Saturday, 27 November 2010

the beautification of building components for climatic control

The easiest method of unraveling solutions to building habitable environments in any country is to look at how the locals built, or at least how they once built. Slow advances in construction and the limitations of pre-globalised economies mould the vernacular in a way that always allowed for climate control via local means. The new constructions of the twentieth century brought unparalleled scales and densities using imported materials (wherever the buildings may have been) that subsequently demand intensive ventilation, heating and air conditioning not helped by the modern preoccupation with transparency.

We are seeing a resurgence in the appropriation of vernacular elements as well as new methods of non-assisted control but these aren't always holistically designed and often bolt on products. Wind cowls, brise soleil and other such items often appear as composite in their physical addition as one could perceive their cohesive integration during the design process.

A recent applied technology project required our team to produce an aid storage facility in Hyderabad, Pakistan. One look at a picture from 1890 tells quite a lot about how they deal with the heat.

When making a windcatcher using the same set of parts and junctions as the main structure, a cohesive arrangement appears to emerge.

One should ask when the designers are going to start playing with these parts of buildings? Tom Dixon cowls? Ron Arad brise soleil? I joke, but the real task is for these to be integrated with the composition of all the other building elements, which is harder with the removal of services and sustainability design from the architects responsibility and into the hands of specialists. Specialists without our concerns.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

the best way to find out how something works

Last night i destroyed a book which felt in some way blasphemous, but it was in the name of discovering how books are constructed. This act was prompted by the inadequate resources found on the net, only finding awfully presented american websites and bookbinding equipment suppliers.

The book in question was The Trachtenberg Speed System of Basic Mathematics which was acquired from a trip around the house of the mole manof hackney, a man of local folklore, who once lived at 121 Mortimer Road at which he created an underground network of tunnels without any from of reason other than the extension of his wine cellar. Since then he has fled the house, been fined, the tunnels filled with concrete by the council and earlier this year he died. I would suggest to anyone to google him and I'm sure Ian Sinclair writes about him. Passing the house recently I noticed the roof has collapsed and will continue to fade from existence. Much like the book.

After crudely pulling various layers apart, I realised the intricacies of the objects would not reveal itself, so from then the forced decay proceeded through a more methodical removal and proved somewhat calming.

This new understanding will result in the production of a book.
Don't expect a novel, but expect.

Friday, 12 November 2010


I remember corresponding with Rachel Farricker - the editor of this new book, Pennine Lancashire Squared - about Neu Architects contribution as winner of the Bacup square, but i always assumed it would be confined to a small circulation and I have been thankfully corrected. Hopefully its inclusion in the RIBA bookstore will raise the presence of the competition and the practice. Go NEU!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

back in the day


At a talk at this years Serpentine Pavillion, this kid had the most inexhaustible interest in an injured bee and had no fear of letting it dance around in his hand, superpowers obviously! The little man proved to be pictured more than this years evidently photogenic pavillion.


film roll returns