Groupe de recherche

Ambiances physiques (GRAP)

Adaptive Architecture : Experiencing Visual and Thermal Delight in Architecture


Subvention de recherche-création / Research Creation Grant (2009-2013). 
Conseil de recherche en Sciences Humaines du Canada CRSH -SSHRC 

Adaptive Architecture explores the environmental diversity stemming from the combination of visual and thermal perception of light through an innovative digital design and analysis process developed by Demers [1993-2007]. Building on previous theoretical transitional typologies defined by Potvin [2002], the research-creation program will first identify and analyze real transitional structures favoring adaptive opportunities such as minimalist vernacular architecture in order to help feed the speculative design process in a full-scale adaptable mock-up. Adaptable Architecture will explore the potential to expand the notion of comfort and delight (pleasantness) in an outdoor semi-protected and modifiable structure that will consist of a refuge. The research creation project proposes to design, build, occupy and evaluate a simple but yet highly modifiable refuge, a semi-protected structure that will allow parametric analysis of several typologies of spatial transformations according to diurnal and seasonal climate diversity. The notion of adaptability will be studied qualitatively and quantitatively in relation to the notion of environmental delight first introduced by Heschong [1979] throughout the architectural design process. The design and occupation of this Adaptive Architecture will enable explorations of adaptive opportunities in real time in an outdoor space, at human scale.

Claude MH Demers + André Potvin

Panneau chantier 2011-05-25

Context of Implementation

Adaptable Architecture will explore the potential to expand the notion of comfort and delight (pleasantness) in an outdoor semi-protected and modifiable structure that will consist of a refuge. The research creation project proposes to design, build, occupy and evaluate a simple but yet highly modifiable refuge, a semi-protected structure that will allow parametric analysis of several typologies of spatial transformations according to diurnal and seasonal climate diversity. The notion of adaptability will be studied qualitatively and quantitatively in relation to the notion of environmental delight first introduced by Heschong [1979] throughout the architectural design process. The design and occupation of this Adaptive Architecture will enable explorations of adaptive opportunities in real time in an outdoor space, at human scale. It will emerge from the study of architectural precedents such as vernacular architecture, results from Demers’s research-creation grant on Nordic Light in Architecture [Demers, 1999], Potvin’s CALQ research-creation grant on Transitions in Architecture [Potvin, 2002] and a recent FQRSC research-creation grant entitled “The Creative Eye” [Demers, Potvin, 2008]. Such environmental explorations also occurred in recent graduate students’ thesis [Biron, 2008; Bontemps, 2007; Dubois, 2006] supervised by the research team. Those researches have all pointed out to the high complexity of integrating simultaneously the visual and thermal qualities of light in the design process since thermal aspects are scale dependent whereas visual aspects are independent from scale. Adaptive Architecture will enable the full-scale exploration of the combined visual and thermal qualities of light stemming from diurnal and seasonal climatic diversity. An integrated design process demands that a clear representation of the invisible thermal aspect of light be more important in the decision making process, which will be explored using a series of digital media tools such as video and thermal cameras. The adequate representation of design intentions in environmental design should be at the forefront of creative thinking in architecture. Architecture (design and construction) demands an increased complexity of knowledge, especially technical, but this should by no means imply the non-existence of any intuitive inspiration. Images (thermal and visual) will be used at the speculative stage of composition, which remains rather suggestive, and develop at the constructive stage through extensive analysis. These two complementary aspects, will be combined at real scale using a design methodology based on image analysis and tactile manipulations developed by Demers [1993, 1997, 2003, 2007] using digital and analogical (drawings and scale models) techniques. Adaptable Architecture proposes to contribute to the renewal of architecture by using digital media and tools as starting points of the design process to reinvest our experience of space with rich visual and thermal stimuli instead of the current mono functionality derived from the deterministic approach to environmental science.

Objectives

  • Contribution to the theory and practice of environmental diversity in architecture through the study of adaptive opportunities;
  • Demonstration of the creative and interactive design potential stemming from the combined visual and thermal aspects of light;
  • Development of the existing methodology for assessing dynamic environmental adaptability;
  • Expansion of the transitional spaces typologies by studying climate responsive precedents;
  • Integration of thermal imaging technology to the digital method of image analysis developed by the research team; and
  • Validation of the potential for speculative transitional typologies based on empirical knowledge, qualitative and quantitative analysis of design hypothesis, and full scale mock-up.

This research proposes an original mean of assessing visual and thermal ambiences that enables architects to develop a more integrated approach to environmental design, and in some respect encourages them to go beyond the mere quantitative aspects of light. The digital image methodology favours a convivial relation between the architect and light building on the graphically driven intuitive thinking of designers. Although visual representation of light has always been at the centre of the architectural design process and theory, the representation of its thermal properties has seldom been explored during the design process. Recent development in infrared thermal imagery now offers an opportunity to open up the invisible thermal aspect of space to architects.

Results Adaptive Architecture resulted in a dynamic representation of environmental adaptation though several weeks, both visual and thermal. This adaptive history between occupants and the prototype expresses the potential of adaptability to enhance the experience of architecture according to changing environmental conditions. On-line media rendering using high definition images of the visible lighting chiaroscuro and the invisible thermal qualities of radiant and surface temperatures will accompany the seasonal timeline to provide readers a clear dynamic qualitative and quantitative assessment of spatial and environmental qualities of Adaptive Architecture.

 

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References

ADOLPHE, Luc, (1998), Ambiances architecturales et urbaines, Editions Parenthèses, Paris.

BAKER, Nick, Koen STEEMERS, (2002), Daylight design of buildings, James & James, London.

BIRON, Karole, (2008), Dynamique forme/lumière: Exploration du processus de création de l’espace architectural par modèles maquettes/images, thèse de maîtrise en architecture (M.Sc.), École d’architecture, Université Laval, Canada.

BONTEMPS, Arnaud, (2007), Représentation dynamique des ambiances physiques dans une approche filmique, thèse de maîtrise en architecture (M.Sc.), École d’architecture, Université Laval, Canada.

CELIS-MERCIER, S., POTVIN A., DEMERS, C MH, (2008), « The Pleasant Temperature: Window Manipulation and Dynamics of Thermal Comfort in a Naturally Conditionned Space, PLEA 2008- 25th Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture, Dublin, 22nd to 24th October 2008.

DEMERS, C., (2007), « The Creative Eye: A tactile and digital process of imagining and building lights in architecture », in « Fresh air », Proceedings of the 2007 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) 95th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, 8-11 March. Paper selected from the ACSA 2006 Northeastern Conference.

DEMERS, C., POTVIN, A., (2007), Daylighting anf thermal strategies in the design process: case study of Laval University’s new medical faculty building, in the Conference Proceedings of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), SOLAR 2007, 7-12 July, Cleaveland, Ohio.

DEMERS, C, (2007), « A Classification of daylighting qualitites based on contrast and brightness analysis », in the Conference Proceedings of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), SOLAR 2007, 7-12 July, Cleaveland, Ohio.

DEMERS, C., (2006), “Assessing light in architecture: A numerical procedure for a qualitative and quantitative analysis”, dans les actes de colloque de , l’Italian Lighting Association (AIDI), Commission Internationale de l’Éclairage (CIE), Venise, 9-10 octobre 2006.

DEMERS, POTVIN, (2004), “Physical ambiences in architecture : towards a multi-sensory approach to sustainability”, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, 5 mai

DEMERS, C., POTVIN, A. (2004), « LUMcalcul 2.01: prédiction de la lumière naturelle pour la conception architecturale », Proceedings of eSIM2004, Vancouver 9 -11 juin 2004.

DEMERS, C., (2001), Disponibilité de la lumière naturelle à Québec, Rapport de recherche, École d’architecture, Université Laval.

DEMERS, C., (2000), “Light and the digital image : a proposed framework for design and analysis” dans Architecture City Environment, Proceedings of PLEA 2000, July 2000, Cambridge, United Kingdom. Éditeurs : Koen Steemers and Simos Yannas. James and James Science Publishers, London, 2000.

DEMERS, (1997), “The Sanctuary of Art : images in the design and assessment of light in architecture”, The Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, University of Cambridge, UK.

DEMERS, C, (1993), « L’influence du design des ouvertures sur le contraste d’intensité dans les espaces intérieurs éclairés naturellement », thèse de maîtrise, École d’architecture, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.

DUBOIS, Catherine, (2006), Confort et diversité des ambiances lumineuses en architecture : l’influence de la lumière naturelle sur les occupants, , thèse de maîtrise en architecture (M.Sc.), École d’architecture, Université Laval, Canada.

EVANS, Ralph M., (1959), Eye, film, and camera in color photography, New York, John Wiley and Sons, Inc. HAWKES, Dean, U, (2007), The Environmental Imagination, Spon Press, London.

HAWKES, Dean, U, (1995), The Environmental Tradition: Studies in the Architecture of the Environment, Spon Press, London. HAWKES, Dean U., (1976), “Types, norms and habits in environmental design” in March, Lionel, The architecture of form, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 465-481. (Also in “The Environmental Tradition”).

HESCHONG, Lisa, (1979), Thermal delight in architecture, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. Le CORBUSIER, (1923), Towards a new architecture, translated by Frederick Etchells, London, Butterworh Architecture, reprinted in 1989. POTVIN, A.,

BONTEMPS, A., DEMERS, C. (2007), “The Dynamics of Physical Ambiences, Development of a Representation Technique Through a Filmic and Sensory Approach”, ACADIA2007 Conference-Expanding Bodies, Halifax, 1-7 octobre 2007.

POTVIN, A. (2004), “Chapitre 5 : Intermediate Environments”, in Environmental Diversity in Architecture, Koen Steemers Ed., E&F Spon Press, London.

POTVIN, DEMERS, DUBOIS, (2004), “Environmental Adaptability in architecture: towards a dynamic multi-sensory approach integrating user’s behaviour”, Proceedings of Windsor2004, Windsor Conference on POEs, 29 avril-2 mai 2004: Closing the loop : Post-occupancy evaluation.

POTVIN, A., DEMERS, C., BOIVIN, H. (2004), PETv4.2 Les profils d’équilibre thermique comme outil d’aide à la conception architecturale, Proceedings of eSIM2004, Vancouver 9 -11 juin 2004.

POTVIN, A. (2002) “L’intérieur-extérieur”, Exposition publique des résultats d’une bourse aux artistes professionnels du CALQ (Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec), École d’architecture, 21 mars-11 avril 2002.

POTVIN, A. (2002), ”A Combined Quantitative and Qualitative Approch to Comfort”, dans les Actes de PLEA2002 (Passive Low-Energy Architecture, Toulouse, Juillet 2002.

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