Set deep within some of the most isolated desert landscapes across the Middle East and further afield, these desert camp hotels offer a way to connect with their surroundings through the solitary experience of open and expansive scenery.
Not nearly as complex an architectural typology as the word suggests, a ‘clerestory’ is a simple – if lexically loose – a portmanteau of ‘clear’ and ‘story’. Denoting a section of the wall that contains windows or cavities above eye level. The word is often assumed to have a religious context. Clerestories historically appeared at the upper levels of Roman churches, Hebrew temples, and early Christian architecture after all. And the earliest references we have to the feature come from religious texts.
Today, religious structures are often typified by the light their high windows allow to stream in, both figuratively and literally, from a higher source. At the CES Chapel in Taiwan, for example, ‘light diffuses through the glass clerestory and brightens the apse throughout the day,’ explains JJP Architects & Planners, about an interior design concept driven by natural lighting, ‘the chapel is filled with a spiritual aura, with a bright cross projected deep into the space.’
Traditional building solutions tend to work well in their respective contexts, as they have withstood hundreds of years of testing and improvements, and use techniques and materials available locally. Although globalization and the democratization of access to technology have brought more comfort and new opportunities to humanity, it has also led to the homogenization of solutions in the construction sector and a dependence on global supply chains for construction materials and components. This has also caused a rupture in how knowledge is passed on to new generations and, eventually, the disappearance of traditions.
In particular, the topic of passive cooling solutions for buildings is currently having a resurgence, with an effort to recover ancient techniques used throughout history in locations that have always had to deal with hot climates. This is even more evident due to the high energy costs imposed by artificial cooling, the global warming scenario, and mainly because, among the projections of population growth, a significant portion of megacities will be located in the predominantly hot climates of Africa and Asia. When we think about the future, is it possible to be inspired by the past and apply ancient cooling techniques to contemporary buildings?
Before fossil-fuel powered air-conditioning became widely available, people living in harsh climates had nothing but natural means to ventilate their spaces and control the interior temperature. To do so, they took into account several external factors such as their location, orientation with respect to the sun and wind, their area's climate conditions, and local materials. In this article, we explore how ancient civilizations in Western Asia and North Africa have used windcatchers to adapt to the region's harsh climate and provide passive cooling solutions that are still being used in contemporary architecture, proving that local approaches to climate adaptability are fundamental to the development of today's built environment.
"Here in the tropics, it's the shade not the stove that refreshes and brings people together," says Bruno Stagno about tropical architecture.
Guatemala ha estado construyendo su sombra a lo largo de los años. Nos encontramos con 3 ejemplos que proponen interesantes respuestas a este clima. Proyectos que materializan tanto grandes cubiertas con pendientes para dar sombra y evacuar el agua de lluvia con rapidez, como fachadas perforadas que permiten el ingreso de la brisa y la ventilación interior.
When designing homes, architecture is constantly evolving and adapting to environmental conditions. Each climate has specific needs and requires different solutions in terms of comfort. Hot and humid environments require a very different design from cold and dry environments. Natural ventilation, for example, is very important in projects located in warm climates.
Automation is everywhere around us - our homes, furniture, offices, cars, and even our clothing; we have become so accustomed to being surrounded by automated systems that we have forgotten what life was like without them. And while automation has noticeably improved the quality of interior spaces with solutions like purified air and temperature control, nothing compares to the natural cool breeze of mother nature.
But just like everything else in architecture, there is no one size fits all; what works in Tanzania cannot work in Switzerland or Colombia. This is due to several reasons, such as the difference in wind direction, average temperature, spatial needs, and environmental restrictions (or lack thereof). In this article, we take a look at natural ventilation in all its forms, and how architects have employed this passive solution in different contexts.
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.
Patios and gardens play a crucial role in a project's planning and layout. In some instances, they serve as organizing elements while in others, they improve the quality of life in a space by providing light, ventilation, and a connection to the outdoors while maintaining the privacy of the inhabitants.
Nothing is more rational than using the wind, a natural, free, renewable and healthy resource, to improve the thermal comfort of our projects. The awareness of the finiteness of the resources and the demand for the reduction in the energy consumption has removed air-conditioning systems as the protagonist of any project. Architects and engineers are turning to this more passive system to improve thermal comfort. It is evident that there are extreme climates in which there is no escape, or else the use of artificial systems, but in a large part of the terrestrial surface it is possible to provide a pleasant flow of air through the environments by means of passive systems, especially if the actions are considered during the project stage.
This is a highly complex theme, but we have approached some of the concepts exemplifying them with built projects. A series of ventilation systems can help in the projects: natural cross ventilation, natural induced ventilation, chimney effect and evaporative cooling, which combined with the correct use of constructive elements allows improvement in thermal comfort and decrease in energy consumption.
This installation is a bespoke attempt to simplify and reinterpret the concept of air-conditioning, understanding that standardized solutions may not be universally applicable given the constraints of cost and surrounding environment. Using computational technologies, the team at Ant Studio has reinterpreted traditional evaporative cooling techniques to build a prototype of cylindrical clay cones, each with a custom design and size.
In response to the overwhelming growth of cities and neighborhoods in China, architects from Atelier Archmixing’s Shanghai office, have developed a series of proposals that seek to return value to sensitive interior spaces and improve the user’s quality of life through design.
The project consists of an interesting light fixture; a bamboo structure similar in shape to an umbrella, that lets natural light and fresh air into the building.
One of the great ironies of modern urban life is the underlying disconnect that exists amongst us global citizens, despite living and functioning within such dense and close proximities. In order to address this issue in the context of China’s urban landscape, New York firm NO ARCHITECTURE has proposed two alternatives to the typical high-rise – two vertical residential typologies that feature a combination of courtyards, terraces, and gardens, and could be located in a wide variety of cities.
“Conceived around a series of cascading shared walls, ventilated courtyards, stepped terraces, and wind towers, these new vertical organizations re-connect urban living to nature, suggesting how we can live in close proximity today and can continue to do so sustainably for generations to come,” explained the architects.
Professor Alan Short of the University of Cambridge has published a book advocating for the revival of 19th-century architectural ideas to address the crippling energy use of modern skyscrapers. The Recovery of Natural Environments in Architecture proposes an end to the architectural fetish for glass, steel, and air conditioning, instead drawing inspiration from forgotten techniques in naturally ventilated buildings of the 1800s. The book is a culmination of 30 years’ research and design by Prof. Short and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge.
https://www.archdaily.com/866864/new-book-calls-for-an-end-to-our-fetish-for-conditioned-skyscrapersNiall Patrick Walsh
With the goal of harnessing and exploring the benefits of clay as a raw material, which is characteristic of Colombia's Cúcuta region, Architects Miguel Niño and Johanna Navarro created Sumart Diseño y Arquitectura SAS, a studio that designs and develops sustainable architectural solutions.
One of their most successful projects is the Bloque Termodisipador BT, a ceramic block designed with an irregular cross section that allows ventilation to pass through the brick, reducing the amount of heat that enters the interior of the building.