Sixty-eight & sunny : the un-modern architecture of climate
Author(s)Seaton, Philip (Philip R.)
Sixty-eight and sunny : the un-modern architecture of climate
68 & sunny : the un-modern architecture of climate
Un-modern architecture of climate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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Historical control of the thermal environment was a deeply cultural activity: fireplaces distributed throughout buildings needed to be fed to keep burning, drafts needed to be stopped by hanging heavy tapestries. The industrial revolution filled the air with toxic exhaust, but modernist architects promised to seal the building envelope hermetically, keeping dirty air at bay. Thermal control came to depend on the very same centralized technologies responsible for the toxic storm outside. Pumping climates throughout a building from centralized machine rooms turned the modernist building into a human vivarium: a glass box containing a strange, displaced performance of life in some consistently tempered time and place. Industrialized city-dwellers no longer seek refuge from the outside air, and the vivarium's appetite for energy has proven more than we can sustainably produce. The design project imagines shifts in attitude for architecture after the vivarium. It is a rhetorical project which proposes three main avenues of change from contemporary assumptions. First, it envisions space in which valuable "waste" heat from exhaust, occupants' bodies, and appliances is harvested to provide imperfect and limited thermal control. Secondly, it suggests cultural shifts in clothing, activity levels, and space use that would fluctuate according to season and the availability of thermal controls. Thirdly, it proposes an attitude towards the building skin which eliminates glass in favor of a greyer zone of thermal division between indoors and out. Together these strategies replace centralized and resource-hungry mechanical climate systems with a new kind of cultural acclimatization. The resulting building embraces thermal control as a new kind of luxury good: a problem worthy not only of technical concern, but also of cultural interest.
Thesis (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 102-103).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology