Urban sunspaces : ecology of atria and arcades
Author(s)Glässel, Joachim W
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Gary Hack and Harvey J. Bryan.
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Historically, atria were protected interior patios; well perceived for their climate tempering and spatial amenity to the building; matching a peaceful private outdoor with the yearly climate cycles. Public buildings adopted this in larger scale, and with the ending 18th century, atria and arcades merged to a period of architectural highlights of glass covered interiors in steel and glass. Passages, hotels and public buildings of an emerging industrial society in Europe and Northern States spurred the evolution of the "Great Indoors" as an urban feature. The ecology of these indoors were consciously achieved by passive means of temperature control. With the rise of mechanical conditioning and excessive use of glass at facades by the beginning of this century, atria and arcades disappeared more or less from the architectural vocabulary. The late 1950s though experienced a revival of atria as a commercial amenity in malls, hotels and similar type of public places. These atria, however, were generally mechanical conditioned; just typically being enormous energy wasters. With the growing urge for energy conservation today, new parameters form our buildings. For this, atria and arcades of urban scale and passive control achieve a new validity as energy conscious urban form. As the key to our energy future in buildings lies well in the urban context, whose inventory per se offers already a fair degree of energy efficiency, improvements there would yield greatest rewards compared to current suburban solar sprawl. The re-interpretation of atria and arcades will provide a perfect planning tool for this urban energy conservation. The glass covered indoors will match with urban scale and site restraints and spur urban life for livable norther winter cities. Exploring atria and arcades as climate buffers and interior amenity for snow belt latitudes, this thesis presents an architectural review, and concludes with design patterns for habitable and energy conscious urban indoors.
Thesis (M.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1981.MICROFICHE COPY AVAILABLE IN ARCHIVES AND ROTCH.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 160-167).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology