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With its the everyday presence and seemingly predictable nature, weather often makes for an underwhelming topic of discussion. As such, we take for granted the power of this natural system and its many influences on culture. In the architecture field, the development of reliable heating and air conditioning systems marked a significant point in history and quickly eroded the practice governing how built form could respond to the atmospheric conditions of the natural environment.
In doing so, it broke a knowledge chain — centuries long — of how buildings and weather can affect one another. However, climate change—in conjunction with our increasingly sophisticated knowledge of weather phenomena—has brought weather back to the forefront off public discourse, renewing the age-old discussion of the how weather and architecture can affect one another. This relationship serves as the focus of the book -arium : Weather and Architecture.
Richly illustrated, the book has a simple and straight-forward structure, consisting of three broad sections — Weather Report , Weather Forecast , and Weather Outlook — that are further subdivided into sub-sections. The many essays in the first section — Weather Report — looks at the intersection of culture and weather. Weather Forecast focuses on eight architectural concepts proposed by the students of the class that were created in response to all the information they discovered through their research.
Each proposal section begins with a short introduction — explaining the overall intent of the project — that is then followed by a handful of drawing-heavy pages that describe the scheme in more detail. The final section — Weather Outlook — is a compilation of nine short essays by various design professions and class critics speculating on the relationship between weather, atmosphere, and architecture.
Topics of each essay range from descriptions of specific projects that engage weather in interesting ways to more theoretical discussions of the potential role of weather in shaping the built environment. As a school-based book -arium is very impressive. Its beautiful design and high-quality production makes it stand out amongst other school-based architecture publications — particularly within the Canadian context.
Similar to other design school anthologies, however, the specificity of the topic and conceptual nature of its content caters to primarily to architecture students and professionals. That said, the research essays given in the Weather Report are very engaging and more broadly applicable insofar that they provide accessibly-written and succinct descriptions of the effect of weather on the the built landscape and other global systems.
A collection of writings on such a rare subject make this a valuable read and reference for further investigation. That is, as the global society continues to search for solutions to increasingly complex ecological and societal pressures, we will necessarily have to meaningfully reconsider and harness the powerful forces of weather. As such, our knowledge of atmospheric behaviour will have to shape the way we think about and build our physical environment.
Although this may seem outlandish, the very essense of the issue — arium brings forth is about re-engaging and updating the sensibilities that shaped the wonderful architecture and urbanism of cultures past. One need only recall the wind-scooped urbanism of Hyderabad , or even the courtyard homes of ancient Rome to appreciate the how architecture and weather can interact in a meaningful way…something we seem to have lost the ability and desire to do recently.
With this in mind, -arium : Weather and Architecture is timely call to arms for the architecture community to courageously move ahead, building upon past practices by means of using the sophisticated techniques of the present…. For more information on the book visit the Hatje Cantz Publishers website. Erick Villagomez is the Editor-in-chief at Spacing Vancouver. He is also an educator, independent researcher and designer with personal and professional interests in the urban landscapes.
His private practice — Metis Design Build — is an innovative practice dedicated to a collaborative and ecologically responsible approach to the design and construction of places. You can also see some of his drawing and digital painting adventures at Visual Thoughts. More posts by Erick Villagomez. Menu Skip to content. Comments 0.
Arium: Weather + Architecture / Jürgen Mayer H. and Neeraj Bhatia
The dynamic, turbulent and unpredictable forces that comprise the weather are shared by economic cycles of production and consumption. We are on the verge of an intriguing moment wherein the cycles of economics and weather have collided to instigate a new green economy. This new deal builds upon the recent pop cultural aspects of climate change — enabling sustainable notions to permeate all facets of everyday life. Weather is a constant reminder that these forces are natural and exist in everyday life.
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