[ours] hyper localization of architecture explores sustainable archetypes [ours] hyper localization of architecture explores sustainable archetypes
feb 07, 2015

[ours] hyper localization of architecture explores sustainable archetypes

[ours] hyper localization of architecture explores sustainable archetypes
photo © andrew michler
all images courtesy of [ours] hyperlocalization of architecture

 

 

 

a book will be available in april 2015 written by andrew michler which focuses on a new term in the context, ‘hyperlocal architecture’. in the lexical meaning, ‘hyperlocal’ refers to ‘extremely local’ and collects news and information in the vicinity of its community. the book constitutively takes into consideration a site and its changeable environmental factors playing an important role in the design process. according to berrin chatzi chousein, an architectural theorist that has analyzed the text, ‘although the reader viewed a few pages of the book before entire publication, someone who is not familiar with this book before can easily understand that it is entirely based on a research, well-grounded, experimental, and observantly written over built some selective designs from different climates and geographies.’

 

michler is a sustainable architecture writer, passive house consultant and cibcerbed environmentalist who spent 20 years of his life in colorado pine forests by discovering the essence of design and construction. his consulting company, baosol, collects cutting edge sustainable practices and works in this website. in fact, when his research studies and experimental works are put under the scope, it seems that he is exactly the right person to write this book for the future designs to be dominated. berrin elaborates by saying, ‘michler performs his analyses using passive house design, a term whose meaning has not been fully probed until today, and it is the real breaking point of the book for the readers.’

 

dr. wolfgang feist, the founder and director of the passivhaus institut, in darmstadt, germany, also helped and supported michler’s research throughout the book and at first, he clarifies all the main principles and doctrines of passive house in terms of human activity and conditions occurring in the world. the main reason of starting point of the movement is to expand and maximize deeper meaning of the low impact technology of architecture regarding its own context and environmental facts like climate, materials, weather, fabric, sun, energy, green and all inputs impacting design methodology.

 

particularly, since the main pivot of the book is the human centric, also based on natural and cultural resources within the site, the sense of ‘place’ becomes an important parameter. this helps to improve the design assets by evaluating different or challenging conditions, because if the existing design is defined as ‘extremely local’, it should adapt to everywhere and to every condition without disrupting human comfort and its function. ‘actually, it means that you have made a correct calculations (if it is possible technically) and calculated all the possibilities that you may encounter in different regions,’ adds chatzi chousein, ‘and you got some specific results of that and finally you have formulated some cause-effect situations. however, is it possible? is it possible to reduce to a single result or formula for all possible situations for all possible regions? of course no!’

 

to be more precise, the notion of hyper localization of architecture in this book confronts different environmental situations and tries to solve its own contextual tool within its own boundaries without having to depend on extreme technology. in this way, it explicitly forms, searches, and analyzes different contemporary archetypes by examining or building specific examples over adjusted design parameters. for the very same reason, there is another question that comes to mind: what is the difference between contextualism and hyperlocal architecture?

 

contextualism in architecture has always been discussed and emphasized with its role and attitudes from 1900s until today and we have encountered different discourses as related to ‘modernism’, ‘postmodernism’, and ‘deconstructivism’. the theorist continues by stating, ‘contextual architecture is a kind of specific framework between the product and the background behind it and directly relates to how it is interpreted by designer. thus, contextualist architecture sets up a visual, tactual, and memorable relationship considering the built environment, existing fabric and history and I think it is still local. when I asked this question to michler, he explains that ‘context is fitting in, passive/established, while hyperlocal is responding to place, active/progressive,’ and we understand from his statement hyperlocal architecture acts as a more environmentalist that is driven by the user/designer and empowered by the specifications of a place so it can be improved, re-generated and be resilient in the long term.’

 

the publication includes several interviews starting from BIG, peter busby, KUUD architects, perkins+will, hassell studios, yasuhiro yamashita, william mcdonough+partners to dr. wolfgang feist and 30 selected projects are presented as a new generic, a convertor of contemporary sustainable archetypes in their own places. hence, it explores all contextual matters under seven chapters titled cascadia harvests, japan condenses, germany naintains, denmark plays, spain wraps, mexico embeds, and australia unfolds.

berrin chatzi chousein andrew michler hyper localization architecture book designboom
vandusen botanical garden visitors center, vancouver by perkins+will 
photo © nick lehous

 

 

 

the first chapter of the book consists mainly of two buildings designed in the pacific northwest region reaching out from british columbia to oregon. in this area, several heavy wood constructions are implemented through new design techniques. due to its strength and availability at any range, wood is the basic material of cascadia. the structures illustrated as the best examples of heavy timber construction are ‘bullitt center’ by miller hull partnership, US, 2013 and ‘vandusen botanical garden visitors center’ by perkins+will, vancouver, 2011.

berrin chatzi chousein andrew michler hyper localization architecture book designboom
bullitt center, seattle, US by niller hull partnership
photo © andrew michler

 

 

 

‘bullitt center’ uses local sources to represent proper heavy timber construction in the city. the material is an important and rich material for this region, because alternatively it has a variety of benefits and provides as aesthetic different than concrete, glass, and steel and no finishing is required. thus, the center is presented in this volume as the first heavy-timber multi-story architecture in seattle. the building tried to solve tiny, new, or experimental construction methods in its own context. berrin believes, ‘it is not about the end-product, it is about the process and finding, searching, or creating new, healthy conditions through natural resources of a place; which should be the main goal of designers or municipalities.’

berrin chatzi chousein andrew michler hyper localization architecture book designboomkunstmuseum ravensburg by lederer + ragnarsdóttir + oei
photo © andrew michler

 

 

 

the ‘germany naintains’ chapter examines one institution that stands as a very interesting cultural symbol for ravensburg. this museum is an experimental project offered by the investor with the passivhaus standards and carries both the traces of vernacular architecture and self-expressionism of contemporary approach simply in a class of its own. this overwhelming, massive, and introverted building refers to historical brickwork, fabric, and the existing old neighborhood framing the old-new integration of special characteristics of architecture, but sets up efficient low energy use inside.

berrin chatzi chousein andrew michler hyper localization architecture book designboom
interior of kunstmuseum ravensburg
photo © andrew michler

 

 

 

‘the organization had no windows intentionally, which makes people little bit depressing or angry while walking through in it but according to the designer of the building, arno lederer; this museum definitely proved the idea of passivhaus principles because heavy buildings like kunstmuseum take a long time to get cold in winter and take a long time to get warm in the summer so the building is able to react or adapt according to different climatic conditions. this was an experiment and it worked,’ says chatzi chousein.

berrin chatzi chousein andrew michler hyper localization architecture book designboom
T-house, tokyo by kubota architect atelier
photo © andrew michler

berrin chatzi chousein andrew michler hyper localization architecture book designboom
cell brick, tokyo by yasuhiro yamashita
photo © andrew michler

berrin chatzi chousein andrew michler hyper localization architecture book designboom
house tokyo by A.L.X.
photo © andrew michler

berrin chatzi chousein andrew michler hyper localization architecture book designboom
institute of neurosciences of castilla y león, salamanca by CANVAS arquitecto
photo © andrew michler

berrin chatzi chousein andrew michler hyper localization architecture book designboom
E8 building, vitoria-gasteiz by coll-barreu arquitectos
photo © andrew michler

 

 

 

the richest chapter of the book may be designated as ‘australia unfolds’. this section examines different types of projects from sydney to melbourne, from apartments to a pavilion, from urban structures to funny, small houses.

berrin chatzi chousein andrew michler hyper localization architecture book designboom
mudgee permanent camping, mudgee NSW by casey brown architects
photo © andrew michler

berrin chatzi chousein andrew michler hyper localization architecture book designboom
pixel building, melbourne by studio 505
photo © by andrew michler

 

 

 

the book ‘[ours] hyperlocalization of architecture’ can be seen as a contemporary experimental guide for the future designers and produces different approaches to ‘ordinary architecture’ with regional sources or materials. in this regard, defines a new way of producing through provocative rules and limitations, removing all ambiguity about sustainable architecture.

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.  

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