The idea of r e gionalism is one that requires an oppositional concept for meaning. This concept might be characterized as u n iversalism. A central idea motivating this presentation is the notion that today balance between regional architecture and universalist architecture is tipped too far towards universalist approaches and their resultant buildings.This universalism has its fullest expression in the emergence and the proselytization of the Modern movement in architecture. We are all aware, as practitioners of the building arts and sciences, of its aesthetic and engineering influences. We are less aware of how deeply many of its underlying precepts and outcomes have changed the way our society operates. Universalism- modernist utopian ideals of sweeping away the ignorance of the past arising from parochialism, provincialism, xenophobia- WWI the end of the ‘old world’
Critical Reg- Tzonis and Lefaivre, Kenneth frampton- reconcile the good aspects of modernism- egalitarianism, rationality, an enlightened pan-national culture, with a new appreciation of local traditions rediscovered by the emerging environmental movement New inspiration and energy from folk traditions of building everyday structures without a professional design class Regionalism has something to do with the expression of the interdependence of human culture and place
To touch back on the idea of regional resources as a basis for building culture, Irreducible- and here I take the liberty of using the idea of the classical Greek ‘Elements’ to describe them- As Fire-Air-Earth- and Water. These are present for all human cultures but in different amounts and interrelationships.
Our arid western atmosphere- in many ways more sensible to us and more of a physical presence than that of more humid climates- can change the sensation of comfort more readily than climates mediated by marine environments, and can serve as key resource in providing cooling effects. Wind also a more prevalent direct source of energy generation potential here.
Landscapes at once superhuman and extremely fragile- the great paradox of much of our western landscapes. Small changes in water, minerals, sunlight, and wind exposure make dramatic marks in and on our landscapes. The marks humans make-for better or for worse- tend to last generations in these tender surfaces. The apparent abundance is tempered greatly by its fragility- its carrying capacity is much less robust than places were water is less precious.
Water is a prime shaper of this very transparent landscape. Buildings less shaped by water than a shaper of it- the balance of pervious-impervious built environ greatly alters water cycle- and altering the water cycle changes ecosystems.
Direct derivatives of the elemental resources- the fossil fuels which are the muscle behind our environmental technologies- have for 50-60 years been perceived as abundant- and we’re now beginning to develop a consensus around their scarcity- whether an objective scarcity or one resulting from costs recognized as too high for society to pay- pollution, environ degradation
The cash register- designed for Houston and transferred here- the top has snowmelting heating to keep mini-avalanches from cascading down the façade Deeper, more subconscious accumulations of cause and effect- of shaped and shaper- than the original modernist precepts have brought us to this point BUT those forces and reasons are neither inevitable nor unalterable….
The initial focus of the industrial revolution- centralized production, using power-driven machines tended by large work forces- set in motion another train of events that moved building culture farther away from an interdependence with its place Factories need deep spaces for the operations- deep spaces require artificial light, esp for fine visual work critical to maintaining and operating machines- and large scale open-flame lighting needs mechanical ventilation
Our profession has aided and abetted this process enabled by technological development of power, artificial light, and artificial atmosphere, by developing a design methodology that reduces human dwelling to processes capable of analysis and quantification- the program- and champions the realization of this program in spatial form as the ultimate goal of making architecture. This has helped contribute to a wealth of buildings related only casually to their environment and grossly overspecialized according to the ‘snapshot’ of requirements represented by the program.
Radiant interface with environment at the roof plane- most residential architecture and most low-rise buildings- Acts as ‘radiant heat shield’ to keep exterior solar radiation out of building interiors in warm months- interior high-temp sources from re-radiating to cold winter night sky Form suggested by Aardex International’s Signature building in Westminster
Architectural response changes as building form and proportion changes- no one green device is right for all circumstances Ex- Portland green roof initiative focused on close-in low-rise warehouse district is more cost-effective perhaps than Chicago’s tall building green roof program
Concepts In Regionalism
region al ism <ul><li>resources culture architecture </li></ul>Regionalism in architecture is about the design balance between precious and abundant resources and their direct influences on the adaptations of human society.
Critical Regionalism vs. Vernacular Regionalism
‘Fire’ <ul><li>the Sun as climate driver </li></ul>Elemental Resources the Sun as diurnal timekeeper the Sun as energy source Abundant on the Front Range
Air <ul><li>moving air as prime instrument of cooling </li></ul>wind as energy source Elemental Resources Abundant on the Front Range
Earth surface forms: conveyance and concentration of Water topsoil: matrix of life mass and form: mediator of climate subsurface resources: raw materials Elemental Resources Abundant- if employed wisely
Water <ul><li>Water as climate moderator </li></ul>Water as controller of biological density Water as shaper of the landscape Elemental Resources Precious in the Semi-arid West
Regionalism in architecture is about the design balance between precious and abundant resources and their direct influences on the adaptations of human society. Formerly Perceived as Abundant- Becoming More Precious: Electricity Oil Natural Gas The Design Balance Changing
Cities and Architecture as Extensions of Outdoor Places cultures and civilizations: life in open air and daylight until relatively recently- most important urban activity happened in the daylight hours and in the spaces between buildings
A watershed transformation of building culture: material availability through transport revolution the railroads suddenly make precious and remote resources abundant and local
A watershed in building function and technology: the Industrial Revolution and the modern factory large-scale open-combustion interior illumination drives mechanical ventilation; architectural engineering enters a new age
Program Becomes Plan Becomes Program: the vicious circle of contemporary architectural practice functional overspecialization and the rise of mass building extinctions
Steps Towards Real Regionalism: Four Arenas of Rebalancing Efforts 1. Buildings that Last 2. Buildings that Engage their Environment 3. Buildings that are better Generalists 4. Buildings that Arise from their Surroundings
Program needs distilled to simple elegant ‘vessels’; Interior program volumes composed to shape exterior spaces; Exterior and interior program spaces respond to each other; The whole composition is shaped to harness the interior-exterior connection to make optimal use of precious and abundant resources Rethinking the Program The architectural program reconstituted as if resources matter
Resilient, robust building ‘genes’: Architectural forms capable of evolution The London Terraced House as adaptable urban architectural container of human activity
Front Range Regionalism: What can it look like? Radiant energy barriers Buildings that Interact with the Sun: Roofs as Form-givers in a Radiant Environment Radiant Barrier cooling behavior: shield interior from overheating Radiant Barrier heating behavior: keep radiant energy from escaping to cold sky
Front Range Regionalism: What can it look like? Single-story buildings: roof-driven solar loads The Primacy of Roof vs. Wall Solar loading and response with changing building form Two-story buildings: roof-wall solar loads roughly balance Three and four-story buildings: wall solar loads somewhat greater Five-story and taller buildings: wall solar loads tend to be predominant
Front Range Regionalism: What can it look like? Cross Section, Denver Post-WW2 Ranch House High mass and ground coupling: A familiar paradigm Low slope roof with broad protective overhangs High- sill windows well protected from direct sun; close proximity to ceiling for deep light admittance Masonry exterior walls act as thermal buffer Extensive liveable basements couple building to the earth; basement cool in summer, warm in winter Text
Front Range Regionalism: What can it look like? Surface area, mass, and permeability Building walls as the primary locus of environmental exchange: Daylight, radiant energy, conduction, ventilation, views, and sound
Regionalism and Urban Form: <ul><li>the communal response to environment </li></ul>The delicate balance between landscape, climate, urban street and block pattern, and building typologies
Regionalism: Urban Form Denver, CO Regional tensions: N-S block axis keeps streets optimally sunny in winter BUT produces less desirable east and west building fronts E-W building axes don’t fully exploit southern exposure and spaces between buildings
Regionalism: Urban Form Denver, CO A challenge and an opportunity: Refine building typologies that respond to the need for south exposure and east-west frontages Building street front Building solar facade
Front Range Regionalism: What can it look like? South Facing Rooms with Gallery Porches Radiant Barrier Roof Through-circulation spaces on North side High-mass construction, N-W-E sides Simple spans and modular dimensions reduce waste Explorations in Rebalancing Building Culture: Denver Infill Housing
Front Range Regionalism: What can it look like? ‘ Four-Over-Four’ room arrangement: sleeping/ private rooms upstairs, living/public rooms below Explorations in Rebalancing Building Culture: Denver Infill Housing Basic plan symmetry along E-W axis allows use of house type on either side of typical Denver infill site
Front Range Regionalism: What can it look like? Three-floor, loft-style multipurpose building High-performance envelope augmented by minimal mechanical system 75’ Site Width 125’ Site Depth Explorations in Rebalancing Building Culture: Denver Infill Flex-Building
Front Range Regionalism: What can it look like? A Study for an Urban Denver Flex-Building Typology Circulation zoned along North side, each floor End bays each floor level: Stair cores/ elevator/ building toilets/ building service spaces Leaseable spaces: central five bays each floor with Southern exposure Narrow green court to South admits light, cooling breezes Explorations in Rebalancing Building Culture: Denver Infill Flex-Building
Front Range Regionalism: What can it look like? Explorations in Rebalancing Building Culture: Front Range Net-Zero Research Park Building
Regionalism as Style vs. Regionalism as Life-style