Techne: Thinking Microclimates

Mapping conditions and occupant preferences and behaviors to create a thermal model, Image via

Working in a large space, at work or at school, makes one extremely sensitive to the idea of microclimates. Whether there is a skylight or window that uncomfortably irradiates the immediately surrounding area, or if there is a thermostat that just can’t be set warm enough, everyone has experienced the discomfort of the unadjustable microclimate. It’s not unusual, though it might be a bit disturbing, to see a co-worker swathed in a blanket (I’m not making that up, unfortunately), or a foot-heater discreetly tucked under a desk. Or you might be one of the unlucky persons either stuck under the artful skylight or near a south-facing, floor-to-ceiling window. That’s because most office spaces are designed for a uniform, master-control HVAC system.

It’s important not to confuse the availability of different technologies with widespread, institutionalized use because to do so is to conflate two very different issues. So while this technology may have been around in bits and pieces, it has yet to be combined into comprehensive tools. And as for implementation, many in the architecture industry have experienced the resistance to both passive and advanced energy efficient technologies.

© Interface Studio Architects

Hong Kong Car Park Proposal / Interface Studio Architects

Interface Studio Architects… shared with us their proposal for the Hong Kong Car Parc competition, which aims at romanticizing the car as an active urban object while simultaneously implementing sustainable strategies. In addition to including parking spaces in the rotational

The Stork Nest Farm / SGL Projekt

Courtesy of s.r.o.

Architects: SGL Projekt s.r.o. 
Location: Dvůr , Olbramovice, Czech Republic
Project Team: Ak. arch. Jiří javůrek, Ing. arch. Jaroslav Malý, Ing. arch. Irena Kozáková, Ing. arch. Jan Bouček, Ing. arch. Jakub Žák
Client / Developer: Farma Čapí hnízdo, a.s.
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of SGL Projekt s.r.o.

Video: Caught in the Act / LEESER Architecture

YouTube Preview Image

Watch of LEESER Architecture share some insight into what architecture means and how his firm expresses that philosophy.  One of our favorite lines is when Leeser stated, “We are not architects with a particular style; we are architects with a particular message.”  The clip shares some background pertaining to Leeser’s Museum of Moving Image in Astoria, New York that exemplifies the firm’s idea of a changing continuous media surface and ties the conceptual understanding between film and architecture.  What are your thoughts on Leeser’s closing comment when talking about the Bric media center and Urban Glass project – “Our work can influence and change the world around us, there is a really impact…it’s not just like another building” – perhaps, not just in terms of Leeser’s work, but for the field of architecture at large.

“Wimbledon 2020” Masterplan / Grimshaw Architects

aerial 01

Grimshaw Architects recently announced that they have been selected by the All Lawn Tennis Club to design their “Wimbledon 2020” masterplan for future development requirements. After a competitive selection process, it was decided that they will design the new masterplan to continue the previous ‘Long Term Plan’, which was commissioned in 1993 and completed in June 2011.  Working with such a prestigious British and internationally renowned institution, Grimshaw will embrace Wimbledon’s unique history of tradition and innovation to enhance further its position as the pre-eminent tennis Grand Slam. Another image of their design can be viewed after the break.

Ecotron / MDR Architectes

Courtesy of

Architects: MDR Architectes
Location: sur Lez, France
Photographs: Courtesy of MDR Architectes



‘Sundbyen’ Harbor Front Proposal / JAJA Architects

Courtesy of

JAJA Architects makes it to the top with their project proposal ”Sundbyen” in the competition for a new harbor front in , Norway. ”Sundbyen” was a proposal amongst many in the open international competition that attracted proposals from 10 different countries. JAJA based their project in the ’s existing identity and closeness to water. The project enhances the city’s existing qualitites, interprets it and creates a natural coherence between place, history and future development. More images and project description after the break.

Natural History Museum of Utah / Ennead Architects

© Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Architect: Ennead Architects
Architect of Record: GSBS Architects
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah,
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Jeff Goldberg/EstoStuart RuckmanBen Lowry

Courtesy of Zagreb Society of Architects

Zagreb Badel Site Redevelopment Competition

The Zagreb Society of Architects(DAZ), acting as Organizer and Manager on behalf of The City of Zagreb is launching an open, on-line, one-stage, anonymous, ideas Competition for the urban-architectural conceptual design for the Zagreb Badel Site redevelopment. More information find…

Infographic: 11 Years of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

Administration Building of the North Shanghai Gas Company in Jiading / Atelier Deshaus

© Shu He

Architect: Atelier Deshaus (Liu Yichun / Chen Yifeng)
Location: Yining & Yongsheng Rd. , Shanghai, China
Design Team: Chen Yifeng, Liu Yichun, Liu Qian
Project Area: 2250 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Shu He

AD Round Up: Classics Part IV

© Flickr - User: Jong Soo (Peter) Lee

Some great classics from 2010 for our 4th part of previously featured projects. The most iconic building in Australia, a resort in Walt Disney World, Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple, Eames House and a residence which used to be called: “the most modern home built in the world”. Check them all after the break.

AD Classics: Sydney Opera House / Jørn Utzon
There are few buildings as famous as the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. Arguably considered the eighth wonder of the world, the opera house has a long history behind its design. The story behind this magnificent structure began in 1956 when the New South Wales Government called an open competition for the design of two performance halls, for opera and for symphony concerts, that would put Sydney on the map (read more…)

House C / Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP


Architect: Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP
Location: Chiba,
Date of completion: 2008
Parcel area: 826.47sqm
Constructed area: 102.71 sqm
Photographs: Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP


2012 AIA Young Architects Award

The American Institute of Architects () has selected thirteen recipients to receive the 2012 Young Architects Award. Defined as professionals who have been licensed ten years or fewer, the Young Architects will be honored for making significant contributions to the profession and providing exceptional leadership. The recipients will be presented the award at the 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition in Washington, D.C.

Continue reading for the complete list of the 2012 Young Architects.

Billboard House / Apostrophy’s

Courtesy of Apostrophy's

Architects: Apostrophy’s
Location: , Thailand
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of Apostrophy’s

Flashback: Sarphatistraat Offices / Steven Holl Architects

© Paul Warchol

Architects: Steven Holl Architects
Location: ,
Local architect: Rappange & Partners
Project year: 1996 – 2000
Photographs: Paul Warchol

Excavating Wilderness: An Urban Subterranean Dialogue

© Jeff Kamuda

The Excavating Wilderness: A [re]Orienting Trajectory Across proposal by Syracuse University graduate Jeff Kamuda investigates the tensioning between natural wilderness and the built environment. With the rise of modern civilization, a fluctuating tenet between humans and nature can be observed in its reincarnation of the urban park. Situated in New York City’s Central Park, the project introduces a set of natural phenomena through a unique and atypical approach, which in turn serves to stimulate a dialogue between the individual, the park, the city, and the cosmos. Stretching a mile across Central Park from Grand Army Plaza at 59th street to the American Museum of Natural History at 77th Street, the triparted project achieves a dramatic juxtaposition of experience combined with elevated architecture. Read more after the break.

Contemporary Art Museum / Brooks + Scarpa, Clearscapes

© John Edward Linden

Architects: Brooks + Scarpa, Clearscapes
Location of Project: 409 W. Martin St., Raleigh, North , USA
Project Team: Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA; Steve Schuster, FAIA, Mark Buckland and Jon Zellweger, -Project Architects, Angela Brooks, , Brad Buter, Silke Clemens, Daniel Carper, Jordon Gearhart, Ching Luk, Matthew Majack, Sarah Dickerson, Brandy Thompson , , Fred Belledin , , Christian Karkow, John Reese, , Thomas Sayre, Michael Dosier, Jedidiah Gant.
Client/Owner: Contemporary Art Museum
Project Area: 22,300 sqf (900 SF new entry lobby)
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: John Edward Linden, Nick Pironio