow explosively, not by increasing quality but by sheer quantity. The contradicting and exiting part is that although every part will be covered in photovoltaic, it will remain an invisible addition, giving architecture larger freedom to focus on other problems. This will change the sustainable look drastically, because to a large degree sustainable design is still focused around producing the energy needed for the building.
Figure 18 Photovoltaic spray printer of the University of Sheffield
â€œAlthough every part of the building will be covered in photovoltaics, it will be an invisible addition.â€?
Comeback of centralized energy production Sustainable buildings in the present rely on decentralized energy produced by the building itself using solar panels or wind turbines, as centralized energy is not yet guaranteed to come entirely from sustainable sources. The centralized production of energy is at a big turning point at the moment of writing. A change that first started under pressure and subsidy of politics, as the need for sustainable energy is agreed upon in the UNFCCC and later in the more famous Kyoto agreement. At this moment several big energy companies like EON, RWE and Vattenfal are suffering great devaluation problems because of their non-green energy. As their green energy produces an excess in energy on sunny or windy days, they decrease the price of energy to the point that their traditional power plants are generating at a loss.18 This is now mainly because of energy subsidies but is nonetheless driving energy companies to enlarge their green energy portfolio and to start looking at new technologies or upscaling and improving of the current technologies.
One area that is now starting to grow greatly is the large offshore wind turbine parks. These probably cannot really be called future technology as these are already being placed but the fast amount of high wind areas at sea is still at the starting point of being fully used to its potential. Within the next 5 years, many more efficient and larger offshore wind parks will be build such as the Scottish Moray Firth (1,3GW) and the Swedish Blekinge (2,5GW).19 Prices have already dropped below those of oil (greatly dependable on current price of crude oil) and coal 20, so this type of energy production is very close to be fully developed. Another wind power solution, that is not being used today but has great potential to develop into a viable alternative, is high altitude wind power. This is a technique that uses flying plane or kite like objects that remain airborne their entire life in the more constant high altitude wind.
Several companies like Googleâ€™s owned Makani are aiming to have a working 600 KW product ready as soon as 2016 and much larger products like Kitegenâ€™s 500m2 kite will produce an estimate of 2MW per kite. These are products still aimed at lower streams around one kilometre high, once turbines are viable on the higher faster jet streams these numbers could increase considerately. 21 The potential of high altitude wind power compared to its ground based sibling is very large, roughly a 30 fold increase in potential energy. The advantages when compared to traditional ground based options are the lower material and installation cost relative to their energy production as well as minimal land use, this makes air borne turbines a great alternative for energy generation. 22
Figure 20 Makami high altitude plane wind turbine
Figure 21 Kitegenâ€™s high altitude kite wind turbine
Figure 19 Map of planned offshore wind parks from north western Europe in 2009
The effects on future sustainable buildings
Nuclear fusion, by many viewed as the holy grail of sustainable (centralized) energy production. A very complex technology, which works by fusing two light atomic nuclei together to form one heavier atom, a process constantly at work in the sun and other stars. Initially, fusion research in the USA and USSR was linked to atomic weapons development. Following a breakthrough at the Soviet Tokamak, fusion research became ‘big science’ in the 1970s but the cost and complexity of the devices involved increased to the point where international co-operation was the only way forward. 23 One of the most promising and largest of these cooperation’s is the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project that has started construction on the largest fusion reactor to date. The reactor is scheduled to start experiments in 2020 and isn’t expected to produce D-T plasma before 2026.
With the holy grail of sustainable energy, nuclear fusion, still far away we have to really on the more familiar forms of generating centralized sustainable energy like wind, water and solar. This does not influence the pace at which energy suppliers will expand their sustainable portfolio though, with wind energy solutions being the biggest contributor for Europe.
Figure 22 The inner “donut” of the JET nuclear fusion reactor
This has some impact on sustainable buildings, not as much directly but more through an economically attractive alternative to local energy production. Buildings that aspire to be sustainable, but are unable to produce enough on site, could just buy a part of their energy needs from an exclusive green energy producer.
This would make high sustainability scores accessible for an entire other type of buildings, such as apartments and high rise buildings, which could in turn aspire a larger part of the building stock to strive for these higher sustainability scores. The sustainable build environment would become less dependent of sustainable buildings on their own, which in the end might dilute the sustainable building look but will be necessary in the search for a completely sustainable society.
The goal of ITER is to operate at 500 MWt (for at least 400 seconds continuously) with less than 50 MW of input power, a tenfold energy gain. No electricity will be generated at ITER, this is planned after that with the build of the DEMO plants which they hope will produce 2GW in 2033. 24 Due to the very complex nature of this technology experts say it isn’t expected to be a viable option for energy production until at least 2050. 25
Building materials turning green Since the nineties we have been looking more closely at the sustainability of the materials our buildings are made of, this area has gained a increasing prominent role within the sustainability issue. This has good reasons, as around 40% of our raw materials are being used in the construction industry worldwide. 26 The sustainability of these materials thereby have a great impact on the environment. The increase in awareness of the importance subject is reflecting in the research into the sustainable materials and there are now more innovations regarding this field than ever before. First the life cycle analysis of our building materials have given us insight into the matter, now we are starting to see developments of new materials that are supplementing the traditional sustainable materials. One of these new materials is the carbon emission reducing concrete coming from CarbonCure. Production of cement is responsible for as much as 5% of the CO2 emitted each year, making it the second largest industrial emitter in the world. 27 If you look at regular concrete, the cement starts off as CaC03 which is heated in cement kilns and releases one molecule of C02 for every molecule of lime in this process. The concrete to produce CarbonCure concrete blocks is putting this CO2 back into the mix. The CO2 is collected from industrial processes like power plants or factories, purified and compressed into liquid form and then trucked to concrete block factories to be injected into the concrete that is formed into blocks. This reduces the total carbon emission by 20% while also increasing compressive strength and reducing the amount of cement required to produce the blocks. 28
For now only concrete blocks are produced as a proof of concept but they are now starting to licence to other concrete producers. This opens the way beyond blocks and into situ concrete pouring, concrete floors and so on. The concrete is exactly the same as regular concrete in every way, just greener, making it an ideal product for the conservative construction industry. Another product aiming to replace its polluting likeness are biological grown bricks, with different companies using different techniques to produce this bio-grown building material.
Another approach is taken by Phillip Ross, he uses fungi to grow his bricks. The fungi are laid in a brick mould to let them grow, once the fungi filled the mould they can be taken out to be dried to become hard and solid. The resulting brick is water, mould and fire-resistant and can be finished off in different ways, such as the high gloss ones in the picture used to make the first large scale building the Hy-Fi tower in New York. 30, 31 Just as the CarbonCure concrete, the strength of these products is that it takes a widely used building
The effects on future sustainable buildings
Figure 23 Biomason bacteria grown brick
Because of the high amount of raw material being used for the building industry, it is very important to convert to greener materials if we donâ€™t want to deplete our planet. This change has to come at the very hart of the highly conservative construction industry, its building materials. The products themselves are definitely not conservative though, as they change the way we make are most basic building blocks. They all have the same aim: to make a green alternative to an existing product. Thereby greatly enlarging the material catalogue for green designers, giving a green option to some of the most widely used building products; concrete and bricks
Figure 24 Phillip Ross glossy fungi grown bricks
This will greatly influence the aesthetics of future sustainable buildings, as it will dilute the border between sustainable and unsustainable buildings regarding materials. The sustainable look would also be less clear, giving it one less thing to distinguish itself from it unsustainable counterparts.
Figure 23 Carboncureâ€™s concrete blocks
One of these is BioMason, they use bacteria to grow their bricks from plain sand. The standard process of making bricks involves high heat kilns, giving bricks a very high embodied energy. The Biomason bricks donâ€™t require any heat at all, instead they are using the bacteria to produce a cement within a mix of loose aggregate to form a solid brick. The entire process of making the bricks takes about five days and they are comparable in cost and performance compared to regular bricks. 29
material and just makes it green, again fitting the conservative construction industry. While this way of growing building products has produced it first prototypes in the form of bricks, this field of research has a lot more promise, as they can produce much more than just bricks. Grown materials are just in its infancy though, with relatively small non-commercial projects testing what these materials are capable of. In the future though we could see a large part of the plastics, stone and composite products being replaced by biological grown ones.
Custom printed PV cells
From the past we see this clearly distinguishable sustainable look that followed from designing sustainable buildings. In the seventies this was in the form of the solar houses, a very typical design style that formed the image of the sustainable look for the masses. An image that stuck for decades, while sustainable design slowly kept evolving.
3d printing building parts
Co2 absorbing concrete
High altitude wind power Nuclear fusion
Energy producing paint
High efficienty PV panels
Self growing building materials
It wasn’t for the late nineties until this sustainable look changed. This was because sustainability had broadened as a movement and they starting looking into different area’s than just energy, which is reflected in LEED standard that was created in that time.
large scale bioplastics
Photovoltanic windows Giant offshore windmill parks
Peak of inflated expectations
Trough of Disillusionment
Slope of enlightment
Years to mainstream adoption: 0 - 5 years
5 - 10 years
Plateau of productivity
10 - 20 years
more than 20 years
Figure 25 Gartner’s hype cycle for sustainable technologies
Because of the added complexity that sustainable design gained, designers looked at new technologies to solve these problems. These technologies in combination with an added emphasis on material choice defined the new sustainable look.
The zeroes is different in regard to the decade before it in that the sustainable design solutions don’t mainly come from new technologies but all sorts of other disciplines. A greater emphasis is being laid on (passive) design, materials, natural airflow and so on. This changes the aesthetics of sustainable buildings, making them more honest and understandable, as the hidden technical solutions don’t need to correct a bad design. A consequence of this broadening of sustainable design is that the sustainable look also starting to dilute. Where it used to be a very characteristic style based on using the suns energy, an easy to recognize theme, it is now such a complex allround whole that buildings become less recognizable as a sustainable building. This is reflected in where the new technologies are heading. Keeping the Gartner hype cycle in mind to correct any potential over valuation of technologies.
Solar energy is continuing to evolve and is being applied on different surfaces, it is increasing its share not by quality but in sheer quantity. Although its numbers will grow, the aesthetic presence of solar energy looks to be decreasing, as all these new applications are designed to be part of the building design or just be invisible. On top of that, the centralized energy producers are giving green energy an increasingly important role in their energy portfolio. This could make centralized energy a viable option for sustainable buildings in the future, decreasing the physical presence of energy production on buildings even further. Material choice is getting more options too, as more building products and materials are being replaced for a green alternative, giving architects a greater and more diverse design palette for sustainable buildings.
The relation between shape and sustainability written by Patrick van Dodewaard
Figure 1 All Electric House with its archetypical shape. The facade is completely covered in PV panels.
green building lacks the rich mystery of inspiring architecture due to monotone lighting. 6 Most building physics researches on ‘the perfect shape’ of buildings are too general since the models do not take context into account. The environmental circumstances in an urban area are completely different than in a rural surrounding for example. An example of such a research is done by Ken Yeang, who defined the perfect skyscraper shape in his book “The Green Skyscraper”. His conclusions may be true to a certain extent, yet it is still too superficial and too general. (fig. 2)
Figure 2 Yeang’s skyscraper shape principles.
Figure 3 Biomimicry. Wuhan Energy center by Soeters and van Eldonk
Introduction “Form follows function” is a wellknown architectural principle by Sullivan 1, it is related to rationalism and modernism, these days it is still a popular design approach. So if form follows function, and we consider sustainability as a function, form should follow sustainability. This would lead to visible sustainable architecture with a complete integration between sustainability and the shape of a building. Reality however shows, that there is little connection between shape and sustainability. A quote by Peter Eisenmann in a 2009 interview is characteristic for sustainable architecture in general: “Green and sustainability have nothing to do with architecture” 2. He said this because designers care about image whilst the green movement has the reputation of not caring about image at all. In most cases beauty or integration is not a topic. It seems that virtue wins over design. 3 Sustainable buildings mostly have green add-ons, like solar panels, which are not integrated in the
architectural design of the building. For the shape of a building the same values seem to apply. Shape is hardly related to the sustainable intentions of a building. Sometimes it is used to make solar panels more effective thanks to the angle of the roof, but it can be questioned if the shape of a building would be different if solar panels would not have been applied. The All Electric house in Goutum, the Netherlands, (fig. 1) claims that the shape is related to
buildings - due to its checklist-architecture - have in common, is their universal appearance. There are some exceptions, like the Academic of Science by Renzo Piano. Furthermore the shape is mostly reduced to a square block, since this is the most energy-efficient shape. The problem with many sustainable building designs is that they all try to do the same, they flatten the daylight that is falling in, since this is comfortable for the office workers inside commercial buildings. The typical
The opposite trend of these pragmatic sustainable designs are the icons. When it comes to icons, sustainable buildings are highly represented. The Bahrain World Trade Center for example is shaped in such a way the wind turbines should work more efficient, a very large statement of sustainability, more information on this building an be found in the essay ‘Why We Need (some) Sustainable Expressionism’. Ironically, the buildings are shaped the wrong way round. Bert Blocken, professor at the TU Eindhoven, showed with wind tunnel experiments that the wind flows are not optimal. “Ideas about wind flows are often based on intuition, but that leads to suboptimal designs” 7, Blocken says on the TU website.
of species which survive will evolve further. It is more about give-and-take than cause-and-effect. In the building industry, straight buildings are being built since they are easy to produce, this makes it more sense to state: “form follows industry”. 5 But since architects have the power to improve the causeand-effect theory of a building we can make buildings that actually survive with less energy, in a socially accepted and durable way.
“Form follows industry” sustainability, but in fact it is just an archetypical house. 4 The first sentence of this essay is exemplary for the problem, since the suggested relation between form and function is not entirely valid. Form follows function is a statement which is incompletely borrowed from nineteenth century’s biology. Darwin showed that in natural selection, morphology shows up randomly. Only the morphology
There are many examples which claim to be sustainable, sometimes they even claim that they are shaped according to sustainability arguments. Some architects see sustainability checklist certifications like BREEAM and LEED as a way to design ‘sustainable’ buildings. Buildings which have this certification reduced their energy consumption and sometimes these buildings even saved on construction materials. What these
Figure 4 Knik naar de zon. The angle and surface of the red roof part is in both drawings equal, however the upper drawing makes this angle more dramatic than the lower.
invisible green is about chemical content, embodied energy and material sources. Visible green is about solar panels, vegetation and shape.11 How can we use shape, in a way that is socially accepted and durable due its beauty? In other words: How can architects use ‘shape’ in an integrated design approach to make buildings more sustainable?
The Toyota Prius effect The First question that needs to be answered is: why do we need integration between design and sustainability? The answer is simple, nevertheless important. Sustainability is a hype, and since hypes come and go, it could really kill the sustainability awareness movement.12 Therefore it is crucial to integrate green strategies in a subtle way and not in the most
The Image Above Performance strategy, which is characteristic for icons, is explained by Simon Guy and Graham Farmer in their paper, Reinterpreting Sustainable Architecture: The Place of Technology, in this paper they codify sustainable design approaches in various logics. Despite that Guy contradicted his paper six years later, the Eco-aesthetic Logic still makes sense. “The Eco-aesthetic logic shifts the debate about sustainable architecture beyond the efficient use of resources and the reduction of ecological footprints”. 8 Guy claims that the role of sustainable architecture is metaphorical and it should act as an inspiration for others. “The logic places an emphasis on individual creativity and a liberated imagination combined with the romantic of nature that rejects Western rationalism, modernism and materialism.” 9 It tries to break loose from the standard of building typologies. A part of the iconic architecture is the so called Biomimicry. Where building shapes are directly related to the aesthetics of nature. But shaping a building like a rock obviously does not make the building more ecological. Other examples are the Calatrava buildings in Valencia, inspired by nature, but far from ecological in most cases. ‘Natural’ architecture, Biomimicry, is often used as green-washing. Greenwashing is claiming that a product is ecological, but in fact it is not. Concrete examples are the green makeover of McDonald’s and the cows and trees on random milk packages. The most striking example of this green-washing is an office building in China, designed by Soeters and van Eldonk. (fig. 3) It is a building shaped after a flower, including leafs to claim their sustainable intentions. On a smaller scale green-washing can be found in the Dutch dwelling ‘Knik naar de zon’ 10 (English: nod towards the sun). The nod towards the sun literally increases the energy performance of the solar panels on the roof. However, this nod can also be shaped in a way that the sustainable intentions would be less visible. It also leads to a useless space at the upper floor. Image seems more important than performance in this case. (fig. 4) When sustainable buildings really want to challenge the current building envelope it is of great importance that green strategies are implemented in the design since shape is one of the most important factors. Green architecture is divided in visible and invisible green. The
obvious cliché way which is happening a lot. Sustainability becomes ordinary in this way. Referring to the car industry, electrical cars such as the Toyota Prius and the Tesla S are so successful since they look like ordinary cars. (fig. 5 & 6) But in fact, they are (partly) electrically driven and therefore more sustainable. Since they do not look extreme, but nice and ordinary, they became best-sellers. The Toyota Prius became even more popular due to its reputation. Driving around in Prius projects the driver’s identity as a person who cares about the planet, and enjoys new technology.13 This observation is also applicable to buildings.
Figure 5 & 6 Toyota Prius, Tesla S, Commercial sustainability succes due to its aesthetics.
The problem is not logical, it is emotional. “A matter for the heart, not for the brain”.14 Maybe this influences the approach on building shapes when designing sustainable buildings. Hosey defines in his book “The Shape of Green” three strategies for ‘shaping’ green products. The shape of green buildings is also part of this design approach.15 1. 2. 3.
Conservation: Shape for Efficiency. Attraction: Shape for Pleasure Connection: Shape for Place
The three strategies are discussed with theory and examples.
This strategy is all about reducing, reusing and recycling. A strategy that is closely related to cost efficient design and rational building. This strategy is not new of course, in fact Buckminster Fuller mentioned it decades ago: “Efficiency = Build more with less”.16
“Green buildings are ugly” 22, is the ugly truth about sustainable buildings according to Winy Maas. Beauty is directly related to shape, since there are attractive and unattractive shapes. However it is also vaguer since a box could be beautiful or ugly, but it is both the same box shape. Shape for Pleasure is nevertheless a crucial strategy when designing a sustainable building. Baba Dioum, a famous environmentalist, quoted in 1968: “In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught”. 23
The U.S. Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted three thousand simulations of different shapes and found out that a fully optimized shape can achieve up to 60 percent energy saving on average, at no extra costs.17 But there is a difference between the rational (read: cheap) energy efficient shape design methods, mentioned in the introduction and between really integrating shape and efficiency. When we look back at the car industry, we see aerodynamically shaped cars to reduce the usage of fuel. This is a complete collaboration between shape and energy usage. Bill Gross who is a founder and board member of Aptera, a company which produces efficient road vehicles, says: “Cars need to look like dolphins, not SUVs” 18. Meaning that aerodynamics is of the highest priority in the car industry. So why not make buildings more aerodynamic? Buildings do not ride, but the wind loads are (especially in tall buildings) the governing load. When the resistance of wind loads decreases it becomes possible to design with less construction material. Designing aerodynamic shaped buildings can be affordable if the connections are designed properly. An example is the Shanghai tower in Shanghai, it has a 120 degrees twist. This twist redirects the wind to flow around its face. This resulted in a 25% steel reduction, and 60 million U.S. dollars savings on the construction costs.19 (fig. 7)
the planet ‘happier’ by either reducing our footprints, or by increasing our quality of life. Since sustainability sometimes has the image of a degrading welfare, this theory shows that it does not have to be.
The first part, “in the end we only conserve what we love” is crucial when designing a building. The shape of buildings should be emotionally
There is a strong Biophilia movement that represents natural or bioarchitecture. Since people love nature for evolutionary reasons – otherwise we wouldn’t survive – they predicate that products that are related to nature are there to love. Wilson, founder of this movement: “with aesthetics we return to the central issue of Biophilia.” Heerwagen, an environmental psychologist distinguishes between three kinds of Biophilia: Literal, facsimile and evocative. The first theory is about applying real natural
sustainable. This is the hardest part since it is hard to measure, beauty can make people happy and it can influence how we feel about our surroundings. The Happy Planet Index, by The New Economics Foundation, has a way of measuring the nation’s life satisfaction and life expectancy with its footprint. 24 This is done by dividing the quality of life by the ecological footprint. It is doubtful that this is directly applicable to buildings, but the experiment is interesting since it is possible to make
materials inside a building, like ponds, trees, vegetation etcetera. The second, facsimile, is about a direct connection towards nature, a photographic and realistic reproduction of nature. The last one stands for the non-representational images that emulate nature’s order, and suggests that design can embody the qualities and organizing principles of nature. This theory could cause a revolution in sustainable shaped buildings. An example of the evocative theory is a roof structure that reminds
Self-sustaining form is about a geometry that enhances structural and material integrity through the conservation of resources. A basic principle of doing this is following the centenary in structural design. In this way a very effective structure is possible with a minimum amount of material. Gaudi was one of the first (structural) designers who applied this knowledge. Hosey claims therefore that Gaudi made sustainable architecture20, since his buildings are shaped in a way that can transfer the loads in an efficient way. This creativity came out of the limited resources, but his examples seem to have escaped notice of ecologically minded designers today. Another, more contemporary example is the Messehalle in Hannover. The challenge in this design was to create a very large span. In the case of large spans, the own weight of the structure becomes an important factor, by reducing weight it becomes possible to make larger spans. This vision is similar to sustainable architecture, only the goal, construct large spans, is completely different. The roof structure contains two parts. One part is a cable in the shape of a centenary, the other is a steel structure, and together they form a truss which is so optimized that it is hardly visible. The shape of the roof has direct influence on the shape of the building, it is fully intertwined with the structure. This is very typical for lightweight structures in general, but this building method is still not very common in our culture. Which is a pity, since it can save a lot of materials.
Figure 7 Shanghai Tower by Gensler, Shanghai. The twisted design redirects the wind to flow around its face resulting in a 25% Figure 8 Messehalle Hannover by Thomas Herzog. The shape of the roof has direct influence on the shape of the building, it is fully intertwined with the structure.
Figure 9 Louvre Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel. The large amount of small openings in the roof simulate the light effects of the trees and leafs in a forest.
of a forest. The Abu Dhabi Louvre, designed by Jean Nouvel, has this ‘forest roof’. 25 It is being constructed at this moment (2014) so it is still unclear how the roof will turn out. The large amount of small openings in the roof simulate the light effects of the trees and leafs in a forest. This building also follows the ‘literal’ theory since there is direct accessible vegetation in the entrance hall. A large pond and some plants as seen on the renders. (fig. 9)
Figure 11 Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center. Ventilation due to wind forces, a pressure differential is created by incoming force of wind. Figure 12 Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center overview
Sustainable buildings seek stronger connection to nature and sight is a key connector. 26 Daylight makes buildings healthier and makes buildings more sustainable. By simulating a healthy environment it can be possible to make a healthier building. Maybe this can be called placebo architecture? There is a thin line between looking at nature to make more ecological shapes and copying nature for its looks, this thin line is already explained in the introduction.
3. Connection Buildings should become part of a place. Ecology is also about location. So when a building denies its location, can it still be a sustainable building? On the one hand we have local materials and building traditions that shape a building. On the other hand there are specific building conditions that influence the shape of a sustainable building. This mix makes a building local-rooted or not. The igloo is a very banal example of a sustainable and local building type. Using local materials to make a structural logical form that due to its mass creates a comfortable indoor climate. For green building design it is of great importance that they are influenced by their surroundings, since in nature it is the same. In nature, image and ecology are interwoven. 27 Shaping for place also fits in one of the logics of Guy and Farmer, the Eco-cultural Logic promotes designing according to the local, bioregional and cultural characteristics. Using local materials is not enough, a sustainable building should fit the place perfectly. In a physical and cultural way. 28 Arne Naess: argues that we should: “aim to conserve the richness and diversity of life on earth - and that includes human cultural diversity.” 29 This logic suggests that an universal sustainable architecture is not the right way to go, since they fail towards local traditions and circumstances. Yeang designed bio-skyscrapers in Malaysia in which he took greatly into account the climate of the place. An example is the Menara Mesiniaga in Kuala Lumpur. In this design he applied strategies like wind ducts, open-to-sky ground floors, cores on the warm side of the building etcetera. All applications are location dependent, so the building is clearly related by surroundings. 30 (fig. 10) The contradictory about this building is that the pursuit of energy conservation led to a building that is alienated from its surroundings regarding its aesthetics. It looks more like a machine than something which is good for nature. A good example of a building which is connected to its region is Renzo Piano’s, Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center, in Noumea, New Caledonia. The shell-shaped wood slat towers echo local vernacular building traditions while also coaxing the breeze up from below in its sticky climate. The building refers to the linear villages in the direct surroundings. Despite the fact that all wood is imported from Africa – which is not that local – the design really became part of the place. This example actually includes all three strategies stated before. It offers a nice, tactile image. The
shape is influenced by the wind flows, making it comfortable and energy efficient, and above all it is very locally rooted. 31 (fig. 11 & 12)
Use all three strategies After studying the three strategies it becomes clear that these strategies are not valid on their own. The trick is to combine at least two strategies. In a pluralist universe, in which we live, there is not one way of doing it. Guy and Moore stated that “we need to open up the language we use to talk about sustainable architecture” 32 since the strategies and logics in fact are overlapping each other, but claiming to be restricted. As Yeang stated in his research about passive skyscrapers: The bioclimatic energy-conserving agenda provides us with a set of theoretical principles for shaping buildings which must eventually allow for a permissiveness in poetic interpretation by design. 33 In this sentence both conservation, local circumstances and design are mentioned, so he realized many years ago that all the strategies are linked together. The Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center mentioned before is an example which includes all three strategies. The design manages to combine the energy conservation with local circumstances in a very elegant way. A more western
Figure 13 KfW Westarkade by Sauerbruch Hutton, Frankfurt. The four story volume follows the curve of the context, while the upper volume is shaped after perfect wind and solar conditions.
example is the KfW Westarkade, designed by Sauerbruch Hutton in Frankfurt. (fig. 13) A four story podium is built parallel to the street and determines its location, while the ten-story tower on top follows the logic of the sun, wind and views to optimize heat gain, ventilation and comfort. It is one of the most energy-efficient office buildings and one of the first buildings in the world that can be run on less than 100kWh/m 2 of primary energy per year, which is unique for a 15 story building with office space for 700 people. 34 The building follows all the principles stated before. The building does not look like an icon, but it is an enrichment towards the direct surrounding, just by applying logical thinking and some creativity. The fact that it looks like a conventional office tower is positive, referring to the Prius and Tesla effect mentioned before.
Another successful example of placebased efficiency is the London City Hall. (fig. 14) Designed by Foster and Partners. It is a site specific design, the building leans into the sun, shading itself and gathering light onto the river walk below. Soft curves diminish wind loads on the surface and air turbulence at the pedestrian level. The design did not stick to geometry, but it is shaped after the surroundings. Hugh Whitehead, director of Foster’s digital modelling team, writes that the design called for “radical new solutions to the control of geometry and architectural expression.” 35 Radical means in this sentence “back to the roots”. The idea to go back to the first principles was leading Foster’s design. The building became distinctive, but not because of its sustainable performance. 36 The London City Hall, is like every icon heavily criticized, for example, design
critic Deyan Sudjic, calls the building a piece of political theatre, “its comically overblown ramp corkscrewing a stageset debate hall that will sit empty most of the time but remain visible to all of London.” 37
Looking at the built environment it seems that technological interventions are attractive and people like to live in ‘common shaped’ houses. After looking at the examples given in this essay it can be concluded that an interesting relation between shape and sustainability is possible. Especially when it is done with the three strategies - conservation, attraction and connection - in mind. Now it is up to designers to use these strategies and design more sustainable. Use things that are freely available, shape is freely available. By using shape, it becomes possible to optimize passive performance of a building without spending money on expensive technologies. 39 Tom Mayne, chief designer of the Phare Tower in Paris quoted: “When you start changing the shape, you start really changing the behaviour of buildings” 40
Nevertheless, green icons have an impact. 38 Icons like the London City Hall and the Swiss Re in London are the concept cars for urban development. They push the limits, they deliver the proof that green buildings are possible, and can look good. Many technologies have been developed in pioneering buildings in the past but are very common these days. Real buildings are more convincing than utopic theories about a perfect green building. Figure 14 London City Hall, Foster & Partners
The examples showed before prove that it is possible to create sustainable buildings by their shape and that design plays a crucial role in this symbiosis. The most exciting conclusion may be that all the ‘good’ examples look totally different. The London City Hall, Shanghai Tower and Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center look different, have different functions and different scales. Which means that there is not ‘one’ way of shaping sustainable buildings and that there is not just one typology that is suitable for sustainable shaped designs. It also shows that it is possible to create sustainable architecture with smart shapes by giving sustainability more priority. This is the largest difference between the good and the bad examples. Trying to make a conventional building sustainable or designing a sustainable building from the start is readable in the shape of the building. Since the shape is, mostly determined in the first weeks of the design process. The installations and façades are defined later on. The shape of a building has great impact on its performance, so much that over 90% of the product’s environmental impact is determined during its shaping phase; is that not enough to consider aesthetic as an integral part of conceiving a sustainable building? 41 Shaping buildings into more ‘sustainable shapes’ plays an important role for architects when implementing aesthetics and sustainability as an integral part in their building design, to make better and more beautiful buildings for (future) users, since “beauty is essential when we are trying to save the planet.” 42
“When you start changing the shape, you start really changing the behaviour of buildings”
The digital revolution in architecture How digital tools affects aesthetic and sustainability in architecture written by Giuseppe Bonavita
In the last 60 years the theories of design processing have been drastically modified due to new technologies and to new applications in the architectural field. Especially the introduction of Computer Aided Design (CAD) in the 1960s and Building Information Modelling (BIM) in 2000s, can be defined as the essential base of the architectural design. The digital revolution carried principally two different benefits. The possibility of representing the entire design process digitally has enabled architects to facilitate and speed up the process by avoiding repetitive tasks. In addition the new tools were not just speeding up the design of existing solutions but the computational capabilities have been exploited to determine solutions according to logical and mathematical methods. In this way designers have now tools to evaluate and improve the building efficiency. It also allows to simultaneously control the features that can bring to a sustainable architecture. But the digital world has enabled a creative freedom more than ever before and has initiated new research on the conceptual spatial field. In this case we can see the birth of new architectural aesthetics reaching shapes that could not have been realized before. However, the modern techniques of threedimensional modelling, the ease of formal production and the diffusion of powerful tools used also by the less informed, have generated
a series of alleged new architectural symbols and mega-structures, children of a formal “hyper-creativity”; a digital mannerism that does not correspond to a structured conceptual research, but that coincides with an irresponsible application of new digital techniques. A big step made in the field of architecture was the advent of the parametric design. “Parametric design is a process based on algorithmic thinking that enables the expression of parameters and rules that, together, define, encode and clarify the relationship between design intent and design response ”.The first architect who used the term “parametric architecture” was Luigi Moretti in 1940 . The purpose of Moretti was to find a scientific method to the design process. For this reason he started a research with a team of mathematicians, physicists, electronics, biologists, psychologists, sociologists and economists. In his architectonic research he didn’t take care of the aesthetic value of architecture but he tried to justify the results of this design process by a functional point of view.
mathematical analysis didn’t conclude with a limitation of creativity, but created a reverse trend that exploited the potentialities of the parameter to generate more and more complex shapes. Even though the first intention of parametric architecture was related with the building efficiency, as time went by this concept has been more and more related with the research of
Moretti used the design of a stadium [image 1,2] as an example, explaining how the stadium’s form can derive from nineteen parameters concerning things like viewing angles and the economic cost of concrete (Moretti 1971, 207). Moretti designed also the Watergate Complex, which is believed to be the first major construction job to make significant use of computers [image 3]. In these projects made by Moretti, the rigidity of
new architectural aesthetic and the creation of architectural styles. Even though a good architectural project should be sustainable in itself, nowadays it is necessary to give the attribute of sustainability to define a building that has a low environmental impact.
“Ecological architecture” is defined as the aim to construct efficient buildings that collect and use energy, water and materials and that have a low impact on the human health and on the environment, and takes care of the entire life cycle of the building . Because of the complexity of sustainability, the use of algorithms helped to merge most of the aspects
design does not necessarily equal a good design, because a good design cannot be reduced to mere numbers. Judgment and intuition are crucial components of architectural design 4.
An optimal design does not necessarily equal a good design
Figure 1,2 Design of a stadium Figure 3 Watergate Complex, Washington DC, 1965.
that makes a building sustainable. However this idea could be misunderstood. In this way it seems that the algorithms have the ability to make sustainable projects without the presence of a designer. As David Benjamin says in the book “Digital work-flow in architecture”, an optimal
David Benjamin continues saying that there are aspects of design that are difficult to simulate and optimize digitally. There are qualitative features of architecture, such as aesthetics and atmosphere, that seem beyond quantification. While quantitative features, such as environmental performance, are typically driven by simulation software, qualitative features are driven by less computational and more open-ended processes. Benjamin finally argues that perhaps efficiency and creativity could be part of the same computational model: “In this type of process, multiobjective optimization could be used to combine objectives such as atmosphere, aesthetics and program with objectives such as environmental performance, and efficiency in general. Here, the algorithm would integrate many of the desired features of the final design, and the creativity of the design process would involve designing objectives
purpose is to project the growth and transformation of cities as rule-based, largely self-regulating morphogenetic process. However, this emergent morphogenesis of the city is “designed” via computational process (e.g. genetic algorithms) involving both generative process as well as inbuilt selection criteria 5. After this theoretical explanation of why the parametric city is the sustainable method to evolve our society, P. Schumacher merges this discussion to an architectural style issue. He says that after the post-modernism of the eighties and the de-constructivism of the nineties, a new powerful paradigm and style promises to guide a new long wave of design research and innovation: Parametric-ism. Parametric-ism is gathering momentum to become the first new global, unified style that can and must replace
The disorientating generic neutrality and monotony of Modernism gives way to the ecologically adaptive eloquence of Parametricism and designing experiments rather than simply designing solutions. In other words, the role of the architect would involve designing the problem. Rather than focusing on form and performance in an alternating sequence, the architect could focus on creating the potential design space—the complex topological surface for the overall project. 4” Even though, through the words of David Benjamin really seems possible to merge together the sustainability issues with the creative side of the architecture through a digital work-flow, for now the complexity of the process seems useful for the design of large scale buildings like airports, skyscrapers or big housing estates. With regard to this subject, Patrik Schumacher in Abitare 511 of 2011 increases the scale of the problem talking about the “parametric city”. He says that cities are crucial conduit of our global consumption of energy, air and water. Buildings consume energy and pollute during their life cycle as well as during their fabrication and construction. The ecological sustainability of our civilization depends on our ability to find more intelligent and light-footed ways to harness and utilize the finite sources of our natural environment. This necessity imposes a new constraint upon the design of our built environment. The task is to create cities that sustainably adapt to the natural environment without arresting the progressive, developmental thrust of our civilization 5. The
Modernism as credible epochal style. Parametric-ism confronts both, the remaining vestiges of Modernists monotony, and the cacophony of the urban chaos that has sprung up in the wake of Modernism’s demise, with a complex, variegated order inspired by the self-organising process of nature 5. In this way Patrik Schumacher sees the advent of parametric-ism not only as the creation of a new architectural aesthetic but as something deeper. His analysis seems related to the Marxist materialist conception of history, that considers various factors, particularly technological and economic, crucial for the development of human history and for the creation of a social order. Convinced of the mutability of the world and of all phases, Marx said that the temporary nature of a phenomenon like capitalism would have been inevitably destined one day to be replaced by a new social form. Similarly, P. Schumacher tries to justify the advent of parametric-ism defining it as the new style destined to replace the modernism because of the new socio-economic situation of today, or using his words: ”The disorientating generic neutrality and monotony of Modernism gives way to the ecologically adaptive eloquence of Parametric-ism 5”. In his principles he refuses the possibility to see this “digital revolution” in a more responsible and contextualized way. Nowadays the new digital tools implemented on design should find a way to integrate the past architecture
rather than leading to stylistically reject it. Schumacher’s parametricism continues to cause debate and scepticism because it often falls in an ornamental mannerism. For this reason it’s necessary to find a strong relationship between the built environment and science, rather than a weak and superficial one. As Ben van Berkel said in the book “Digital Work-flows in Architecture”, if digital techniques become more important than the thinking process, a bizarre condition develops in which something can be built just because modelled on a computer: but this is actually what is happening around the world right now 6.
The digital aesthetic of Greg Lynn One of the architects that theorized a new architectural aesthetic through the use of digital tools is Greg Lynn. He was the first to use the term “blobitecture” in ‘95 referring to his experiments with the use of metaballs graphical software 7. The term BLOB refers to the term “Binary Large OBjects”. Despite its seeming organicism, blob architecture is unthinkable without computer-aided design programs 7. Greg Lynn on one of the TED talk in 2009 explained his aesthetic theory through the use of digital tools. The starting point of his theory is that in the history, architects tried to justify beauty by looking into nature 8. First he explains that classical geometry was based on ideal numbers and proportional series, like using human body proportions in architecture. In Gothic architecture instead the geometry was based on the unification of structural and aesthetic. In this case calculus was used to define forms and architectural aesthetic was expressed by the use of optimal shapes. The aesthetic research of “ideal forms” has been expressed until the 20th century 8. After this explanation Greg Lynn says that he is not interested in “ideal forms”. He says that he is more interested to find generic forms in genetic evolution 8. Returning back to the main idea of using the
beauty of nature in architecture he explains the genetic rule of “symmetry breaking”:”The symmetry breaking means that wherever you lose information in a system you revert back to symmetry. So symmetry isn’t the sign of order and organization, which is what I was always understanding as an architect: symmetry is the absence of information 8”. For Greg Lynn this is what shifts from the research of an “ideal form” to the research of a combination between “information” and “generic forms”. These logics are expressed through the use of the “digital medium” 8. One of the projects where is possible to see the design principles of Greg Lynn is the Korean Presbyterian church in New Yorkimage 4. In the outside we can see that the components that covers the stairs are repetitive without being modular. It refers to one of the Lynn’s principles: “families of form” 9. He says: ”The principles are that instead of thinking about an object that gets deformed, you have to think about a sequence of objects in position. It is a repetition and rhythm of elements in space , where there is no longer a module or a grid, but they follow a
The symmetry breaking means that wherever you lose information in a system you revert back to symmetry
different logic, a logic of continuity and subdivision” . This principle probably is what makes the project dynamic. As a matter of fact the same form opens and closes as you move across it. At the same way the interior ceiling imitates the exterior getting a sense of visual movement in the space. Greg Lynn emphasizes how without the use of digital tools, it could have been impossible to make:”Each one of the elements of this structure is a unique distance and dimension, and all the connections are unique angles, and the only way we could design it or possibly constructed is by using calculus based definition of the form ”. In Lynn’s opinion, the main organic
qualities of architecture are the “holism”, which means to design things that are coherent as a single object, the need of a “signature”, which for Lynn means that an architect needs a signature which has to work on the scale of a house as on the scale of a skyscraper, and “intricacy” which is the relationship between massing, structure, envelope, apertures and decoration . In Lynn’s design approach we find again the great contribution of advanced digital tools, but that are only used for the calculation and the research of new forms. The calculation for Lynn is essential for the generation of forms
through mathematics and geometry. Lynn’s aesthetic theories can be generalized and applied to all the “BLOB architecture” movement. The use of digital tools is intended to the creation of free-form and complex surfaces, mostly related to a research of dynamism that rejects modularity and symmetry. Nevertheless justifying bizarre shapes referring just to nature without conferring a functional or conceptual deep meaning doesn’t add value to the architecture. This architectural aesthetic, as in Schumacher’s theories, leads not only to reject the past architecture, but also to a decontextualization of the project in his environment.
Figure 4 Korean Presbyterian church, New York designed by Greg Lynn Figure 5 Interior of the Korean Presbyterian church, New York designed by Greg Lynn
The digital sustainability of UNStudio - Raffles City case study One of the design studios that mostly tried to theorize a new architectural approach thanks to the digital tools is UNStudio, founded by Ben Van Berkel and Caroline Bos in 1988 . The name, UNStudio, stands for United Network Studio, referring to the collaborative nature of the practice . As we can read on the website, the studio, as a network practice, has developed a highly flexible methodological approach which incorporates parametric designing and collaborations with leading specialists in other disciplines. Drawing on the knowledge found in related fields facilitates the exploration of comprehensive strategies which combine programmatic requirements, construction and movement studies into an integrated design. With this network approach UNStudio can set-up multidisciplinary teams from early stages onwards in order to create an efficient and integrated working process. This dynamic nature of the practice enables the exploration of new territories and the adaptation to future challenges . As already Luigi Moretti argued, the creation of a network of specialists is used to answer in a new way at the new requirements for adaptability and complexity of the new projects. This design approach is visible in the Raffles City project[image 6]. The mixed-use Raffles City development is located near the Qiantang River in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, located 180 kilometres southwest of Shanghai . The project
incorporates retail, offices, housing and hotel facilities. The twisted geometry of the towers derives from a design concept that integrates the mixed-use program with the urban and landscape conditions of the site. This formal gesture introduces a complex geometry on the faรงade that gets resolved through custom scripts that negotiate the unique requirements of each program type with environmentally responsive building components, efficient use of materials, manufacturing constraints and overall constructability . Design principles, for the towers orientation, are based on views, green connection and internal circulation [image 7]. The first design stage already refers to principles related to aesthetic, spaces efficiency and sustainability.
Figure 7 Raffles City project: Design principles for the orientation of the towers
Figure 6 Raffles City project, by UNStudio
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Figure 9 Raffles City project: facade study
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Serviced Apar tment Low L24
d Office Low L09
c/d a/b if planter used
The façade, in fact, has been studied to adapt to the different necessities. In an early study it has been analysed to adapt to the different tower functions [image 8]. After that an optimization based on varying width, depth and rotation of each panel of the façade has been done[image 9]. The shading elements have also been studied to satisfy all the geometric conditions of the façade design. In fact, they vary in width, rotation and depth to optimize each situation. Furthermore
This principle goes from the macro scale to the micro scale of the design. Particularly more attention was given to the double façade system.
As a matter of fact one of UNstudio design principles is: “Imagine a modernist process diagram before computers: on the left hand side is the aesthetic quality of architecture, including aspects of psychological behaviour and visual impact, and on the right hand side is the functionality or utility of architecture and both connected by a line. Today, that diagram can be stretched so far that the two ends of the line can become a circle, making it very difficult to see where the aesthetic and utility aspects of a project begin and end ”.
Partially removing secondary facade layer – extending living space into the outside thermal layer
Facade Parameter 02
Glazing W idth 1000mm to 1300mm
Facade Parameter 03
Facade Parameter 04
Sur face Tilt 1 to 12 degr ees
Floor Package Apts: 960mm / Office: 1250mm
Figure 8 Raffles City project: facade study
Facade Parameter 05
Facade Parameter 06
Shader Depth 300mm to 600mm
Facade Parameter 07
Shader W idth 200mm to 500mm
Shader Rotation -200mm to 600mm
Figure 10 Raffles City project: shading elements study
output information has been provided for fabrication [image 10]. Finally deeper optimizations of the façade have been made to minimize the number of different glass panels while maintaining the overall design geometry [image 11]. These optimizations work simultaneously on three aspects: the economic point of view, the façade production and assembly and the aesthetic point of view. In fact although there are shape variations driven by the different elements that compose the façade, the continuity and uniformity of the façade is not altered. In projects where not enough attention on the production and construction phase is given, it could happen that the construction firms misrepresent the design purposes. As Ben van Berkel said in the book “Digital Workflows in Architecture”: ”I will request responsibility for some of the management tasks and explain how we can do this, in a far more advanced manner, through digital exchange. These tasks include selecting the team of specialists with the client and then controlling the distribution of information to all of these specialists (which normally is what management offices do). We
will request part of the management fee and then add four or five people to the team, who are only doing the digital exchange between all of these different specialists. When a project moves to construction, we are also able to play a more central role. Because we have so much 3D information in the model, contractors will often come to us and request detailed production drawings. They often ask us to produce the fabrication drawings from our 3D model, for which we get an additional fee. We have now developed this capability that gives us more control to maintain the design throughout the construction process” . In this project it is visible how the strategies used to solve the design problems have been applied through all the stages of the design process using a systems approach that can be understood just through an holistic point of view. The holism is a concept where all the features of a system can’t be explained just as the sum of all the parts: it is rather the uniformity of the system that determines in a relevant way the behaviour of its parts .
At the same way the concept of sustainability can be understood just through an holistic method. A project in fact can be defined sustainable just if it is sustainable in all its aspects: from the materials used to the energy consumption during the construction, the use and the demolition/deconstruction of the building and through the possibility of reuse/recycle the materials after the demolition. The systems approach interprets the building process as a structured combination of planning, operative, management, social, spatial, functional, economic, procedural, executive and aesthetic problems and correlate them. The adoption of a systems approach caused a rift between the aesthetic and the technological method .
Figure 11 Raffles City project: shading elements study
characterizes the use of digital tools both on an aesthetic and a sustainable point of view is the improvement of the adaptability of the project and the better capacity to imagine the design process on an holistic way. Nevertheless algorithms are not thinking beings and can not replace the designers and their responsibilities. The world situation demands that we develop a greater awareness of design explicit and implicit values and their implications, and exercise a greater control of it. These values imply a responsibility not only on the design itself, but also on the entire society. The importance of design is that it directly expresses the cultural, social, political and economic nature of a society, and it thus provides a snapshot of that society’s condition. This reveals a great deal about society priorities and values.
Even though the use of digital tools brought to facilitate and speed up the design process it caused also a divergence between aesthetic and sustainability. As a matter of fact it is hard to find a “digital theory” that combines aesthetic and sustainability. In P. Schumacher parametric theory it seems that the sustainability task is just a way to justify the advent of the parametric aesthetic. Particularly Greg Lynn’s aesthetic theory and the “blobitecture” is totally separated to the sustainability concept. However the main feature that
Why we need [some] sustainable expressionism Expressive Aesthetic Integration of Renewable Energy Infrastructures in the Built Environment written by Christian Fredrix
Introduction This essay will explore the wilder side of sustainable architecture. It describes and questions how and why some architects expressively use Renewable Energy Infrastructures (REI) in their designs, its effects on a social level and if these designs are a portent of more to come. It is important to mention that this essay will not elaborate on if and how sustainable these buildings are, but how sustainable they appear by the use of REIs and natural elements. As the opinions about the use of REIs as aesthetic instruments in buildings differ among [architectural] critics it is important to put these in a historical context to predict their perseverance in or as architectural styles or trends. This essay will explore the motives and logics for expressive designs -motivated by and/or included with sustainable technologies-, what their place and use in architecture is and why are they designed as such.
Definition To define ‘sustainable expressionism’ and ‘sustainable expressionist buildings’ the terms must first be defined separately and for the combination of words a new definition will be used in this essay.
Toolkit: Features of sustainable expressionism
Motives: Why express sustainability?
Technologies used in sustainable expressionistic buildings include the aforementioned Renewable Energy Infrastructures, materials and form.
For a user, a sustainable building creates savings in energy costs and if surplus energy is sold, even income. Whether initial costs are worth the investment is, in its own, another research and very object-specific. As mentioned before this essay is not about if and how sustainable a building is, but how sustainable it appears by aesthetics and why so. A few motives, or logics, can be found to why some buildings are designed to ‘look’ sustainable.
Renewable Energy Infrastructures –or Alternative Energy Technologies– is a broad term, it consists of the use of wind turbines, solar panels, solar thermal collectors, geothermal, bio-fuel installations and many more technologies for generating energy, carbon capture methods and green roof and façade-technologies are also included even though these do not generate power. Wherever a building’s form or lay-out is designed with the main goal to enhance the REI’s performance this is also part of the sustainable expressionistic design. Optimizing a form to reduce material usage or thermal loss -although the actual sustainability of reduce-methods is not questioned- is not included in the tool kit as this does not enhance REI’s performances. Materialisation is another designer’s tool to express sustainability. There is a difference between the use of
In sustainable expressionism emblematic buildings feature renewable energy infrastructures as their main aesthetic. Sustainability is known to be an umbrella term, the Oxford Dictionary defines it as conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.1 In architectural contexts it is to ensure that actions and decisions do not inhibit opportunities of future generations. 2 In this essay the term sustainable technologies is used for the aforementioned ‘Renewable Energy Infrastructures’ and the use of natural elements, where active technologies showcase sustainability. Expressionism has a long history in architectural terminology. Still the term is used here as a reference to its tendency for breaking architectural dogmas 3, submissiveness of realism in favour of symbolism and stylistics 4 and its aim to create the new, original and visionary. 5 Contrary to the style, sustainable expressionistic buildings do not seek to symbolize, style or express inner feelings, but they express their sustainability as a reality, as the dominant design and aesthetic factor. Sustainable expressionism, as a term in this essay, refers to built environments that expressively show off their Renewable Energy Infrastructures and natural elements in aesthetics as well as their main design principle.
recycled materials and the re-use of materials. Re-used materials in their original or modified forms are -when intentionally expressed in the design- part of the sustainable expressionism of the object. This essay and its observations will focus on buildings expressing their REIs and green roofs and façades. Figure 1 The clan towers of San Gimignano
Image Sustainability is hot, even during the global economic crisis6, sustainable building 7 takes up about 11% of this popularity 8. Moreover, since the start of the economic crisis the topics green architecture and sustainable design have -in the eye of the general public- become more separated from each other. 9
Emblematic buildings are made to be liked, this is because the human psychology provokes an emotional reaction to unusual striking shapes, and these can be interpreted either positively or negatively.15 Critic Charles Jencks calls them “simply better, more interesting, cooler, more convincingly built, ecological, inventive, optical and iconic. They suggest a historical opening to a new type of sign, shifting from conventional monuments to unconventional landmarks. This is the age of the enigmatic signifier.” 16 As Philip Johnson infamously said: “The people with money to build today are corporations, they are our popes and Medicis. The sense of pride is why they build”.18 Why do architect comply with these design briefs? Some of them probably share the same motive as Johnson; “I am a whore and I am paid very well for high-rise buildings” 19 Sustainable building, especially when your building gets a lot of attention, does well for their image among potential clients and the masses. Architects and critics might disagree but they do not pay. We can conclude that this type of architecture is commercializing, explaining why some architects follow -or sometimes lead- the ‘sustainability trend’.
Everyone who can afford it wants to show it, they want to be the greenest, the most sustainable, not necessarily because it is good for the environment, but because it does well for their image, their ego, their business and can be used as marketing.17 When clients -private, corporate or governmental- are motived to affirm their role in economics, culture and art, they often turn to architects who design emblematic buildings.10,11 The same principle applies when a client wants to show his role in sustainability. Emblematic buildings, some of them can be called ‘Iconic’ 12 or desire to be called Iconic, are expressive in their form and technology. In sustainable expressionism emblematic buildings feature REIs as their main aesthetic. Architects who design emblematic buildings are often called starchitects and their role is not of indifference. They can create a so-called ‘Bilbao-effect’ 13. Research shows that the social and economic impact of such emblematic building is [overall] higher than those created by conventional structures of similar functionality.14
WA comparison can be made with the town of San Gimignano, Italy, [fig. 1] where competing families built towers as symbols of their wealth and power. 20 These clients, whether it is in San Gimignano or in the present, have the means to re-imagine architecture, use it as a (status) symbol by attracting the eyes of mass media to show-off their innovativeness 21 and by using REIs also their alleged sustainability. Although expressive architecture has always been used to express, what is in the name, an image. Expressionism promoted the emotions and poetic, all the while subordinating of realism 22 and was not meant to be used to promote images of companies, cities, individuals or governments. Yet, as happened in San Gimignano, this new way can have positive (side) effects, like a tourism boost, heritage listing and a certain uniqueness of a town.
Economic For businesses, image and economics are related. As mentioned before, mass media not just brings your building in the sustainable -thus positive- spotlight, but also the client, the architect and the occupant. This creation of goodwill can be used as a marketing-tool to gain new costumers. Households can lower or completely annihilate their energy bills as energy and water add up to 30% of a typical (Dutch) household budget. 23 A family can therefore invest in REIs and could possibly significantly profit from this. Yet for typical companies, the electricity bill takes up less than 1% of their expenses, there is -from an economizing point of view- little incentive to opt for green solutions. 24
The main justification for our approach to green design: we see the creation of sustainable, healthy buildings as providing a sound long-term investment with advantages over those of our competitors.28 David Partridge 25 explains that ‘green buildings’ often do not pay off within ten years, but in the long term they do. Opting for green building is relatively easy with known clients; yet his company, Argent, also builds for unknown clients with unknown performance criteria. Partridge: “For the developer, green buildings do not at present pay – energy costs are low and the relationship between environmental well-being and productivity in the workplace is not yet fully appreciated”. 26 To maximize lettability they need to build flexible and provide high-performance air-conditioning. Innovative ‘green’ ventilation systems are in many cases not accepted by potential lessees. Although they do not use alternatives for air-conditioning, Argent compensates with other technologies i.e. solar and passive mode cooling, increased flexibility and thermal mass. 27 With this concept they attract clients that want to create goodwill, but do not want to hand in comfort. Openly Partridge admits this strategy is chosen because it is the most profitable.
Ideology Some clients -corporations, institutions, governments or persons- choose to have an exemplary role in sustainable research or promote sustainability by creating awareness. With this exemplary role, a sustainable building is a must from an ethical point of view. A good example tends to be followed, as a Dutch saying states, is their main motive. This motive is strongly connected with the image-motive, the main difference is the sincerity [ideology] with the subject. There are a few types of sub-motives why such clients want to express sustainability in their buildings, it differentiates per client, and each type is accompanied with one or two examples. Educational Museums related to natural sciences and technology often choose to incorporate and express nature and REIs. Museums not only do this for educational purposes, but the aforementioned marketing motives are present. Revolutionary designs are a part of modern museum building, many try to recreate the Bilbao-effect. 29 An example of this is the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco by Renzo Piano, available and further explained in the ‘observation’ part of this document. Research and Development Constructing a sustainable building or adding REIs to existing buildings by universities or research companies and institutes offer R&D opportunities to deploy and test out technologies which, if all goes well, will show up in other buildings. When Vertigo at the Eindhoven University of Technology was built, an outside laboratory for façades was expressively shown in its façade. 30 Currently an R&D test lab for solar panels (SolarBEAT) is being constructed on the lower roof 31 and a light-emitting Integrated Roof Wind Energy System (IRWES) was proposed and approved by the architect 32. These new technologies, although they are add-ons, are not hidden. This shows that the university does not just want to test these technologies, but also wants to express the use and R&D of sustainable technologies.
Exemplary role clients Charities, institutions, governments that promote ‘green’ often house themselves according to their own ideologies. Greenpeace states “we must practice what we preach” 33 but admits not all of their offices are up to their own standards and it mainly uses the US main office in Washington D.C. to represent their concept of sustainable offices, which is mainly by using recycled materials and REI add-ons. 34 Recently the International Headquarters moved into a more sustainable office in Amsterdam for exemplary reasons: “decisions like this type of sustainable investment is exactly one which many companies and organizations have to deal with: continue like we do or invest in sustainability, to avoid higher environmental taxes and lower the energy bill. With this relocation we would like to set a real example” 35, according to Sylvia Borren, director of Greenpeace NL. Greenpeace International/NL share tenancy in the Smederij, a converted ship wharf. It expresses its re-used materials and construction by raising part of the original building 8 stories in the air. The City of Rotterdam added to the brief of their new municipal office that it should be “Netherland’s most sustainable building”. 36 The Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) expresses the modularity of the building in form. 37 Although modularity is not an REI, the form expresses modular design, which in this case is a part of the sustainability and aesthetics. The ideology motive is strongly dependent on the client and its preaching, it is applicable when a client wants to use this for the greater good instead of (just) image and economic purposes.
Iconic designs are part of modern museums, many try to recreate the Bilbao-effect.29 74
Logics: What are the origins? From a client point of view motives have been described in the previous chapter. This chapter will set out where these motives come from; how it connects to our ‘nature’ -biophilia- and how architecture has evolved throughout history to new ‘design typologies’ -the eco-technic and eco-aesthetic as codified by Guy and Farmer 38-. Logics are described by Hajer as “a specific ensemble of ideas, concepts and categorizations […] in a particular set of practices through which meaning is given to social and physical realities”. 39
The human need for affiliation with nature can explain why positive experiences are perceived with nature: green façades and roofs, but also the positive environmental expressions of REIs.
Background: Biophilia In 1984 biologist Edward O. Wilson published a controversial hypothesis, he stated that humanist through evolution still have “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life” 40 he introduced this with the term biophilia. Natural conditions and stimuli -light, water, weather, other animals, and etcetera- were part of the adaptive evolution of humans. Before modern engineering and technologies, humans and its surroundings cooperated for survival. Slowly progress changed and humans thought to be able to transcend their genetic and natural origins. Unsustainable energy and resource consumption, pollutions and environmental alterations became a new paradigm in designing the built environment, an increasing “alienation from nature, and growing ‘placelessness’” 41 became reality. 42 Although biophilia was initially used to prove the relationship between humans and other mammals, it expanded to ‘other living things’, meaning nature and natural environments in general. Kellert connected this to the built environment and proposed a biophilic design method: ‘the diminishment of human separation from nature’, ‘enhancement of positive contact with environmental processes’ and ‘building using cultural and ecological context which is basic to human health, productivity and well-being’. 43 Others added low environmental impact and promote restorative environmental design method; combining both. 44 The inherent human need for affiliation with nature can explain why positive experiences are perceived with nature: plants and flowers -green façades and roofs-, but also the positive environmental expressions of REIs. It suggest it is in our nature and by expression nature, architecture forces these positive vibes on us. Guy and Farmer tried, for the first time, to codify and identify different sustainable theories; eco-technic, -centric, -aesthetic, -cultural, -medical and -social 45. The logics are separate, yet not autonomous. 46 Two of these can be related to sustainable expressionism; eco-technic and eco-aesthetic. Guy and Farmer base their contestable concept on a technocentric agenda, with little space for qualitative aspects like culture and place. 47 This techno-centricity fits the agenda of Sustainable Expressionism and thus these are used here.
Eco-technic Guy and Farmer suggest the eco-technic’s idealized concept of place is ‘the integration of global environmental concern into conventional building design strategies’ and ‘urban visions of the compact and dense city’. 48 Science and technology would be able to provide solutions for the discourse humanity has evolved in. “Technocentrics recognize the existence of environmental problems and want to solve them through management of the environment” putting their trust in “objective analysis and a rational scientific method.” 49 The problems which advocates of biophilic design note are recognized, but the answer is -according to the technocentrics- again engineering and technology. The key feature here is globalization; answers to global problems are deployed in architecture in a top-down approach of environmental and technical solutions, 50 “mitigating the adverse effects of [external unsustainable] developments” 51. The context where sustainability is seen, is in a distant time and place. 52 Priority lies with energy efficiency -energy, spatial and construction-, reacting on past practices of inefficient building design, resulting in an adaptive but recognizable design strategy. 53 The technological innovations and development in the High-Tech School connects to the notion of the eco-technic; technology being the solution to [all] problems. This combination, eco-technic and high-tech, has been named ‘Eco-Tech’ 54. Eco-Tech’s approach involves integrated REIs and the nature of the High-Tech School is to show how the building works. Not surprisingly the eco-technic approach will often express its sustainable technologies if these are used.
Eco-aesthetic Sustainability takes on a metaphorical role in the ecoaesthetic, as “an iconic expression of societal values”, it is meant to inspire and connect with the human nature. 55 A modern anthropocentrism, spiritualized by the New Age movement to produce a ‘sense of being’ through aesthetics. This is the closest logic to biophilia, knowingly or unknowingly they are inspired by its theory and produce biophilic design. Unlike the eco-technic, here the priority lies in form and aesthetics and not the actual performance. James Wines suggests the role of green is here to liberate conventional architecture [the architecture before biophilic design] and design a new paradigm based on ecology. 56 As Charles Jencks notes eco-tech: “Good ecological building may mean bad architecture […] it is essential to cultivate a tradition of sensuous, creative Green Architecture [that] delights in the ecological paradigm for its philosophy of holism, its style and the way in which it illuminates the complexity paradigm.” 57 He sees a way for the eco-aesthetic to be(come) architecture, unlike the eco-technic which is less concerned with senses and aims at engineering instead of design solutions. Just like the Naturalists saw nature as a tool to make architecture better and failed 58, creating Nature for aesthetics is not creating real nature, it is deceptive architecture, a fake. 59 Eco-aesthetic will create its own fallacy by being [deceptively] poetic, ethical prejudiced and creating sustainability for the conscience and eye. Aesthetic sustainability is unsustainable.
Eco-aesthetic will create its own fallacy by being [deceptively] poetic, ethical prejudiced and creating sustainability for the conscience and eye only. A purely aesthetic sustainability is unsustainable. 77
Observations: How is sustainability expressed? Solar | Unbuilt 10MW Tower, Dubai by Studied Impact A competition entry, unfortunately the goal and brief of the competition are unknown. Based on (horizontal) Solar Power Plants, Robert Ferry of Studied Impact shaped a skyscraper like a vertical Solar Power Plant. 64 It concentrates sunlight from a heliostat-filled façade onto a central solar power beam jutted out of the tower. Other technologies include a 600 meter tall Solar Chimney throughout the building with a Solar Updraft Turbine and a Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine. 65
In this part eight short observations will be made. In four categories following the ‘elements’ -Solar, Water, Wind and Earth- each will feature a built and an unbuilt example of sustainable expressionism. These case-studies observe general information, the sustainable expressionistic features of the building, motive behind this design, in which logic the approach fits and what have been the effects of the building. Observed buildings have been selected on the bases of their distinct characteristics, media attention and the available information on motives and logics. Most of the buildings that fit the aforementioned criteria are large projects that gained a much media attention, yet it is important to mention that sustainable expressionism is and can be used on every scale. From light posts [fig. 2] to skyscrapers, any structure can show off its sustainability.
Figure 2 Wind and Solar powered light post, Brooklyn Navy Yard
Solar | Built New Energy Institute, Wuhan by van Eldonk In a competition, the Wuhan City government asked to design the offices and laboratories for an institute for sustainability research, Wuhan wants to promote itself as the most sustainable city in China. 60 Soeters van Eldonk Architecten won the competition with a carbon-neutral design where they took the arum as an inspiration. 61 The arum has been bio-mimicked; shading with its shape its own façade, a horizontal axis turbine as a pistil, the edge of the calyx is covered in solar panels and leaves as laboratories. 62 The architect’s motive, to mimic an arum, has been chosen knowing that a Chinese jury would prefer symbolic designs. 63 The motive for the client, an institute for education and R&D in the field of sustainability, is clearly one of ideology. Combining promotion, creating awareness and expressing research and development in a design. It is partly ecotechnic -visible use of technologies- and partly eco-aesthetic -bio-mimicry-. With the image of an arum and green-roofs it provokes the biophilic feelings in humans. [fig. 3] and [fig. 4]
All these technologies, but especially the heliostats, expressing on the façade, in the building and in the spire, the building is clearly an over-expression of sustainability. The architect lost all interest in building a building for the inhabitants. The inhabitants live in an energy plant with a view through a concentrated light beam. [fig. 5] and [fig. 6]
Figure 5 Artist’s Impression of the 10MW Tower Figure 6 Architect’s sketch of how the b uilding interacts with sun.
Figure 4 Artist’s Impression of the Wuhan New Energy Institute
Figure 3 Sketch of how the building interacts with nature
Water | Built Singapore High Commission, New Delhi by SCDA
Water | Unbuilt Water Building, Dubai by Orlando deUrrutia This proposal is an initiative by the architect in cooperation with a developer of sustainable cities. The building produces purified water from air, rain and marine water. Technology to extract water from air in large quantities is under development by the client of the building. It houses aquariums, exhibition halls, water museum, restaurant and a hotel spa, all water-themed. It is covered with solar-panels and incorporates a wind turbine. The architect means to project and create conscience of water-use and therefore the architect shaped the building like a falling drop of water. 68
For the construction of the Chancery and pedestrian entrance to the Singapore High Commission to New Delhi, architect Soo Chan wanted to create a welcoming building, representing both physically and symbolically Singapore, while still remaining monumental, figural, and accessible on a human scale. 66 The Chancery Gateway, leading to the public zone of the High Commission, is designed to have ‘vaulted-quality’. The aim was to create a welcoming and representable building, yet providing shade and shelter to visitors. The shape of the oversized roof collects rainwater and stores it in the basins around the High Commission as a security layer. 67 The expression of this form comes a design decision; the need to look accessible and friendly, shelter visitors from rain, and use that water as a security layer. The architect had no motive to build sustainable, but he did unintentionally expressed rainwater-collection in the roof structure. Although there is an image-motive applicable, it is not sustainable-related.
Figure 7 Side of the Singapore High Commission to New Dehli
Figure 10 Artist’s sketch of the 10MW Tower
It provokes biophilic feelings by mimicking a water drop, expressively showing the water technologies in the building is eco-technic. Motive for the client is promotion of his membrane technologies, the building is thereby used as an R&D-site and markets its client. [fig. 9] and [fig. 10]
This is a nice example of an unintentional expression of sustainability, which is aesthetically attractive too. [fig. 7] and [fig. 8] Figure 8 Front of the Singapore High Commission to New Dehli
Figure 9 Artist’s Impression of the 10MW Tower
Wind | Built Bahrain WTC, Bahrain by WS Atkins For the first time commercial wind turbines were aesthetically incorporated in a building’s design. 69 Three 29 meter turbines were placed in-between two buildings, shaped to enhance wind pressure.70
Wind | Unbuilt LO2P Recycling Centre, New Delhi by Atelier CMJN In 2011, following a competition by a US architectural journal focused on technological advances, sustainability and innovative designs promoting avant-garde ideas 74 the LO2P Recycling Centre of Julien Combes and Gaël Brulé won first price. Their concept is about recycled building materials -by using old cars- and cleaning air by creating a giant ‘lung’ to clean the air with filters and greenhouses.75 According to the architects, the form is a monument and by shape a tribute to recycling, it is intended to be a metaphor for cycles: production of oxygen.76
In all cases the shape of not only the building but also surroundings have major influence on the energy performance.71 In concept, the towers were inspired by traditional Arab ‘wind towers’ like these buildings it harnesses the prevailing onshore Gulf breeze unobstructed and funneling it, making it possible to use this as a renewable source of energy for the project.72 The nautical expression of a sail is used to harness wind, this concept came entirely from the architect.
Although technically virtually impossible, this proposal has it all: image and ideological motives, biophilic, eco-aesthetic and -technic logics. An enormous statement for sustainability in cities. [fig. 13] and [fig. 14]
The client however, quickly embraced the concept to ‘portray to the world that Bahrain is committed to options that reduce demand on fossil fuel energy reserves and will move urban and building design in desert climates in a more sustainable direction’ 73 but also demanded a key benefit from this ‘risk’. Smith and Killa, engineers on the project describe that low carbon emission was never a goal in the project, however the architect included some reducing factors aside from the turbines too. The absence of LEED, BREEAM and other certificates reaffirms the design as symbolic, emblematic for sustainability. [fig. 11] and [fig. 12] There was an impetus from the architect to use this sustainable technology, the client asked for it to be expressed so he could promote his (oilrich) country as a sustainable leader, the ‘image’motive applies here. The WTC uses its architecture -mainly the turbines- to attract new tenants, it cannot be excluded that the client used this before, the ‘economic motive’ is -at least during post-occupancy- applicable too.
Figure 12 Airflow patterns near towers
Figure 11 Artist’s impression of the Bahrain World Trade Centre
The client wished it to be expressed so he could promote his country as a sustainable leader.
Figure 13 Artist’s impression of LO2P
Figure 14 Scheme of LO2P
Earth | Built Academy of Sciences, San Francisco by Renzo Piano The Academy of Sciences is of major cultural and historical importance for California, but the old building was very vulnerable for earthquakes.77 In 2008, government decided to build a new structure, the San Francisco Department of Environment at the time wanted to experiment with LEED Platinum Certifications and the new building the Academy was a logical choice to experiment with this.78 The Academy asked for a physical manifestation of its mission: to explore, explain, and sustain life.79 With the brief stating to “preserve the historical heritage of the current building while developing an innovative design that would reflect the beauty and interdependence of the natural world, with sensitivity to environmental issues related to protecting it”. 80 Renzo Piano’s concept was to “lift up a piece of the park and put a building under and to blend seamlessly into Golden Gate’s natural setting”. 81
Figure 16 Architect’s conceptual sketch
MVRDV won the competition by designing a complex covered by ‘a green carpet’, ‘mediating’ with the surroundings. 87 Energy and water are supposed to be preserved by the hedges, but there is not a strong sustainable approach. It is unclear which of the stakeholders initiated the sustainable look. The local government has an image-motive, the developer an economic. Resulting in a concept idea which is eco-aesthetic and biophilic. [fig. 17] and [fig. 18]
The building’s main expression is the one hectare 82 green roof which covers 87% of its surface, home to local wildlife and plants and edged by PV-panels. It is used as classroom, insulation, capturing water, carrying pollutants, transforming CO2 into O2 and a lot more. 83,84 From the start on this project was a R&D-project for the government and an ideological (educational and exemplary) motive for the Academy. The museum uses its roof in advertising and practices what it preaches. The expression of the green roof is modest and loved by visitors, both animals and humans (biophilia could explain this). It is mainly an ecoaesthetic logic with a hint of eco-technic around the edges. [fig. 15] and [fig. 16]
Earth | Unbuilt Gwanggyo Power Centre, Seoul by MVRDV Daewoo and Gwanggyo City put out a competition for a lake-side urban park and high density city centre. 85 In the US a Power Centre is a large specialized-purpose shopping mall 86 in Korea the term also indicates creating gentrification for sites around it and includes housing, it is unrelated to electrical power. The site is surrounded by a lake and forested hills.
Figure 15 Overview of the Academy of Sciences
Figure 17 Artist’s impression
Retrospect: The place of sustainable expressionism It seems people are interested in seeing how a building produces energy, it gives them a feeling of seeing something good. Visible technologies show us that we can change the way we generate power, the greenery reminds us that we should take care of nature, even if the technologies do not generate as much power as they appear to do or if the nature is unnatural. There are genuinely modest sustainable buildings that generate and conserve energy, they do not get the attention like expressive buildings do. Upcoming regions, Middle-East and Asia, struggle with pollution, global warming and other environmental problems. Governments want to enhance their image, countries that run on oil -like Bahrain- have no benefit of sustainable cities and electric cars, they only promote this since sustainability is ‘hot’, it gets media attention, attracts tenants, investors and tourists. Again, expression pays off. No wonder that the winning competition-submissions are often those expressively showing sustainable technologies and act upon our biophilia.
We can trace back the expression of technologies to the High-Tech and the integration of nature to Naturalism. An architecture that changes its form to fit in nature uses the environment and passively lowers its impact instead of designing for image is not new. From the Arab Wind Towers to pastel colored Mediterranean towns, architecture always complied with nature. Until man could do without nature and started focusing on form, expression of form and materials. Susannah Hagan sees no problem going back to this time with modern form-concern: “There is no reason why environmental design’s science based inquiry and architecture’s traditional concern with form should not co-exist. Indeed why architectural form should not be enriched by an environmental agenda as long as that agenda is not prescriptive.” 88 Others see nature as an element not belonging to architecture.
Greenery reminds us that we should take care of nature. Even if the technologies do not generate as much power as they appear to do or if the nature is unnatural.
As Geoffrey Scott put it, in a time before sustainability was a question: “It is the last sign of an artificial civilization when Nature takes the place of art” 89 and “Nature led, and can only lead, to chaos, whence issued a monstrous architecture” 90.
Conclusion These buildings do not serve architecture, they do not provide the world with quality buildings. They serve their client -economically and ego-wise-, serve their architect -publicity in mass mediaand serve governments -Bilbao-effects-. Why? Because people simply like it for being bold, new and expressive. It feels and looks good, even if it does not do ‘good’.
Visible technologies show us that we can change the way we generate power.
There are positive sides of sustainable expressionist buildings. They can serve as R&D platforms for the smaller technologies which we can integrate in the built environment or on renewable energy plants. It creates awareness of environmental problems, like a Greenpeacebanner on a chimney makes you think and tries to change your lifestyle for the better. Conveying the message of sustainability is the main goal of this architecture.
The mass-media attention this gets could send the architectural profession in a downwards spiral, when clients and developers use them as references for what they want, and when architects over-express their visual oriented designs in competitions. Priority could shift from liveability, shelter and beauty 91 to energy production or the image of energy production, ignoring habitants. We need sustainable expressionist buildings to move our civilization to a better future, but we need to build these in moderation. They should be the icons of a new age, like Eiffel Towers and Gateway Arches announcing the age of sustainability. We need [some] sustainable expressionist buildings.
Dangers of this architectural trend or hype are not to be underestimated. Amateur architects without any sense of place and time will lay their priority with designing power plants instead of buildings for the people.
Integration between technology and sustainable architecture written by Hasana Haidari
Introduction Thinking about the relation between technology and architecture in the field of sustainability leads very straightforward in designs where technological devices are added to make the building sustainable. Devices that generate energy, reduce the loss of energy or reduce the consumption of energy. 1 But what is interesting about the relationship between those sustainability devices and architecture is how one influences the other. A building may be made sustainable by putting a large number of photovoltaic panels on the roof, which is the easiest and unfortunately most applied way of making a building sustainable. But when the aesthetics of architecture are taken into consideration this way is most often rejected. And because these decisions are made very late in the design process no innovative
and creative solutions can be found. Designers then try to hide these devices or they are excluded from the design. 2 But nowadays it is not possible anymore to exclude sustainability or the required technologies. As Louis I. Kahn has said: “I do not like ducts, I do not like pipes. I hate them really thoroughly, but because I hate them thoroughly, I feel they have to be given their place. If I just hated them and took no care, I think they would invade the building and completely destroy it. I want to correct any notion you may have that I am in love with that kind of thing.” 3 Kahn could not ignore the pipes and the ducts because he knew the users of his buildings were too much used to those devices that gave them
comfort. This is also the reason energy generating technologies cannot be ignored nowadays. People are too much used to their energy consuming activities and lifestyle. So then why should we not make these technological devices an essential part of our designs and with that enhance the experiential quality of our designs? Sustainability is a well-known issue in the building industry for a long time now. A large number of ‘sustainable’ buildings are already built and certificated by measuring instruments such as LEED and BREEAM. These measuring instruments have a list of quantitative criteria to which the design should meet. LEED would certificate the building for the Adam Yoseph Lewis Centre by William
McDonough + Partners with Platinum, which is the highest level of LEED certification. This building, designed by one of the authors of Cradle to Cradle and built in 1999, was supposed to generate even more energy with the help of natural resources than it consumes. Many active and passive techniques are applied to achieve the sustainability goals. Energy is generated by the photovoltaic panels on the roof of the building and on the roof above the parking lot. The photovoltaic panels on the roof of the parking lot were installed afterwards when the energy use proved to be more than the panels on the roof of the building could generate. Energy use is reduced by making use of natural ventilation, natural lightening and thermal mass of the building. Above that the impact of the building on the environment is kept low by making use of a wastewater-treatment system to recycle wastewater and a pond for the supply of irrigation water. 4
Besides the systems and technologies mentioned before, other passive techniques are applied too. 5 But the most interesting part of sustainability is missing in this building. Studying the exterior and interior of the building nothing of all those sustainability interventions can be experienced. Of course the bricks, the natural light and ventilation can be experienced, but what is the contribution of these interventions on the sustainability of this building? The interventions with greater impact, the applied technologies to generate energy, on the sustainability of the building do not have any influence on the spatial experience, as obvious in the pictures below. Unfortunately this integration of technological sustainability devices with the architectural design is missing most of the time. The technological devices do not have any role in the experience of the building design. In this essay the missing integration between these two elements in architectural design is discussed and a proposal is given to achieve this integration. (fig. 1-4)
Figure 1-4 Adam Joseph Lewis Centre; exterior, view on PV-system, interior & interior.
The Unsustainability of the Modern Movement Considering the current state of sustainability within the field of architecture leads to the questions: Was architecture always that unsustainable? When became architecture unsustainable and what made architecture unsustainable? Looking into the history of architecture and thinking about the definition of sustainable architecture we can try to answer these questions. The answers of these questions are needed in order to understand the problem prior to searching for solutions. The book Understanding Sustainable Architecture written by three professionals within the field of architecture and sustainability begins and ends with the same definition of sustainable architecture: It is not important, in the context of this essay, what these concerns are. Important is that these concerns belong to the time we are now living in and that they are consequences of human (our) activities. Other definitions of sustainable architecture claim that sustainable architecture has a reduced impact on the environment and is concerned about future generations. So it may be said: sustainable architecture is about the (negative) effects of human activities in the time we are living, on the environment, which results in less opportunities for future generations. In addition sustainable architecture is a conceptualization of architecture. That means that it has not ONE image and that is where the architects’ creativity gets his role in the design process, which is discussed in the next part of this essay.
Sustainable architecture is a revised conceptualization of architecture in response to a myriad of contemporary concerns about the effects of human activity.6
If sustainability is a contemporary problem, then architecture has not always been unsustainable. Since this essay is not on the history of sustainable architecture, let us look back only to the time just before contemporary architecture, the modern era. The modern movement is often referred to as the beginning of unsustainable architecture. 7, 8, 9,10 The architectural heritage, as well as the lifestyle we have bequeathed from the modern era was only possible because of fossil fuels being abundant and affordable. The availability of these fuels gave the architects the opportunity to design buildings which were disconnected from their environment.11 Thick walls that protected the inhabitants from the temperature changes outsides could now be replaced by much thinner walls, whereby the temperature regulations was taken over by energy consuming services. Material use was not dependent on the availability in the surroundings anymore. Any material could reach the site by energy consuming transportation. These and much more opportunities given by the modern era have made our buildings energy consuming machines with hardly any relation to the context.12 When buildings are disconnected from their context then how can they be
sustainable? As said before one of the important characteristics of sustainability is being conscious of the influence of human activity on the environment.
in modern science by definition, as it were, only his or her own projection of reality. One might conclude that objectivity in science is in fact the product of human subjectivity.” 19
Men and women still do not prefer to be restricted by time, place or community, which becomes clear in our everyday life. The food, the clothing or activities are not dependent anymore of time or place; moreover, we try to be in another time and place.14 All these ‘modern comforts’, we are very much used to, have increased our negative influence on the environment.15 The modern era not only alienated the human being from nature, it also ignored the concerns about future generations. “Archetypal modern man and woman preferred − and still prefer − not to be rooted in place or community nor to be concerned with the longer cycles of time and the obligations they inevitably incur.” 13
Integral sustainable design One of the major problems in the design process of today within the field of sustainability is the fact of only considering the technological part of sustainability. 20 Architecture cannot be made sustainable by adding some photovoltaic panels and wind mills on the roofs of our buildings. That way we would consider only technological sustainability. It is obvious that sustainability has many more neglected, non-technological, aspects. These can be classifies as: ecological, cultural and experiential sustainability. All these aspects should have equal values in the design process. The process of sustainable design is an integral one. 21 The separation between art and science, Figure 5 Four quadrants of Integral Theory by Ken Wilber
Science, technology, and aesthetics belong together.
Another essential characteristic of the modern era is the separation of art and science, often called the separation of the subjective and the objective.16 This led to the separation of academia and polytechnics.17 It is obvious that the design team was divided too, into a group of designers and a group of engineers. This separation, which is called ‘false dichotomy’ by Dalibor Veseley,18 took the opportunity of being sustainable away from architecture, as sustainability cannot be achieved without the knowledge of the polytechnics. Even architecture and technology cannot be separated, as it is said by Veseley: “This [opposition] … is a misconception, and in fact a contradiction. The development of scientific objectivity depends … on the subject responsible for the project of science. In other words, the more objective reality becomes, the more subjective must be the position of the individual who encounters
which in the modern era gave the architect the freedom to make a largely ‘individual’s creative act’ of the design process, has to come to an end. 22 Contemporary buildings have become far too complex to be designed by one single person as it was possible centuries ago, when the site manager had the only leading role in the design process. As the building has become a composition of systems the architect is not able to design with all these systems, which changes the role of the architect from an aesthetical designer to a co-ordinator and orchestrator. 23 In order to make architecture more sustainable the design process should be changed, already starting during the education of future engineers, to an integral design process. Not only will the role of the architect change in this new design process for buildings, but the role of engineers
too. Already from the start of the design process all disciplines are involved and contribute to the design. 24 This integral design process is essential to make our buildings sustainable in all aspects that are involved. So what aspects should be considered? How can we make our architecture sustainable without underestimating any important part of the whole (sustainability story)?
Integral theory of Ken Wilber Around the year 2000 Ken Wilber introduced the Integral Theory, which tries to give an overview of the aspects that should be considered in integral design. Although the Integral Theory has its origins in the works of the Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo and Swiss philosopher Jean Gebser during the first half of the 20th century Wilber has brought it to the people in the last years. 25 The integral theory described by Ken Wilber has four quadrants, often illustrated in a matrix with four cells. (fig. 5) This integral theory is an attempt to create a comprehensive framework to understand the complexity of any human knowledge domain. The first and most important assumption of this theory is that everyone is at least partially right. In this framework differences are as well as included as transcended. Such an integral approach challenges us to hold several perspectives at the same time and consider the developments in each perspective, including several levels of complexity. The Integral Theory is a comprehensive approach including All quadrant, All levels, All lines, All states and All types, often called AQAL. To give a good overview of this theory in the field of sustainable architecture and not make it too complicated only the quadrants will be discussed. 26 The matrix of Wilber for the Integral Theory contains quadrants that intersect individual and collective phenomena with objective and subjective knowledge. With this any process can be considered from four different viewpoints, which are called the fundamental perspectives by Mark DeKay in his book Integral Sustainable Design on the Integral Theory of Wilber. Wilber describes these perspectives as the inside, which includes the subjective issues, and outside, which includes the objective issues, of the individual and the collective. These four perspectives are not separate parts of the theory, they rather should always be considered simultaneously to understand any process or situation. 27 The four perspectives of the Integral Theory in the field of sustainable design are described by DeKay as: Experiences perspective, Behaviours perspective, Cultures perspective and Systems perspective. The experience perspective forms the upper left part of the matrix and is characterised as the individual and subjective part of the process. In the design process of buildings this perspective forms the systemic members with various forms of perception, sentience and awareness. The main
question within this perspective is: how to shape form to engender experience. In the process of sustainable design this perspective is concerned at one hand with the interior experiences and intentions of the designers and at the other hand with the experiences of the occupants of a sustainable design. 28 The behaviours perspective forms the upper right part of the matrix, which is the individual and objective part of the integral process. Here the performance of the sustainable design rules and the technological view on sustainability has the main role. Rating systems such as LEED are dominated by this part of the theory. In sustainable design this perspective is concerned with quantitative research and results and with phenomena that are scientifically and objectively observable. It is obvious that this perspective includes inquiry only into the exteriors of people, cultures and objects. In this part of the process we usually make a proposition which is proved or disproved after the realisation of the building. The main question in this perspective is: how to shape form to maximize performance? 29 The lower right part of the matrix includes the perspective of systems. This perspective forms the objective and collective part of the integral process. This perspective considers sustainable design from the viewpoint of whole, natural and social, systems, integrated with the local ecosystem. Compared to the perspective of behaviours which is objective, the systems perspective is inter-objective. The individual objectives from the upper right part are interrelated and form complex systems. Often ecosystems are taken as model for sustainable design. The main question within this perspective is: how to shape form that reflexively orders and is ordered by process? 30 The fourth part of the matrix includes the perspective of cultures, which is the lower left part. This part forms the collective, subjective part of the integral process. As the perspective of experiences includes the aesthetics of sustainable design, this perspective includes the ethics. It considers ecological value in cultural terms. The use of symbolic language to convey meaning about sustainable design is also included in this perspective. Together with upper left quadrant the perspective of cultures is very often forgotten in design processes. Which takes the possibility of being integral away from sustainable design. This perspective claims that the meaning of sustainable design is as important as the performance is. The main question here is: how to shape form to manifest meaning? 31 (fig. 6)
Figure 6 The four Sustainable Design perspectives
This Integral Theory of the philosopher Ken Wilber provides a framework to make sustainable designs which are considered from all possible perspectives. Integral sustainable design is said to be a â€˜holisticâ€™, being more as a whole than the mere sum of the including parts, process in which each part has equal value. In the process of integral sustainable design of buildings this means that all engineers have equal
participation in the design process. This theory does not in any case give a predetermined way, or a recipe, of how to make a sustainable design. It rather gives a guideline for how to organize a design process. Besides this is not the only theory which tries to set up a guideline for the design process of an integral design. Another example of such a theory is the C-K theory of Hatchuel and Weil, which brings into relationship the field of concept (or creativity) with that of knowledge (or science). 32 The theory of Ken Wilber is more appropriate for the discussion in this essay due to the elaborate discussions in literature within the field of sustainable building design and related to the main subject and the chosen sub-subjects of this book.
of both buildings also differs a lot, 450 m2 for the Adam Joseph Lewis Centre and 250 m2 for the ECN building. Concluding that the performance of the PV system applied in the roof of the ECN building is less than that of the Adam Joseph Lewis Centre, but that is compensated by the contribution to the aesthetics. 37 (fig. 7-9)
Integral sustainable design of buildings in practise As discussed above the design of the building should be considered from several perspectives to make a building sustainable. As the design process of a sustainable building is much more complex than that of traditional buildings the design should be considered by a whole design team during the whole process. 33 Unfortunately, nowadays sustainability in the building industry is only considered from the objective part of the integral process. Sustainability is seen as a mere measurable characteristic that can be achieved with the help of technology and be assessed with tools such as LEED and BREEAM. Connecting this to the matrix of Ken Wilber we can conclude that the upper left part, which is the perspective of behaviors, is very well considered in the design process of sustainable building design. Concentrating on the upper half of the matrix it is already realized that there is most often no relationship between the perspective of experience and the perspective of behaviour. As we saw in the design for the Adam Yoseph Lewis Centre technology is added to the design to make the building sustainable in performance. So within this sustainable design process the subjective part is left out. ECN Gebouw 42 To give an example of a building that is designed within an integral sustainable design process the ECN Gebouw 42 is discussed next. In this project the technology makes the building sustainable at the one hand by measurable interventions and at the other hand by experiential interventions, which have a positive influence on one another. The building is designed by Bear architecten for the Energy Research Centre ECN of the Netherlands in Petten. This new building, from 2003, of the ECN complex includes a laboratory and offices. From the beginning the aim of this design was to make an energy efficient and sustainable building that demonstrates the use of renewable energy. ECN asked the architects’ office Bear architecten and DEGO, Duurzame Energie in de Gebouwde Omgeving, to make a design for this building. So already from the beginning both,
architects and sustainability specialists, were contributing to the design process. The chosen source for renewable energy is determined by research activities of ECN. This building exists of two units which are covered by a curved glass roof. This roof forms an atrium in between and in front of the units together with the glass front façade. Whereby almost all workplaces, located in the three units, are well lit by daylight. The entrance and transportation area are located underneath the glass roof. The PV system is applied in an innovative way to make photovoltaics economically and aesthetically more interesting. The photovoltaic cells are integrated in the glass panels of the roof, which saves costs for roof covering. These cells let 30 percent of daylight through and keep 70 percent outside. 34 By this overheating in summer is prevented and the space underneath the glass roof becomes less static. The role of the PV system is extended from only energy generating device to sun shading system and architectural element. The cables of the PV elements are integrated in the roof structure to retain the aesthetics. The well-known disadvantages of PV, which are high costs and aesthetic appearance, is made less decisive by integration of different disciplines and integration in design process. The PV system generates 19.000 kWh a year on average only. 35 Which is less than the half of the energy generation of the Adam Joseph Lewis Centre (57.170 kWh). 36 The total area of the PV system
Changes in the design process of buildings are necessary as it is obvious that architectural design of nowadays is unsustainable. The main reason for this is the design process we are used to as architects and engineers, in which the concept is determined by the architects only in the initial phase and technical engineers are incorporated later. Which takes the consideration of sustainability issues to the end of the process. But sustainability related problems cannot be solved creatively afterwards, it has to be an essential part of the design from the start of the design process. Which will result in innovative designs and enhance spatial experience in our buildings. As we have seen in the design for the ECN Gebouw 42 integration of technologies in the architectural design makes the design richer in experience. The integrated design process gives designers and engineers the opportunity to make the applied technologies an essential part of the design and to prevent the technological devices from being addons, which negatively influence the aesthetical experience. By integrating the technical disciplines in the design process not only the architectural design will improve, but also the technologies from these disciplines will innovate while being challenged by the designers. Additionally costs will be saved when sustainability devices are not add-ons but replace building elements. Integrating technology in building design does not necessary lead to other, or peculiar aesthetics. “Glancing through the myriad articles, reports, and books on the subject of green or sustainable buildings, we find a bewildering array of contrasting building types, employing a great variety of different technologies and design approaches, each justified by a highly divers set of interpretations of what a sustainable place might represent.” 39
Figure 7-9 ECN Building 42, interior& exterior detail of PV-system
The ECN building is sustainable from more perspectives although it is less sustainable from the perspective of performance. The applied technology could be integrated, instead of being an add-on, because the design process was more integral. In integral design processes different participators get involved and thereby understand each other’s perspective and intentions better, what results in better and more innovative designs. In such processes the participators not only learn about each other’s work, but each participator also achieves more in his or her own field due to critics from others. 38
The aesthetics of sustainable architecture can be the same as the aesthetics of architecture in general. Important is that the aesthetics are considered in a sustainable way, that technology does not destroy the aesthetics but rather has an additional qualitative input. Sustainability in the field of architecture does not only consider performance but also culture, context and beauty.
The aesthetics of passive building written by Julie Bosch
Figure 1 The Primitive Hut
Introduction Passive building is something of all times. Nowadays passive building is inseparable from sustainability because of the energy saving qualities it brings to buildings. But ages ago, when people first started building shelters for protection against the extremes in their surrounding environment, the rudiments of passive building were instinctively followed. People cooperated with their surroundings to create a comfortable shelter.
The beauty of passive building So what is the general perception on passive buildings? One of the first records on passive building was a quote by Socrates, one of the founders of Western philosophy. He describes 4 century’s B.C. how to build a house and therefore recites methods that we nowadays call passive. ‘Now in houses with a south aspect, the sun’s rays penetrate into the porticoes in winter, but in the summer the path of the sun is right over our heads and above the roof, so that there is shade. If, then, this is the best arrangement, we should build the south side loftier to get the winter sun and the north side lower to keep out the cold winds. To put it shortly, the house in which the owner can find a pleasant retreat at all seasons
they have developed over the past decades. Also the development that the aesthetic of passive building has gone through is described. But first, in the next chapter, a tool will be introduced that will provide grip when evaluating different images of passive building.
not against nature, because nature knows best. The archetypal visual image is the remote and isolated self-sufficient building in harmony with or dominated by its surrounding landscape.
Images of sustainability
image is: local culture knows best. Sustainability means protecting and continuing the character of the place. The sustainability of the building is sublimated to sustainability of the place. Materials, colors and buildings should be drawing on the local vernacular: designs are informed by and respect local traditions, but they are not simply copying it.
The motto of the cultural
Table 1 Three images of architectural sustainability from Williamson, Radford and Bennetts (2003)
In figure 1, from in the second edition of MarcAntoine Laugier’s Essai sur l’architecture(1755), by Charles Eisen, the first hut is illustrated. Here you see a wise and cultured looking woman pointing at a shelter, teaching the unknowing child the first principles of architecture. The hut she is pointing at is constructed out of natural elements, uses basic geometrical shapes and is simplistic in design, but however fulfils its function as a protection from the sun an shelter against the rain.1 Passive buildings have emerged from this basic principles of architecture. So passive building originated out of the human interaction with nature. The aesthetic of the first hut is clear, it shows a ‘house’ built up out of available natural elements. But passive buildings have evolved through time and nowadays bring something totally different to mind. In this essay the factors that contribute to the (changing) image of passive building will be explored, in order to say something about the aesthetics of passive building.
simplicity and effectiveness of using these functional methods they both see as beautiful. This seems a rather abstract term, but the definition of the word beauty is: ‘the combination of all the qualities of a person or thing that delight the senses and please the mind.’ 4 This description shows that this
and can store his belongings safely is presumably at once the pleasantest and the most beautiful.’ 2 Socrates, 4th century B.C. This shows that he was already aware of the benefits working with nature can have on the performance of a building. This passive house he calls the most beautiful, a term that is more often related to passive building. In a contemporary essay on passive building Keith Bothwell describes passive building as follows: ‘It is the basic foundation for sustainable building; it has evolved over time, and continues to evolve, through generations of building practices and self-conscious traditions; it is embodied in the core principle of the Modern Movement, Form follows function; and it is found in nature, the ultimate repository of functional design, where countless biological systems have been tried and tested over millennia. Like nature, passive design has an inherent beauty, elegance and rightness born from adopting functional forms and the efficient and frugal use of available materials.’ 3 Comparing this to the quote of Socrates you feel a clear agreement in the core of the message. The
beauty is not just something that shows from the outside, the visual aspect, but the complete package of features that makes something attractive. Lance Hosey states in his book ‘the shape of green’ that this beauty serves an important contribution towards sustainability. ‘If it’s not beautiful, it’s not sustainable. Aesthetic attraction is not a superficial concern — it’s an environmental imperative.’ 5 Beauty is the only thing that can touch our emotions. It is these buildings that move us from the inside that are eventually the ones we are going to keep, thus they are more sustainable.
In order to say something about aesthetics that is not completely based on subjective factors but substantiated by predetermined definitions, a distinction of different images of sustainable architecture is introduced. Hannelore Christeans refers in her case study, the images of sustainable architecture, to the classification of Williamson, Radford and Bennetts (table 1). They differentiate three different images: the natural image, the
“If it’s not beautiful, it’s not sustainable” But how does this beauty manifests itself in passive designs? To be able to make a statement about this, in the next part of this essay is explored how passive buildings originated and how
cultural image and the technical image. She describes them as follows: - The basic principle of the natural image is that we should work with and
- ‘Technology can deal with any project at any place’ is the catchphrase of the technical image. Nature is seen in function of human life instead of harmony with it. The environmental problem has to be addressed with global solutions and success is a quantitative assessment. This architecture should result into efficient people in efficient buildings, and should be universally applicable. 6 These images can be used to distinguish the different images of passive building that are exemplified in the next chapters.
From the vernacular past to the current passive house In the time of the first historic dwellings, passive design was closely intertwined with vernacular architecture. This was clearly on a local scale, in means of materials but also in the way of building and using the surroundings to create a comfortable indoor climate. People could only use materials and techniques that were available and did not have a choice but to use passive methods for their homes in order to create a liveable climate. They had to coexist with their surroundings instead of battling against it. For example methods like using the sun to provide heating and light. This traditional image of passive building fits perfectly into the natural and the cultural image as described in the previous chapter. It is a combination of both. But when looking at passive buildings of today it is clear that this image has changed. But in what way and what factors determine this? This traditional image of passive design begins to change with the evolving notion of local. With the developments in the world on different scales and levels the question remains what are local materials nowadays. Harald N. Røstvik, a Norwegian architect, determines this local area, the region, by means of transportation: ‘While building their homes and settlements, people used materials that were available in the region, and the region was determined by the means of transportation. Over time, the means of transportation and trade networks evolved, increasing the range of building materials available for use. An aesthetic of sophistication emerged, drawing from the use of new materials such as brick, mortar and glass.’ 7 Due to globalization almost all materials are easily accessible and the image of passive buildings is becoming more undefined with this. Local materials are not by definition the most sustainable ones anymore and the rc value of the materials is becoming even more important. That is why the materials that define the image of the building are not per definition the ones that contribute to the passive character of the building anymore. Underneath the skin of the building there has to be a thick layer of insulation that is ensuring all the heat produced on inside of the building to stay in. If you want to meet the requirements for the passive building label these days you have to make sure that this heat loss is almost zero. You do not have a choice but to combine your passive building with active ventilation methods to ensure that the heat available in the used ventilation air is reused to heat up fresh air with a heat recovery unit, and to ensure the inside air stays of good quality. Also the demands on quality and comfort have become more higher with the advent of active techniques that make a high
level of comfort possible and accessible for a large group of people. This level of comfort has become indispensable because people have gotten used to it and are probably not willing to take a step back on this matter. People want their home to function at the highest level at all times. Where people in the past used to put on an extra sweater when the outside temperature lowered, today the inside climate is expected to be at a constant pleasant temperature at all times. Buildings that do not make use of additional active techniques can hardly meet this expectations in our climate.
30% of the real south to keep making this optimal use of the sun. To distribute this solar heat evenly the internal zoning of the house is adjusted to this south orientation. Areas where heat is produced, or heat is not necessary, like the kitchen and storage rooms, are placed on the north side of the building and areas where heat is needed are placed on the south side. Also the shape of the building has an enormous impact on its thermal capacities. The surface area of the building in relation to the volume should be designed to a minimum so the chances of temperature leakage through the façade is minimized. A
“With all the active technologies adapted in the building, it is questionable whether a building like this should even be called passive.”
The passive house So the passive methods that have descended from the vernacular architecture of the past are still used but they have been defined into strict rules and regulations that are used when applying them in ‘passive houses’. This passive house is a house that makes use of these passive methods but consists of a package of demands on energy level. In the Netherlands these houses cannot use more than 15 kWh/m²/year on heating. This is about 75% less than the average building nowadays. 8 Those passive houses cannot avoid also using additional active techniques to help them with all these requirements. These requirements also mean that large windows have to be placed on the south side and much smaller windows on the north side, to make good use of the free solar energy. But this south faced glazing has size limitations, when it is too big it also causes heat losses when there isn’t enough sunlight. There are a lot of researches that calculate the optimum percentage of window surface in the south façade. This south orientation of the building is only allowed to vary between 20 to
lot of research on the shape and the corresponding surface is done, but square and rectangular forms are still found to be the most optimal for buildings, the grain size should be maximized. All this (and more) constitutes to the passive house as we know it nowadays. A set of carefully drawn design rules where nothing is left to chance and coincidence, everything can be calculated. This way of building is essentially focused on the surroundings but the question arises if these buildings still feel and look like they are connected to nature in any way. With all the active technologies adapted in the building, it is questionable whether a building like this should even be called passive. It seems like, if you just follow all the design rules, you have a great
performing and sustainable home. But what design freedom is left in a building like this? Ken Yeang, architect and ecologist, states the following in an interview by Keith Bothwell:
BuitenHUIS in Bodegraven (figure 3, top), built in 2011 Architect: Daniël de Witte Bodegraven The buitenHUIS is the first house in the Netherlands that, according to measurements, meets the strict international passive house standards. The dwelling is well insulated and air-tight. In the house many innovative techniques are applied, which ensure that the house generates more energy than it consumes.11
‘If you build in the performance well, you almost have to build the diagram … if you build the diagram then it works, but it is also boring … so a certain amount of license has to be given for deviations … to what extent do you allow the variations to affect the performance of the building? It’s a difficult aesthetic decision, and sometimes if you get too rigorous with your performance criteria your client will say, ‘well, you know, you’ve designed just a box for me!’ 9 So from this there is to conclude that the aesthetic of the passive home is a box-like building. Every time a design is made following this design rules, a home that has more or less the same characteristics is created.
The passive house versus the house based on passive methods To examine the statement of Ken Yeang, 3 images of passive houses, which accurately represent the current image of passive houses in the Netherlands, are compared with 3 images of houses that use these passive methods on their own terms. These buildings are relatively recent examples and all built in the Netherlands, so they are adjusted to the same climate. Every example will have a short description of the project, but for the aesthetic only the image is taken into account.
Passive houses Active technologies are used to meet the strict demands on energylevel.
Figure 3 (top): BuitenHUIS
Figure 2 Passive houses in De Kroeven
- Passive houses in De Kroeven, Roosendaal (figure 2) - BuitenHUIS in Bodegraven (figure 3) - Autark I in Maastricht (figure 4) All these buildings comply with the demands of passive houses. They all meet the requirements of the passive house and use additional active systems to achieve this.
Houses based on passive methods Only passive methods are used. All these building create a good indoor environment by only making use of passive methods and durable materials. (Additional solar panels are not taken into account because they do not directly contribute to the indoor climate) - Earthship Nooterhof in Zwolle (figure 5) - De kleine aarde in Boxtel (figure 6) - Aardehuizen Olst (figure 7)
Roosendaal (figure 2), built in 2008 Architect: Han van Zwieten In the south of the district ‘De Kroeven’ in Roosendaal 3 experimental dwellings have been realised. The dwellings consist of 3 levels and are built next to the already existing buildings. These buildings have so much insulation that they barely need additional heating to create a pleasant indoor climate. In these passive houses 3 concepts of solar energy are made visible: Active thermal (Combined solar boiler for hot water and heating, by collectors on the south side of the dwelling), active electric (PV-panels in the south façade to arouse electricity. Heat pump for hot tap water and heating, with roof collectors), passive conservatory (Winter garden on the south side of the dwelling). 10
Figure 4 (bottom): Autark I
Autark I in Maastricht (figure 4, bottom), built in 2012 Architect: Pieter Kromwijk The Autark is a passive home integrated in a new dwelling concept: a floating passive house with an European passive house certificate. The goal was to design a cheap and autarkic dwelling and this is accomplished. The autarkic features that this dwelling uses are: - Own drinking water production out of the underlying water - Own energy generation - Own wastewater purification - Innovative building system 12
Passive houses in De Kroeven
Earthship Nooterhof in Zwolle (figure 5), built in 2009 Architect: Michael Reynolds
By analysing the aesthetics of these two different ways of using passive methods and comparing the figures a clear difference shows.
The earthship Nooterhof is built according to the earthship building principles. This means it is built primarily from waste materials and earth. The rainwater is collected on the roof and filtered to be used as drinking and washing water. The walls are made of tires filled with earth and on the south side there is a glass conservatory that allows the building to make optimal use of sunlight and solar heat. The heavy walls stabilize the temperature inside the building. A study by the Dutch Institute for Building Biology and Ecology calculated that an Earthship has a more than 9 times smaller environmental impact than comparable buildings.13
The statement of Ken Yeang that was quoted before is supported by the examples of these passive houses. They all have the same characteristics. They are built very compact, their façade looks relatively closed and has a big grain size. Everything seems to lie in one surface so the reference to a box seems very understandable. When looking at the three images of sustainability this image doesn’t fit into the natural and the cultural image anymore, but has to be included at the technical image category. These buildings make use of their environment, but only for quantitative purposes. And just as the description of the technical image quoted: ‘This architecture should result into efficient people in efficient buildings, and should be universally applicable.’ This is exactly the case with these buildings. They only focus on the energetic aspect of sustainability, but they seem to forget that there are more factors that have to be taken into account when addressing sustainability.
De kleine aarde in Boxtel (figure 6), built in 2012 Architect: Van Laarhoven Combinatie In ‘De kleine aarde’ in Boxtel different experimental wall types have been used that allowed the builders to become acquainted with different building methods (bales of straw, wood and earth bags). The floor and foundation are insulated with foam glass granulate, a waste product of glass recycling. The windows and doors have found a second life in this building. A central tile stove provides heat to the entire building. The main idea was to build with the smallest possible environmental impact. By building as much as possible by hand not only a reduction of energy consumption during the construction is ensured, but it also provides for a strong involvement of the builders/users.14
Aardehuizen Olst (figure 7), built in 2014 Architect: Vereniging Aardehuis Oost-Nederland The aardehuizen in Zonnekamp east by Olst consist out of 23 dwellings, a community centre and an information centre, all running on their own energy. These buildings are also built according to the earthship concept.15
The houses that use passive methods perform more like the ones build in the past. These buildings can be categorized in the category of the natural image. They are connected to nature and cooperate with it instead of making use of it. These houses were of course built on knowledge of passive building, but also on common sense. Every building has thought of their own ways of using these passive methods and those are not based on calculations, but on ways of building that have proven themselves through history. This makes every house an individual, customized to the wishes of the people that have built it, causing that they feel immediately more involved and attracted to their home. On the other hand, do the people that built houses like this consciously choose for less comfort in their home. On average days the climate inside these buildings will be good, but on cold days when the sun does not shine additional heating is needed to keep a comfortable temperature inside. Or use the ‘old fashion’ way, wear an extra sweater. Basically, these buildings take a step back in terms of passive housing. But that could be the goal of the people who are building houses like this: Express sustainability by using traditional building methods and durable materials. Showing off how green you are by building your house with straw bales. But there must be a balance possible between performance and looks. In the Netherlands these projects are still hard to find, but when we cross our Southern border there are some interesting housing projects to discover.
Figure 5 (top) Earthship Nooterhof Figure 6 (centre) De kleine aarde Figure 7 (lest) Aardehuizen Olst
Passive House Skatchkoff in Kortrijk, Belgium (figure 8), built in 2007 Architect: HUB
Figure 8 Passive house Skatchkoff
The Skatchkoff Residence is a detached passivesolar house at the edge of the centre of Kortrijk. The design brings two nostalgic elements into crystal clear form: the saw-tooth structure of the local textile industry and the wooden structure of the dacha of the client’s homeland, Russia. The essence of the design, the sculptural sawtooth roof, is ideal for capturing passive solar heat from the south- and the central core which structures the plan and houses all ventilation equipment. All remaining rooms are integrated within a free and flexible plan around this core.16 Passive House with Textile Skin in Asse, Belgium (figure 9), built in 2009 Architect: BLAF architecten
Figure 9 Passive house with textile skin
The ambition of this project in Asse was to cause a shift in behaviour, reflecting the architects’ research into the generating capacity of architecture on a spatial, social and ecological level. By designing the front yard of the house as a semi-public playground, and by using the front facade of the house as a drawing board, this house becomes a more social and hospitable element in the neighbourhood. The unexpected introduction of the semi-public space dislocates the allotment’s rigid concepts of privacy and territory. The topography and orientation of the site, and the passive house principals have led to an efficient skin design that embodies the transparency, flexibility and interaction of the house.17 Passive house in Bessancourt, France (figure 10), built in 2009 Architect: Karawitz Architecture Aesthetically, this house is a sculptural and abstract replica of a traditional house. The design by Karawitz Architecture reveals a double faced site sensitive house that is closed on the North to limit energy loss and opened on the South to take benefit of free sunshine. This project was labeled the best performance low consumption house in France and the first house in the Parisian region to receive the European labeled certification PHI “Passiv Haus Institut”. An open second skin in non-treated bamboo envelops the skeleton made of massive wood panels. This coating, that becomes grey with time, has been inspired from the typical barns in this region.18
These last 3 examples show that the use of passive building techniques should not have an influence on the design freedom and beauty of these buildings. These buildings seem energy efficient, comfortable and visually attractive. All three examples show a totally different expression that is derived out of every buildings own concept. These concepts respond to the context and this is manifested in the design and the use of materials. The way these buildings use the passive house techniques differs, but in every example they are serving the building and not the other way around. The building is not designed to serve its passive house features, but these passive techniques ensure the performance of these buildings and are included in the design process so they are designed as a part of the architecture. Just like the way we used to implement passive methods in the architecture in the past, but now with the use of complex technologies to adapt to higher demands. With the integration of active techniques that are in these buildings just as important as the passive methods it seems more logical to call these passive houses just houses because the passive part is not the most important anymore. Actually it is not possible to distil one image out of these examples because there are countless design possibilities. The image that seems the closest to these buildings is the cultural, because these buildings take their context, and with this the current culture into account in the design process.
Figure 10 Passive house in Bessancourt
So these examples prove Ken Yeang wrong. This shows that it is possible to design a passive house without being immediately stuck to the box-like appearance. With the rise of passive house techniques it was probably the task to use these techniques optimally, so this is what the design process was focussed on. The use of these techniques was innovative in such a way that there had not been a lot of experimenting with implementing these techniques in much more elaborate and thoughtful designs. But as long as there are architects, the will to create something original and iconic will exist. And hopefully this way of integrating active and passive techniques in the design process is becoming the new standard.
Conclusion Passive building has emerged out of a certain obviousness in traditional vernacular design. Back then they had to take the way their building relates to available resources and their surroundings strongly into account to build functional buildings. The techniques we use today have originated from these first and traditional ways of building. The image of this old way of building can be categorized under the natural and the cultural image (as described in the third chapter). This old way of using passive methods that matches the natural image is still present nowadays, but only in small numbers. These passive methods are currently used in, mostly individual, housing projects. On the other hand there has been a big increase in the development of ‘passive houses’ that are very progressive in terms of energy efficient housing. With all kinds of techniques that are evolved from traditional passive methods and complemented with modern active ones, houses can
meet very high demands on performance and comfort level. And they have to. Requirements on performance level are increasing and the standard in terms of comfort has become a lot higher with the advent of techniques that make this kind of comfort possible and accessible. Most people do not want to return to a lower comfort level and therefore the best solution is to use these additional passive house techniques that provide for this high level of comfort and at the same time ensure that the building performs well on energetic level. Achieving this high level of comfort and performance is within our climate no longer possible with only the use of passive methods. So using only passive methods is not really something of this time anymore. But the question is, are these great performing houses also sustainable? Referring back to the second chapter: ‘for a building to be sustainable, it has to be beautiful.’ When
building this ‘high performing diagram’, like the passive houses in the Netherlands, the question arises: is it really something people feel connected with? Those houses lack any expression of their own, so they are not very likely to be perceived as beautiful. So only on energetic level they are sustainable, but all the other factors that contribute to a building for it to be sustainable are barely elaborated. With the other category of examples in the Netherlands, the houses built with passive methods, it is the other way around. These buildings are built with more design freedom and are therefore more expressive. It is a specific expression though, so these buildings will not be attractive to everybody. Although finding something beautiful is a matter of taste, a building that embodies a certain elegance and rightness is generally perceived as beautiful. From this aspect these buildings that use passive methods are more ‘beautiful’ thus more sustainable than the passive houses. On the other hand is the performance of these buildings presumably a lot lower.
Finally there are the examples from Belgium and France. They show that it is possible to integrate the passive housing techniques into the design process and therefore have an expression of their own. These buildings can be seen as the most sustainable. As Lance Hosey puts it: ‘form affects performance, image influences endurance.’ 19, these buildings can have both. Good performance and an attractive appearance in which their passive nature is still slightly visible. As the previous chapter has shown, when integrating these passive house techniques into the design process, is it not possible to distract one specific image from this anymore. Actually there seems to be almost as much design freedom as in ‘regular’ buildings. So building houses without using these techniques does not make sense anymore, presuming people build to be sustainable nowadays. This way of using passive techniques is the basis for sustainable building.
C Context shapes buildings Sustainability as a guideline for architectural design
By nature, sustainability requires solutions that are specifically suited to each unique situation. Therefore, a universal aesthetic system cannot work for sustainable architecture. Sustainable architecture simply cannot have one singular aesthetic expression, but rather an infinite number of variations, where each solution is unique to its own environment and to the building which it serves. The first part of this chapter is about the theory behind the conceptual approach in which a sustainable form needs to adapt to the context in order to seek balance with its climate, culture and nature has been researched. In this essay named ‘Influence of context upon the aesthetics of sustainable architecture’, the effects on the aesthetics of the building envelope in sustainable designs with relation to their environment are discussed. This approach, as well as the effects on the aesthetics of the building envelope, are evaluated by using the ‘Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center’
and the ‘Dutch Embassy in Amman’ as reference projects. In the second part of this chapter the knowledge of vernacular architecture with regard to sustainability is discussed. Vernacular architecture is about the range of available resources within a specific context based on evolving experiments and knowledge, as a response to specific needs, reflecting local traditions. Because of a changing locality with regard to architecture, the context of applying this knowledge is different than its origin. Due to the relationship Vernacular architecture has with its context, it contains different sustainable principles. Therefore, in the essay ‘Evolving Vernacular’ the value of this knowledge is determined. Reflecting on an example, namely also the Tjibaou Cultural Centre by Renzo Piano in New Caledonia, the way the knowledge of Vernacular architecture should be applied in contemporary designs is determined.
Influence of context on the aesthetics of sustainable architecture written by Stijn Faarts
Figure 1 Red dots illustrate Amman (Jordan) & Nouméa (New Caledonia)
Introduction Sustainability imposes a new set of principles on the production of architectural form and aesthetics in response to the consideration of environmental variables. Within these principles, one of the possibilities for architecture can be to enter into a symbiotic relationship with the natural environment and engage in a sustainable manner in the exteriorinterior dialogue through the optimal use of natural light, the movement of air and the flow of energy. These natural phenomena may be controlled with air stratification, stack effect and cross ventilation, conduction, and the reflection of light and sounds. Ideally, sustainable forms would adapt to the environment in a manner analogous to a living organism, responding to the context and seeking balance with its climate, culture and nature.1 To engage in this dialogue between the exterior and interior, the point of change, the building envelope, becomes the main architectural event.
Context influencing concept By nature, sustainability requires solutions that are specifically suited to each unique situation. 2 Therefore, a universal aesthetic system will not work for sustainable architecture. Sustainable architecture simply cannot have one singular aesthetic expression, but rather an infinite number of variations, where each solution is unique to its own environment and to the building which it serves. Still the universality of the approach might be recognizable in its performance, 3 because the ideal of a sustainable form that responds to the context is always the goal. First, the theory behind the conceptual approach in which a sustainable form needs to adapt to the context in order to seek balance with its climate, culture and nature will be considered. After this, the effects on the aesthetics of the building envelope in sustainable design in relation to their environment will be discussed. This approach, as well as the effects on the aesthetics of the building
envelope, will be further evaluated using the works of two well-known architects as reference projects. The first reference project is the JeanMarie Tjibaou Cultural Center in Nouméa (New Caledonia) by Renzo Piano. (Fig. 1) The Cultural Center is known for its homage to the local Kanak culture and the intertwining of local building traditions combined with that of modern expertise. The second is The Dutch embassy in Amman (Jordan) by Rudy Uytenhaak. The embassy is not only caught in relation with the local context, but also relates to the Dutch identity. Therefore, it will be interesting to understand how this alters the influence of local context upon the aesthetics of sustainable architecture. Both designs will be reviewed on the approaches of adapting to the context and on the aesthetics of the building envelope that result from these approaches.
Sustainable architecture simply cannot have one singular aesthetic expression, but rather an infinite number of variations, where each solution is unique to its own environment and to the building which it serves. 116
When regarding one of the basic principles in sustainable design, we observe that achieving spatial continuity between the interior and the exterior is an important goal in sustainability. 4 Within this concept, temperature, humidity and air speed values represent the perceptible manifestation of climate outside of the built form. But they also characterize the desired climate conditions inside a form. This means that the spatial continuity between the exterior and the interior is based on the analysis of these environmental parameters. Their values can be used as scientific input for the production of a sustainable form, which is focused on achieving a balance between these forces. As a result of this approach, characterized as the total environmental functionalism of form, the aesthetics of the artificial environment are adapting more and more to the context and seeking balance with its climate, culture and nature. Over the past few decades, the accelerated development of advanced materials and techniques has led to the emergence of sophisticated artificial codes for the built environment. 5 Such codes contribute to the design of rigorous, adaptable envelopes, significantly raising the intimacy between form and climate. At the same time, this process might sometimes make the once familiar relationship between the climatic context and the construction materials and techniques of vernacular architecture less obvious. For example, new airtight and highly insulating envelopes have the potential to replace the vernacular compact shapes in frigid climates, providing a range of new architectural possibilities.
In addition, due to the availability of new materials and techniques, the characteristics of a given vernacular may be extrapolated and integrated into new systems in different combinations and contexts. Passive strategies that were once closely connected to specific climates and locales may now expand beyond their applicable geographic boundaries. 6 Thus it can be said that the aesthetics of sustainability are defined by an evolving process crucially connected to the technological development of new materials and techniques. Thanks to the current technological developments, the potential to integrate architecture and engineering indicates that the disjunction between the internal conditions of a building, in relation to its function, structure and energetic services,
“The aesthetics of sustainability are defined by an evolving process crucially connected to the technological development of new materials and techniques” and the kind of technical equipment needed to sustain them, will disappear.7 In essence, this results in consequences for the building aesthetics as form and performance will converge and this integration occurs through the permeability of the building envelope and the provision of different devices that respond to natural phenomena, so that the overall form may adapt to the climatic variations of the given environment.
Figure 4 Ruins of Jerash (Jordan)
Context based concepts in practice When Renzo Piano designed the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center in Nouméa (New Caledonia) similar to the form of the villages in which the local Kanak tribes live, 8 he tried to adapt his architectural form to the context in order to seek balance with the climate, culture and nature. This resulted in a composition for the Cultural Center consisting of three ‘villages’ made up of ten ‘Great Houses’ of varying sizes and functions. These ‘Great Houses’ are linked by a long, gently curving, enclosed walkway, reminiscent of the ceremonial alley of the traditional Kanak village.(Fig. 2)
Figure 2 Traditional Kanak architecture in front of the Jean-Marie TjibaouCultural Center Figure 5 Stone architecture of Amman
The identity of the Kanak is not only reinforced through the form of the building, but also through its relationship with the natural landscape. Located on a peninsula between the storm-tossed Pacific Ocean and a calm lagoon, the design of Renzo Piano takes advantage of the prevailing winds from the ocean side through a system of natural ventilation.7 (Fig. 3) Therefore, in order to receive the most wind and
Figure 3 Due to its location the Cultural Center can take advantage of the prevailing wind
enable this natural ventilation, the project is sited on a hilltop. Combined with the fact that fewer trees are planted on this side of the island, wind is able to access the buildings easily. On the other hand, tall trees are planted along the east and west side as a way of ‘funnelling’ the wind into the centre. Additional to this natural ventilation, the warm and humid air on site gets cooled by the surrounding water.8 The second concept, shaped by the local context, is the Dutch embassy in Amman (Jordan). In contrast to the previously described project, in this project, the climate of Jordan along
with the local culture and the natural environment of Amman are not the only design aspects that have had their influence on the Dutch architect Rudy Uytenhaak. As part of the assignment of designing a Dutch embassy, the Dutch identity had to be represented as well. As one of the most water scarce countries in the world, 9 Jordan places great importance on saving water. Water-saving fixtures and rainwater collectors for irrigation purposes are important solutions for this context related problem. In the garden, waterefficient plants were selected and the existing trees were retained wherever possible.10 Another aspect that had
to be considered, when achieving the architectural form, was that the design and detailing had to ensure a minimization of heating and cooling loads, which resulted in daylight as the main source of illumination in the office and circulation spaces. Next to these geographical conditions that have influenced Uytenhaak, Jordan has a rich architectural history, with evident traces of the Greeks and Romans.(Fig. 4) This history combined with the stone architecture of Amman,(Fig. 5) has led to the design of a modern stone-clad colonnade in front of the embassy. (Fig. 6)
Figure 6 Stone architecture of the Dutch Embassy in Amman
The point of change
Figure 7 The intertwining of the major aspects of design concerns, when it comes to building envelopes
As explained before, the building envelope occupies a special position within the strategies of sustainable design. It is not only the primary building element that is exposed directly to weathering, but also a crucial part of the architectural design that determines the formal qualities of the building. According to the Vitruvian triad, the building envelope is considered to contribute the most to the allurement of the building.13 At the same time, the building envelope is also expected to help regulate the climatic, thermal fluctuations of the building. Therefore, the development of building envelopes has focused on a combination of both the climatic appropriateness and the affectation of a given building. Thus, the building envelope is expected to shelter and preserve the interior conditions and to express an aesthetic intent at the same time.
indicate how adaptable and accommodating the building envelope is to different uses by incorporating operable openings, devices such as blinds or foils that block or filter sunlight and air, and the degree of material resistance to weathering, wear and tear.16
When the design criteria of building envelopes are considered, they can be characterized in terms of three major aspects of design concerns: ‘the functional’, ‘the technical’ and ‘the energetic’.14 In combination, these aspects determine what an observer sees and recognizes as the aesthetics of a building. These aspects are also closely related to the local conditions of a site in terms of geographical location, prevailing climate, material availability as well as the kind of intangible, contextual issues that exist such as the tendencies of ideology, politics, economics and thus, the social and cultural practices of the population. Although these three aspects each deal with the aesthetics of the building envelope in a slightly different way, they also have lots of similarities, and are in fact partly intertwined. (Fig . 7) In order to try and elucidate the differences and resemblances between these aspects, they will be examined individually.
Context: the key to sustainable envelopes
The energetic Evidently, as part of sustainability, the energetic aspect cannot be absent. Directly pertaining to energy, the building envelope is expected to perform a key role in regulating the transmission, absorption and containment of energy in a building. Today, the energetic aspects of the building envelope form a key factor of sustainable design, because it is through the building’s outermost enclosure that significant energy losses, gains and savings could occur. Therefore, energetic performance often proves to be a crucial design criteria for a building envelope, and in one way or another, all envelopes and enclosures have now evolved to deal with energy flow.17
The Tjibaou Cultural Center is a useful example of a design that was affected by local conditions. The aesthetics of the building envelope clearly relate to the concept influenced by context. In order to benefit from the local climate, natural ventilation was achieved through the principles of stack ventilation and ventilation due to wind force.(Fig. 8) Furthermore, because there is a negligible difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures on the island, a desired ventilation rate could only be achieved by increasing the vertical distance between the inlet and outlet of the building.18 The result towards the aesthetics is a vertical wooden outer shell, where air can circulate freely between two layers of Iroko wood (a type of wood that is
Figure 8 The Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center benefiting from the local climate by using natural ventilation
The functional The functional aspects elaborate on the building envelope as a shield, with a primary role of protecting the interior from the detrimental effects of the exterior. They include keeping the interior habitable by keeping the water out and controlling the airflow. In addition, the overall appearance of the building can be regarded as one of the functional aspects of the building envelope. In history, the appearance and function were intimately linked. On one hand this stems from the prevailing materials and techniques of the locale, and on the other from a desire to express their belief systems.15 The technical The technical aspects arise from the construction point of view. The construction is obviously an essential concern as it is important that the building envelope will be assembled with appropriate materials and techniques so that it collaborates with the functional aspects, while maintaining its structural integrity relative to gravity and lateral forces. In addition to this collaboration, the technical aspects
Figure 9 The influence of the Kanak huts on the aesthetics of the building envelope
impervious to rot and can withstand cyclone-force winds). This double-skin system can bring breezes down into the building or it can guide currents up and out of the cases by convection. The outer shell encourages desired convection currents through its orientation and spacing of the wooden cladding. The inner skin of the building is a series of horizontal louvres at the base and below the roof. The louvres below the roof are fixed (in open position) in order to maintain a pressure balance between the interior and exterior, preventing wind from lifting the roof. The lower louvres are controlled for ventilation based on wind direction and intensity. In addition, the louvres act as shading devices, controlling solar access into the building.19 In the end, maybe the most crucial to the aesthetics of the building envelope as it was designed by Renzo Piano, was the local heritage of the contemporary forms of the Kanak architecture. Besides the just discussed interaction with the environment through use of natural ventilation and temperature control, the concept
of the archetypical model of the Kanak huts can be regarded as the most influential.(Fig. 9) In Amman, Uytenhaak designed the Dutch embassy, which was actually an extension to an existing building. Because of this, the ground level of the embassy was already there. Uytenhaak needed to perform a structural analysis when he opted to create an additional floor. This analysis revealed that a new upper floor would make the existing villa susceptible to earthquake damage. 20 Additional columns, entirely according to the Jordan tradition with traces of Greek and Roman building methods, were then erected to primarily strengthen the structure. This resulted in an impressive front elevation of a modern stone-clad colonnade.(Fig. 10) During construction, the reduction of thermal bridges turned out to be too difficult to achieve. 21 To accommodate the ductwork and fan coils of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning installation (HVAC installation), Uytenhaak created a space between the existing structure
and the new floating first floor. This provided the opportunity to make use of night ventilation. 22 The elevation of this intermediary space is therefore finished with grills that allow the cool night breeze to pass through, releasing the heat gain of the day, and in the process, reducing the cooling load. During the day, a ventilation system is used with energy recovery to minimize the energy requirements for a comfortable indoor climate. When regarding the aesthetics of the front garden in the embassy, the solar hot-water panels on top of the carport, which provide hot water for heating the building in wintertime, have a prominent role. The swimming pool of the existing villa was covered, and is being reused as
an underground heat-sink to store the heating or cooling energy for the cooling system. The front garden is designed as a representative area for the embassy which exudes the tranquility of the Wadis (Fig. 11), found along the Dead Sea, and also functions as a representation of the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange, due to the orange tree which is planted in the centre of the front garden. The photo-voltaic panels on the roof of the embassy serve primarily to produce electricity. They provide electricity to power the computers in the building, but they also act as shading devices for the roof. 23 To further reduce the direct
Figure 11 The tranquility of the Wadis in Jordan
Figure 12 A traditional Bedouin tent, made of cloths
Figure 10 The front elevation with the front garden of the Dutch Embassy in Amman
solar heat gain in the hot Amman summer, the front and side elevations together with the roof consists of more shading due to cloths. These cloths refer to a local tradition where cloths are being used in Bedouin tents.(Fig. 12) They are designed in such a way that in the colder winters, when the sun is at a lower angle, the solar heat warms the building interior. This makes a remarkable saving in the energy consumption for heating. Thanks to the shading system, the new first floor has a transparent facade. The offices behind the curtain walls enjoy clear views and daylight, and that further reduces the energy demand
for artificial illumination. To provide daylight in the core of the building, the centre of the existing villa has been hollowed out. The resulting central hall connects old and new floors with abundant daylight from the skylight. On a hot day, the skylight can open up to release excess heat and contribute to the natural ventilation in the building. This concept originates from traditional Arab houses. The architect succeeded in combining a traditional concept with contemporary design and functionality. A similar approach was taken to common Jordanian building methods. The façades are clad in Jerusalem stone so that the existing and new building floors are unified in material. The
Figure 13 ‘Influences of context on concept’ & ‘From concept to aesthetics of the building envelope’
Jean-marie tjibaou cultural center nouméa (new caladonie) renzo piano
elegant stone detailing is based on the craftsmanship of making a building, and is part of the trademark of Rudy Uytenhaak’s architecture, including the mechanical fixtures that allow the stone to be reused once the building is no longer needed. As has already been made clear with the use of case studies, many design decisions can be traced back to variables of the surrounding context. After distilling these design decisions into the following schemes(Fig. 13 & 14) it can be said that during the creative process of these sustainable buildings, the context in which they were situated played a very influential role. Dutch embassy amman (Jordan) rudy uytenhaak
Influences of context on concept clImate
• using the wind for natural ventilation and temperature control.
• using water saving fixtures because of the water scarcity in Jordan
• creating a conceptual form based on the local Kanak architecture
• the architectural history of Jordan left by the Greeks and romans influences the concept • Integration of subtle hints towards the Dutch identity in the concept
• adapting the form to the natural landscape
• adapting the front garden to the tranquillity of the Wadis
from concept to the aesthetIcs of the BuIlDInG envelope the functIonal
• creating verticality in the outer shell to enable the natural ventilation • using wood and a circular shape to identify with the Kanak architecture
• using shading made out of cloth which refers to the Bedouin tents • creating a modern stone-clad colonnade
• using Iroko wood that is impervious to rot and can withstand cyclone-force winds • using a double-skin façade to control wind currents
• using mechanical fixtures that enable the stone to be reused
• using the cloth shades to control the solar access into the building
• creating a hollowed out core to provide daylight and allow natural ventilation as is used in traditional arab houses
Conclusion In conclusion, the architectural form of sustainability is based on two complimentary criteria: the optimization of environmental behaviour on one hand, and the maximization of internal thermal performance and its technical apparatus efficiency on the other. 24 The first criterion refers to a geographical approach that relies on passive strategies for environmental behaviour, such as cardinal solar orientation, surface geometry and fixtures to reduce infrared radiation. These strategies minimize energy consumption through the building envelope by means of composition and can be summarized as achieving the balance between the interior and exterior. The second criterion refers to an engineering approach that defines the technical characteristics of form,
“The architectural form of sustainability is based on he optimization of environmental behavior and the maximization of internal thermal performance” maximizing the efficiency of climate control equipment and devices. In recent years, the traditional boundary between the two approaches had become less clear, moving toward a more integrated one and pointing to the kind of architecture that is no longer analogous to a body on life supporting machines. Under the current tenets of sustainable design in combination with digital technology, the form and its technology should be integrated, and together, adapted to environmental variables. The technical equipment is no longer considered to be grafted on at the end of the project. Rather, the technology is integral to the formal logic of the building from the beginning. Calculations and simulations for energy efficiency and environmental sensitivity have become the means by which the formal exploration of new architectural scenarios can take place. In this perspective, it has to be said that the current potential to integrate architecture and engineering has developed to such a level that the aesthetics of the building envelope do not always relate to the context. This can be the result of architectural motives on discarding parts of the cultural heritage of the population or just plain personal preferences.
Evolving the Vernacular written by Leonique Winnen
Introduction In the book Architecture without Architects (1964) by Bernard Rudofsky, about his exposition of traditional architecture at the MoMA in New York, Rudofsky introduced a unnoticed field into the academic architectural world 1. Interest in this field may occur from the beginning of the 19th century, but world-wide scope studies were first established by Bernard Rudofsky, Paul Oliver and Amos Rapoport in the mid-1960s 2. Paul Oliver used the term ‘vernacular’ to articulate the richness of these architectural expressions he discovered 3. The academic interest in vernacular traditions increased from
that point on 4. This due to the social, intellectual and political climate in Europe and the US at that time 5, and also by the increasing demand for sustainability 6. Vernacular architecture naturally contains different sustainable principles 7, like energy efficiency and the use of local resources and materials. But is this superior image of vernacular architecture with regard to sustainability true? And if so how can we implement this knowledge in contemporary ‘sustainable’ architecture?
Figure 1 Structure influences of vernacular architecture.
Definition vernacular Before estimating the value of vernacular knowledge with regard to sustainability, we need to define what vernacular architecture is about. Suha Özkan describes vernacular architecture, in his book Vernacular architecture in the 21th century, as: ‘‘… architecture that evolved from within communities and perfected itself with the test of time in conformity with societal, climatic and technological conditions…’’ 8 This definition is striking, because it includes the evolution of knowledge by experimenting. Within this evolution different aspects play a role, as described above. A certain relationship with the location occurs, because these aspects are a unique combination. ‘‘Vernacular buildings and settings are regionally distinctive, regionally representative, and regionally understood.’’ 9 Available resources are used in a specific way and become part of a local culture. ‘‘Over time, these elements become part of the predictable pattern of use and expression within a region or sub region and are carried out on both a conscious and subliminal level, as well as being embraced across broad socioeconomic barriers.’’ 10 Like for example the specificity of the Dutch masonry houses, Scandinavian timber frame boathouses, German halftimbered houses, etc. The relation between the need of this locality, which is reflected in vernacular architecture, with regard to sustainability is discussed in this essay.
The second part of this essay is about the setting where vernacular architecture is based on. Paul Oliver describes this in his Encyclopedia of vernacular architecture of the world: ‘‘All forms of vernacular architecture are built to meet specific needs, accommodating the values, economies and ways of living of the cultures that produce them.’’ 11 The way vernacular architecture deals with those needs, in particular in relationship with climate is very interesting with regard to sustainability. These specific needs are fulfilled by the society they are in, without the intervention of an architect, with the resources that are available. Architecture without architects. Vernacular architecture is about the range of available resources within a specific context based on evolving experiments and knowledge, as a response to specific needs, reflecting local traditions. Kingston Heath presents a structural model about aspects that shape the vernacular form, figure 1, in his book Vernacular Architecture and Regional Design. The focus of this essay is about the regional filter he presents in his model. Where the perception of sustainability with regard to vernacular architecture is represented, like energy efficiency and the use of local resources and materials.
Quantitative/Qualitative Along with the rising interest in vernacular traditions, a lot of literature was published in recent years about vernacular architecture in relation to sustainable design. Particular positive effects were investigated 12, in particular on the technical performance 13. Starting all from the same overall idea about vernacular architecture, that we could learn from it because of its long tradition in dealing with the environmental aspects. Marcel Vellinga examined a lot of recent literature related to this subject in his essay ‘The Noble Vernacular’, he described: ‘‘If the aim is truly to learn from vernacular architecture, what is needed instead is a holistic, integrated and critical approach that complements the study of the environmental qualities and performance of vernacular architecture with an examination of its social,
political and economic aspects.’’ 14 Like Vellinga argues and the definitions on vernacular above, a lot of aspects influence vernacular architecture. Quantitative and qualitative aspects need to be taken into account to determine the value of vernacular knowledge with regard to sustainability.
New Vernacular? In the book New Vernacular Architecture contemporary architectural projects are collected with a great emphasis on architectural history and research as a base for their design, as a response to an era where a lack of transformative historic change occurs 15. One of the projects described in the book is Tjibaou Cultural Centre by Renzo Piano in New Caledonia, figure 2, described as a piece of sustainable architecture 16. Some argue that this project is not vernacular, it is inspired by original local kanak huts, but the materials are modern and not indigenous 17. First of all, New vernacular is the wrong definition, because the intervention of an architect is not vernacular. In this project the knowledge from local communities is implemented in a contemporary way. Which is according to Marcel Vellinga the origin of vernacular architecture, he argues: ‘‘Yet, as noted, vernacular traditions have not all vanished, but in many cases have merged (just like they always have done) with modern ones to create new manifestations of tradition or localized hybrid forms that better suit current circumstances and requirements.’’ 18 Adopting the knowledge of dynamic vernacular traditions and evolve them, within a correct estimation of the context, that’s how the knowledge of vernacular architecture should be integrated in contemporary architecture. The case study mentioned above is used to find out which approach of using vernacular architecture is suitable to create a sustainable design.
Creating a certain relationship with the environment in an architectural design that provides context, is necessary to achieve a sustainable design.
Part I: locality of materials and construction methods Definition of locality Vernacular architecture is about the range of available resources within a specific context based on evolving experiments and knowledge, as a respond to specific needs, reflecting local traditions. In the early days people used mainly materials from their direct environment, due to a high effort of transport. Where the effort of travelling should be counted in time instead of distance (figure 3). Despite some other aspects, due to limited available resources vernacular architecture was bound to a certain locality. As Harald Røstvik describes it in his essay The Vernacular, the Iconic and the Fake: ‘‘Most of them have their roots solidly planted on the ground, thus marking a certain era in a certain location and leading to an archetype that is bound by the clear limitations of the local culture, climate, environment and available materials.’ ’19 The association of vernacular architecture with the use of ‘local’ resources, is seen as an example for contemporary sustainable architecture. In our current era has the relationship with this locality changed, due to different kind of innovations has this range been broadened. The current economic, financial and industrial processes, have given architects access to almost all resources that are available, which affects the historical architectural expression and the formation of traditions in architecture 20. ‘‘Architecture is no longer tied to a specific culture, place or palette of locally available materials and rituals.’’ 21 Along with processes of globalization new architectural forms were created, which
caused a homogenizing effect that reduced the meaning of architecture and the built environments we live in 22. But also the approach of architects changed along with this globalization, were the uniqueness and spectacularity is a great concern, while the location and local cultures are neglected 23. These processes have an influence on our perception and appreciation of our built environment, which also influences the sustainability of architecture. Quantitative performance People often think that the use of local materials, local as in their direct environment, is by definition sustainable. But if we analyse different studies on the use of local wood,
Figure 2 (top) Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre by Renzo Piano, with the orginal kanak huts on the foreground.
it gives another impression. Wood could be a sustainable building material, but often the wrong kind of wood is used, with a high environmental impact from transportation, cut at the wrong places or the forests can’t handle the requested demands 24. Another failure is that this ‘local’ wood is used only a in cosmetic way 25, a commercial building method, because people associated wood with natural qualities and sustainability. So it is important to estimate the use of local materials as a whole, not only focusing on the sustainable performance, but also in which way it has been applied aesthetically in a design. As mentioned in the introduction the building by Renzo Piano in New Caledonia was based on the traditional kanak huts, but modern materials were used to construct it. Originally Piano also proposed to construct his building by using local materials, but these materials need to be replaced frequently, traditionally that was done by the community itself. Eventually, Iroko wood was used for the cladding, derived from West Africa, because it has a great durability. To estimate the sustainability of the use of local materials and others it is important to consider the entire life cycle of materials, which also includes transport, durability, etc. Our range of available materials has changed, this should be used optimally with regard to sustainability. Probably the choice for Iroko wood was based on this. However, not only the sustainable performance is a requirement, also aesthetic qualities are important.
Qualitative aspects If we want to apply qualitative aspects of traditional vernacular architecture, we need to know in which context this architecture has been evolved. Nezar AlSayyed and Gabriel Arboleda, mention in their essay The Sustainable Indigenous Vernacular, a study from Ayres and Whiting, in which they claim, that an absolute correlation between the shape of a house and the surrounding environment doesn’t exist. The shape is more based on social aspects of each culture, such as the organization of families. Aesthetics were not always the first priority. So you can’t argue that vernacular architecture is primarily designed to deal harmoniously with their surroundings 26. Although traditional vernacular architecture is not primarily designed to deal harmoniously with their surroundings, due to the use of those ‘local’ materials and construction methods it has got a certain relationship with the environment 27. As Peter Buchanan in his article Transcend and include the past describes it: ‘‘The use of local materials also brings aesthetic benefits that contribute to sustainability in encouraging us to treasure and conserve our built environment. They help embed the buildings in the land, from which these materials are derived, so that the buildings seem to belong there and do not disrupt the sense of organic wholeness.’’ 28 Because a lot of architects see aesthetics as a professional right, with the freedom of interpretation and expression, it ends up as a subjective preference with no relation to
Figure 3 (right) Timemaps, illustration effort in travelling time by train.
the context and natural conditions 29. According to Daniel Jauslin, the aesthetic shortcomings of sustainable architecture are caused by the fact that different aspects of a project have no mutual connection, therefore:
to achieve a sustainable design. The use of local materials could help to achieve this relationship according to Buchanan. Not only the choice of materials is important, but also the way they are used in a design. Renzo Piano’s
of the materials influences this relationship. The materials that are connected to the site and traditional huts, are mainly wood and straw. Piano also used wood, but not from the location itself, but because of the
This distinction between natural and unnatural, doesn’t mean a distinction between sustainable and unsustainable. ‘‘…a renewed environmental consciousness may be triggered with an aesthetic sensitivity toward the natural environment that provides the context for each piece of architecture, developed in tandem with a wider understanding of the human dimensions and aesthetics qualities implemented in the built environment.’’ 30 Creating a certain relationship with the environment in an architectural design that provides context, is necessary
building also has a certain relationship with the environment, although no local materials from the direct environment were used. This building was designed to establish a certain relationship with their surroundings, inspired by the traditional kanak huts and the surrounding vegetation(figure 4 and 5) 31. The traditional kanak houses are specific for the local culture of New Caledonia, the interpretation of these traditional buildings influences the relationship with the environment. However, also the aesthetic appearance
Figure 6 Building after completion Figure 7 The building a few years later, the materials of the façade are weatherbeaten. This cause a different sensitivity with the environment.
organic appearance the wholeness isn’t disrupt. And as described before, the range of available materials has changed, not the materials are bound to a place, but the way they are processed in a specific context or culture.
slowly grew or were deposited in layers, and their weathering and wear records the passage of time and use, helping us to engage with them and establish an increasingly familiar relationship.’’ 32 But maybe if Piano used unnatural materials that also were influenced by the weathering the same relation with the context could be achieved? If you compare the building of Piano in the beginning and a few years later, this relationship with the context is totally different (figure 6 and 7). What if concrete is also weather-beaten in this way (figure 8)? Colours, materials, texture and context influence the relationship with the context the are in. Sustainability is mostly associated with natural materials, unnatural materials are often seen as perverse from a sustainable point of view 33. This distinction between natural and unnatural, doesn’t mean a distinction between sustainable and unsustainable. It is important to explore new types of materials, based on an evaluation of the inherent qualities, quantitative and qualitative.
Furthermore, Peter Buchanan argues: ‘‘And unlike highly processed or synthetic materials – such as stainless steel, plastics and composites – these materials have a sense of life: the grain of wood and stone shows how they
Another important aspect is that most of the natural materials need some maintenance frequently. Modern materials like steel, concrete and glass are maybe more durable in generally with regard to maintenance, because of that the relationship with them is significantly less. Like for example the traditional kanak huts, were the cladding needs to be frequently replaced by the community itself. Due to the effort of maintaining, a relationship with the building can arose and the appreciation of the building increases. Where in vernacular architecture socio-economic aspects also play a role.
Figure 4 Constructing of original kanak huts Figure 5 Sketch Renzo Piano which includes the vegetation.
Figure 8 Concrete weatherbeaten
Part II: Culture of climate and comfort Comfort standard Vernacular architecture is a response to people’s needs, which are based on different cultures, climates and available resources. In vernacular architecture the response to those needs, as in buildings, were based on evolving knowledge by experimenting. In contemporary design processes, generations of experiments are now replaced by computer models and calculations 34. In western countries thermal comfort is understood in terms of average temperature through different seasons, a uncomfortable space will be heated or cooled as a whole 35. Our energy concepts are related with the efficiency of heating and cooling 36. In other cultures, like for example in Japan, this focus differs. Japanese households use less energy than western households, this because a difference in temperature and comfort are accepted 37. Traditional energy concepts were focused on cooling in Japan, in winter they argue, you can live in every house 38. The approach in climate concepts differs per culture and context. We should take into account that other cultures, now and in the past, lived with less comfort. Although western countries are maybe leading in terms of sustainability, on the other hand the floor area of our living spaces increases 39, so by reducing and increasing we still don’t get forward. Like for example energy labelled houses in the Netherlands with an A status use more energy than B labelled houses 40. It’s about the awareness of our comfort standard. The culture of climate and comfort reflected in vernacular architecture could give us some useful insights about how to implement this in a architectural design.
Figure 9 (top left) First proposal Figure 10 (centre left) Evolved proposal Figure 11 (bottom left) Case study Iran passive cooling, house in Yazd Figure 12 (right) Vernacular houses in Norway, which are sensitively placed in the environment.
exploiting micro-climatic conditions, availability of water and best orientation to sun and wind, and also in avoiding the unnecessary destruction of arable land.’’ 41 This knowledge is also essential is you want to apply a passive climate system in a design. The Tijbaou centre, by Renzo Piano, also made use of the knowledge of local traditional architecture, with regard to energy efficiency. The location of the building, New Caledonia, has a warm and humid climate. So ventilation is required to get a comfortable indoor climate. Due to this typical climate of New Caledonia, there is only a little difference between indoor and outdoor temperature. Therefore only by increasing the height between the input and output of air, a comfortable climate due ventilation can be achieved. Also the traditional kanak huts were ventilated in this way, by stack ventilation 42. Renzo Piano used two ventilation principles in his design, namely stack ventilation and ventilation due to wind forces. The first design proposal consisted out of several oviform shapes opposite to each other, on the windward and leeward side, this outlay was designed to make use of ventilation by wind forces (figure 9). In the proposals afterwards the tall shape of the oviform buildings was used to create also stack ventilation, so the buildings opposite to each other weren’t necessary anymore (figure 10). Renzo Piano used the two systems to provide enough ventilation, after testing in wind tunnels. After this research also the shape of the oviform building changed, to provide more ventilation 43. So the knowledge of the kanak culture wasn’t used from the beginning on with regard to climate. However the vernacular knowledgde was implemented in a contemporary way, were a stack ventilation system was improved
by adding ventilation due wind forces. Maybe the order of this approach should be a bit different, but eventually the end result was an improvement were contemporary resources were added. Because of the lack of technology in traditional vernacular architecture, often passive climate systems were used. The comfort requirements differs from one culture and context to another, but the way traditional vernacular architecture deals with indoor climate is interesting. Not all vernacular systems are intrinsically sustainable, we can’t generalize this based on one case study. For example a case study about passive cooling in Iran, mentioned that the system as a whole doesn’t work, but under specific circumstances it does 44, figure 11. People need to adapt their lifestyle to make those systems work. And furthermore, we should also take the requirements of comfort into account, because these were also evolved in our contemporary era. If we should take a step back and try to improve what already was there, the vernacular knowledge, we could achieve a sustainable indoor climate by being energy efficient. We should use the knowledge of vernacular architecture and test and evolve it with modern techniques. And the location of the building can play an important role in this. Qualitative aspects The choice of the location in traditional vernacular architecture was not only based on quantitative performance. ‘‘Settlements were often built on rocky or scrubby slopes leaving farmland untouched – in contrast to today’s continuing destruction of a precious, fast dwindling resource. Striking also is how sensitively vernacular buildings might be placed visually, such as a small structure sitting alone on a sloping shoulder of
Quantitative performance Studying vernacular architecture could be helpful to find an optimal orientation relating to energy efficiency. ‘‘Vernacular construction is instructive too about siting, in terms of
land that is a precisely positioned optical pivot bringing new coherence to a majestic landscape.’’ 45 The choice of the location has also influence on its sustainability. To achieve a sustainable design a certain relationship with the environment is necessary, to provide a context in a design. This relationship can be created by the reflection of a certain locality as described before in part I, however also the choice of the location influences this (figure 12). Vernacular architecture can provide us this knowledge. This should not been taken too literately, but it’s about the way vernacular architecture deals with the choice of the location and about the sensitivity that occurs. The indoor climate of vernacular architecture is mostly regulated by passive systems, probably due to the limited technological range. In contemporary architecture passive systems are also used, but with more intervention of technology. In these modern passive systems optimal use of energy is achieved by closing, as Harald Røstvik formulated it: the tight box system 46. This system is often been associated with sustainability in contemporary architecture, maybe from quantitative point of view it is. Seen from a qualitative point of view this system is not sustainable, because there is no connection anymore with the environment, context and the seasons. The indoor climate becomes a matter of course and the effort of achieving this constant climate is invisible. It’s not a part of our daily concerns and it doesn’t provide a sensitivity with the environment. In Renzo Piano’s building, the indoor climate is connected with the location, the building performs together with the climatic environment. The way the indoor climate is regulated is specific for that location. Piano designed different modes, responding to the state of the local climate. This ventilation system was designed to be manually operated, but in reality it is also automatical operated 47. If it would be always manually operated, then people get connected to the building and the local climate in which they are located. Then it’s not a matter of course anymore.
Part III: aspects of adaptability Principles of vernacular architecture can have several advantages with regard to sustainability, as described above. The case study of this essay is an adaption of vernacular knowledge within its original context. But how can we adapt knowledge of vernacular architecture with regard to sustainability into another context? ‘‘Borrowing ideas, elements and techniques from vernacular architecture should be done with an awareness of at least three features: symbolism and meaning, context, and culture.’’ 48 So these aspects need to be taken into account when adapting knowledge of vernacular architecture into another context. Like mentioned in the introduction, a lot of aspects influence vernacular architecture. Which can be generalized in the themes mentioned above. If you want to implement and evolve vernacular knowledge it is important to have a critical estimation of the three aspects mentioned above. Furthermore: ‘‘It is important to note that use of particular vernacular architectural elements may: symbolically convey inappropriate messages, lead to dissatisfaction due to the symbolism or meaning attached to some elements, lead to inappropriate design due to overlooking of or disregard for context, lead to designs inappropriate for a culture, which may lead to abandonment, lack of use, misuse, or destruction of the designs, symbolically or otherwise privilege some groups, underprivileged or disadvantage some groups, lead to increasing or lowering of status of some groups, lead to conflict caused by non-use and inappropriate use of some elements.’’ 49 In the project of Renzo Piano, the Tjibaou Cultural Centre, local vernacular knowledge was adapted in a contemporary design. These quantitative aspects of vernacular architecture Piano used, can be applied in another context. Therefore a comparison between the contexts should be made. This can be done by using modern design methods, so that the technical performance of a vernacular system can be estimated. Having a certain relationship with the environment and hereby providing a context, was one of the advantages of vernacular architecture with regard to
sustainability. This by adapting materials, colour, climate systems and context in various ways. If you would apply this in an urban context it should not be the goal of fitting in. It is about the symbolism and meaning, context, and culture of a specific place, were should be taken care of, in order to create a sustainable design. The relationship with the original natural environment of a location can help to achieve this, natural materials, reflecting local cultures and the need of maintenance can help to attach people to a building, also in an urban context. Only than a context for a design can be achieved.
Conclusion ‘’The Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ) defines a sustainable building as one that is designed: to save energy and resources, recycle materials and minimize the emission of toxic substances throughout its life cycle, to harmonize with the local climate, traditions, culture and the surrounding environment, and to be able to sustain and improve the quality of human life while maintaining the capacity of the ecosystem at the local and global levels.’’ 50 This definition of sustainability form the AIJ defines where sustainable architecture should be about and vernacular knowledge can contribute to achieve this. Regarding to sustainability it is necessary to create a certain relationship with the environment, providing a context for a design. To achieve this materials should be implemented in the right way, connected to a certain locality, due culture and aesthetics. As described before the range of resources in our era has increased. It is up to architects to adapt this within the right estimation of the context the are in, to create a sustainable design. The use of natural materials can help to create a relationship with a building, by the need of maintenance and the socio-economical aspects that could be involved. This does´t mean that only natural materials can be adapted, aesthetically also unnatural materials can provide this relationship. The aesthetics of a building play an
important role in providing a qualitative relationship with the environment. Applying this will encouraging us to treasure our built environment. Vernacular architecture can provide insights in the important aspects of a certain context. Furthermore, does vernacular architecture possesses some quantitative advantages, like being energy efficient, use passive climate systems and local materials. Of course this doesn’t count for all vernacular architecture, we have to be critical with our available methods to find out if this knowledge will satisfy our (comfort) requirements, and reflect on them. The performance of these quantitative vernacular advantages are measurable with our modern techniques. In our era the way we deal with climate is totally different than reflected in vernacular architecture, this due to the available range of resources and the contemporary design approach. Passive vernacular systems can be a base for a sustainable climate system. The performance of these systems is maybe not equal to systems as the tight box, but those systems are only based on quantitative aspects, a relationship with the environment itself doesn’t exist. This relationship is necessary to create a sustainable design, by connecting people with the building and the context the are in. Vernacular architecture is about the range of available resources within a specific context based on evolving experiments and knowledge, as a response to specific needs, reflecting local traditions. And this knowledge in relation to other aspects can be very useful in creating a contemporary design. We should evolve and implement the knowledge that’s already there, with the available resources and knowledge of architects in our current era.
Sustainability in the concept of Regionalism and its aesthetical value written by Anna Igumnova
Introduction Sustainability is a hot topic in modern architecture and it is getting more popular as modern society begins to understand the gravity of lacking resources and environmental pollution. In order to continue the life on this planet and save it for the future generations some significant changes should be done in our lives and constructing styles. With the industrial revolution the demand in big amount of buildings has raised which caused spreading modern architecture all over the world 1. Globalization of modern architecture leads the world to the loss of regional identity and feeling of genius loci – aspects that make this planet culturally diverse. The concept of Regionalism opposes the globalization trend and tends to connect the architecture with its environment and regional culture. One of the key aspects of Regionalism is
preserving Genius Loci. In order to understand the main ideas behind the concept this essay first will identify the meaning of genius loci and further reveal the aspects of Regionalism. In the intention to stay close to the “roots” it is important to stay modern and keep the connection with new technologies. Modern technological attributes of sustainability such as solar panels, windmills, green walls and water reuse systems often appear as a flashy element and a visual detection of sustainable building, which creates a prejudice view on sustainable design. In many minds sustainability is defined as a certain style of architecture with specific aesthetics 2. In this essay some aspects of sustainability and aesthetics will be described to make a full basis for understanding the subject before analysing case studies. Eventually, on the basis of various
architectural examples this essay will try to investigate how the modern architecture and technologies can be adopted in the concept of Regionalism, if new architecture can be modern and reflect on the context at the same time and if it is possible to make Regionalistic building sustainable without destroying aesthetics and changing the character of the region.
influence the feeling of a place, different façade motifs, sizes and shapes of buildings in a big extent determine genius loci. Buildings are expressions of society’s cultural interpretation of place; they are all built with some intentions and ideas behind it which creates another important aspect for genius loci - the symbolic meaning of a building or the whole settlement. 4
its culture- and history-conditioned character commonly reflects not only the work and aspirations of the society at present in occupancy but also that of its precursors in the area.” 6 Christian Norberg-Schulz and M.R.G. Conzen showed similarities in their approaches. The values and views of the people occupying or using places are very important. Besides topography and natural conditions
Figure 1 (left) The town of Mostar in Bosnia after the destruction of the bridge in 1993
The term “Genius loci” is a frequently used expression which meaning has changed through time and is being differently interpreted. In classical times it was considered as a guardian of a place, mystical spirit which protects the space. It had been commonly used in poetry and art. Nowadays this expression is widely used by architects and urban planners to describe a certain atmosphere of a place, its character and the quality of its environment. We recognize that every place has its own identity or character, it expresses different range of emotions as positive as negative and it has a big influence on our perception and experience of being in this place (Fig. 1). Christian Norberg-Schulz, the Norwegian architect and theorist explores the meaning of genius loci in his work “Genius Loci, Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture” where he describes factors which determine the “character” of a place. One of the most important influences, he argues, is the topography of the earth or landscapes which gives a start for the settlement’s spatial organization and defines the topology of architecture. But the landscapes are only the starting point for the settlement, it is a “basic mode in which the world is “given”. To some extent the character of a place is a function of time; it changes with the seasons, the course of the day and the weather, factors which above all determine different conditions of light. The character is determined by the material and formal constitution of a place.” 3 Besides the natural conditions that
The character is determined by the material and formal constitution of a place
Character of a place is mostly experienced through the visual impressions; when we travel to another country we get to understand it by exploring it. The micro cosmoses created by people have much to say and determine the character of the surroundings. The atmosphere of a place, or Genius loci, can be experienced and expressed to a different extent by a tourist who investigate the surroundings in order to understand the place and by an occupant who deals with the space on a daily basis. Urban morphologist and town planner M.R.G. Conzen argues that each town has own personnalite’. He explained that the landscape tissue is changing by adding form after form on the earth surface which is causing a natural process of transformation that changes the genius loci. In such transformation the new layers do not erase traces of predecessors and this action influences the historicity of the town altering the character of a place or genius loci. 5 Thus, “genius loci of a place,
the built environment and historicity is a determinative factor in forming a sense of a place. The built environment is created by people – the individuals and society – that reveal their views and values through the architecture transforming the townscape and genius loci.
Regionalism Concept Nowadays, the problem of globalization and loosing regional identity is becoming a visible problem. This happens because of popularization of the “anonymous” architecture – architecture of glass and concrete - the aggressive spread of “international style”, which does not consider the climatic, geographical factors, local customs or social aspects. Such approach to modern architecture often destroys architectural landscapes of the cities and causing aesthetical and cultural disrupture (Fig. 2).
The concept of Regionalism appeared as a manifest against globalization and was deeply explored by L. Lefaivre & A. Tzonis in their book “Critical Regionalism” and by K. Frampton in his essay “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six points for an Architecture of resistance”. Both of the works expressed the idea that regional architecture is tending to reveal and preserve the unique characteristics of a particular place. Regionalism can be interpreted as a comprehensive approach to architectural design based on the fullest possible account of local features, which determine the specificity of the construction of the architectural object and aims at creating continuity within a particular cultural and geographical context. There is a vast amount of aspects that should be considered inside the concept: geographical and climate conditions, light, topography, usage of traditional materials and local labor, preserving historical heritage, reinterpreting traditional architectural elements, ornaments and vernacular architecture.
It is important to build in the harmony with existing form and surroundings by analysing existing buildings – scale, façades, open spaces, spatial organization and circulation, though to not fall into simple replication of the traditional architecture but adjust and interpret it to the modern requirements.7 Frampton proposes in his essay that it is important to adopt the progressive qualities of modern architecture taking into account geographical context of the region. “The bulldozing of an irregular topography into a flat site is clearly technocratic gesture which aspires to a condition of absolute placelessness, whereas the terracing of the same site to receive the stepped form of a building is an engagement in the act of “cultivating” the site.” 8 Architecture in the concept of Regionalism tends to emphasize and reveal unique characteristics of the region; it aims to use the space, the context, the natural conditions as a basis and starting point for creating new architecture without destroying Genius Loci. Besides geographical, climatic and other natural conditions
the concept of Regionalism emphasizes the importance of the social aspect, culture and traditions. When creating new built environments, it is essential to know and understand how the society functions in that specific region, what are their norms of communication and spatial organization, how do they circulate in their region and interact with each other. These norms vary from one culture to another; they determine the sizes and shape of spaces, and standards for privacy and comfort. 9 In order to preserve and develop regional identity, architects should pay attention to specific culture of the region, its traditions and customs; this knowledge will contribute its subsequent implementation and modernization in the new architecture. Modern technologies and Regionalism It is important that every region remains unique and keeps its identity while being modern. In order to stay modern it has to develop and adapt technological global trends as
Figure 2 (right) Istanbul skyscrapers to be demolished to protect the city’s skyline.
well as to process the traditional methods in the creation of modern engineering solutions. Modern techniques and approaches can be used as tools to fit the modern architecture into the context with the respect to the environment and Genius Loci. However, modern technologies are often used in an inappropriate way and do not reflect characteristics of the region. In the modern architecture building envelops separate the outside world from the inside, they are able to create any artificial climate inside by means of new technologies.10 Frampton in his essay emphasizes that “clearly, the main antagonist of rooted culture is the ubiquitous air-conditioner, applied in all times and in all places, irrespective of the local climatic conditions which have a capacity to express the specific place and the seasonal variations of its climate.” 11 As a result of domination of the universal technology approaches, modern buildings do not reflect on the climate and do not create a relationship between inhabitant and the regional environment. The interaction between the building and its environment is carried out through their surface- envelope, which acts as a conductor between the outside and inside climate. In modern architecture building envelop performs as a barrier which protects the inside climate from the outdoors intervention; such separation does not contribute efficiency and
Clearly, the main antagonist of rooted culture is the ubiquitous airconditioner sustainability. For instance, using solar and wind energies buildings could allow the ventilation and heat transfer to occur more passively and constantly. Instead of constructing fully glazed sealed cocoons and creating artificial indoor environment, architecture should use natural aspects specific for the certain region, such as sun, light, wind, rain and others, and benefit from this cooperation.
Sustainability and aesthetics Sustainability has a complex meaning which takes into consideration many different aspects as materials usage, energy efficiency, waste management, economic stability, natural resources and social and cultural aspects. Its main goal is to minimize the negative environmental impact and preserve the earth and ecology for the next generations.12 Sustainable design does not cover only application of new technologies and materials. It also includes knowledge about using local features and conditions, for instance exploitation of solar and thermal aspects for building orientation, to complement sufficient energy use and lower environmental impact. Sustainable approaches vary in their types, sizes and applications; some of them are clearly visible on the building envelope while other mostly take action inside or implemented into the building.
proportion and so on.14 It defines the beauty of the building. Phenomenological aesthetics considers the visual beauty and refers to how people experience the place. The experience is expressed through tactile feelings, smelling, light and temperature perception including the interaction of the person with architecture. Frampton mentioned in his essay that not only visual perception is important in the architecture, but “the tactile is an important dimension in the perception of built form. One has in mind a whole range of complementary sensory perceptions which are registered by the labile body: the intensity of light, darkness, heat and cold; the feeling of humidity; the aroma of material; the almost palpable presence of masonry as the body senses its own confinement.” 15 The use of materials and experiencing architectural shape and movement gives us the full image of the architectural object.
The tactile is an important dimension in the perception of built form “Much of its environmental performance is due, not to anything that is visually different, but to how it is put together and how it is sited.” 13 It implies applying of certain techniques ad materials which make an imprint on our perception and aesthetics of the architecture. Aesthetics According to Mark Decay in his “Excerpt from integral sustainable design: transformative perspectives.” there are several sustainable design aesthetics. One of them is Visual aesthetics which is the most obvious one as it takes the visual experience as a tool and considers the visual perception. From this aesthetic perception emerge the formal compositional principles of colour, unity, balance, variety and repetition,
Architecture can also express the beauty of natural processes and reveal the elegance of the nature. In this case we are talking about Process aesthetics that gives people an opportunity to interact with nature by the means of architecture. Case studies This chapter will observe some architectural projects in different climatic conditions, regions and cultures. It will help to define how sustainable approaches are being used and expressed in the concept of Regionalism and what influence it has on aesthetical value and genius loci. In order to see the importance of local geographical and cultural features and its impact on the new architecture, it is essential to review totally different regions as climatically as culturally.
Figure 3 Dutch Royal Embassy in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia Middle section
Figure 4 (left) Carved church Lalibella Ethiopia. Figure 5 (right) Dutch Royal Embassy in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia Roof
Different types of the building were chosen on purpose to show that concept of Regionalism can be applied to a wide range of architecture. Further examples are spread all over the world: Ethiopia, Qatar, United States of America and Japan. Ethiopia The Royal Dutch embassy in Adis Abeba by architects Dick van Gameren and Bjarne Mastenbroek is an astonishing example of regionalism which reveals a careful sustainable approach, taking natural conditions as a tool. In this project the intention was to take the Ethiopian culture as a point of departure and implement the new building which will be respected by the local people.16 The building is located in a valley, surrounded by the woods and is integrated into the landscape using existing topography. The horizontal volume of the embassy is built into the earth; it is intersected by the rising landscape and a road in the middle, which makes the embassy an inseparable part of the landscape (Fig. 3). Concrete pigmented walls are the same red colour as the earth in the region, which rough texture resembles the texture of the dry ground. These
features of the embassy make a clear link with the traditional Ethiopian churches which are carved out from the rock and represent vernacular Ethiopian approach.17 (Fig. 4) Simple shape, gentle blend with the landscape, material and colour choice, spatial organization and circulation reveals principal characteristics of Ethiopian climate and culture and sustains specific aesthetics of the place. The orientation of the building is defined in a way to benefit from natural solar and thermal processes in order to minimize the necessity of mechanical heating cooling and ventilation. The roof in a shape of shallow ponds resembles traditional Dutch landscape. It is not just aesthetical reminder but a sustainable approach to deal with rain water. (Fig. 5) The relationship between building and the landscape is very delicate and gentle, it aims to emphasize the beauty of surrounding
Figure 7 (left) Figure 8 (top right) Figure 9 (bottom right) Dutch Royal Embassy in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia Interior
nature, to accept its qualities and use it in the design, which makes it special and only suitable for this particular place. The horizontal volume, simple shape and the earthy colour and texture of the outer walls reveal beauty of the surrounding nature and climate. (Fig 6) Embassy building shows the complete harmony with the surroundings even in the interiors. Closed corridors with walls of earthy tones and texture with combination of natural light accents gives a feeling of protection and reminds of cultural Ethiopian heritage.(Fig. 7,8)
The strict rectangular shape and certain type of windows and other modern details support the spirit of modernity and do not let the project to fall into imitation of vernacular architecture of the region. (Fig. 9) In this project the combination of attention to the context and culture and traditions combined with modern techniques resulted into a contemporary structure which fully engages with the local environment, supporting the strong atmosphere of the place and remains sustainable by means of adoption to local natural conditions.
Figure 6 Dutch Royal Embassy in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
Qatar Qatar University campus by Dr Kamal el-Kafrawi is another interesting example of the similar climate conditions but different culture. This project implements the importance to modernize the traditional approaches and adapt new technologies to the local environment. The main focus falls on the natural
controlled while adapting the modern complex to Arabic culture. (Fig. 11, 12) For such region as Qatar social aspects are not less of importance than climatic conditions. The university provides the education for both female and male student, which means that according to the Arabic culture the flows of the students of different gender have to be carefully separated. The system
as to strengthen the psychological link with the Qatar character, and ensure a sense of continuity in the modern environment.â€? 19 This is not a building which is possible to understand while simply observing it. Interaction with its architecture, walking its inner yards, exploring enclosed volumes of building units
United States of America The Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant in USA by Skylab Architecture is a highly technological and industrial project; however the overview shows that its design reveals ideas and goals of Regionalism, while remaining highly technological and modern. The plan of the building is the representation of the sun path and consists of seven single-stores angled volumes which grow from the ground. The design was inspired by the native landscape and the industrial past of the region. 20
Roofs of each volume are covered with grass blending it with the landscape and acts as a rain water collector. The choice of materials â€“ glass, aluminium and concrete tends to emphasize the industrial atmosphere of the area, while gentle blend
Figure 10 (left) Traditional Arabic wind towers Figure 11 (right) Qatar University campus Figure 12 (bottom left) Qatar University campus Figure 13 (bottom right) Qatar University campus
ventilation and lighting. Traditional wind and light towers were taken as a basis for the sustainable approach in the complex and provided a link with traditional Arabic architecture. (Fig. 10) The whole complex was oriented according to the direction of prevailing winds in the region and modernized. On the top of every octagonal building unit traditional wind towers were constructed, which provided the natural ventilation, cooling and light control of the indoor spaces.18 By this approach the harsh climatic conditions were
of small buildings in the campus and green courtyards created comfortable circulation space for both female and male students. In this project it is clear that cultural and social aspects are important point for the architecture in the concept of Regionalism. It would be not possible to apply Western social norms in the Arabic culture as it would be rejected by society and architecture would not implement its purpose. Architect emphasized: â€œI am to extend the way in which traditional values and lives are expressed architecturally, so
reveals its aesthetical features. Complicated circulation system of open green gardens and enclosed study shells conducts an allegory with sophisticated Arabic culture and social fabric. (Fig. 13) Careful analysis of the context and social aspects, modernization of the traditional techniques with combination of modern technologies resulted in the sustainable building complex which reflects on the concept of Regionalism and supported unique genius loci and aesthetical value of Arabic region.
with the landscape engages it into environment. Intentional exposition of the water collection system is the intention to deepen the relationship with the ecosystem and regional watershed and enhancing technological purpose of the building. (Fig. 14,15) The buildings envelop acts as a transfer between the environment and the indoor climate. Exterior stainless steel solar shades and a system of clearstory windows create modulated daylighting that work in combination with a fully glazed north façade to connect the interior spaces with the central green space. 21 The whole project is an embodiment of sustainability. It is interesting to see how the industrial building filled with high technological equipment still can reflect the
As well as previous project it has fully glazed façade to welcome the natural daylight and open the beautiful view on the mountains, which makes a strong connection with the surroundings. The inspiration for the airport design was achieved
from the structures of traditional barns and sheds found throughout the region, what supports the spirit of the area and emphasizes its architectural heritage. The choice of materials is strongly based on the region prevailing resources. Expressive wooden structures and ceilings, walls from regional stone and weathered steel panels create a strong impression of the unique region of the American West.
Figure 16 (left) The Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant Figure 17 (right) The Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant Figure 18 (bottom) Jackson Hole Airport
concept of Regionalism and support industrial aesthetics and genius loci of the region. (Fig. 16,17) While the main focus of The Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant is on the modern technologies, another project in USA emphasizes the aesthetical value of using regional materials. New Jackson Hole Airport by Carney Logan Burke in the region of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho is the only airport located inside the boundaries of National park. 22 (Fig. 18)
Figure 14 The Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant
Figure 15 The Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant
Japan This small private house called House M by Ae 5 Architects in is surrounded by beautiful and complicated nature. 23 Main challenge for this project was the combination of traditions, nature and expression of modernity. The city has been slowly filled with traditional architecture with a great attention to the environment. (Fig. 19) A “Kura” is a traditional Japanese warehouse and in this city is found as
a main element of typology. Almost every house has a “Kura”, which acts as a barrier between the road and private life of the inhabitants. “Kura” concept was taken as a starting point for the secondary house and helped to define shape, proportions and organize the inner space of the new house that would not create dissonance between existing historical context. For creating this modern house a careful study of context and traditional architecture was
made which resulted into this elegant choice of proportions, shapes and orientation. As a traditional Kura house, this house has very closed façades and only few open doors, which carefully protects dwellers privacy. (Fig 20) Besides the historical context, the design also responds on the climatic conditions and culture. In Japanese culture the relationship with light
and free spatial organization makes a big importance. In this project the front façade provides the interaction between the light and inner space. The louvre system of the timber façade works as a solar shading and position of wooden banks is arranged in a way that blocks the direct sunlight while creating a magic play of the light inside the room. The penetration of the light depends on the time of the day and a season which changes the indoor atmosphere. (Fig. 21,22) Organization of the louvre façade is not
random as it seems at a first glance. It was inspired by the principles of nature, implemented in the old tree in front of the building which branches and leaves form a regular system. This link with the nature creates additional dialogue between the architecture, person and environment.
choice of materials. It demonstrates that tradition and modernity can be combined and support the unique genius loci of the region, revealing aesthetical features of nature and culture through the architecture.
This project shows a very respectful approach to the architecture in context of Regionalism where all aspects were carefully studied and combined; from specific proportions to the
Different countries, cultures and different climates have unique qualities and characteristics which require individual approach in dealing with architecture. Not only physical
Figure 19(top),20 (left) House M Figure 21 (right) Louvre façade, House M Figure 22 (next page) Interior
conditions are unique but the character and atmosphere is very important and provides psychological connection between people and a certain place. Genius loci plays an essential role in regionalism as it defines people perception of the place and connects it with the past, it is psychological perception of aesthetics, which means appreciation of knowledge of history and traditions. Concept of regionalism provides with essential guidelines for preserving specific atmosphere and identity of the region. It does not exist without context, local features, climatic and geographical conditions as well as without culture and traditions.
Sustainability as regionalism does not exist without certain regional conditions Regional architecture is a very respecting approach towards the nature and environment. The analysis of several case studies from different regions and climates demonstrates that regionalism promotes sustainability to a big extent. In conditions of regionalism when architecture takes advantages of natural and geographical conditions it already results into sustainable design. This aspect reveals the challenge of sustainability in context of Regionalism as it tends to be too holistic and include too many aspects.
Almost any approach could be named sustainable just because it cooperates with local nature and context, but such blend with surroundings might not be always a truly sustainable approach. Sustainability as regionalism does not exist without certain regional conditions and for every different climate and geographical conditions there are different sustainable approaches that should be chosen carefully with account of culture and traditions. If in Japan spaces benefit from the light and architecture is welcoming it inside, buildings in Middle East are tending to protect the indoor spaces from the harsh light and sun heat. Harmony between sizes, scale, shapes, proportions and the surrounding built and natural environment determines the aesthetics of modern architecture and bond it with cultural heritage of the region. Social norms is another important aspect of sustainability and aesthetics, which consideration is crucial when implementing modern architecture in radically different cultures because what is appropriate in Western cultures can be rejected by the society in the Middle East and break the unity of the place. It is another danger and probably a negative aspect of regionalism because the wrong interpretation and cultural implementation into new architecture can bring more negative influence to the region than contribute its identity. Regional sustainable architecture does not show the vivid appearance of the new technologies and sustainable approaches but seeks for a humble solution and gentle cooperation with the context. Careful adaptation of the traditional techniques and local feature can result into a modern sustainable architecture that supports specific aesthetics of the region and its soul – genius loci.
D Flexibility, reuse and recycling Sustainability as a guideline for reusing existing buildings
Sustainability can be approached from different angles: environmental, social and financial. The first essay, Eternal Buildings, proposes the use of industrialized modular buildings as a means to achieve sustainability along these three approaches at once. It then explains what the consequences are on the aesthetical qualities of the buildings conceived using that approach. The two next essays focus on the environmental sustainability, which involves the complete life cycle of architectural design with regard to durability. While recycling and reuse of materials focuses on sustainability during design process and construction, flexibility can be seen as sustainability in use. This dichotomy in recycling on the one hand and flexibility on the other hand result in a sustainable life cycle approach combining future endurance with a low environmental impact.
The essay on flexibility, Versatile Appeal, makes a distinction in flexible use of space and flexibility of outer shell. Flexibility of space is subsequently further differentiated in multifunctional space usage and in a more loose-fit approach which manifests itself through a spatial composition that leaves room for individual interpretation. The essay on sustainable materials, The Essence of Sustainable Materials, focuses on the essence of sustainable materials. Reuse and recycling form the basis for sustainable design. Materials form an important aspect of building design, an aspect which is often undervalued. It fulfils a critical role in terms of sustainability. This chapter provides the reader with critical observations, practical guidelines and functional approaches that can be used in the development of a sustainable environment. Flexibility and material reuse combined strive for continuity and durability in order to maximize sustainability throughout a buildingâ€™s lifespan. Industrialized modular systems illustrate how such aspects can be put in practice.
Versatile appeal Aesthetics of flexibility in sustainable housing written by Steven Huyps
Introduction The average lifespan of a building is about hundred years.1 A timeframe in which the multiplicity of things allaround us are susceptible to change, both tangible and intangible. A popular belief in architecture holds that constructing architecture is about forecasting this timespan; a prediction of the future. The paradox of this future forecast is that a poor prediction yields the best results. In this context a poor prediction holds a rather vague, unclear forecast of future times whereas a rich prediction holds a clear, determinist
small and therefore its spatial planning is highly sensitive to inaccuracy of future forecasting performed in former days. Since predictions are likely to be wrong this type of architecture is not likely to have a long lifespan. Poor future prediction on the other hand is defined as a rather vague and unclear statement about future events. This statement is more of an outline than a real prediction. It functions as boundary limits for future events and covers a wider spectrum than a determinist outlook. Future outline
“Boundary guesswork yields the best future-proof architecture” prognosis regardless the accuracy of such a forecast. Clear future foresight yields determinist architecture; unambiguous architecture that dictates a definite way of handling towards the end-user. Architecture that reflects a vision on the future of housing of a specific period of time; static or narrow dynamic architecture regarding functions, spatial layout and aesthetics. The scope of functions that these buildings can accommodate is rather
prognosis contains a high degree of indeterminacy and allows for numerous possible scenarios that can emerge in time. Although less informative, outline prognosis provides more room for error and has a higher validity than determinate future forecast. Outline prognosis functions as a demarcation of future events. It is this boundary guesswork that yields the best futureproof architecture. If we define versatility in architecture
as the capacity of a building to accommodate different circumstances occurring in time, we find versatility in architecture to be a tool for future endurance. Buildings that involve a high accommodative capacity allow for a wide spectrum of functions to emerge in time. Given that the only certainty in future forecast is error, it goes without saying that high versatility goes hand in hand with durability. Versatile architecture is architecture aligned with a broad future forecast. It allows for various events and turns to take place in forthcoming time without impairing the performance of the building. Inversatile architecture on the other hand is architecture matched to determinist future prognosis. Determinist architecture is highly sensitive to a mismatch between prognosis and reality; it lacks the capacity to accommodate to a miss predicted timeline. Versatility leads to persistence, it contributes to the building’s stamina for future times. This durability in architecture is escorted with a form of beauty. In his book l’Architettura Della Città, Aldo Rossi declares the following about a town’s monuments: “As primary elements of municipal architecture, they are signs of collective will and represent as such fixed points in urbanistic dynamics.” 2 According to Marie Antoinette Glaser, co-author of the book Aesthetics of
sustainable architecture, durability is coupled with “a specific kind of beauty in architecture that stems from the intimate traces of long time use: un-perturbed, un-exceptional and un-faddish.” 3 Durability in architecture is thus declared to possess a kind of unpolluted form of beauty. Besides this pleasant feature, durability is also linked to sustainability. The ability to endure many cycles of time is, among other values, one of the key features of sustainability.
Figure 1 Envelope versus space. Space exists by grace of the envelope. The building layer model applies to this envelope.
The built environment of today is characterized by high structural vacancy rates on the one hand and ongoing new construction on the other side 4. The combination of structural vacancy together with new construction suggests the occurrence of a malfunctioning building
stock; a building stock that does not satisfy the requirements of today’s users. According to recent reports the current vacancy rate of office buildings in the Netherlands has risen to 13% out of which 66% can be characterized as structural vacancy. 5 Structural vacancy herein is defined as vacancy in the same building for three or more consecutive years. 6 According to research performed by Hilde Remøy, buildings constructed between 1950 and 1990 have the main share in vacancy while buildings constructed post 1990 are more in favor.7 To add credibility to foregoing statement the timeframe of the postwar reconstruction era is outlined below. Driven by an enormous shortage in dwellings the built environment primarily focused on ergonomic analysis in housing, resulting in detailed regulations and instructions to which new construction needed to be aligned. 8 This ergonomic reasoning gave rise to prescribed sizes and dimensions which were anchored in reinforced concrete for a long period of time. In analogy to the first paragraph one can say that postwar construction was steered by determinist future prognoses and the outcome thus can be guessed: shifting demands together with little accommodative capacity resulted in substantial mismatches between functional and economic lifespan. The remedy for the above problem could be found in versatile housing.
Versatility In order to provide insight in the methodology of versatile housing an instrument for analysis is adopted. This analysis method decomposes the building shell in individual parts which are subsequently grouped together in different layers according to their collective function or task within the building. Altogether these layers compose the envelope and by grace of this space comes to existence. Throughout
in structure, skin, services, scenery and access by Bernard Leupen 14 with the remark that Brand’s Space Plan complies with Leupen’s definition scenery. In order to give insight in versatility in housing this essay will make a strict division in building envelope and space wherefore the adopted building layer model only applies to the building envelope: Structure load bearing framework 100 years Skin exterior shell 50 years Services apparatus components 20 years Scenery interior finish 10 years Each layer consists of multiple components with a coherent function and position within the building envelope. Due to their diverse functions and corresponding distinctive fields of operation the technical lifespans of the different building layers are scattered between approximately ten and hundred years. As a result of this discrepancy in lifespan a phenomenon arises to which Stewart Brand refers as friction.15 This friction arises from the cohesion among components from different building layers and is a result of “the unstructured and chaotic building process and the use of wet connection techniques.” 16 Due to absence of structure diverse phases of building process are executed in random
envelope. Adaptability can be seen as the stamina of the building envelope and in this way as a mechanism for future endurance. Flexibility can be seen as a tool for versatile use of space by the dweller without intervention of a professional. Both adaptability and flexibility can occur separately and the absence of either one goes without impairing the quality of the other. The durability however is affected mutually. Since the envelope defines space, flexibility cannot occur without the presence of such an envelope. The durability of a flexible space therefore is limited to the stamina of an adaptable envelope. An adaptable envelope thus operates as a framework for
order resulting in a high level of coupling among components stemming from contrasting building layers. This high level of technical coupling together with the divergent lifespans of separate layers results in a building stock with low versatility. Throughout time a great many systems of arrangements and subdivisions have been proposed for the verbal mayhem that is concealed within versatility. In his book Wonen – kreativiteit en aanpassing Hugo Priemus makes
Throughout time a great many systems of arrangements and subdivisions have been proposed for the verbal mayhem that is concealed within versatility history different systems of decomposition have been proposed which are all loosely based on one another; most of them can be traced back to a pioneering publication of 1961 by Habraken. In his book De drager en de mensen Habraken suggest a twofold layering of built environment into support and infill. 9 Later adaptations by Duffy 10 (1993), Brand 11 (1994) and Leupen 12 (2002) comprise a further subdivision in layers as a result of profound fragmentation and complexity in present construction methods. The widely known subdivision in site, structure, skin, services, space plan and stuff by Stewart Brand 13 is in line with the later division
While hard flexibility allows some versatility in use of space it is still bound to a limited number of compositions
a distinction in versatility through rehousing, versatility through renovation and versatility through use.17 This essay will use a dichotomy in versatility through renovation, adaptability, and versatility through use, flexibility. Both flexibility and adaptability pursue the desire for durability with the distinction that adaptability relate to alterations performed by a professional while flexibility relates to alterations performed by the dweller; versatility-in-use so to say. Adaptability applies to the versatility of the outer envelope or shell of the building whereas flexibility applies to the versatility of the space enclosed by the outer
flexibility to take place. It works the other way around as well; the stamina of an adaptable envelope is affected by the appeal of the flexible space it encloses. Disfavored space due to low flexibility results in vacancy regardless the adaptability of its framework and thus impairing the stamina of the envelope.
Figure 2 Entangled building systems. Lack of planning results in intertwined systems and high friction among components which eventually impairs the adaptivity of a building.
Adaptivity Countermeasures to foregoing dispute on a building stock with high structural vacancy levels could be found in adaptable housing. Adaptable housing enables versatility of the building envelope resulting in a durable framework for flexible use of enclosed space. Concepts for enabling this adaptability are most accurately described by Habraken who proposes a dichotomy in support and infill.18 The book Residential Open building by Stephen Kendall and Jonathan Teicher continues on this split concept by describing support as “those parts which may endure for a century or more” 19 and state that “the base building may be comprised of the load bearing structure … as well as most of its outer skin.” 20
Figure 3 Folding furniture. Combination of a couch and bed allows for multifunctional use
The infill is subsequently described as “Systems and parts … [subject] to change at cycles of 10-20 years” 21 which can be “independently installed or upgraded for each occupant in turn.” 22 Although the foregoing approach by both Habraken and Kendall & Teicher is pointing in the good direction it is not fully in line with the previously adapted fourfold building layer system. Therefore a more astute division in permanent structure with threefold infill system is adapted in order to minimize friction within the different infill components due to contradicting lifespan. Within this hierarchy the structure has the highest lifespan and as a result of this it can be considered as the permanent ingredient within the adaptable building. A replacement of structure can be considered as demolition and replacement of the existing building. The structure functions as a support for the threefold infill components and altogether they form the basis or framework for flexible housing to take place. Since structure is highest in hierarchy it defines the boundaries for further versatility to take place and in order to maximize its accommodative capacity it should be oversized in all possible ways. It should comprise long free spans, large storey heights and high material quality in order to limit chances on premature devaluation. Since the structure functions solely as a support for the infill elements, the technical and organizational problems coupled with piping, wiring and ducting shift to a lower infill level and thus liberating architecture from this burden. 23 As a result of this architects can focus more on the composition and articulation of the permanent and most durable part of the building whereas the eventual dweller gains more control over the transient personal finish through dynamic infill elements subjected to change. Foregoing statement was beautifully grasped by Tom Moran during his keynote on adaptable building in 2002 as “Overbuild … structure, underbuild features.” 24
Hard flexibility As discussed earlier versatile housing is obtained by an adaptable envelope that functions as a framework for flexibility-in-use to take place. Now the approach to an adaptable envelope is outlined above this essay will focus on methods and procedures for flexible use of space. One way to attain flexibility-in-use can be found in the application of “folding furniture and sliding walls [to allow for] … different configurations for day and night.” 25 This approach is labelled hard flexibility by Jeremy Till and Tatjana Schneider in their concise overview on flexible housing. 26 Hard
flexibility is linked to what we have previously labelled determinate future forecast since it only allows for a specific set of configurations to be implemented. While it allows some versatility in use of space it is still bound to a limited number of compositions. These spatial compositions have been devised by the architect beforehand and can easily be devaluated as a result of shifting demands in future times. With hard flexibility the architect works in foreground and this approach works best where space is at premium. 27 Besides that hard flexibility is sensitive to shifting demands and needs it is also linked with difficulty in aesthetical articulation. Plural use of space through sliding and folding gadgetry results in alternating functions for one and the same room and thus difficulty in articulation of its identity; what functions as a living room during daytime may serve as bedroom in the evening hours. In addition to this drawback it should be noted that the architecture of hard flexibility is linked to the revelation of various seams and gaps necessarily for the kinetics of partition walls and furniture. Summarizing the above arguments leads to the belief that hard flexibility involves quite some downsides and probably doesn’t provide the key solution for long term sustainable housing.
Polyvalence A keen reader would presume the existence of soft flexibility aside from above discussed hard flexibility and, indeed, there is. Till & Schneider define soft flexibility as “the stuff that enables flexible housing to unfold in a manner not completely controlled by the foreground of construction techniques.” 28 Where hard flexibility can be defined as tight-fit architecture, soft flexibility can be defined as loose-fit architecture with the designer working in the background 29. A widely used term for soft flexibility is polyvalence which Herman Hertzberger defines as “a form that can be put to different uses without having to undergo changes itself, so that a minimal flexibility can still produce an optimal solution.” 30 A polyvalent space thus allows for various functions to take place without the interference of any architectural adaptions. According to Hertzberger the different activities that take place within the dwelling do not make different specific demands on the space in which they are to take place. 31 He states that “it is the people who make specific demands because they wish to interpret one and the same function in their own specific ways, according to their own specific tastes.” 32 According to Hertzberger flexibility can be achieved “by sequences of spaces in which,
although they are not usually very different from one another, the potential for individual interpretation is inherent due to their greater polyvalence.” 33 This polyvalence should not be found in oversizing dimensions and ratios but in the spatial composition of a dwelling. 34 Bernard Leupen illustrates this as follows: “A spatial system in which different rooms can only be accessed through another room is less capable of being adapted to suit different living patterns … [than] with dwellings in which the spatial system allows every room to be reached from a central point or by a number of different routes.” 35 Polyvalent architecture thus manifests itself as a loose-fit composition of spaces that leaves room for individual interpretation and does not impose a specific way of usage towards de dweller. Now a careless reader might remark that polyvalence articulates itself through a neutral and uniform architecture; architecture stripped of its identity in order to function as a skeleton for polyvalence to take place. Although uniform architecture does allow various functions to take place within one specific space it comes at the price of loss of character. Rem Koolhaas refers to uniform architecture as “zero-degree architecture, architecture stripped of all traces of uniqueness and specificity.” 36 Aldo van Eyck states that uniformity in architecture is “as a glove that suits no one because it fits everyone.” 37 He further states on identity that “it is equally clear that neither neutrality … nor specificity … can yield an adequate solution. It is not somewhere between these two extremes … that the possibility of a solution lies, … namely in a standpoint that everyone can relate to in his or her own way, a standpoint therefore that can take on a different - and hence divergent - meaning for each individual.” 38 According to Aldo van Eyck identity in architecture should be an implicit provocation that allows the user to identify himself with the building. Absence of this identity in polyvalent architecture results in meaningless architecture with the possibility of premature devaluation. According to Hertzberger polyvalence “should
Polyvalent architecture thus manifests itself as a loose-fit composition of spaces that leaves room for individual interpretation and does not impose a specific way of usage towards de dweller offer an incentive to its users to influence it wherever possible, not merely to reinforce its identity, but more especially to enhance and affirm the identity of its users.” 39 The meaning of foregoing citation of Hertzberger is that architectural form should offer freedom of interpretation to its users. A form should be able to play many different roles in divergent contexts created by the dweller. Form should allow for different associations to be made resulting in great versatility of identity. “A form can evoke different images in different people and in different situations, and thus take on a different meaning, and it is the phenomenon of this experience that is the key to an altered awareness of form, which will enable us to make things that are better suited to more situations.” 40
Example The foregoing argument on polyvalence will be illustrated on the basis of the Diagoon dwellings in Delft by Herman Hertzberger. Constructed in 1970, these dwellings are by no means recent construction works wherefore they add strength and validity to preceding statement that polyvalence is a tool for future endurance.
Figure 8 Diagoon dwelling: front façade Figure 9 Diagoon dwelling: rear façade
The Diagoon dwellings consists of a series of concrete slabs held upright by two concrete cores. The concrete slabs are positioned in such a way that they form a split level dwelling around the cores bringing about a line-symmetrical housing plan. Key to success of the Diagoon dwellings is their unfinished character thus allowing for, or better, requiring for a specific amount of anticipation of the end users. 41 Furthermore the spatial compositions of the Diagoon dwellings allow for various interpretations to be made with regard to functional layout. The employment of a split level configuration for instance results in a loss of “upstairs” leading to the elimination of the obvious division in sleeping and living. 42 It leads to a somewhat equal connections among storeys without one being in the focal point. Furthermore the raised terrace in the back allows for different interpretations. 43 During construction these terraces where fitted with absolute minimum space resulting in encouragement for replacement and thus for personal interpretation of accessing the backyard. 44 Furthermore the space underneath the raised terrace is unenclosed which leads to undefined space united with the garden again making several personal preferences possible. 45 The front of the Diagoon dwellings are fitted with a concrete column charged with the load of overhead balcony. The
Conclusion The solution to current high vacancy rates in existing building stock could be found in versatile housing. Versatile housing is housing that incorporates high accommodative capacity in order to adjust effectively to the ever evolving demands of its context and thus minimizing the chance on premature devaluation. Versatile housing could be achieved through polyvalence of layout within an adaptable framework of outer shell. Adjustability allows an easy
position of this concrete base makes the suggestion of a small front yard without coming off too strong. The concrete pillar can also be interpreted as a stepping stone for a small porch articulating the front door or as an adjacent bike shed. 46 Summarizing above explanation the Diagoon dwellings offer plenty of space for individual engagement and identification of the user.
Figure 4 Diagoon dwelling: section Figure 5 Diagoon dwelling: axonometry
upgradable envelope through the use of various infill systems with matching lifespan. Infill elements should have little connection with the loadbearing structure and allow the user to gain control over the personification of space. Polyvalence on the other hand comprises space that allows for different interpretations and usage methods by the end user. It encourages participation by the dwellers to add character to the building and furthermore fortifies the end user’s identity.
“Polyvalence encourages participation by the dwellers to add character to the building and furthermore fortifies the end user’s identity.”
Figure 6 Diagoon dwelling: inside view
Eternal Buildings Industrialized Modular Systems as a sustainable solution and their consequences on aesthetics written by Laurent Khuat Duy
Today’s evolutionary challenge is to come up with buildings that are sustainable enough to contemporary standards. This, of course, needs to be combined with all other traditional building requirements (aesthetics, safety, etc.). Carrying out this task in due time requires considerable efforts. Using an industrialized modular system (IMS) could relieve the amount of work needed to finish an adequate design. Some manufacturers claim that 50-75% of the design documentation is already complete before the new building design is even started. 1 This essay will explore how an industrialized modular system can be made globally sustainable, and what the aesthetical qualities of such a system are.
Understanding sustainability The World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. 2 However this definition is so vague that it can lead to an almost infinite number of interpretations. 3 Often, such a definition is applied to environmental concerns only, which is too limiting. A more global and concrete definition, proposed by Elkington in 1998, states that global sustainability should be achieved via three complementary pillars: planet, people and profit (the 3 P’s). 4 This approach, called the triple bottom line (TBL) approach, points to 3 types of sustainability: environmental,
The advantages of an IMS
social and economic (Fig. 1). It applies not only to the built environment but also to other kinds of businesses. Throughout this essay, sustainability will be considered from the threefold point of view of the TBL definition, for it is a more complete and accurate representation of the real world. The Industrial Modular Systems An Industrial Modular System (IMS) consists of mass-produced generic components that can easily be connected, disconnected, and reused to form multiple possible configurations. A typical example of IMS is the Lego® system. The Lego® blocks are industrially-produced elements and can easily be connected with each other in various configurations. In the build environment, industrialization is often confused with prefabrication. The difference is Figure 1 Schematic illustration of the triple bottom line approach. Figures page right Increasing popularity of modular systems: Lego® blocks (modular toy), Project Ara (Google® modular phone), Drop House (modular buildings).
The environmental advantages An in-depth quantitative case study by Faludi et al. 7 compares the environmental impacts of an industrially prefabricated commercial building to the average equivalent building. The study revealed that the highest impact on ecology comes from the energy consumption during the building use phase, while the second highest ecological impact comes from the manufacturing process of the materials, in particular steel and foundation concrete. In the same article, Faludi et al. measured that the environmental footprint of an IMS could be made significantly lower than the average equivalent building. Some concerns might be raised about the sustainability of an off-site prefabrication of components. The study of Faludi et al. also showed that the transportation and the usage of local materials have a negligible ecological footprint with respect to the manufacturing process of the materials.
that industrialized parts are generic and identical whereas prefabricated parts are custom parts produced off-site. 5 It can be noted that industrial non-modular components may exist as well as non-industrial modular components. In the first case, clay bricks are mass-produced but cannot easily be connected, disconnected and reused. In the second case, prototypes are usually made of connectable parts that are not yet industrially produced. Industrial design constitutes a good source of inspiration for the design of demountable reconfigurable systems (Fig. 2). 6
The cost advantages Because the design costs are spread over a large quantity of mass-produced elements, more time can be assigned to material research . 8 Their physical properties can be optimized for performance and clearly defined, allowing the
Increasing popularity of modular systems: Lego® blocks (modular toy), Project Ara (Google® modular phone), Drop House (modular buildings).
energetic simulation in building information models (BIM) to be more accurate. Furthermore, the ecological impact of the used materials can be better quantified (energy used for their manufacturing, health hazards and material life cycle). Industrialization can also impose much tighter specifications on the accuracy of manufacturing and quality control. Combined to an easily replicable assembly method, the risks of components failure or incorrect interconnections can be significantly reduced with respect to a classic building method. The lower risks, the shorter labour involving less people and the mass production lead to an overall reduction of costs. The adaptivity advantages The strength of an IMS does not only lie on its prefabrication: it also lies in its capacity of adaptation. Mangone and Teufel suggest that the viability (or longevity) of an ecosystem should be evaluated based on its flexibility and ability to adapt to current and future changes. 9 An ideal modular
On a long-term scale, it has been proven that the reuse and transformation of an adaptive building which was originally designed to cope with its potential future functions is financially and ecologically more interesting than building new. 11 Upcoming technologies or legal requirements will easily find their place in a system whose modular parts can easily be disassembled and replaced by more efficient or adequate ones. For example, micro-generators of energy might end up replacing current solar panels. 12 This also applies to defective or hazardous elements of the building. IMS’s constitute an answer to “the temptation to customize a building around a new technology, which is always enormous, and is nearly always unnecessary.” 13
Industrialized modular systems achieve global sustainability via optimization, automation and adaptivity system would be sufficiently adaptive to be fitted easily to its current hosting environment, and at the same time cope with the future demands. Many existing buildings cannot cope with the related requirements, and their adaptation can often be more expensive than building new. Such an undesirable situation could have been avoided if existing buildings would have been designed to be adaptable and cope with the future. In his survey of the transformation of 30 buildings for sustainability, Baird discovered that the most common problems after the transformation are noise and available space. 10 An adaptable building would evolve to cope with
Industrial modular systems as sustainable candidates It is clear from the above mentioned advantages that IMS’s can be designed to present the three traits of sustainability of the triple bottom line approach. Industrialized modular systems achieve global sustainability via optimization, automation and adaptivity. This is summarized in the table 1. The TBL approach was originally designed to serve as a general framework for any kind of business. One of its
IMS Possible Advantages
Optimization. Optimized energetic performance, well known origin of materials and their manufacturing process, minimized waste in production process, more accurate BIM predictions, possibility to evolve with upcoming technologies
Automation. Mass production, faster lead times, less man power, lower design times, adaption to new legislations, more accurate BIM predictions, future-proof, easier repairing and maintenance
Figure 3 Prefabrication of houses for the Californian gold rush (1849). Not yet industrialized.
these problems. Existing walls can be reconfigured to reduce the amount of noise. The square footage of the office can be expanded via a modular expansion. One could even talk about a “living building” that evolves and adapts by learning from its mistakes.
Adaptivity. Adaptation to users’ needs, adaptation to new functions and to the evolving surrounding context, personalization via user feedback and improvements via trials and errors
weaknesses is the difficulty to quantify the three aspects of sustainability. In the case of the built environment, it is clear that economic sustainability should be quantified via the return on investment of the building, throughout its whole lifetime, from construction until its destruction. Environmental sustainability can also be evaluated: numerous certificates, such as LEED or BREAM, exist to quantify the environmental impact of a building during its life. Social sustainability however is more difficult to quantify. Vitruvius can help understand better what the social qualities of a building are. Back on the first century before Christ, he asserted in his famous ten-book treatise De Architectura that a structure must exhibit the three qualities of firmitas, utilitas, venustas – that is, it must be solid, useful and beautiful. 14 The solidity of a building is not a social quality. The other two are. It has been demonstrated that IMS’s have the advantage of being adaptable to their occupant so that they can suit their needs and remain useful. But what are that consequences of an IMS on the aesthetics of a building?
The aesthetics of Industrial modular systems Historical modular buildings Prefabricated buildings started appearing in the United States of America in the middle of the 19th century, during the Californian gold rush (Fig. 3). 15 Manufactured in England, they helped the prospectors quickly build accommodations. The usage of industrialized modular systems became popular during World War II to fulfil the needs of military barracks (Fig. 4). During the post-World war II reconstruction, a huge amount of accommodations had to be quickly installed. Industrially produced row houses proved to be the solution of choice at the time. The system is often associated with temporary structures whose purpose is rather functional than aesthetical (Fig. 5).
Figure 4 Nissen huts, designed during World War I, extensively used during World War II (1941).
Table 1. Advantages that can be incorporated in an industrialized modular system in order to make a sustainable building in the sense of the triple bottom line approach.
Figure 5 Post-war prefab houses, Letchworth Garden City, UK (1950). Such houses are commonly produced till the 70’s.
Lately, the aesthetical qualities of industrialized modular systems have primarily been used in retailing. Indeed, in addition to the cost and time advantages involved for the construction of a new store, IMS’s provide a powerful way of branding. McDonald’s uses IMS-based buildings and set the record of constructing a building and opening it in just 13 hours. 16
A building with commercial perspectives must be eye-catching,
iconic and recognizable within seconds. But for a home owner, the aesthetics refer more to the beauty of the building, the lifestyle and ideologies it represents. 17
The power of symbolism The architect succeeds in his design when he is able to convey the emotions he chose. 18 A building can for example evoke the nostalgia of war memories, the cosiness of a homey place, or the exuberance of a luxurious lobby. The stronger these emotions are, the longer the building will leave a lasting souvenir to its visitors. Symbolism is so strong that it defines whether one likes the aesthetical qualities of a building. Even if it is the first time that a building is seen, the brain attempts to categorize it, to associate it with former memories. One of the problems of industrial modular buildings is that they are often associated by the large public to functional buildings with limited care to aesthetics. These structures are however part of history (prefabricated barracks during World War II, postwar mass cheap housing in Europe). Aesthetics and sustainability take a much more important place in current IMS’s. For example, Trek-In has designed pre-built iconic trekking cabins made from recycled modular components (Fig. 6). 19
Current modular buildings IMS’s do not generally convey an image of sustainability. While starchitect’s iconic buildings can make people conscious about sustainability (without necessarily being sustainable), IMS’s can be the real contributors to sustainability in practice. As mentioned earlier, they can achieve this via their capacity of adaptation and the optimization of their performances and manufacturing.
Figure 7 Mass House Development: new houses in Birmingham.
The current sustainable trends in IMS companies lie in the increase of longevity of the buildings and the eco-friendliness of their operation and production. For example, Portakabin, a UK company, started designing modular building systems in 1980. Their current system can be used to mount buildings accommodating from one to several thousands of people. Lately, they started to pay a closer attention to the sustainability of their whole production and delivery process. One of their use cases is the development in Birmingham comprising a suite of 550 high-
specification apartments (Fig. 7). The investor, Masshouse Development, wanted a cutting-edge design that would differentiate them from the norm. The advantages they invoked for their choice of constructor was the flexibility combined with the build quality and the speed at which the construction could be achieved. Special attention was also given to the minimalistic aesthetics of the structure. Unfortunately the energetic performances are not mentioned. Even if Portakabin claims to make some efforts in this direction, having quantitative information in regard to the sustainability of the building would have made it more convincing. Another face of modularity comes from the interior of a building. Raaijmackers, in his master’s thesis ‘Interplay’ 20, addresses the ongoing problem of vacant buildings in the Netherlands. He believes that a sustainable solution is achievable via a modular system that can be mounted with the help of the surrounding community. A stronger bond to home and a
Figure 6 Aesthetics in prebuilt modular houses: the iconic Trek-In cabin.
Figure 8 The modular components from Raaijmackers are fitted inside an existing building structures. The spaces created can evolve with time, while involving a communal interaction.
sense of belonging to a community automatically make the end user more ecologically responsible. The primary focus of the system is its adaptability capacities and its multiple functionalities. The aesthetical touch is sober but recognizable, mainly via the use of rounded corners (Fig. 8). This type of IMS is designed to be used in an existing building that needs to be converted. It allows a new function to be fitted in, while leaving the original building minimally altered. Other projects have attained a more advanced degree of sustainability in their modular design. Project Frog (San Francisco) 21 is a good example (Fig.
9). The performance of their modular system in a commercial building has been quantitatively compared to an equivalent average building in the study of Faludi et al. 22 Energetic efficiency alone proved to be 60% better with the prefabricated building. In 2008, Project Frog built the “Frog Zero” in only 6 days. It is a 111 m² Net Zero Energy structure, erected at the USGBC’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston (Fig. 10). In such a building, the energy efficiency is so high that the manufacturing of the materials becomes the dominant cause of environmental impact. There again, an
optimized industrialized process has the edge over traditional construction. Project Frog explained their concept as follows: “The smart building features 75 percent energy demand reduction, abundant natural light and glare control, superior air quality, fungible user technology, microclimate customization and advanced climate controls in an easy to configure package. Constructed of renewable or recyclable materials, the Frog Zero generates more energy within its footprint than is required to operate its systems. Frog Zero produces virtually no carbon emissions, provides 100 percent thermal comfort hours and has the capacity to return five times its
energy use through active solar power generation. A flexible design approach makes optimization for a wide variety of local sites and climate conditions simple and cost-effective.” 23 Project Frog clearly showcases the potential of an industrial modular system. Unfortunately they use a proprietary connection system, which limits the number of actors that can participate to its development. While this can be understood for business reasons, one can expect open-source connection systems to start appearing once the popularity of IMS’s will have increased. In fact, such opensource systems already exist. 24 The Hermithouses website believes in a society of sharing values. It offers prefabricated DIY construction kits and open source building manuals. Their perspective is to develop a “masscustomization” way of building, where the prospective home buyer would customize his home via a software, then have it mass-produced (Fig. 11).
Figure 9 (left) Modular system developed by Project Frog. Figure 10 (right) Frog Zero, the net-zero energy building presented by Project Frog at the USGBC’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston (2008).
Figure 11 Hermithouse proposes open-source do-ityourself houses.
These are but a few examples from the numerous kinds of IMS-based houses that can be produced. The strongest barrier to the use of IMS’s to this day stands in their poor historical image as cheap, low-performing, identical structures that lack aesthetical qualities. The most important point to remember is that IMS’s have evolved significantly in performance but also in their aesthetics. The system has shown its versatility in generating a multitude of architectural styles that can be fitted to the tastes of the client (Fig. 12). One can only expect new improvements to come up and more styles to emerge, while further perfecting the performance of the components.
theory has been further worked out (Duffy, Brand, Leupen, Remøy, van der Voordt). 27 The types of adaptations can be categorized, and the way they affect the different layers can be described. 28 The content of these documents is recommended to understand the dynamics of adaptation at a deeper level, but is outside the scope of this essay. A universal connection system would eventually put the choice of materials between the hands of the customer. The latter would be able to choose his components via certified specifications such as their energetic fingerprint during manufacturing, their life cycle as a material or their performance (e.g., insulation).
There are of course some aspects of the building that should not or cannot be industrially produced. For example, some sculptural characteristics of the façade making the building unique, or the interfacing between the building and its environment allowing them to coexist in symbiosis. 25 It is important that the chosen IMS allows these “foreign” elements to be easily connected to the main IMS structure.
The components would be designed so that they can easily be assembled by most people without special tools such as cranes. This would encourage experimentation via the development of new components and the assembly of new shapes. The infinite possibilities that can be generated by an open component system would allow the users to express themselves via the personalization of the building. With the advent of 3D-printed prototyping, one would soon be able to design and make architectural elements that can be directly plugged into the existing modular structure. The building would adapt to follow its users’ age, family size, and needs. It would allow people to remain in a place loaded with memories, a place they cherished their whole life. One consequence on the outer shell of the building of such freedom of expression lies in the possible chaotic outcomes in the urban landscape. This consequence does not come from the connection system itself, but rather from the local built environment legislation. The city of Liège (Belgium) for example displays a chaotic landscape that somehow still forms a coherent whole. IMS’s will only make it easier and faster to assemble, adapt and disassemble new urban structures. Therefore, the extent to which buildings can be modified will strongly depend on the cadastral authorities. Independently from the fitting in the urban context, it is important to remember that the
Perspectives of a Universal Connection System As is the case now in the software industry, an open-source system could open new doors for the development and improvement of IMS elements. This could be progressively achieved via a standard copyright-free universal connection system, as the USB port for computers started replacing all kinds of proprietary connectors. The proper design and usage of such a system would require some guidance though. Nakib, for example, provides a good overview of the key points needed to integrate adaptability in a building. 26 Important further considerations on the dynamics of adaptability have been thoroughly studied by several authors. Habraken pioneered the decomposition of a building into its constituting layers in the 60’s. The layers or shells can be categorized according to their lifetime. His
IMS’s allows a wide diversity of styles, as depicted by the transportable houses by Prefabium, Australia (above) and the “Compac” residences by Acero Architects, Spain (below).
outer shell of a building holds its identity. That is why any modification of the façade should be carefully considered, as it could potentially end up severely damaging the identity of the original building, the history it has lived, and what it symbolizes.
Conclusion Global sustainability can be achieved in the built environment by applying the triple bottom line approach. 29 This essay has explained how using an industrialized modular system (IMS) allows acting along the three main
sustainability axes: environmental, economic and social. The recent examples presented showed the will of IMS companies to pay more attention to the ecological impacts of their building which, in turn, improves their image and lowers down their costs. In parallel to these sustainability improvements, new aesthetical styles are emerging. Historically, IMS’s were mainly used as functional structures and their cost had to remain low. Since a couple of decades, more care has been brought to the comfort and aesthetics of modular buildings, as can
be seen throughout the multitude of designs offered by the manufacturers. Combining aesthetics and sustainability is done during the design phase, but the adaptability of the IMS’s, allows them to easily evolve with time. Customized elements can also be created to help IMS’s blend in their environment, or as personalized way of expression. IMS’s enable the creation of eternal buildings. Not because they will never deteriorate, but because their adaptability and versatility allow them to evolve with time, and never reach obsolescence.
The essence of sustainable materials written by Thijs Clement
Introduction Material selection has a high impact on the sustainability of building design. Designing for sustainability is all about considering the impact of a building or building process on the environment throughout production, use and disposal.1 The label ‘sustainable’ is given to many designs and buildings nowadays. Sustainability is becoming a trend in the world and the term is often used inappropriately. Materials form a crucial link between a sustainable design and a sustainable life cycle of the buildings. Buildings, their construction, use and disposal, have a significant impact on the natural environment. Sustainable designs can help encourage a sustainable way of life. But how can buildings be designed and built to contribute to a sustainable world positively and minimize the environmental impacts? Sustainable buildings, metaphorically, ‘tread lightly on earth’ by minimizing the environmental impacts associated with their construction, their life in use and at the end of their life. The use of materials contributes to a sustainable design and in the bigger process to a sustainable world. In an approach characterized by materials, the use of natural and contextual materials would drive the sustainable design concept. 2 Materials are used throughout a building’s life, initially and primarily during the construction phase and subsequently for maintenance or for alterations. Materials have a substantial impact on buildings ranging from the aesthetics and appeal of a building to its makeability and cost. In this essay the aesthetics of sustainable materials is substantiated and the right way of using sustainable materials in the building design is clarified. On the one hand these aesthetics are supported by reference projects that are focused on sustainable materials and, on the other hand, as a comparison two sustainable reference projects are mentioned that focus on another part of sustainability.
Sustainable materials Certain criteria need to be examined when debating the health benefits and sustainability of materials. The materials are divided in healthy and ecological materials. The criteria for healthy and ecological materials are summarized in the next paragraphs. Healthy materials are, either in manufacturing or in use, contain no pollutants or toxins, emit no biologically harmful vapours, dust, radiation, electromagnetic fields, particles or odours. These materials are supposed to be resistant to bacteria, viruses, moulds and other micro-organisms. During the production or in use no noise can be produced. 3
Ecological materials are renewable and sufficiently available, they come from natural sources, and their production has a low impact on the local environment. They are supposed to be energy efficient and consume of minimum of energy in production, transport and use, and are generally locally produced. Materials with high insulation values are able to keep buildings cool in summer and warm in winter. They must also be durable, easy to maintain and repair. Another criterion is that the material is produced by fair wages, equal opportunities and socially fair means, which means good working conditions. Lastly, producing ecological materials have low waste and are capable of being reused and recycled. 4
and emissions up to ninety percent. 5 Concrete, metals, glass, brick and plastics are examples of materials that can all be produced with some form of the previously used material. A third aspect of a sustainable material is low embodied energy. Building materials require energy for extraction and manufacture, before the materials can be used as building materials. Energy is also required to transport the material to the site, maintain it and dispose of the material at the end of the building life cycle. The sum of the energy that is used in the process of the material is known as the embodied energy. Energy is still mainly gained from fossil fuels, which increases the global warming and pollution. The use of low
Materials form a crucial link between a sustainable design and a sustainable life cycle of the buildings.
Previous paragraphs set off different criteria for sustainable materials, if these criteria determine whether materials are sustainable or not, no material can be called sustainable. The question rises how materials can be used to create a sustainable building. The following aspects of material use can be considered these are related to sustainability and they make a design truly sustainable.
embodied materials is desirable. A substantial reduction in the building’s total embodied energy can be achieved by reducing transport requirements. Transportation of building materials from the manufacturer to building site is generally done by road and causes high level of CO2 emission. To reduce the transport energy, manufacturers are required nearby the building site.
The first aspect to consider is the conservation of natural resources. Building products are derived from natural materials that are harvest or extracted from nature and processed into useful building material. The availability of the raw material decides if a material can be named sustainable. The risk of depleting the resource may leave future generations without that particular material.
As a last aspect the use of renewable or non-renewable material energy sources determines if a building material can be considered sustainable. Non-renewable materials include the materials with generation cycles of millennia, for example, stone, coal, oil, metal ores. Renewable materials include those with regeneration cycles of decades of less. For example timber, flax, hemp and cork. Renewable material are considered to be plentiful available, but if a renewable material is overharvested, it may become scarce and eventually become depleted. Managing the harvest process is necessary to avoid the depletion of a renewable material resource. The availability of non-renewable resources are limited and not infinite. 5
Secondly the reuse of materials and the use of recycled materials can make it more sustainable. Reuse does not require, in contrary to recycling, manufacturing manipulation. A reused material is used in the same condition and form, whether for its original use or not. The reuse of recycled materials is beginning to stand out as an innovative, highly effective, and an artistic expression of sustainable design. This process of production lowers the energy requirement
Aesthetics of sustainable materials Japanese architecture is characterized by the use of materials that are natural, weak and sensitive with low embodied energy. These materials, such as local timber, bamboo, paper, rope, woven straw or willow, are left untreated and exposed. The use of materials is very sustainable, natural and contextual materials drive the design concept, rather than being driven by technical measures added later in the building process. Mechanical and technical aspects of sustainable building comprises just one part of the complex issue of design. On the other hand the average life span of a Japanese home is twenty-six years, compared to forty-four years in the United States and seventy-five years in the United Kingdom.
Traditional Japanese architecture is still valued as an aesthetic ideal. This aesthetic of sustainable material use is addressed in relation to timber, structure and adaptability. 6
and disposed materials. Traditional architecture creates a vast amount of material waste that remains unused. Earthships are primarily designed to function as autonomous buildings, using thermal mass construction and a natural cross ventilation to regulate the indoor temperature. This kind of buildings are built from recycled materials, local resources and renewable materials, therefore the design approaches almost complete material sustainability. 8
These days there is a widespread debate about what constitutes sustainable design. These aesthetics of sustainable architecture have been associated with green roofs and earthy materials, but also with high-tech techniques and installations such as solar collectors, building automation systems and double skin-façades.7
Sustainable building design The Earthship, as seen in figure 1, is an architectural concept from the American architect Michael Reynolds, it is built entirely from leftover
Figure 1 Earthship Zwolle, Michael Reynolds
Earthship Nooterhof by architect Michael Reynolds was the first Earthship to be built in the Netherlands. Materials that were used in the design have all been recycled. It contains one thousand car tires, seven thousand glass bottles, six thousand aluminium cans, clay and earth. The building materials for the Earthship Nooterhof are not all obtained with low bodied energy. The tires were donated by a dealership nearby and the used soil was not gained locally. 9 Villa Welpeloo (figure 2) is a residence, designed by 2012Architecten, based on the use of as much surplus materials as possible. 2012Architecten researched the possibilities and availability of surplus material in the vicinity of the
site during the design phase. They initiated the term ‘superuse’, the original qualities and aspects of the materials are used with a minimum of processing. The main structure of the residence is comprised of over dimensioned steel sections. They found old textile machines from 1889 at the company Lotex in Enschede and used the steel for the structure of the residence. The steel structure is, as mentioned before, over dimensioned since no guarantees could be given to the steel. Dimensions were based on the weakest pieces of the steel. The façades are built from wood which is normally used for particleboard or burning. The waste materials provided a continuous stream of new incentives to develop and refine the design. A total of sixty percent of the used material is reused material: the floors, steel structure (90%), secondary structure, wooden shear walls, insulation and the wall cladding.10
Sustainable designs without sustainable materials Villa Kogelhof (figure 3) is a house situated on a 25ha estate that is named Kogelhof. The estate is located in the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands and was designed by architect Paul de Ruiter. The condition was given that, before Villa Kogelhof could be built, something was to be given back to nature. Seventy-one thousand trees were planted on the property for the purpose of absorbing and integrating the villa into the forest in the future. Minimal impact on nature is the main design principle. Sustainability is a major principle in this project. This resulted in the concept of the design of being self-sufficient. Villa Kogelhof is completely energy neutral, because of the use of PV-panels.11 Villa Kogelhof is a sustainable design in the case of self-sufficiency and energy neutrality. The materials used for building Villa Kogelhof are not sustainable according to the four aspects of sustainable materials.
Figure 2 Villa Welpeloo, 2012Architecten OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
In the sustainable design of Villa Kogelhof raw materials were used that are not extracted from nature. To create the building material the raw materials needed preparation or manufacturing. Manufacturing these materials requires energy, which was mainly obtained from fossil fuels and which are associated with global warming and pollution. All materials that were used to build Villa Kogelhof were newly made, making the materials non-sustainable. Using recycled building materials would have make the design more sustainable. The materials that are used require, as mentioned, a high amount of energy for manufacturing. In the case of Villa Kogelhof all materials were transported to the building site. The total embodied energy the materials required for this sustainable building is at a more than average high rate. During the construction of the property a great amount of concrete, glass and steel has been used. These materials are not derived from renewable resources and were newly made. The non-renewable materials come
from resources that are limited and therefore not infinite.
This is reflected in the green façade that in a few years will completely cover the house. Further, passive solar energy is used through its careful configuration, mass, form and orientation .12
Sustainability is a wide concept and it has many different parameters. A building is called sustainable if it satisfies one or more of these parameters. Villa Kogelhof is a sustainable design, in which non-sustainable materials are used. Compared to the Earthship concept, according the material sustainability, this design would be nonsustainable. ‘House like garden’ is designed by architect Marc Koehler and is designed as a vertical garden giving space to flora to grow in a densely urbanized area. The design of House like garden is derived from two conceptual principles. First, the building can be regarded as a solid mass that has been split into two pieces and the connection between the outside space is magnified by the second conceptual principle: ‘the vertical garden’. Sustainability is an important aspect of the design.
House like garden by architect Marc Koehler is called a sustainable design, however regarding to the aspects of sustainable materials, the design is not truly sustainable.
Figure 3 Villa Kogelhof, Paul de Ruyter
Figure 4 House like Garden, Marc Koehler
Some of the materials that are used in the design of ‘House like garden’ consume resources that are not extracted from nature during the manufacturing process. The steel skeleton and the reinforced concrete floors make use of the natural resources. As mentioned a building material is sustainable when recycled raw materials are used for manufacturing. If recycled materials were used to build House like garden, than the design would have been more sustainable. The total embodied energy of the building material is due to manufacture process. The brick and the steel
beams consume energy during the production process. When completing the production process, the material needs transportation to the building site. None of the building material is gained directly from the site, which makes the material less sustainable. The raw materials are not all from renewable resources. The steel beams are made from ore which is a non-renewable material. The bricks of the façade, on the other hand, are made from raw materials from renewable resources. House like garden is a small design with some sustainable elements. Considering the material sustainability only the brick façade is sustainable. The manufacturing of the bricks is nearby the building site and the brick are made out of renewable material.
Future of sustainable materials Creating a sustainable material future will be the aim for this and future generations. Sustainable technologies are available, sustainable design strategies have been implemented, and studies have proven that these approaches can contribute positively to a sustainable future. Sustainable buildings are those that can be an asset for many years to come. The life cycle of materials is divided in the following stages: raw material production, transport, manufacturing, distribution, use and disposal. Examining the total environmental impact of a product through every stage of its life is known as life cycle assessment.13 The key aim of thinking about materials using a life cycle perspective is to avoid burden shifting, which means focussing on the minimizing impacts at one life cycle stage, while other unrecognised
increased impacts are avoided. Taking a life cycle perspective requires a policy developer, environmental manager, or product designer to look beyond their own system.14 Sustainable materials management research will explore opportunities to implement effective strategies to ensure that material resources are managed and used efficiently throughout their life cycle. Sustainability researchers will focus on rare earth elements. The objective of this research is to apply a life cycle approach to rare earth elements acquisition, use, and end-of-life management in order to determine the potential impacts on the development of emerging technologies. If designers develop a basic understanding of the sustainability issues relating to materials and consult a selection of
Conclusion information sources, then they ensure that their material choices minimizes the impact on the environment. Designers search for the optimal material to suit a designated requirement. An optimal material, if it exists, can be a market breakthrough, but what is an optimal material? An example of an optimal material can have the following characters: The material has an endless supply and close available source; it is cheap to produce; it is energy efficient, appropriately strong, stiff and temperature stable; lightweight; corrosion resistant; produces no harmful effects and it would be biodegradable or completely recyclable. It is a difficult and complex process to find the most optimal material for a building design.15
Choosing material which will be used for the design in the building process is essential. It is a critical choice in the terms of material sustainability. Healthy and ecological materials have positive environmental effects on new designs. When selecting a sustainable material, the four aspects of material use are inevitable. Conservation of natural resources, the use of recycled resources, low embodied energy materials and materials from renewable resources are aspects that decide if materials are used in the most sustainable manner. The use of sustainable materials will contribute to a sustainable building and in the larger progress, to a more sustainable world for our future generations. Technical measures can also contribute to a more sustainable design.
The â€˜Earthshipâ€™ concept is a design principle that almost exclusively uses materials that satisfy the aspects of sustainable materials. These kind of buildings are built from recycled materials, local resources and renewable materials and therefore the design approaches almost complete material sustainability. If designers pursue this design philosophy then they create designs with the material sustainability.
We can make resources and material use more sustainable by encouraging the design of products that exert a minimal environmental and health impact. The life cycle assessment should be further optimised. Also we can explore further possibilities to reduce the use of dangerous substances, including heavy metals, and promote their substitution in products and production processes, amongst others to facilitate reuse and recycling for a sustainable future.
The creation of a sustainable future for our future generations begins with creating a sustainable material future. Present demands for efficient and flexible buildings will continue to encourage the use of new material and technologies in order to minimize consumption and to conserve energy.
The use of sustainable materials will contribute to a sustainable building and in the larger progress, to a more sustainable world for our future generations
The cultural side of sustainability written by Arslane Benamar
in the environment. In these terms, social sustainability encompasses all human activities. It is not just relevant to the focused intersection of economics, the environment and the social” 2. As one example of more specific definition, the Western Australia Council of Social Services (WACOSS) defines it as “[…] occur(ing) when the formal and informal processes; systems; structures; and relationships actively support the capacity of current and future generations to create healthy and liveable communities. Socially sustainable communities are equitable, diverse, connected and democratic and provide a good quality of life” 3. It is important to consider that, with sustainability as a young and broad science, these definitions are quickly evolving. They are already a good basis to speculate on their implications in Architecture, by pointing out the necessity of putting things into the perspective of the humanities. As a discipline, the built environment sets as a primary objective to address social issues and human needs through the materialization of socio-technical apparatus ; it is by default a social construction that refers to a four-dimensional localization and cannot therefore be considered outside of its social context. Unfortunately, the intrinsic connection to the social dimension of architecture does not guarantee anything about sustainability.
Introduction When addressing the issues of sustainability, the focus we adopt is most of the time a matter of quantification and technical performance where the designer’s task is to minimize the negative environmental impact of a project. This essay is an attempt to look at sustainability from a different point of view that would take into consideration the cultural impact of architecture. Beyond sustainable performance, the cultural dimension of a design should be considered. The concept of sustainability has been defined in 2005, at the World Summit on Social Development organized by the United Nations, as a combination of different factors. The most common synthesis of the definition can be found in a Venn diagram, where sustainability is defined as a combination of environmental, social and economic elements. These are the pillars of sustainability and they are used as a general guideline for the implementation of positive development strategies. According to this definition a project must therefore consider the three pillars in order to be defined as sustainable. But
Stereotypes and market-driven aesthetics The most diffuse example of sustainable architecture has constant properties such as being green looking and/ or performance driven, with supposedly sustainable installations such as solar panels or windmills. The focus, in its commercial aspect (it is in the interest of manufacturers to advertise their products), simply goes on technical appliances that, incorporated in the built environment, gives at least an image of being sustainable. We are here observing a performance-driven kind of architecture, with its own aesthetic language and references that, in fact, does not say anything about its social dimension and role. According to the definitions of social sustainability, we can then affirm that such projects are not fully sustainable since they only provide solutions on the environmental level or, in a more general way, there is a discrepancy between social and environmental sustainability.
if on one hand the environmental aspect of sustainability in the built environment is nowadays seen as a standard requirement, what can we say about its social or economic dimension? For practical and expertise-related issues, the following discourse focuses and speculates on the social aspect only, leaving the economic side out of the scope.
Social sustainability Two definitions are currently in use to explain the social dimension of sustainability. The first one corresponds to the standard three axis model: the topics it involves are many and diverse and it is usually specified as “social equity, liveability, health equity, community development, social capital, human rights, social justice, social responsibility” 1 and so on. The second and newer definition considers it instead as a universal dimension which covers all the domains of sustainability: they are “all dependent upon the relationship between the social and the natural, with the “ecological domain” defined as human embeddedness
Glen Hill, in his essay “The aesthetics of architectural consumption”, provides us a useful insight in the mechanisms that lie behind this apparent sustainability. It is a symptom of the modern and contemporary architecture in a general way and does not only apply to our field of interest. He explains how in the pre-modern era, commodities where the specificity of small élites while the technological development has now the necessity for individuals to consume as a very foundation. It is presented as a tool for individual identification: “The arisal of egalitarianism and invidualism in the modern age made the decorum in buildings and sartorialism disappear as a codified cultural and social expression” 4. With these changes “the aesthetics were freed to become a commodity in the struggle for place
for sustainability is largely accepted by the international community (regulations, summits, specific authorities, etc), it is under the influence of market-driven aesthetics and dynamics, keeping it far from an effective and well-balanced level of sustainability. For instance, with the standard sustainable family-house equipped with devices for energy performance, we can observe a materic statement in which the owner (or even designer) says that such construction is sustainable for having the appearance of sustainability. It is a consumeristic choice that participates in shaping an individual identity as well as private financial interests. But how can a house be effectively sustainable, even with the best technical performances, if for example it is part of an unsustainable model of urban development? We here refer
are not enough” 8 and that the critical issues of sustainability cannot be undertaken without a collective, official and infrastructural engagement. It is simple to conclude that, in front of many researchers claiming that sustainability cannot be achieved through individual initiatives or on the small scale, it is not enough to think only about energy and materials on a single project scale.
to comprehend sustainability in the broadest and most effective way. Margaret J. Grose’s paper on “Gaps and futures in working between ecology and design for constructed ecologies” addresses the question of holism, as opposed to a reductionist merely technical thinking (data, numbers, performance). The meeting point in between design and ecology is presented in the figure of the landscape architect, as in between the scales and disciplines, he or she is the one allowing for proper solutions and outcomes like “constructed wetlands,
“Small green deeds are not enough”
and the regard of others” 5. We then switched from being and looking in a way that is appropriate to a specific place and society to being and looking the way we intend to do so, as being in another place or another person. Parallel to these social changes, aesthetics found a new definition in the same time period: “with the separation of subject from object, the object itself could be conceived as having particular aesthetic qualities that made it appear beautiful, leading to the 1831 definition of aesthetics” 6. Beauty or aesthetical value became so an intrinsic quality of an object, putting it under the judgment of individual taste, delight, pleasure or repulsion. The result of this process lead us to the exemplary cases of the architectural competitions which makes it possible that for one specific problem and set of rules there can be a potentially infinite number of proposals. Architecture is then a product of consumption, waste, renewal, trapped in a schizophrenic and endless cycle of rapid obsolescence. With it, sustainability manifests itself as a fashionable and financial choice. As the need
not to its aesthetical consumeristic level, but to the idea that the urban environment for such housing typology is actually not sustainable since based on expansion and repetition of appliances (suburban sprawl) or, better said, excessive consumption of resources. Similarly, Matthias Sauerbruch and Louisa Hutton address a very important question, in a homonymous essay, as “What does sustainability look like?” Being aware of the unsustainability of a system based on consumption, they suggest that people will probably have to review their entire lifestyles and ways of thinking about sustainability. Contrary to the family-house example, they ask if “[...] it make sense to apply these technologies on the level of individual building? Should one try to harvest energy in a decentralized system on every roof or should one concentrate on the optimization of centralized power plant systems?” 7 The same position can be found in the “Green Dream” publication from The Why Factory/MVRDV, while referring to eco-friendly products and appliances they state that “small green deeds
Beyond scales From a global perspective, studying single buildings out of their context does not address the global sustainability challenge. As Michael McDonough states, “it is profoundly important to understand that houses are connected to the ground and the sky, and [...] they’re connected to the culture of an area,” 9 in an interview published in Bruce Mau’s “Massive Change”, inspiration can be found in researches in the field of ecology. Ecological studies are shifting their paradigm to natural processes to an inclusion of the built environment as a necessary part of it; a relation between design and ecology is currently being settled as a fundamental strategy
infrastructural ecologies, natural play spaces, transformative agriculture, urban agriculture, urban green fabric design, climate adaptation in cities and suburbs, designed adaptation to environmental pollution” 10 and so on. But more importantly than on the technical aspects, the landscape architect’s “[…] design ranges widely across the social, metaphysical (meanings, beliefs, experiences), and cultural worlds of our constructed ecologies” 11, bringing the social dimension on the first plan. What is suggested here is that in front of a civilization of consumption, image and performance, a new operational paradigm in the relation between humans and nature is necessary in order to deal effectively with the sustainability challenge we are facing.
composed of the spatial and temporal coherence of an area, as a complete, social, cultural and ecological system” 14. Social sustainability is a notion which is included in a process of cultural sustainability and this last one should be the main focus of our interests when working on a design project. Going back to the previous point about market-driven aesthetics, we could now say that sustainability is therefore a cultural product and, logically, it cannot be achieved without a cultural frame of action. Sustainable appliances on their own do not address societal issues and everything lies in the end in the way they are implemented.
Social sustainability and/or cultural sustainability Christina Bollo, a Phd candidate at the faculty of architecture at the Oregon University is currently working on the relation between social sustainability and architecture. Fortunately, she is one of the few researchers to provide us with a clear and useful definition of social sustainability within our discipline which follows as: “providing built opportunities for balance and connectivity. Socially sustainable architecture fosters: 1) balance between the individual and the collective and between the present and the future; and 2) connections
what are the procedures and rituals within a given culture? Furthermore, Katriina Soini and Inger Birkeland explain in their article “Exploring the scientific discourse on cultural sustainability” that there is a boundary in between social and cultural sustainability. It is suggested that cultural sustainability should be considered as a fourth pillar in itself for bringing additional elements than the simply social aspect. While defining a culture as “a condition and
the renewal into a social and cultural event. As in a festivity, everybody in the community participates. Children, elders, women and men celebrate the event and create a sense of identity through an architectural object. The social sustainability can be considered as human interactions through the
The great mosque of Djénne in Mali, apart from being according to local building traditions (traditional use of adobes which have proven to be an effective passive cooling strategy in a warm climate), transforms its constructional weakness into a strength in terms of social interactions. The construction material employed is very efficient but not durable and requires an annual refurbishment of the outside layer. Contrarily to the way Europeans approach maintenance as a burden, Djénne community transforms
“Culture is seen as composed of the spatial and temporal coherence of an area, as a complete, social, cultural and ecological system” between individuals within the building and between occupants and the surrounding community” 12. In other words, architecture should not simply provide a technical apparatus but it should build up its place within a system of relations between material/constructional and immaterial/ cultural elements. As the social aspect of sustainability has been raised since more than 20 years and its importance is increasing, it does not describe yet completely the effective social needs of a sustainable architecture. In fact, in order to be complete, it needs to be accompanied with the notion of culture, which over-rules any kind of social dynamic. How can you foster balance and connectivity without considering
premise for action, meaning, and communication, […] the meaning content of human communities, the symbolic patterns, norms, and rules of human communities” 13, the discourse finds its relevance in the contemporary globalized world where cultural heritage, migrations and tourism are a potential danger for the preservation and evolution of local identities. Talking about the relation between man and nature in general out of any specific context is then dangerous as it does not take into consideration the extreme diversity of cultural and ecological procedures that can be found all over the world. In fact, they recognize the importance of culture as linked to ecological processes; culture “is seen as
process. The cultural sustainability is achieved by celebrating the heritage and expressing local traditions through time by implementing ancient techniques of preservation on a symbolic building. These elements allowed the project to last hundreds of years through regular slight transformations. Francis Diébédo Kéré, for instance, a Burkina Faso architect trained in Berlin, operates in a similar African context and manages to combine traditions and local identities with contemporary constructional techniques and knowledge. As an example among many built projects, the Primary school
in Gando, Burkina Faso, is exemplary and has received an Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004. Taking advantage of contemporary building technology, the architect uses all the resources available locally in a way that guarantees adequate thermal comfort with the use of distanced corrugated iron. In contrast, he reinterprets traditional construction techniques with a reinforced rammed earth system that he developed locally. This can be considered an example of a modest and well executed project that addresses local issues of sustainability and is designed with a sensitivity concerning aesthetics, fostering social interaction and sense of identity.
The role of aesthetics “When you observe which buildings are maintained, kept and cherished by people, it will not just be the solid ones but also those that are loved for what they are: buildings that are practical, spacious, that surprise and delight; buildings that form a positive part of people’s lives; buildings that are more than mere scientific constructions” 15. Aesthetics are related to perceptions and intellectual/emotional responses. It is only through a meaningful and contextualized bodily experience that one can generate a sustainable interaction in between people and with their own culture and identity.
“It is possible for constructed ecosystems to be developed in symbiotic ways” Occidental culture, beyond national or regional differences, shares a profound disconnection of man from nature. Teuffel and Mangone say, “Humanity’s disconnect from nature has led to the perception that humans are not an interdependent component of nature, and contributes to the widespread misconception that the exploitation of natural processes and ecosystems does not affect the performance of constructed
ecosystems” 16. He adds later on that “[…] it is possible for constructed ecosystems to be developed in symbiotic ways” 17, as long as we will become able to engage our bodies in a sensuous ecology, for physical, intellectual and, specially, emotional well-being. Humanity’s development has indeed led to a loss of sense of place where a deterministic point of view reduces what we could call the “soul” of a place to dry coordinates in space and time that can be treated as identical. In this conditions, the market-driven aesthetics are free to operate and develop in a global and homogeneous way. Aesthetic strategies can then be used to enhance the relation between individuals, communities and their environment for a more durable and sustainable built environment based on both cultural and natural context. Far from providing a precise method or formula, we present here a limited series of examples chosen on the basis of diversity and originality of approaches. Marie Antoinette Glaser explains in “Durability in Housing – The Aesthetics of the ordinary” that simple, well designed and well executed projects can have a positive impact as much, if not more, as some experimental design approaches. She states that “a house is sustainable when it is appreciated and loved for a long period of time by successive residents, or when it is handed down to posterity until it enters the cultural memory of a society. A house is durable if it supports existing values and ideals, while at the same time, being integrated into those of subsequent generations” 18. Not only, “architects generally leave the completed, still unused building before the residents move into it, and usually, they do not return” 19, not giving themselves the possibility to see how the users of a project managed (or not) to implement their personal way of living in a given structure. The architectural example that Glaser illustrates, highlights her position. The Zurich Zurlinden estate of
message) and medium (the pavilion) of communication are merged into one symbolic entity. As the architect says: “Sustainability is often misunderstood as the neo-protestant notion “that it has to hurt in order to do good”. “You’re not supposed to take long warm showers – because wasting all that water is not good for the environment” or “you’re not supposed to fly on holidays – because air traffic is
“Architects generally leave the completed, still unused building before the residents move into it, and usually, they do not return”
1919 is a Swiss example of a community development that, through almost a century, has seen a variety of users (from worker-class to gentrified upper class) nevertheless of the natural degradation of the building or some material defects (poor acoustic insulation). The strength of the project is the respect of simple but exact standards, and the possibility for users to personalize and inhabit the spaces. The apartment layout has the living room and the two bedrooms, with more or less the same surfaces, and they are positioned around a large liveable kitchen, allowing the inhabitant to transform the functions of the rooms, but also to live in all the apartment according to many kinds of needs. The second room can be used as storage, office, or even as a guest-room. Additionally, fixed elements like windowsills are dimensioned in a way that makes it possible to position personal objects; customizing the spaces. On a larger scale, the project combines simultaneously public, semi-public and private socio-spatial relations, by integrating a school in its park/courtyard. This makes its green areas accessible to the public as a collective space of leisure. The architectural and urban typologies foster then freedom and flexibility, proximity and sharing, supporting the development of a feeling of belonging to that specific place and group. The flexibility of the structure allows it to become a durable structure, able to respond to changes in society. Another important point comes from the administrative choices made for the project: each time a change had to be done in the structure, the inhabitants were directly involved in expressing their point of view and by having the
possibility to effectively influencing and determining the future transformations of the building. The more people get involved, the more they care; the more a structure will be maintained, the more sustainable it will be. A second example can be found in the architecture of pavilions and cultural event like the Universal Expos. Every two or three years, the Bureau International des Expositions based in Paris organizes a world fair which goal is to represent each participating country. As for many decades the different event organized were focusing on promoting technological and industrial progress, cultural exchange or more generically nation branding, the latest editions of the Expos Universelles have become a vehicle for promoting sustainability issues. The addressed issues are now all related to the development of a sensibility towards the natural environment and architecture finds its place in it with a pure social message as building typology: not dwelling, nor retail or office spaces, it is a kind of architecture which function is not to live in it but simply to attract people and communicate them an idea through a collective aesthetic experience. To cite few of them: Nagoya’s expo in 2005 had as a main topic “Nature’s wisdom”, divided in thematic pavilions on ecological co-existence and renewable technology; Zaragoza’s expo in 2008 focused on water use; Milan’s coming edition is addressing issued related to food production and agriculture.
bad for the environment”. Gradually we all get the feeling that sustainable life simply is less fun than normal life. If sustainable designs are to become competitive it cannot be for purely moral or political reasons – they have to be more attractive and desirable than the non-sustainable alternative. With the Danish Pavilion we have attempted to consolidate a handful of real experiences of how a sustainable city – such as Copenhagen – can in fact increase the quality of life” 20. The idea is then expressed through a loop-architecture where one can ride a bicycle, take a swim in imported
Among the many projects involved in this category, Bjarke Ingels’ Danish pavilion for the Shanghai Expo 2010 is a good example of sustainability “display” where content (the
clean Danish water or observe the national Danish symbol (the little mermaid sculpture) also imported for the occasion. Movement, playfulness and symbols are here elements to promote and implement a culture of sustainability based on a positive relation between nature (water, slopes and light) and public (shared) spaces. Similarly to pavilions, installations made by architects share the same social function, while being less constrained to institutional issues. The
cultural representation being specific to the Expo context, they are a possibility to develop a pure aesthetic experience of sustainability-related issues and participate in building a sense of awareness.
intervention developed on the architectural scale. Based on the concept of “Big Crunch”, which “In physical cosmology, […] is one
The “Big Crunch” installation, built in 2011 as part of the “stadtfinden“ Architektursommer Darmstadt on the Georg-Büchner-Platz in Darmstadt by Chris Lewis, Christian Göthner and Eduardo Conceição, Samuel Di Carvalho, is an example of artistic
possible scenario for the ultimate fate of the universe, in which the metric expansion of space eventually reverses and the universe recollapses, ultimately ending as a black hole singularity” 21, the installation is a swarm assembly of common objects from our daily environments. From furniture to appliances like refrigerators, to wooden planks and windows, it has been realized by collecting all sort of domestic waste in the local environment and assembling them as a tunnel-like structure. Meant as a urban a/poly-functional disturbance, the accumulation and reuse of waste materials clearly has a social dimension as a message in the development of awareness towards unused/wasted materials.
materials and proposes a poetic of the dwelling, where architecture lives of a symbiotic relation with its inhabitants, as an extension of the body that would incorporate both natural and artificial elements. The interiors of such structures are all relating to the outdoor environment (glasshouse, openings, and bottles-made walls) allowing on the inside to live according to the cycles of nature, with plants or water basins, manipulating them in a positive, productive, peaceful and symbiotic way. Not only architects look at art and propose installations but the opposite also happens: some artists also work on architecture. Ned Kahn, working as an environmental artist and sculptor,
has become a master in materializing and making visible natural forces. His “Wind veil” project in Charlotte, North Carolina, is a dynamic screening system for façade application. It is meant to provide shading and ventilation to a parking structure through a matrix of small aluminium panels anchored on a metallic grid/net. The artist allows the panels to swing according the air flows. It results in a dynamic façade behaving like a big veil or piece of cloth, a liquid surface that reacts to the weather conditions from the outside and a game of light and shadows on the inside, evoking the behaviour of leafs filtering light in a forest environment. Dynamic but subtle, passive but effective, it allows a visualization of the wind in a hypnotic and mesmerizing way.
In a different way, the architect Mike Reynolds operating mainly in New Mexico (US), defends as well and since the early ‘70s an architecture that is literally built with trash (cans, bottles, tires, etc) as found, avoiding the conventional and energy-consuming recycling methods. Going beyond a merely technical approach that only considers the technological aspect, his “Earthship” projects are a set of autarkic residences that are vehicle for a critic on consumption. “There’s nothing coming into this house, no power lines, no gas lines, no sewage lines coming out, no water lines coming in, no energy being used ... We’re sitting on 6,000 gallons of water, growing food, sewage internalized, 70 degrees [or 21 degrees C] year-round ... What these kind of houses are doing is taking every aspect of your life and putting it into your own hands ... A family of four could totally survive here without having to go to the store” 22. The interesting point comes from the aesthetical experience that such project involves: the architectural result goes far beyond the reuse of
Olafur Eliasson, another artist working on the architectural scale, also designed many installations which aesthetics participate in building an appealing image of sustainability by taking inspiration from natural elements. The intervention made in collaboration with Snøhetta at the Oslo Opera House that recalls snow and ice structures, but especially the kaleidoscopic façade designed with Henning Larsen Architects for the Harpa in Iceland are good examples. He says: “The polyhedral brick contains all the necessary functions of a façade within a stackable system and offers a variety of possible geometric structures. The bricks and
the way they are connected form a three-dimensional loadbearing structure, which is then refined to optimise the use of material. By saving on material we compensated for a lot of the additional cost of recalculation and redrawing on a number of occasions” 23 leading to an architectural solution that is both functional, practical and contextualized with undeniable aesthetic qualities; in fact “Iceland is rich in unique natural phenomena, such as the crystallised basalt columns, of which the quasi-brick is reminiscent” 24.
As Eliasson brings natural elements in his design in order to improve the efficiency of a constructional process, Daan Roosegarde goes further with his Van Gogh’s bikeline in The Netherlands by introducing not only an aesthetic of the natural environment that recalls a starry night, a technical innovation with light absorbing and emitting flooring, but also a strong cultural
dimension specific to the location. The intervention could have been called starry night, as simply as it is, and could have been realized anywhere else in the world as long as the technology required to realize it would have been available; but it has been realized in The Netherlands by a Dutch designer and the reference to a Dutch icon such as Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” painting from 1889 allows the reinforcement of a local identity and the feeling of belonging
that goes with it. Not an ordinary starry night but a Dutch one, this design is definitely a great example of aesthetic experience of a sustainable technical solution that includes an emotional bound with the related users. It wouldn’t be surprising to see how such design could last over decades (if still operational).
Conclusion The successful social project in Africa and the use of traditional building techniques of ancient adobes, the thought-provoking installations of contemporary artists and architects, but also a modest use-oriented design such as the Zurlinden estate are important examples of socially sustainable designs. Architects should be aware of the issues that these examples address, and consider sustainable design holistically, rather than a series of market-driven concerns that can be resolved by installing a series of energy efficient products. A sustainable architecture should engage the senses, correspond to specific lifestyles, beliefs and social procedures, engage in an sensitive and emotional response. By these means, it can participate in building up both environmental awareness and effectiveness. Instead of trying to identify precise ways and methods from what we have observed until now and replicate them as they are in our practices, it seems wise to keep the discourse open and suggest to be curious and critic; every design situation is unique and requires a custom-made approach based on the specific context, both material and immaterial. Humanities, even when approached as a scientific discipline, are not an exact science as could be the engineering side of an architecture practice: as art, literature, philosophy or any kind of related discipline, it is a matter of sensibility and interpretation which, in the end, is what allows us to design sustainable buildings not only as performance but also as an aesthetic experience. Designing sustainable is then much more than dealing with constructional issues only. It is a matter of complexity, where scientific and humanistic components are interconnected and interact with each other in multiple ways.
E Reference list
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NOTES 1. Sullivan, L. “The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered.” Lippincott’s Magazine, March (1896): 409. 2. Hosey, L. The Shape of Green. Washington: Island Press, 2012, 2 3. Maas, W, U, Hackauf and Haikola. Green Dream. Rotterdam: nai010 Publishers, 2014, 24 4. Hoven, B, and S Bruinenberg. “All Electric.” In Seminar, Autarky and Sustainability (2014), 169-174 5. Hosey, L. The Shape of Green, 134. 6. Ibid., 78 7. Blocken, B. “Bahrain World Trade Centre is exactly the wrong way round.” Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. Accessed november 20, 2014. https://www.tue.nl/en/university/news-and-press/news/23-042014-bahrain-world-trade-center-is-exactly-the-wrong-way-round/ 8. Guy, S, and G Farmer. (2001). “Reinterpreting Sustainable Architecture: The Place of Technology.” Journal of Architectural Education (2001): 143 9. Ibid. 4. Hoven, B, and S Bruinenberg. “Knik naar de zon.” In Seminar, Autarky and Sustainability (2014), 184-191 11. Hosey, L. The Shape of Green, 6. 12. Maas, W, U, Hackauf and Haikola. Green Dream. Rotterdam: nai010 Publishers, 2014, 65 13. Welch, B. “The Prius Effect.” Mother Earth. Accesed on december 5, 2014, http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-transportation/ toyota-prius-effect. a spx#axzz3L3KnDFs8 14. Hosey, L. The Shape of Green, 17. 15. Ibid., 33. 16. R. Buckminster Fuller. “R. Buckminster Fuller1895 - 1983.” Buckminster Fuller Institute. Accessed november 21, 2014. https://bfi. org/about-fuller/biography 17. Hosey, L. The Shape of Green, 39. 18. Gunther, M. “Google’s favorite car company” Marc Gunther. Accessed november 21, 2014. http://www.marcgunther.com/googlesfavorite-car-company/ 19. Rosenfield, K. “In Progress: Shanghai Tower / Gensler.” Archdaily. Accessed november 22, 2014. http://www.archdaily.com/229454/inprogress-shanghai- tower-gensler/ 20. Hosey, L. The Shape of Green, 137. 21. Schulitz, H. C. (2010). “EXPO 2000, Messehalle Hanover.” H. C. Schulitz, Form Follows Performance, Leistungsform. Walter de Gruyter, 12-13.
B.3 The digital revolution in architecture 22. Maas, W. Green Dream. Rotterdam: nai010 Publishers, 2014, 19. 23. Schulitz, H. C. EXPO 2000, Messehalle Hanover, 12-13 24. “The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is the leading global measure of sustainable well-being.” Happy Planet Index. Accessed november 28, 2014 http://www.happyplanetindex.org/about/ 25. “Louvre Abu Dhabi, a unique and universal museum.” Louvre Abu Dhabi. Accessed november 23, 2014. http://louvreabudhabi.ae/en/ building/Pages/architecture.aspx 26. Hosey, L. The Shape of Green, 76. 27. Ibid., 126. 28. Guy, S, and G Farmer. (2001). “Reinterpreting Sustainable Architecture: The Place of Technology.” Journal of Architectural Education (2001): 144 29. Naess, A. “Deep Ecology and Ultimate Premises.” The Ecologist 18, 1988, 128-131. 30. Hagan, S. Taking Shape; A new contract between architecture and nature. Woburn: Architectural Press, 2001, 158. 31. Hosey, L. The Shape of Green, 51.
Barrow, Larry R, en Shaima Al arayedh. “Form Follows Technology.” Mississippi State University: Design Research & Informatics Lab (DRIL), sd.
Figure 1: Hoven, B. All Electric, Seminar, 169.
Jabi Wassim, Parametric Design for Architecture (London: Laurence King,2013).
Blocken, Bert. Bahrain World Trade Centre is exactly the wrong way round. 23 April 2014. https://www.tue.nl/en/university/news-andpress/news/23-04-2014-bahrain-world-trade-center-is-exactly-thewrong-way-round/ (accessed 20-11-2014). Gunther, Marc. Google’s favorite car company. 25 March 2009. http:// www.marcgunther.com/googles-favorite-car-company/ (accessed 21-11-2014). Hosey, Lance. “The Shape of Green.”. Washington: Island Press, 2012. Hoven, Bob, en Sander Bruinenberg. „All Electric.” In Seminar, Autarky and Sustainability, 169-174. Eindhoven, 2014. KfW Westarkade / Sauerbruch Hutton. 8 January 2013. http:// www.archdaily.com/316143/kfw-westarkade-sauerbruch-hutton/ (accessed 15-11-2014). Kolarevic, Branko. „City Hall London.” In Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing, by Branko Kolarevic, 120. Taylor & Francis, 2004.
32. Guy, S, and S, Moore. “Sustainable Architecture and the Pluralist Imagination.” Journal of Architectural Education, 2007, 15-23.
Louvre Abu Dhabi, a unique and universal museum. sd. http:// louvreabudhabi.ae/en/building/Pages/architecture.aspx (accessed 23-11-2014).
33. Hagan, S. Taking Shape; A new contract between architecture and nature, 158.
R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER, 1895 - 1983. sd. https://bfi.org/aboutfuller/biography (accessed 21-11-2014).
34. “KfW Westarkade / Sauerbruch Hutton.” Archdaily. Accessed november 26, 2014. http://www.archdaily.com/316143/kfwwestarkade-sauerbruch-hutton/
Rosenfield, Karissa. In Progress: Shanghai Tower / Gensler. 2012 April 25. http://www.archdaily.com/229454/in-progress-shanghai-towergensler/ (accessed 22-11-2014).
35. Kolarevic, B. “City Hall London.” B. Kolarevic, Architecture in the Digital Age: Design and Manufacturing, 2004, 120
Schulitz, Helmut C. „EXPO 2000, Messehalle Hanover.” In Form Follows Performance, Leistungsform, door Helmut C. Schulitz, 12-13. Walter de Gruyter, 2010.
36. Barrow, L, and S Al arayedh. “Form Follows Technology.” Mississippi State University: Design Research & Informatics Lab (DRIL). 37. Hosey, L. The Shape of Green, 140. 38. Maas, W, U, Hackauf and Haikola. Green Dream. Rotterdam: nai010 Publishers, 2014, 240
Sullivan, Louis. „The Tall Office Building Artistically Consdidered.” Lippincott’s Magazine, March 1896: 409-409. Sustainable Beauty or Beautiful Sustainability. 23 July 2012. http://www.a2plus.it/2012/07/sustainable-beauty-or-beautifulsustainability/(accessed 22-11-2014).
40. Hosey, L. The Shape of Green, 150.
The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is the leading globalmeasure of sustainable well-being. 2012. http://www.happyplanetindex.org/ about/ (accessed 10-11-2014).
41. “Sustainable Beauty or Beautiful Sustainability.” A++. Accessed november 29, 2014 ( http://www.a2plus.it/2012/07/sustainablebeauty-or-beautiful-sustainability/
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42. Hosey, L. The Shape of Green, 7.
Yeang, Ken. The Green Skyscraper. Prestel, 1999.
39. Lockie, S. and K. Bourke, “Sustainable Budgeting.” SHINE, 2009.
Figure 2: Yeang, K. The Green Skyscraper. Figure 3: Soeters, S. Wuhan building. Retrieved from: http://www. grontmij.nl/Projecten/PublishingImages/Wuhan%20m.jpg Figure 4: Hoven, B. Knik naar de Zon, Seminar, 184. Figure 5: Toyota Prius. Retrieved from: http://cdn.phys.org/newman/ gfx/news/hires/2012/toyotaprius.jpg Figure 6: Tesla S. Retrieved from: http://s3.amazonaws.com/ digitaltrends-uploads-prod/2013/08/Tesla-Model-S-burgondy.jpg Figure 7: Shanghai tower rendering. Retrieved from: http://www. architecturaldigest.com/architecture/2014-02/tallest-best-newbuildings-towers-in-2014-slideshow/jcr:content/par/cn_contentwell/ par-main/cn_ad_slideshow/item4.rendition.slideshow.2014buildings-05-shanghai-tower.jpg Figure 8: Messhalle Hannover, Retrieved from: http://www.sbp. de/system/attachments/project_images/2341/xlarge_1777_88_b. jpg?1291823481 Figure 9: Jean Nouvel Archtiects. Louvre. Retrieved from http:// ad009cdnb.archdaily.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/1353906634ajn-abu-dhabi-louvre-view3.jpg Figure 10:Menera Mesiniaga Retrieved from: http:// faculty.samfox.wustl.edu/Donnelly/Donnelly/347-F05/ MeneraMesiniagaWebsite/01%20concept/01%20 drawings/ concept%20sketches.jpg Figure 11: Diagram windforces. Retrieved from: http://pzarch14.files. wordpress.com/2012/11/diagram_wind_forces.jpg
Daniel Davis. “A History of Parametric”. Accessed December 2, 2014. http://www.danieldavis.com/a-history-of-parametric/. Andrea Bocco, Gianfranco Cavaglià, “Cultura tecnologica dell’architettura” (Rome: Carocci,2008), 27-28. David Benjamin, “Beyond efficiency”. In Digital Work-flows in Architecture, edited by Scott Marble (Birkhaeuser, 2012), 14-28. Patrik Schumacher. “The Parametric City by Patrik Schumacher”, Abitare 511 April 2011, 83-85. Ben van Berkel, “Diagrams,design models and mother models”. In Digital Work-flows in Architecture, edited by Scott Marble (Birkhaeuser, 2012), 74-91. John K. Waters, “Blobitecture: Waveform Architecture and Digital Design”(Rockport, 2003). Greg Lynn. “Organic algorithms in architecture”. Accessed December 2, 2014. http://www.ted.com/talks/greg_lynn_on_organic_ design?language=en Greg Lynn. “The FORM Family”. Accessed December 2, 2014. https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMVapPv19fY UNStudio website. Accessed December 2. http://www.unstudio.com/ studio/organisation UNStudio. “RAFFLES CITY HANGZHOU” http://www.unstudio.com/ projects/raffles-city-hangzhou Andrea Bocco, Gianfranco Cavaglià, Cultura tecnologica dell’architettura (Rome: Carocci,2008), 89-90.
Figure 12: Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre. Retrieved from: http:// jacobogordonlevenfeld.es/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/TjibaouCultural-Center.jpg Figure 13: Kfw Westerkade. Retrieved from: http://4.bp.blogspot. com/-jcg5pvKSe4M/Thrl99IKaBI/AAAAAAAAd6s/1PxheB6I0k/s1600/Sauerbruch+Hut ton++.+KfW+Westarkade+.+FRANKFURT+%25286%2529.jpg Figure 14: London City Hall. Retrieved from: http://www.london-se1. co.uk/news/imageuploads/1302868449_184.108.40.206.jpg
B.4 Why we need (some) sustainable expressionism IMAGES
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25 David Partridge has studied Architecture at Cambridge University and is a RIBA certified architect working as a partner at Argent Group, a large property developer in the UK.
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36 Gemeente Rotterdam; Wethouder Wonen en Ruimtelijke Ordening. “Ambitiedocument Herontwikkeling Stadskantoor.” Gemeente Rotterdam. 05 06 2009. http://www.rotterdam.nl/
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75 eVolo. First Place 2011 Skyscraper Competition. 7 3 2011. http:// www.evolo.us/competition/lo2p-delhi-recycling-center/, accessed November 20, 2014. 76 Julien Combes. A010 * Lo2p / Delhi. sd. http://juliencombes.fr/ index.php?/projects/010--lo2p--delhi/, accessed November 20, 2014. 77 California Academy of Sciences. Our Green Building. sd. http:// www.calacademy.org/our-green-building, accessed November 20, 2014. 78 Nico Saieh. California Academy of Sciences / Renzo Piano. 28 09 2008. http://www.archdaily.com/?p=6810, accessed November 20, 2014. 79 California Academy of Sciences. An Architect’s Vision. sd. http:// www.calacademy.org/an-architects-vision, accessed November 20, 2014. 80 Ibid. 81 California Academy of Sciences. Our Green Building. sd. http:// www.calacademy.org/our-green-building, accessed November 20, 2014. 82 Nico Saieh. California Academy of Sciences / Renzo Piano. 28 09 2008. http://www.archdaily.com/?p=6810, accessed November 20, 2014. 83 California Academy of Sciences. Living Roof. sd. http://www.
BIBLIOGRAPHY ABT. OMA wint competitie stadskantoor Rotterdam. sd. http://www. abt.eu/nl/actueel.asp?cid=1&nid=188, accessed November 10, 2014. Water Building Resort. YouTube. Regisseur: Orlando DeUrrutia Arquitecto. Uitvoerend artiest: Arquitecture Urbanismo Sostenible. 2009. Atkins. “Bahrain World Trade Centre.” Atkins Global. sd. http:// www.atkinsglobal.com/en-GB/projects/bahrain-world-trade-center, accessed November 18, 2014. Blowers, Andrew. “Environmental Policy: Ecological Modernisation or the Risk Society.” Urban Studies, no. 34 (1997): 845-871. Brennan, John. “Qualitative and Quantitative Traditions in Sustainable Design.” In Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. Sang Lee [ed.], 80-96. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011. Brus, Margriet. “Geen windturbinetest op dak TU/e.” Bouwwereld. 04 11 2013. http://www.bouwwereld.nl/nieuws/geen-windturbinetestdak-tue/, accessed November 10, 2014. California Academy of Sciences. An Architect’s Vision. sd. http:// www.calacademy.org/an-architects-vision, accessed November 20, 2014. —. Living Roof. sd. http://www.calacademy.org/exhibits/living-roof,
Capeluto, Isaac G., A. Yezioro and E. Shaviv. “Climatic aspects in urban design — a case study.” Building and Environment 38 (2003): 827-835. Chan, Soo. “Singapore High Commission.” In SCDA Architects II, ed. Soo Chan, 164-171. Mulgrave (AU): Images Publishing, 2013. Combes, Julien. A010 * Lo2p / Delhi. sd. http://juliencombes.fr/index. php?/projects/010--lo2p--delhi/, accessed November 20, 2014. Cook, Sara J. and Bryn L. Golton. “Sustainable Development: Concepts and Practice in the Built Environment.” Sustainable Construction CIB TG, 1994: 677–685. Dirrix, Diederen. Omgekeerde ambivalentie. Eindhoven, 10 11 2014. Eldonk, Jos van. Wuhan (CH) - New Energy Institute 2010>2014. 2014. http://www.soetersvaneldonk.nl/nl/architectuur/duurzaam/ wuhan.html, accessed November 17, 2014. Etherington, Rose. Gwanggyo Power Centre by MVRDV. 3 12 2008. http://www.dezeen.com/2008/12/03/gwanggyo-power-centre-bymvrdv/, accessed November 20, 2014. eVolo. About eVolo. n.d. http://www.evolo.us/about/ (accessed November 20, 2014. —. First Place 2011 Skyscraper Competition. 7 3 2011. http://www. evolo.us/competition/lo2p-delhi-recycling-center/, accessed November 20, 2014. Ferry, Robert. Studied Impact: 10MW Tower. sd. http://studiedimpact. com/sustainable5.shtml, accessed November 17, 2014. Fredrix, Christian. “Architecture, Place and Society: The Naturalistic Fallacy, the Fake Real (Part 2 of Assessment 1).” Assessment, Sydney, 2014. Fuente, Luis. Architecture of Marketing or Marketing of Architecture. 09 12 2009. http://www.eoi.es/blogs/globlog/architecture-ofmarketing-or-marketing-of-arquitecture/, accessed November 05, 2014. Gemeente Rotterdam; Wethouder Wonen en Ruimtelijke Ordening. “Ambitiedocument Herontwikkeling Stadskantoor.” Gemeente Rotterdam. 05 06 2009. http://www.rotterdam.nl/DSV/Document/ Binnenstad/Stadskantoor/ambitiedocument.pdf, accessed November 10, 2014. Greenpeace International. Greening Our Office. 29 14 2010. http:// www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/about/our-office/, accessed November 10, 2014. Greenpeace Netherlands. Greenpeace verhuist naar AmsterdamNoord. 31 10 2012. http://www.greenpeace.nl/Nieuwsoverzicht-2012/
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Design, ed. Stephen R. Kellert, Judith H. Heerwagen en Martin L. Mador, vii-ix. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008.
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Figure 9 – Artist’s impression of the Water Building Resort ©Orlando deUrrutia Asociados http://www.deurrutia.com/
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Smith, Richard F. and Killa Shaun. “Bahrain World Trade Centre: The First Large Scale Integration of Wind Turbines in a Building.” Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings 16 (2007): 429-439.
Figure 10 – Scheme of the Water Building Resort - ©Orlando deUrrutia Asociados http://www.deurrutia.com/
Grontmij. Grontmij and Soeters Van Eldonk win international design competition in China for the most sustainable office building in the world. 22 06 2010. http://www.grontmij.com/MediaCenter/ Pages/Grontmij-and-Soeters-Van-Eldonk-win-international-designcompetition-in-China-for-the-most-sustainable-office-building.aspx, accessed November 17, 2014. Guy, Simon and Graham Farmer. “Reinterpreting Sustainable Technology: the Place of Technology.” Journal of Architectural Education 54, no. 3 (2001): 140-147. Hagan, Susannah. Taking Shape: A New Contract Between Architecture and Nature. Oxford: Architectural Press, 2001. Hajer, Maarten A. “The Politics of Environmental Discourse: Ecological Modernization and the Policy Process.” Special Forces (Oxford University Press) 75, no. 3 (3 1997): pp. 1138-1140. Hartig, Terry, Tina Bringslimark and Grete Grindal Patil. “Restorative Environmental Design: What, When, Where, and for Whom?” In Biophilic Design, ed. Stephen R. Kellert, Judith H. Heerwagen en Martin L. Mador, 133-152. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008. International Council of Shopping Centers. “U.S. Shopping-Center Classification and Characteristics.” International Council of Shopping Centers. 10 2014. http://www.icsc.org/uploads/research/general/ US_CENTER_CLASSIFICATION.pdf, accessed November 20, 2014. Jeltes, Tom. “SolarBEAT test zonnecellen op Vertigo.” Cursor. 01 10 2013. http://www.cursor.tue.nl/nieuwsartikel/artikel/solarbeat-testzonnecellen-op-vertigo/, accessed November 10, 2014. Jencks, Charles. The architecture of the jumping universe: a polemic: how complexity science is changing architecture and culture. London: Academy Editions, 1995. —. The Iconic Building: The Power of Enigma. London: Frances Lincoln, 2005. —. The Story of Post-Modernism: Five Decades of the Ironic, Iconic and Critical in Architecture. 2nd edition. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Kellert, Stephen R. Building for life: Understanding and Designing the Human-Nature Connection. Washington D.C.: Island Press, 2005. Kellert, Stephen R. and Edward O. Wilson. The Biophilia Hypothesis. Washington D.C.: Island Press, 1995. Kellert, Stephen R. and Judith H. Heerwagen. “Preface.” In Biophilic
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Reutskaja, Elena and José Luis Nueno. Starchitects, Emblematic Buildings and their Effects on Urban Economics. Pamplona: IESE Business School - University of Navarra, 2009.
Figure 3 – Artist’s Impression of the Wuhan New Energy Institute – ©Grontmij and Soeters van Eldonk http://www.grontmij.nl/ Projecten/Pages/Energy-Flower-Wuhan-het-meest-duurzamekantoorgebouw-ter-wereld.aspx
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Figure 4 – Scheme of Wuhan New Energy Institute – © Grontmij and Soeters van Eldonk http://www.plusbusiness.nl/inbeeld7.php
Saieh, Nico. California Academy of Sciences / Renzo Piano. 28 09 2008. http://www.archdaily.com/?p=6810, accessed November 20, 2014. Schuttelaar & Partners; MarketResponse. Duurzaamheidskompas. Wageningen: Schuttelaar & Partners; MarketResponse, 2012. Scott, Geoffrey. The Architecture of Humanism: A Study in the History of Taste. New York: WW Norton & Company, 1914. Sharp, Dennis. Modern Architecture and Expressionism. New York: George Braziller, 1966.
Figure 11 – Artist’s impression of the Bahrain World Trade Centre - ©Atkins WS http://www.atkinsglobal.com/en-GB/media-centre/ multimedia-library/image-gallery Figure 12 – CFD Images by Ramboll, showing airflow patterns near towers, simulated at the level of the top turbine for different free, undisturbed wind incidence angles with respect to an ‘x’ axis (i.e., horizontal line connecting towers) – ©Atkins Smith, Richard F. and Killa Shaun. “Bahrain World Trade Centre: The First Large Scale Integration of Wind Turbines in a Building.” Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings no. 16 (2007): 429-439. p.432 Figure 13 – Artist’s impression of LO2P – ©Atelier CMJN/Julien Combes http://www.ateliercmjn.fr/?p=441#more-441 Figure 14 – Scheme of LO2P – ©Atelier CMJN/Julien Combes http:// www.ateliercmjn.fr/?p=441#more-441 Figure 15 – Bird’s eye view of the California Academy of Sciences – ©Tom Fox http://www.rpbw.com/project/68/california-academy-ofsciences/ Figure 16 – Design principle of the California Academy of Sciences – ©Renzo Piano Workshop http://www.rpbw.com/project/68/ california-academy-of-sciences/ Figure 17 – Artist’s impression of the Gwanggyo Power Centre, Seoul – ©MVRDV http://www.mvrdv.nl/projects/417_gwanggyo_power_ center/ Figure 18 – Scheme of the Gwanggyo Power Centre, Seoul – ©MVRDV http://www.mvrdv.nl/projects/417_gwanggyo_power_ center/
Figure 5 – Artist’s impression of the Dubai 10MW Tower - © Studied Impact http://studiedimpact.com/sustainable5.shtml Figure 6 – Scheme of the Dubai 10MW Tower - © Studied Impact http://studiedimpact.com/sustainable5.shtml Figure 7 – Main water court at chancery building of The Singapore High Commission to New Delhi – ©H. Thomson http://www. worldbuildingsdirectory.com/project.cfm?id=154 Figure 8 – Roof as shelter and rain collector to reservoir of The Singapore High Commission to New Delhi – ©H. Thomson http:// www.worldbuildingsdirectory.com/project.cfm?id=154
B.5 Integration between technology and sustainable architecture NOTES 1 Mark DeKay, and Mary Guzowski, “A model for integral sustainable design explored through daylighting” (Paper presented at the 2006 ASES Conference, Boulder, July, 2006) Accessed on October 27, 2014, http://www.academia.edu/908125/A_Model_for_Integral_ Sustainable_Design_Explored_through_Daylighting. 2 Wim Zeiler. “Integral Design of sustainable energy into buildings from synergy to flexergy.” (Paper presented at the Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture, Dublin, October 22-24, 2008) Accessed on October 27, 2014, http://architecture.ucd.ie/ Paul/PLEA2008/content/papers/poster/plea_finalpaper_ref_232. pdf?origin=publication_detail. 3 Louis I. Kahn, ”Not for the Fainthearted,’ in Louis I. Kahn, Writings, Lectures, Interviews.” (New York: Rizzoli, 1991), 258. 4 Dave Barista. “Living Machine” Building Design + Construction, no. 04 (2001). 5 Ibid. 6 Williamson, Terry, Antony Radford, en Helen Bennetts. Understanding sustainable architecture. (London and New York: Spon Press, 2003): 136. 7 Peter Buchanan, “The Big Rethink 2: Farewell to modernism - and modernity too.” The Architectural Review, no. 1 (2012). 8 S. Los, “Integration between art and science in architectural design.” Renewable Energy, no. 15 (1998): 171-176. 9 C. Kulasuriya, and V Vimonsatit. “Integral Research Framework for Sustainable Structures for Future.” (Paper presented in The Australasian Structural Engineering Conference 2012 (ASEC 2012), July 11, 2012, Perth: Engineers Australia) Accessed on October 27, 2014. http://civil.eng.curtin.edu.au/people/index.cfm/V.Vimonsatit. 10 Glen Hill, “The Aesthetics of Architectural Consumption.” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. Sang Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 27. 11 Peter Buchanan, “The Big Rethink 2: Farewell to modernism - and modernity too.”. 12 Ibid. 13 Ibid. 14 Glen Hill, “The Aesthetics of Architectural Consumption.” 29. 15 Ibid. 16 Glen Hill, “The Aesthetics of Architectural Consumption.” 30. 17 Ibid. 18 Glen Hill, “The Aesthetics of Architectural Consumption.” 30.
19 Dalibor Vesely, Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation: The Question of Creativity in the Shadow of Production. (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004), 249. 20 Mark DeKay, and Mary Guzowski “A model for integral sustainable design explored through daylighting”. 21 Mark DeKay, and Mary Guzowski, “A model for integral sustainable design explored through daylighting”. 22 Wim Zeiler. “Integral Design of sustainable energy into buildings from synergy to flexergy.” 23 Ibid 24 Wim Zeiler, “Integral Design instead of Integrative Design; Between Engineering and Architecture” The IUP Journal of Architecture, Vol III, no. 1 (2011): 45.
Barista, Dave. “Living Machine.” Building Design + Construction (2001).
Zeiler, Wim. “Integral Design of sustainable energy into buildings from synergy to flexergy.” Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture, Dublin October 22-24, 2008. Accessed on October 27, 2014. http://architecture.ucd.ie/Paul/PLEA2008/content/papers/ poster/plea_finalpaper_ref_232.pdf?origin=publication_detail.
Basnet, Arjun. “Architectural Integration of Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Collector Systems into buildings”. Master’s thesis, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, 2012. Buchanan, Peter. “The Big Rethink 2: Farewell to modernism - and modernity too.” The Architectural Review, no. 1 (2012).
DeKay, Mark. Integral Sustainable Design. New York: Earthscan, 2011.
Figure 1 Macaulay, David R. “Life as a Tree.” Eco-structure. (2011).
Guy, Simon, and Graham Farmer. “Reinterpreting Susainable Architecture: The place of Technology.” Journal of Architectural Education, no. 54/3 (2001): 140-148.
Figure 2 http://farm9. staticflickr.m/8172/8071959999_59c57c7319_z.jpg
25 “Who is Ken Wilber?”, Integrallife. Accessed October 27, 2014. https://integrallife.com/contributors/ken-wilber.
Hill, Glen. “The Aesthetics of Architectural Consumption.” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, edited by Sang Lee, 26-40. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011.
26 Mark DeKay, Integral Sustainable Design (New York: Earthscan, 2011), 24-25.
Kaan, H.F. “ECN-Gebouw 42 Energiezuinig kantoorgebouw met conceptgeïntegreerde PV-toepassing.” Petten: ECN. (2003).
27 Mark DeKay, Integral Sustainable Design, 25-26.
Kahn, Louis I. Not for the Fainthearted,’ in Louis I. Kahn, Writings,
28 Mark DeKay, Integral Sustainable Design, 101-127. 29 Mark DeKay, Integral Sustainable Design, 41-56. 30 Mark DeKay, Integral Sustainable Design, 57-75. 31 Mark DeKay, Integral Sustainable Design, 76-100. 32 Wim Zeiler, “Integral Design instead of Integrative Design; Between Engineering and Architecture” The IUP Journal of Architecture, Vol III, no. 1 (2011): 43. 33 Ibis 34 H.F. Kaan, ECN-Gebouw 42 Energiezuinig kantoorgebouw met conceptgeïntegreerde PV-toepassing, (Report published by ECN, Petten, 2003): 9. 35 H.F. Kaan, ECN-Gebouw 42 Energiezuinig kantoorgebouw met conceptgeïntegreerde PV-toepassing, 11-12. 36 David R. Macaulay,”Life as a Tree” Eco-structure, (2011): 27-30. 37 H.F. Kaan, ECN-Gebouw 42 Energiezuinig kantoorgebouw met conceptgeïntegreerde PV-toepassing, (Report published by ECN, Petten, 2003): 10-11.
Lectures, Interviews. New York: Rizzoli, 1991. Kulasuriya, C, and V Vimonsatit. “Integral Research Framework for Sustainable Structures for Future.” Paper presented in The Australasian Structural Engineering Conference 2012 (ASEC 2012), July 11, 2012, Perth: Engineers Australia. Accessed on October 27, 2014. http://civil.eng.curtin.edu.au/people/index.cfm/V.Vimonsatit.
Figure 3 http://www.vidaris.com/?announcement=106uploads/ images/image/85.jpg Figure 4 http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8318/8071955080_ f152235959_z.jpg Figure 5 Mark DeKay, Integral Sustainable Design Figure 6 Mark DeKay, Integral Sustainable Design Figure 7 H.F. Kaan, ECN-Gebouw 42 Energiezuinig kantoorgebouw met conceptgeïntegreerde PV- toepassing, 6. Figure 8 http://www.bear.nl/content/bearecn5.html Figure 9 H.F. Kaan, ECN-Gebouw 42 Energiezuinig kantoorgebouw met conceptgeïntegreerde PV-toepassing, 15.
Los, S. “Integration between art and science in architectural design.” Renewable Energy, no. 15 (1998): 171-176. Macaulay, David R. “Life as a Tree.” Eco-structure. (2011). Micheal, A and M.C. Phocas. “Construction Design and Sustainability in Architecture: Integerating Environmental Education in the Architectural Studies.” International Conference on Renewable Energies amd Power Quality (ICREPQ’12), Santiago de Compostela, March 28-30. Accessed October 27, 2014.
Sayigh, Ali. Sustainability, Energy and Architecture. Oxford: Academic Press, 2013. Sebestyen, Gyula. New Architecture and Technology. Oxford: Architectural Press, 2003.
38 Wim Zeiler, “Integral Design instead of Integrative Design; Between Engineering and Architecture,” 49-50.
Vesely, Dalibor. Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation: The Question of Creativity in the Shadow of Production. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004.
39 Simon Guy and Graham Farmer, “Reinterpreting Susainable Architecture: The place of Technology.” Journal of Architectural Education, no. 54/3 (2001): 140-148.
Williamson, Terry, Antony Radford and Helen Bennetts. Understanding sustainable architecture. London and New York: Spon Press, 2003.
Zeiler, Wim. “Integral Design instead of Integrative Design; Between Engineering and Architecture.” The IUP Journal of Architecture.
B.6 The aesthetic of passive building NOTES 1. Jackie Craven, ‘The Primitive Hut - Essentials of Architecture’, about.com, accessed November 12, 2014, http://architecture.about. com/od/ideasapproaches/g/Primitive-Hut.htm 2. Passive design: It’s a natural (Colorado: Solar energy research institute, 1980), 1. 3. Keith Bothwell, ‘The architecture of the passively tempered environment’ in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. Sang Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 67. 4. ‘Definition of Beauty’, English Dictionary, accessed November 24, 2014, http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/beauty 5. Lance Hosey, The shape of green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design (Washing ton: Islandpress, 2012), 7. 6. Hannelore Christiaens, ‘The images of Sustainable Architecture: a refurbishment case study’ (The University of Edinburgh, 2012-2013), 53. 7. Harald N. Røstvik, ‘The Vernacular, the Iconic and the Fake’ in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. Sang Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 168. 8. ‘Wat is een passiefhuis?’, Passiefhuis-platform: zero energy ready, accessed on November 21, 2014, http://www.passiefhuisplatform.be/ artikel/wat-een-passiefhuis 9. Bothwell, ‘The architecture of the passively tempered environment’, 71. 10. Han van Zwieten, ‘Passiefhuizen in De Kroeven’, accessed November 20, 2014, http://www.hanvanzwieten.nl/ projecten/#passiefhuizen-in-de-kroeven 11. ‘Passiefhuis Bodegraven’, passiefhuismarkt.nl, accessed November 20, 2014, http://www.passiefhuismarkt.nl/projecten-passiefhuis/ passiefhuis-bodegraven/ 12. ‘Autark Home: eerste passief huis in Nederland’, FirmTec, accessed N ovember 20, 2014, http://firmtec.com/nl/projecten 13. ‘Gemeente Zwolle keurt eerste Earthship goed!’, Ecodorp Brabant: leven in verbinding, accessed November 20, 2014, http://www. ecodorpbrabant.nl/ h tml/voortgang/bouwvergunningzwolle.php 14. ‘Multifunctioneel centrum, Boxtel’, BNA Gebouw van het Jaar, accessed N ovember 20, 2014, http://gebouwvanhetjaar.nl/prijsvraag/ preview.php?prijsvraag_name=prijsvraag17&id=2774 15. ‘Aardehuizen – Uniek in Europa’, Wonen in Olst/Wijhe, accessed November 20, 2014, http://wonen.olst-wijhe.nl/aardehuizen 16. ‘GRAN – Passive House Skatchkoff / HUB’, archdaily, accessed december 4, 2014, http://www.archdaily.com/525736/gran-pas sive-house-skatchkoff-hub/
17. ‘Passive House with Textile Skin / BLAF Architecten’, archdaily, accessed D ecember 4, 2014, http://www.archdaily.com/423832/ passive-house-with-textile-skin-blaf-architecten/
6. ‘De kleine aarde.’ Seminar 7X865 – Autarky and sustainability. Tutored by ir. M.H.P.M. Willems. Eindhoven University of Technology, 2014
18. ‘Passive House / Karawitz Architecture’, archdaily, accessed December 4, 2014, http://www.archdaily.com/84165/passive-housekarawitz-architecture/
7. ‘Aardehuizen Olst.’ Seminar 7X865 – Autarky and sustainability. Tutored by ir. M.H.P.M. Willems. Eindhoven University of Technology, 2014
19. Lance Hosey, The shape of green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design, 6.
8. ‘Passive House Skatchkoff.’ Archdaily. http://www.archdaily. com/525736/gran-passive-house-skatchkoff-hub/
BIBLIOGRAPHY Boonstra, Chiel, Ragna Clocquet, and Loes Joosten, Passiefhuizen in Nederland. Boxtel: Aeneas, 2006. Christiaens, Hannelore. The images of Sustainable Architecture: a refurbishment case study. The University of Edinburgh, 2012-2013. Dekay, Mark and Brown, G.Z. Sun, Wind and Light: Architectural Design Strategies. New Jersey: Wiley, 2014. Hosey, Lance. The shape of green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design. Washington: Islandpress, 2012. Lee, Sang. Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011. Passive design: It’s a natural. Colorado: Solar energy research institute, 1980. Seibold-Bultmann, Ursula. ‘What does sustainability look like? Green architecture as an aesthetic proposition.’ Interdisciplinary science reviews, vol 32, No. 1 (2007) 3-6. Seminar 7X865 – Autarky and sustainability. Tutored by ir. M.H.P.M. Willems. Eindhoven University of Technology, 2014.
9. ‘Passive House with Textile Skin.’ Archdaily. http://www.archdaily. com/423832/passive-house-with-textile-skin-blaf-architecten/ 10. ‘Passive house in Bessancourt.’ Archdaily. http://www.archdaily. com/84165/passive-house-karawitz-architecture/
TABLES 1.Hannelore Christiaens, ‘The images of Sustainable Architecture: a refurbishment case study’ (The University of Edinburgh, 2012-2013), 14.
C.1 Influence of context on the aesthetics of sustainable architecture NOTES 1 Luca Finocchicaro and Anne Grete Hestnes, “Symbiosis and Mimesis in the Built Environment.” In Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. Sang Lee (Rotterdam: The authors and 010 Publishers, 2011), 260 2 David Barrett Douglas, “Defining A Sustainable Aesthetic: A New Paradigm For Architecture,” (master’s thesis, Architecture University of Southern California, 2008), 61 3 Ibid., 62 4 Finocchicaro and Hestnes, “Symbiosis and Mimesis in the Built Environment.” 259 5 Ibid., 266 6 Ibid., 267 7 Ibid., 265 8 Kari Silloway, “Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, New Caledonia,” Galinski, accessed November 12, 2014. http://www.galinsky.com/ buildings/tjibaou/ 9 Ibid. 10 Pzarch14, “Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre | Renzo Piano,” System Sites & Buildings | School of Architecture | University of Virginia, accessed November 15, 2014. http://pzarch14.wordpress. com/2012/11/15/jean-marie-tjibaou-cultural-center-renzo-piano/ 11 “Geography and Environment | Jordan’s Water Shortage,” the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, accessed November 20, 2014. http:// www.kinghussein.gov.jo/geo_env4.html
Snell, Clarke. The Good House Book: A Common-sense Guide to Alternative Homebuilding. New York: Lark books, 2004.
12 Florentine Visser, “Dutch Embassy in Amman goes for Gold,” ArchiNed, accessed November 10, 2014. http://www.archined.nl/ nieuws/2010/engels/dutch-embassy-in-amman-goes-for-gold/
13 Sang Lee and Stefanie Holzheu, “Building Envelopes as Surface.” In Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. Sang Lee (Rotterdam: The authors and 010 Publishers, 2011), 120
1. ‘The Primitive Hut.’ About home. http://architecture.about.com/od/ ideasapproaches/g/Primitive-Hut.htm 2. ‘Passive houses in De Kroeven.’ Van Zwieten Architecten. http:// www.hanvanzwieten.nl/zonenergetisch-ontwerpen/passiefhuizen/ 3. ‘BuitenHUIS.’ Huisvolenergie.nl. https://www.huisvolenergie.nl/ woningen/energieproducerend-passiefhuis/ 4. ‘Autark I.’ Treehugger. http://www.treehugger.com/greenarchitecture/autark-home-passivhaus-houseboat.html 5. ‘Earthship Nooterhof.’ Seminar 7X865 – Autarky and sustainability. Tutored by ir. M.H.P.M. Willems. Eindhoven University of Technology, 2014
14 Ibid., 122 15 Ibid. 16 Ibid. 17 Ibid., 122-3 18 Pzarch14, “Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre | Renzo Piano.” 19 Ibid. 20 Visser, “Dutch Embassy in Amman goes for Gold.” 21 Ibid. 22 Ibid.
C.2 Evolving the Vernacular
23 Ibid. 24 Finocchicaro and Hestnes, “Symbiosis and Mimesis in the Built Environment.” 265
BIBLIOGRAPHY Finocchicaro, Luca and Anne Grete Hestnes. “Symbiosis and Mimesis in the Built Environment”. In Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, edited by Sang Lee, 259-71. Rotterdam: The authors and 010 Publishers, 2011. Douglas, David Barrett. “Defining A Sustainable Aesthetic: A New Paradigm For Architecture.” Master’s thesis, Architecture University of Southern California, 2008. Silloway, Kari. “Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre, New Caledonia.” Galinski. Accessed November 12, 2014. http://www.galinsky.com/ buildings/tjibaou/ Pzarch14. “Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre | Renzo Piano.” System Sites & Buildings | School of Architecture | University of Virginia. Accessed November 15, 2014. http://pzarch14.wordpress. com/2012/11/15/jean-marie-tjibaou-cultural-center-renzo-piano/
Tjibaou Cultural Centre. November 15, 2012. System Sites & Building | School of Architecture | University of Virginia, http://pzarch14. wordpress.com/2012/11/15/jean-marie-tjibaou-cultural-center-renzopiano/ Fig. 4: Ruins of Jaresh. March 7, 2011. Overland Treasure Adventures from Go, See, Write, http://www.goseewrite.com/2011/04/ruinsspectacular-jerash-jordan/jeresh5/# Fig. 5: Yanone. September 30, 2009. City of Amman. Yanone - Hello, World, https://www.yanone.de/press/_content/amman_city_ photos/02_city_photos/_design/_links/Amman-Panorama-1.jpg Fig. 6: Dutch Embassy Amman. December 21, 2010. Green Prophet, http://www.greenprophet.com/2010/12/jordan-first-leed-building/ Fig. 7: Self-made. December 1, 2014. Intertwining design concerns for the building envelope. Fig. 8: Schematics of the natural ventilation in the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre. November 15, 2012. System Sites & Building | School of Architecture | University of Virginia, http://pzarch14. wordpress.com/2012/11/15/jean-marie-tjibaou-cultural-center-renzopiano/
NOTES 1. Suha Özkan, ‘’Traditionalism and vernacular architecture in the twenty-first century’’ in Vernacular architecture in the twenty-first century, ed. Lindsay Asquith and Marcel Vellinga (London: Taylor & Francis, 2006), 99. 2. Marcel Vellinga, ‘’The noble vernacular,’’ The Journal of Architecture 18, no. 14 (2013): 572. 3. Özkan, ‘’Traditionalism and vernacular architecture in the twentyfirst century,’’ 99-100. 4. Vellinga, ‘’The noble vernacular,’’ 570-584. 5. Ibid. 572-573. 6. Peter Buchanan, ‘’The big rethink part 5: Transcend and include the past,’’ Architecture review, accessed 11 January, 2014. http:// www.architectural-review.com/essays/the-big-rethink-part-5transcend-and-include-the-past/8629373.article 7. Sarah Edwards, ‘’Vernacular Architecture and the 21st Century,’’ Archidaily, accessed November 11, 2014. Retrieved from http://www. archdaily. com/155224/vernacular-architecture-and-the-21st-century/
century, ed. Lindsay Asquith and Marcel Vellinga (London: Taylor & Francis, 2006), 88. 19. Harald Røstvik, ‘’The vernacular, the iconic and the fake’’ in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. San Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 169. 20. Ibid. 21. Ibid. 22. Özkan, ‘’Traditionalism and vernacular architecture in the twentyfirst century,’’ 97-98. 23. Røstvik, ‘’The vernacular, the iconic and the fake,’’169. 24. Ibid., 176-178. 25. Ibid. 26. Nezar AlSayyad and Gabriel Arboleda, ‘’The sustainable indigenous vernacular: interrogating a myth’’ in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. San Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 140-143. 27.Røstvik, ‘’The vernacular, the iconic and the fake,’’ 196.
Fig. 9: From context to design. April 8, 2011. Sustainable Urbanism, http://samuelprutter.wix.com/tjibaouculturalcentre#!teachers
8. Özkan, ‘’Traditionalism and vernacular architecture in the twentyfirst century,’’ 100.
28.Buchanan, ‘’The big rethink part 5: Transcend and include the past.’’
“Geography and Environment | Jordan’s Water Shortage.” The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Accessed November 20, 2014. http:// www.kinghussein.gov.jo/geo_env4.html
Fig. 10: Kers, Pieter. April 6, 2010. Dutch Embassy Amman. Archdaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwide, http://www.archdaily. com/219068/dutch-embassy-in-amman-rudy-uytenhaak/
9. Kingston Heath, Vernacular Architecture and Regional Design: Cultural Process and Environmental Response, (Amsterdam: Architectural Press, 2009), 6.
29. Daniel Jauslin, ‘’Landscape Aesthetics for Sustainable architecture’’ in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. San Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 111-112.
Visser, Florentine. “Dutch Embassy in Amman goes for Gold.” ArchiNed. Accessed November 10, 2014. http://www.archined.nl/ nieuws/2010/engels/dutch-embassy-in-amman-goes-for-gold/
Fig. 11: Kachwaha, Sangram. July, 2007. Wadi in Jordan. Photography by Sangram Kachwaha, http://www.kachwaha.com/v5/ archives/2007/07/wadi-rum-jordan.html
30. Ibid., 112.
11. Paul Oliver, Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World 1. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 33.
Lee, Sang and Stefanie Holzheu. “Building Envelopes as Surface.” In Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, edited by Sang Lee, 120-33. Rotterdam: The authors and 010 Publishers, 2011.
Fig. 12: Yeowatzup. September 20, 2010. Bedouin tent. Wikimedia, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/49/Bedouin_ Tent%2C_Syrian_Desert_%285079932783%29.jpg
31. Author unknown, ‘’Tjiboau,’’ University of Harvard. Accessed November 11,2014. Retrieved from http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/ icb.topic502069.files/tjibaou.pdf
Sauerbruch, Matthias and Louisa Hutton. “What Does Sustainability Look Like.” In Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, edited by Sang Lee, 41-9. Rotterdam: The authors and 010 Publishers, 2011.
Fig. 13: Self-made. December 4, 2014. Scheme Jean-Marie Cultural Centre in Noumea.
Pero, Elisabetta. “Environmental Issues as Context”. In Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, edited by Sang Lee, 213-26. Rotterdam: The authors and 010 Publishers, 2011.
IMAGES Fig. 1: Self-made. December 4, 2014. Map of the world pinpointing Amman & Nouméa. Fig. 2: Kanak architecture in front of the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre. August 29, 2014. New Caledonia Tourist Attractions, http:// www.alltouristattractions.org/category/oceania/new-caledonia/ Fig. 3: Climate conditions due to the location of the Jean-Marie
Fig. 14: Self-made. December 4, 2014. Scheme Dutch Embassy Amman.
12. Vellinga, ‘’The noble vernacular,’’ 582. 13. Ahmadreza Foruzanmehr, and Marcel Vellinga, ‘’Vernacular architecture: questions of comfort and practicability’’ Building Research & Information 39 no. 3 (2011): 274-275. 14. Vellinga, ‘’The noble vernacular,’’ 584. 15. Vicky Richardson, New Vernacular Architecture, (New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2001), 6-17. 16. Yu-Chou Wua, An-Shik Yangb, Li-Yu Tsengc and Chin-Lung Liub, ‘’Myth of ecological architecture designs: Comparison between design concept and computational analysis results of naturalventilation for Tjibaou Cultural Centre in New Caledonia’’ Energy and Buildings 43, no 10 (2011): 2788. 17. Hannelore Christaens, The images of sustainable architecture: a refurbished case study. Master thesis university of Edinburgh, 2013, 19. 18. Marcel Vellinga, ‘’Engaging the future: Vernacular studies in the twenty-first century’’ in Vernacular architecture in the twenty-first
32. Buchanan, ‘’The big rethink part 5: Transcend and include the past.’’ 33. Kengo Kuma, ‘’Natural Architecture’’ in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. San Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 181-183. 34. Buchanan, ‘’The big rethink part 5: Transcend and include the past.’’ 35. Kuma, ‘’Natural Architecture,’’ 180. 36. Minna Sunikka-Blank, ‘’The conept and aesthetics of sustainable building in Japan’’ in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. San Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 191-193 37. Ibid. 38. Ibid. 39. Røstvik, ‘’The vernacular, the iconic and the fake,’’ 173-174. 40. Comparison energy use of labeled houses in the Netherlands, file:///C:/Users/Leonique%20Winnen/Downloads/cijfers-overwonen-en-bouwen-2013. pdf and http://www.milieucentraal.nl/
themas/energie-bronnen/gemiddeld-en ergieverbruik-in-huis/energieprijzen. 41. Buchanan, ‘’The big rethink part 5: Transcend and include the past.’’ 42. ‘’Tjiboau.’’ 43. Ibid. 44. Foruzanmehr and Vellinga, ‘’Vernacular architecture: questions of comfort and practicability’’, 283-284. 45. Buchanan, ‘’The big rethink part 5: Transcend and include the past.’’ 46. Røstvik, ‘’The vernacular, the iconic and the fake,’’ 172-173. 47. ‘’Tjiboau,’’ 48. Sanjoy Mazumdar, ‘’ Even the moon has a dark side: a critical look at vernacular architecture: a critical look at vernacular architecture.’’ In 83rdmACSA Annual Meeting Proceedings (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture) edited by John K. Edwards (Washington DC: ACSA Press, 1995), 133. 49. Ibid. 50. Sunikka-Blank, ‘’The conept and aesthetics of sustainable building in Japan,’’ 186.
C.3 Sustainability in the concept of regionalism and its aesthetical value NOTES 1. Kenza Boussora, “Regionalism: Lessons from Algeria and the Middle East.” In Architectural Regionalism: Collected Writings on Place, Identity, Modernity, and Tradition, ed. Vincent B. Canizaro. (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007), 121. 2. Jason F. McLennan, The Philosophy of Sustainable design: The future of Architecture (Missouri, Kansas City: Ecotone LLC, 2004), 229. 3. Christian Norberg-Schulz, Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture (New York: Rizzoli, 1980), 14. 4. Norberg-Schulz, Genius Loci, 17. 5. Gunila Jiven and Peter J. Larkham, “Sense of Place, Authenticity and Character: A Commentary.” Journal of Urban Design 8, No. 1 (2003): 72.
for an Architecture of Resistance.” In The Anti-Aesthetic. Essays on Postmodern Culture, ed. Hal Foster, (Port Townsend, Washington: Bay Press, 1983), 28.
Røstivk, Harald N. “The Vernacular, the Iconic and the Fake.” In Aesthetics of sustainable architecture, edited by Sang Lee, 168-178. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011.
16. Dick van Gameren and Bjarne Mastenbroek, Aga Khan Award for Architecture – Embassy, Addis Ababa, YouTube, 2007. https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=f-adJDTC9NA
Kuma, Kengo. “Natural Architecture.” In Aesthetics of sustainable architecture, edited by Sang Lee, 179-185. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011.
17. Dick Van Gameren and Bjarne Mastenbroek, “Dutch Embassy in Addis Abeba. Ethiopia.” In Climas-Climates, ed. Papeles de Arquitectura, (Spagna: Via Arquitectura, 2006), 29.
Cenicacelaya, Javier. “Climate and Architecture.” In Climas-Climates, edited by Papeles de Arquitectura, 8-15. Spagna: Via Arquitectura, 2006.
18. Ashaf M. Salama, “When good design intentions do not meet users expectations: Exploring Quatar University campus outdoor spaces.” International Journal of Architectural Research 2, No. 2 (2008): 62.
Lozano, Soledad Rodrigues. “In relation to the sun and where our interests lie.” In Climas-Climates, edited by Papeles de Arquitectura, 16-21. Spagna: Via Arquitectura, 2006.
19. Salama, “When good design intentions do not meet users expectations”, 63.
6. Gunila Jiven and Peter J. Larkham, “Sense of Place, Authenticity and Character: A Commentary.” Journal of Urban Design 8, No. 1 (2003): 69.
20. Water treatment facility by Skylab Architecture features a roof of grass-covered fins, Dezeen, Accessed November 20, 2014. http:// www.dezeen.com/2014/04/15/wastewater-treatment-plant-skylabarchitecture-portland-oregon/
7. Kenneth Frampton, “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six points for an Architecture of Resistance.” In The Anti-Aesthetic. Essays on Postmodern Culture, ed. Hal Foster, (Port Townsend, Washington: Bay Press, 1983), 21.
21. Water treatment facility by Skylab Architecture features a roof of grass-covered fins, Dezeen, Accessed November 20, 2014. http:// www.dezeen.com/2014/04/15/wastewater-treatment-plant-skylabarchitecture-portland-oregon/
8. Frampton, “Towards a Critical Regionalism”, 26.
22. Brent Mather, Jackson Hole Airport Wins 2014 AIA Institute Honor Award For Architecture, Accessed November 22, 2014. http:// www.gensleron.com/cities/2014/1/9/jackson-hole-airport-wins-2014aia-institute-honor-award-for.html
9. Kenza Boussora, “Regionalism: Lessons from Algeria and the Middle East.” In Architectural Regionalism: Collected Writings on Place, Identity, Modernity, and Tradition, ed. Vincent B. Canizaro. (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007), 123. 10. Javier Cenicacelaya, “Climate and Architecture”, in ClimasClimates, ed. Papeles de Arquitectura (Spagna: Via Arquitectura, 2006), 10. 11. Kenneth Frampton, “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six points for an Architecture of Resistance.” In The Anti-Aesthetic. Essays on Postmodern Culture, ed. Hal Foster, (Port Townsend, Washington: Bay Press, 1983), 27. 12. Sustainable architecture, Wikipedia, Accessed November 27, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_architecture 13. Jason F. McLennan, The Philosophy of Sustainable Design: The Future of Architecture. (Missouri, Kansas City: Ecotone LLC, 2004), 230. 14. Mark DeKay, “Excerpt from integral sustainable design: transformative perspectives. Sustainable design aesthetics.” Integral life. Accessed December 2, 2014. https://www.integrallife.com/ integral-post/sustainable-design-aesthetics
23. AES Partners, House M, Accessed November 23, 2014. http:// www.ae5partners.com/mine-house/
Van Gameren, Dick, and Bjarne Mastenbroek. “Dutch Embassy in Addis Abeba. Ethiopia.” In Climas-Climates, edited by Papeles de Arquitectura, 28-37. Spagna: Via Arquitectura, 2006. McLennan, Jason F. The Philosophy of Sustainable Design: The Future of Architecture. Missouri, Kansas City: Ecotone LLC, 2004. Boussora, Kenza. “Regionalism: Lessons from Algeria and the Middle East.” In Architectural Regionalism: Collected Writings on Place, Identity, Modernity, and Tradition, edited by Vincent B. Canizaro, 120127. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007. DeKay, Mark. “Excerpt from integral sustainable design: transformative perspectives. Sustainable design aesthetics.” Integral life. Accessed December 2, 2014. https://www.integrallife.com/ integral-post/sustainable-design-aesthetics Salama, Ashraf M. “When good design intentions do not meet users expectations: Exploring Quatar University campus outdoor spaces.” International Journal of Architectural Research 2, No. 2 (2008): 5577.
Bibliography Norberg-Schulz, Christian. Genius Loci: Towards a Phenomenology of Architecture. New York: Rizzoli, 1980. Jiven, Gunila, and Peter J. Larkham. “Sense of Place, Authenticity and Character: A Commentary.” Journal of Urban Design 8, No. 1 (2003): 67-81. Frampton, Kenneth. “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six points for an Architecture of Resistance.” In The Anti-Aesthetic. Essays on Postmodern Culture, edited by Hal Foster, 16-30. Port Townsend, Washington: Bay Press, 1983. Lefaivre, Liane and Alexander Tzonis. Critical Regionalism. Architecture and Identity in a Globalized world.Munich, Berlin, London, New York: Prestel Verlag, 2003.
15. Kenneth Frampton, “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six points
D.1 Versatile appeal NOTES 1 Bernard Leupen, Kader en generieke ruimte (Rotterdam: Uitgeverij 010, 2002), 9. 2 Aldo Rossi, L‘Architettura della Città (Torino: CittàStudi, 2006), 497. 3 Marie Antoinette Glaser, “Durability in Housing – The Aesthetics of the Ordinary” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. Sang Lee (Rotterdam: Uitgeverij 010, 2011), 198. 4 Hilde Remøy, “Out of Office - A Study on the Cause of Office Vacancy and Transformation as a Means to Cope and Prevent” (master’s thesis, University Delft, 2010), 16-17. 5 Hilde Remøy and Theo van der Voordt, “Sustainability by adaptable and functionally neutral buildings,” in Proceedings of SASBE 2009, 3rd CIB International Conference on Smart and Sustainable Built Environments, (2009), 1.
25 Jeremy Till and Tatjana Schneider, “Flexible housing: the means to the end” (2005), 7. 26 Ibid. 27 Ibid.
10. B. Leupen, Kader en generieke ruimte (2002) 11. B. Leupen, Polyvalence, a concept for the sustainable dwelling (2006)
29 Ibid., 3.
12. T. Moran, Everyday adaptive design (2002)
30 Herman Hertzberger, Lessons for students in architecture (Rotterdam: Uitgeverij 010, 1991), 147.
13. H. Priemus, Wonen- kreativiteit en aanpassing (1968)
31 Ibid. 32 Ibid. 33 Ibid. 34 Bernard Leupen, “Polyvalence, a concept for the sustainable dwelling” (2006), 1 35 Ibid.
7 Remøy, “Out of Office”, 138.
36 Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mau, S,M,L,XL (Rotterdam: Uitgeverij 010, 1995), 335.
9 John Habraken, De Dragers en de Mensen (Amsterdam: Scheltema & Holkema, 1967)
9. R. Koolhaas, S, M, L, XL (1995)
28 Ibid., 8.
6 Hilde Remøy, “Out of Office”, 12.
8 Bernard Leupen, Kader en generieke ruimte, 17-18.
8. S. Kendall and J. Teicher, Residential open building (2000)
37 Aldo van Eyck, “De milde raderen van de reciprociteit” Forum (5): 205-206.
D.2 Industrialized Modular Systems as a sustainable solution and their consequences on aesthetics
14. H Remøy and T. van der voordt, Sustainability by adaptable and functionally neutral buildings (2009) 15. H. Remøy, Out of Office, A Study on the Cause of Office Vacancy and Transformation as a means to Cope and Prevent (2010) 16. J. Till and T. Schneider, Flexible housing: the means to the end (2005)
NOTES 1. Project Frog Team, “A Faster Way to Build,” Project Frog, n.d., http://projectfrog.com/performance/speed/. 2. Our Common Future, 1St Edition edition (Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 1987). 3. John Brennan, “Qualitative and Quantitative Traditions in Sustainable Design,” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture (010 Publishers, 2011). 4. Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business, Conscientious Commerce (Gabriola Island, BC ; Stony Creek, CT: New Society Publishers, 1998). 5. S. P. G. Moonen, “Composite Wall Panels for Industrialized HouseBuilding” (Florence Proceedings 2004, 2004). 6. Elma Durmisevic, “Transformable and Adaptable Buildings, Building Systems and Components,” 2008, http://www.iip.kit.edu/ downloads/CIB_W115_melburne_ELma.pdf.
39 Hertzberger, Lessons for students, 148.
7. “Using Life Cycle Assessment Methods to Guide Architectural Decision-Making for Sustainable Prefabricated Modular Buildings,” College Publishing 7, no. 3 (2012): 151–70.
11 Stewart Brand, How buildings Learn (New York: Viking, 1994), 13.
40 Ibid., 151.
12 Leupen, Kader en Generieke, 32.
41 Ibid., 157-163.
13 Brand, How buildings Learn, 13.
14 Leupen, Kader en Generieke, 32.
9. Giancarlo Mangone and Patrick Teuffel, “Constructing Sensuous Ecologies: Beyond The Energy Efficiency And Zero-Carbon Argument,” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011).
15 Brand, How buildings Learn
16 Roel Gijsbers, Jos Lichtenberg and Peter Erkelens, “A new approach to flexibility-in-use: adaptability of structural elements” (2009), 7.
10 Frank Duffy, The Responsible Workplace (Oxford: ButterworthHeinemann, 1993)
38 Aldo van Eyck, The reciprocity of form and programme (1963)
17 Hugo Priemus, Wonen – kreativiteit en aanpassing (Delft: Technische Hogeschool Delft, 1968), 46-49.
18 John Habraken, De Dragers en de Mensen
1. S. Brand, How buildings learn (1994)
19 Stephen Kendall and Jonathan Teicher, Residential Open Building (London: Taylor & Francis, 2000), 7.
2. F. Duffy, The responsible workplace (1993)
4. A. van Eyck, De milde raderen van de reciprociteit (1960)
21 Ibid. 22 Ibid.
5. R. Gijsbers, J. Lichtenberg and P. Erkelens, A new approach to flexibility-in-use: adaptability of structural elements (2009)
23 Ibid., 35.
6. N.J. Habraken, De dragers en de mensen (1961)
24 Tom Moran, “Everyday Adaptive Design” (paper presented at the Designing Interactive Systems, London, June 25-28, 2002).
7. H. Hertzberger, Lessons for students in architecture (1991)
3. A. van Eyck, The reciprocity of form and programme (1963)
10. Sustainable Buildings in Practice: What the Users Think (Abingdon [England] ; New York: Routledge, 2010). 11. Hilde Remoy and Theo van der Voordt, “Sustainability by Adaptable and Functionally Neutral Buildings” (Delft University of Technology, June 2009). 12. Taariq Maunthoor, “Future Adaptability of Building Design,” 2010, http://www.slideshare.net/CapitaSymonds/future-adaptability-ofbuilding-design. 13. Stewart Brand, How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built, Reprint edition (New York: Penguin Books, 1995). 14. “Vitruve,” Wikipédia, November 28, 2014, http://fr.wikipedia. org/w/index.php?title=Vitruve&oldid=109504660. 15. Keith, “Prefabs Before Industrialization,” n.d., http://instanthouse. blogspot.nl/2011/09/prefabs-before-industrialization.html. 16. Wikipedia, “Prefabricated Building,” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, April 1, 2015, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.
D.3 The Essence of sustainable materials php?title=Prefabricated_building&oldid=654550664. 17. Alain. De Botton, The Architecture of Happiness (New York: Vintage books, 2008). 18. Laurent Khuat Duy, “Architecture as a Means of Conveying Emotions” (Eindhoven University of Technology, 2013), lkhuat.nl. 19. Kristel Hermans, Tim van der Grinten, and Xaviera Burόn Klose, “Trek-In,” n.d., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefabricated_building. 20. Interplay (Rotterdam: NAI, 2013). 21. Project Frog Team, “Project Frog,” Project Frog, n.d., http://www. projectfrog.com/. 22. “Using Life Cycle Assessment Methods to Guide Architectural Decision-Making for Sustainable Prefabricated Modular Buildings.” 23. Project Frog Team, “Project Frog.” 24. Mark van der Net and Daniel Venneman, “Hermithouses,” n.d., http://hermithouses.nl/diy/. 25. Mangone and Teuffel, “Constructing Sensuous Ecologies: Beyond The Energy Efficiency And Zero-Carbon Argument.” 26. “Toward an Adaptable Architecture Guidelines to Integrate Adaptability in Building,” in DA PETER BARRETT, RICHARD HAIGH, KAUSHAL KERAMINIYAGE & CHAMINDA PATHIRAGE. Building a Better World: CIB World Congress, 2010, http://www.irbnet.de/ daten/iconda/CIB18882.pdf. 27. “Sustainability by Adaptable and Functionally Neutral Buildings.” 28. Graham Kelly et al., Improving the Design of Adaptable Buildings Though Effective Feedback in Use (MISBE, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2011), http://repository.tudelft.nl/assets/uuid:4c5196be12f4-4a9f-8eba-452409350db7/8.pdf; Robert Schmidt III et al., “What Is the Meaning of Adaptability in the Building Industry?,” Loughborough University, UK, 2010, http://adaptablefutures.com/ wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Schmidt-et-al.-2010b.pdf. 29. Elkington, Cannibals with Forks.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Baird, George. Sustainable Buildings in Practice: What the Users Think. Abingdon [England] ; New York: Routledge, 2010. Brand, Stewart. How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built. Reprint edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1995. Brennan, John. “Qualitative and Quantitative Traditions in Sustainable Design.” In Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture. 010 Publishers, 2011. De Botton, Alain. The Architecture of Happiness. New York: Vintage books, 2008.
Future. 1St Edition edition. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Durmisevic, Elma. “Transformable and Adaptable Buildings, Building Systems and Components.” 2008. http://www.iip.kit.edu/downloads/ CIB_W115_melburne_ELma.pdf. Elkington, John. Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business. Conscientious Commerce. Gabriola Island, BC ; Stony Creek, CT: New Society Publishers, 1998. Faludi, Jeremy, Michael D. Lepech, and George Loisos. “Using Life Cycle Assessment Methods to Guide Architectural Decision-Making for Sustainable Prefabricated Modular Buildings.” College Publishing 7, no. 3 (2012): 151–70. Hermans, Kristel, Tim van der Grinten, and Xaviera Burn Klose. “TrekIn,” n.d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefabricated_building. Keith. “Prefabs Before Industrialization,” n.d. http://instanthouse. blogspot.nl/2011/09/prefabs-before-industrialization.html. Kelly, Graham, Robert Schmidt III, Andy Dainty, and Vicky Story. Improving the Design of Adaptable Buildings Though Effective Feedback in Use. MISBE, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2011. http://repository.tudelft.nl/assets/uuid:4c5196be-12f4-4a9f-8eba452409350db7/8.pdf. Khuat Duy, Laurent. “Architecture as a Means of Conveying Emotions.” Eindhoven University of Technology, 2013. lkhuat.nl. Mangone, Giancarlo, and Patrick Teuffel. “Constructing Sensuous Ecologies: Beyond The Energy Efficiency And Zero-Carbon Argument.” In Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011. Maunthoor, Taariq. “Future Adaptability of Building Design.” 2010. http://www.slideshare.net/CapitaSymonds/future-adaptability-ofbuilding-design. Moonen, S. P. G. “Composite Wall Panels for Industrialized HouseBuilding.” Florence Proceedings 2004, 2004. Nakib, F. “Toward an Adaptable Architecture Guidelines to Integrate Adaptability in Building.” In DA PETER BARRETT, RICHARD HAIGH, KAUSHAL KERAMINIYAGE & CHAMINDA PATHIRAGE. Building a Better World: CIB World Congress, 2010. http://www.irbnet.de/ daten/iconda/CIB18882.pdf.
Schmidt III, Robert, Toru Eguchi, Simon Austin, and Alistair Gibb. “What Is the Meaning of Adaptability in the Building Industry?” Loughborough University, UK, 2010. http://adaptablefutures.com/ wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Schmidt-et-al.-2010b.pdf. Van der Net, Mark, and Daniel Venneman. “Hermithouses,” n.d. http://hermithouses.nl/diy/. Wikipedia. “Prefabricated Building.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, April 1, 2015. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index. php?title=Prefabricated_building&oldid=654550664. ———. “Vitruve.” Wikipédia, November 28, 2014. http://fr.wikipedia. org/w/index.php?title=Vitruve&oldid=109504660. IMAGES Retrieved December 2, 2014, from http://www.eoi.es/blogs/ carlosomargarcia/2013/04/15/values-the-triple-bottom-line-in-thesme%E2%80%99s-and-corporate-sector/ (left) Retrieved November 23, 2014, from http://arpc167.epfl.ch/alice/ WP_2011_S4/studioformery/files/2011/03/lego.jpg (middle) Retrieved November 23, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Phonebloks#mediaviewer/File:Phonebloks_open.jpg (Right) http://s3.amazonaws.com/newsroom001/media/ images/53da/b066/c07a/80ca/7f00/358d/original/openuri20140731-28893-1j64qur?1406840927 Retrieved December 4, 2014, from http://instanthouse.blogspot.nl/2011/09/prefabs-beforeindustrialization.html Both images retrieved December 4, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Nissen_hut Retrieved December 4, 2014, from ttp://commons.wikimedia.org/ wiki/File:Letchworth_Prefabs_1.JPG Retrieved December 5, 2014, from http://www.trek-in.org/foto-s/ Retrieved November 24, 2014, from http://www.portakabin.co.uk/ masshouse.html Retrieved November 24, 2014, from http://www.archiprix.nl/national/ index.php?project=3442&language=en Retrieved November 24, 2014, from http://www.projectfrog.com/ performance/speed/
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(above) Retrieved December 19, 2014, from http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jYMNhKV0gdM/UAAhySCdUOI/ AAAAAAAAAy4/h2UhMv6le34/s1600/4.jpg (below) Retrieved December 19, 2014, from http://www.a-cero.com/index.php/es/ industrializacion-acero-tech/modelos-tipo/compac
Remoy, Hilde, and Theo van der Voordt. “Sustainability by Adaptable and Functionally Neutral Buildings.” Delft University of Technology, June 2009.
NOTES 1. Rob Thompson, Sustainable Materials, Processes and Production (Londen: Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2013), 8-17 2. Paola Sassi, Strategies for Sustainable Architecture (Oxford: the Alden Press, 2006), 7-9. 3. Colan Ryan, Traditional Construction for a Sustainable Future (Oxon: Spon Press, 2011), 56 4. Rob Thompson, Sustainable Materials, Processes and Production (Londen: Thames & Hudson Ltd., 2013), 16-17 5. Paola Sassi, Strategies for Sustainable Architecture (Oxford: the Alden Press, 2006), 144-152. 6. Sang Lee, Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 186-197. 7. “Council conclusions on sustainable materials management and sustainable production and consumption: key contribution to a resource-efficient Europe”. Council of the European Union. Accessed 29 nov, 2014. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/ docs/pressdata/en/envir/118642.pdf 8. Seminar, Autarky through|and|versus|or Sustainablilty (Eindhoven: 2014), 12-19. 9. “Zwols theehuis opent deuren”. Architectenweb. Accesed 21 nov, 2014. http://www.architectenweb.nl/aweb/redactie/redactie_detail. asp?iNID=20648 10. “Villa Welpeloo Enschede”. ArchitectuurNL. Accesed 7 dec, 2014. http://www.architectuur.nl/project/villa-welpeloo-enschede/ 11. Seminar, Autarky through|and|versus|or Sustainablilty (Eindhoven: 2014), 192-199. 12. “House like garden”. Marc Koehler Architecten. Accesed 25 nov, 2014. http://www.marckoehler.nl/ 13. “Sustainable materials management”. EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency. Acessed 2 dec, 2014. http://www. epa.gov/nrmrl/std/sustain_mm.html 14. “Life Cycle Assesment”. EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency. Acessed 2 dec, 2014. http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/ std/lca/lca.html 15. “The ideal material”. University of Washington. Accesed 1 dec, 2014. http://depts.washington.edu/matseed/ces_guide/ideal_ material.htm
Development, World Commission On Environment and. Our Common
D.4 The cultural side of sustainability NOTES 1. Wikipedia contributors, “Social sustainability”, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_sustainability (accessed April 8, 2015). 2. Ibidem. 3. Ibid. 4. Glen Hill, “The Aesthetics of Architectural Consumption.” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. Sang Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 29.
Wikipedia contributors, “Big Crunch”, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Crunch, (accessed April 8, 2015). 21. “Garbage Warrior” documentary n.d. http://www.imdb.com/title/ tt1104694/, (accessed April 8, 2015). 22. “Eliasson’s kaleidoscope” in Domus web. n.d. http://www. domusweb.it/en/architecture/2011/09/08/eliasson-s-kaleidoscope. html, (accessed April 8, 2015). 23. Ibid.
5. Ibid. p.30 6. Ibid. 7. Sauerbruch, Matthias, and Hutton, Louisa. “What does sustainability look like?” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. Sang Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 41. 8. The Why Factory/MVRDV. “Green Dream”, ed. Winy Maas with Ulf Hackauf and Pirjo Haikola. (Rotterdam: Nai Publishers, 2010), 117. 9. McDonough, Michael. Interview in “Massive change”, ed. Bruce Mau with Jennifer Leonard and The Institute Without Boundaries (Phaïdon, 2004), 38. 10. Grose, J Margaret. “Gaps and futures in working between ecology and design for constructed ecologies”. Landscape and Urban Planning, no. 132 (2014), 76. 11. Ibid. p. 72
BIBLIOGRAPHY Wikipedia Contributors, “Cultural sustainability”, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_sustainability (accessed April 8, 2015). Bedaux, Diaby, and Maas, “L’architecture de Djenné (Mali): la pérennité d’un Patrimonie Mondial”. Leiden: Rijksmuseum, 2003. “Eliasson’s kaleidoscope” in Domus web, http://www.domusweb.it/ en/architecture/2011/09/08/eliasson-s-kaleidoscope.html (accessed April 8, 2015). “Daan Roosegaarde’s glowing Van Gogh cycle path to open in the Netherlands” in Dezeen, http://www.dezeen.com/2014/11/12/daanroosegaarde-van-gogh-bicycle-path-glowing-patterns-nuenennetherlands/ (accessed April 8, 2015).
12. Christina Bollo, “Social sustaiability” definition, http://edhessa25. rssing.com/chan-13404702/all_p1.html (accessed April 8, 2015).
“Denmark Pavilion, Shanghai Expo 2010 / BIG”. in Archdaily n.d. http://www.archdaily.com/57922/denmark-pavilion-shanghai-expo2010-big/ (accessed April 8, 2015).
13. Soini, Katriina, and Birkeland, Inger. “Exploring the scientific discourse on cultural sustainability”. Geoforum, no. 51 (2014), 214.
Reynolds Michael, “Garbage Warrior” documentary n.d. http://www. imdb.com/title/tt1104694/ (accessed April 8, 2015).
14. Ibid. p.218.
Glaser, Marie Antoinette. “Durability in Housing – The Aesthetics of the ordinary” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, edited by Sang Lee, 198-212. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011.
15. Sauerbruch, Matthias, and Hutton, Louisa. “What does sustainability look like?” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. Sang Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 42. 16. Mangone, Giancarlo, and Teuffel, Patrick. “Constructing sensuous ecologies : beyond the energy efficiency and zero-carbon argument” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. Sang Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 247. 17. Ibid. 18. Glaser, Marie Antoinette. “Durability in Housing – The Aesthetics of the ordinary” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, ed. Sang Lee (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 201. 19. Ibid. 20. “Denmark Pavilion, Shanghai Expo 2010 / BIG”. in Archdaily n.d. http://www.archdaily.com/57922/denmark-pavilion-shanghai-expo2010-big/, (accessed April 8, 2015).
Mangone, Giancarlo, and Teuffel, Patrick. “Constructing sensuous ecologies : beyond the energy efficiency and zero-carbon argument” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, edited by Sang Lee, 243258. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011. McDonough, Michael. Interview in “Massive change”, edited by Bruce Mau with Jennifer Leonard and The Institute Without Boundaries, 38-39. Phaïdon, 2004. “Ned Kahn” http://nedkahn.com/ (accessed April 8, 2015). “Phoenix Earthship”, http://earthship.com/Learn-More/phoenixearthship (accessed April 8, 2015). Sauerbruch, Matthias, and Hutton, Louisa. “What does sustainability look like?” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, edited by Sang Lee, 41-49. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011. Wikipedia contributors, “Social sustainability”, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_sustainability (accessed April 8, 2015). Bollo, Christina, “Social sustaiability” definition, http://edhessa25. rssing.com/chan-13404702/all_p1.html (accessed April 8, 2015). Soini, Katriina, and Birkeland, Inger. “Exploring the scientific discourse on cultural sustainability”. Geoforum, no. 51 (2014): 213–223. Wikipedia contributors, “Sustainability”, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability (accessed April 8, 2015). “The Big Crunch”, http://raumlabor.net/the-big-crunch/ (accessed April 8, 2015). The Why Factory/MVRDV. “Green Dream”, edited by Winy Maas with Ulf Hackauf and Pirjo Haikola. Rotterdam: Nai Publishers, 2010.
6. Gemasolar Power Plant near Seville in southern Spain. http://inhabitat.com/video-gemasolar-plant-in-spain-is-the-worldsfirst-24hr-solar-plant/ 7. “Le jardin du tiers-paysage”, Gilles Clément. https://landscapingcustom.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/gillesclement-et-ses-jardins-en-mouvement/ 8. Mosque in Djenné, Mali. http://image.guim.co.uk/Guardian/travel/gallery/2007/oct/16/ photography.archaeology/pg-124-9725.jpg 9. Annual refurbishment of Djenné’s mosque. http://www.almuslimon.net/resources/uploads/1415297588_ DjenneRemudding4.jpg 10. Djenné’s inhabitants attention towards the mosque during the refurbishment. http://maliactu.net/djenne-dynamiser-le-tourisme/ 11. Primary school in Gando, Burkina Faso. Design by Francis Diébédo Kéré. http://www.kerearchitecture.com/projects/primary-schoolgando/ 12. Holism: Ego vs Eco diagram. http://sustainableman.org/ego-vs-eco/ 13. Urban plan of the Zurlinder Estate in Zurich, Switzerland. See reference: 7. 14. Floorplan typologies of the Zurlinder Estate in Zurich, Switzerland. See reference: 7. 15. Exterior view of the Danish pavilion at the Shangai Expo 2010, design by BIG See reference: 5.
16. Bikelines. Interior view of the Danish pavilion at the Shangai Expo 2010, design by Bjarke Ingels Group architects. See reference: 5.
Grose, J Margaret. “Gaps and futures in working between ecology and design for constructed ecologies”. Landscape and Urban Planning, no. 132 (2014): 69–78.
1. Venn diagram of the three pillars of sustainable development and their combinations. The arrow locates the conceptual position of this essay. http://maldiveislands101.weebly.com/ uploads/1/3/8/7/13878580/4532218_orig.gif
17. The little mermaid environment. Interior view of the Danish pavilion at the Shangai Expo 2010, design by Bjarke Ingels Group architects. See reference: 5.
Hill, Glen. “The Aesthetics of Architectural Consumption.” in Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, edited by Sang Lee, 26-40. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011.
2. Average example of sustainable house. http://www.irepairhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SolarPanels-for-Home_1.jpg
18. Exterior view of “The Big Crunch” installation. See reference: 20.
“Francis Diébédo Kéré”, http://www.kerearchitecture.com/ (accessed April 8, 2015).
3. Solar panels advertisement. http://www.sunwatt.com.au/
19. Exterior view of “The Big Crunch” installation. See reference: 20.
4. Satellite imagery of an average urban sprawl. http://michaelpmurphy.ca/davidharrison/inc/wp-content/ uploads/2014/02/sprawl2.jpg
20. Exterior view of the Phoenix Earthship by Mike Reynolds Architect. See reference: 15.
5. Satellite imagery of Manhattan in New York City, US. http://www.directionsmag.com/gisresponse/images/maps/nyc/ airphotousa_twintowers.jpg
21. Interior view of the Phoenix Earthship by Mike Reynolds Architect. See reference: 15.
Liam Magee, Andy Scerri, Paul James, James A. Thom, Lin Padgham, Sarah Hickmott, Hepu Deng, Felicity Cahill (2013). “Reframing social sustainability reporting: Towards an engaged approach”. Environment, Development and Sustainability, no. 15 (2013): 225-243.
22. “Wind veil” façade system by Ned Khan. See reference: 14. 23. Outside close-up view of the “wind veil” by Ned Khan. See reference: 14. 24. Inside close-up view of the “wind veil” by Ned Khan. See reference: 14. 25. Prototype assembly of the quasi-brick designed by Olafur Eliasson. See reference: 3. 26. Façade of the Harpa in Reykjavik, Iceland, designed by Olafur Eliasson. See reference: 3. 27. Van Gogh’s glowing bikeline by Daan Roosegarde in Nuenen, The Netherlands. See reference: 4.
Acknowledgements Firstly, we would like to thank the tutors of the No®waystudio 2014-2015 for their support and guidance. The inspiration to research (an) aesthetics of sustainability came from ir. Maarten Willems, we aimed to contribute to the pluralistic view of this issue. Dr.ir. Jos Bosman and dr.ir. Faas Moonen offered us various other viewpoints to the subject. Secondly, Sang Lee’s book “Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture” was an inspiration to how our book and individual essay should be comprised, as well as a literature source. And finally, we would like to thank our fellow students who contributed their essay to this book. Our hard work, sleepless nights, blood, sweat and tears have paid off and delivered us this reference guide full of inspiration with a wide range of views.