Although architecture itself is universal, the day-to-day practice still varies across the world, influenced by a wide range of factors, from the professional requirements and responsibilities of an architect, the local environment, history and building customs, to local priorities and challenges. In a hyper-connected world, where architecture seems to become more uniform, how do local contexts and characteristics shape the built environment? This article taps into the commonalities and the variations within the architecture profession.
Ventilation serves two main purposes in a room: first, to remove pollutants and provide clean air; second, to meet the metabolic needs of the occupants, providing pleasant temperatures (weather permitting). It is well known that environments with inadequate ventilation can bring serious harm to the health of the occupants and, especially in hot climates, thermal discomfort. A Harvard University study demonstrated that in buildings with good ventilation and better air quality (with lower rates of carbon dioxide), occupants showed better performance of cognitive functions, faster responses to extreme situations, and better reasoning in strategic activities.
It is not difficult to see that ventilation plays a vital role in ensuring adequate air quality and thermal comfort in buildings. We have all felt it. But when we talk about ventilation, a light breeze from the window might come to mind, shifting through our hair and bringing a pleasant aroma and cooling temperature that brings fresh air and comfort. In mild climates, this experience can even be a reality on many days of the year. In harsh climates or polluted spaces, it could be quite different.
Since the winner(s) of the Pritzker Prize 2021 will be announced on Tuesday, March 16th, we have asked our readers who should win the most important award in the field of architecture.
“A House is a place (…) as physical as a set of feelings. (…) a home is a relation between materiality and mastery and imaginative processes, where the physical location and materiality and the feelings and ideas are united and influence each other, instead of being separated and distinct. (…) a house is a process of creation and comprehension of ways of living and belonging. A house is lived, as well as imagined. The meaning of house and the way it materially manifests itself, it´s something that is created and recreated in an unceasingly way through every day domestic tasks, which are themselves connected to the spacial imaginary of the house”1
The sentence above is the starting-point of the current reflection, in an exercise that will mark meaningfully my approach to the way of projecting houses.