Contemporary Architecture

The Florida Solar Cracker House – an energy efficient, solar-powered home

What is passive house?

  •  A passive house is a building in which a comfortable interior climatecan be maintained without active heating and cooling systems.
  •  The house heats and cools itself, hence “passive”.
  • cost-effective
  • Passive design is design that does not require mechanical heating or   cooling.
  • Homes that are passively designed take advantage of natural energy flows to maintain thermal comfort.

Following are the basic features that distinguish passive house construction:

  • Compact form and good insulation.
  • Southern orientation and shade considerations {0.15 W/(m²K) }
  • Energy-efficient window glazing and frames {0.80 W/(m²K) , 50% }
  • Passive preheating of fresh air (above 5°C )
  • Hot water supply using regenerative energy sources

Incorporating the principles of passive design :

  • Significantly improves comfort.
  • Reduces or eliminates heating and cooling bills.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions from heating, cooling, mechanical  ventilation and lighting.

INTRODUCTION :

  • location & area : The house is near the middle of 60 acre southwest of Jacksonville , North Florida.
  • Designed by: Randy Cullom & his wife  L.Elizabeth

What is the climate of north Florida?

  • From mid-April to mid-October is generally hot and humid.
  • Daytime temperature varies from 90 – 70 *f.
  • Cool nights and warm, but not hot, days, and low to    moderate humidity.
  • December and January can be cold, with several to about a dozen freezing spells.
  • Rainfall is more uniform throughout the year in northern Florida.
  • Cool season rainfall (meaning the 6 months from mid-October until mid-April), from 2″ to 4″ per month.       

Features:

  • South-facing windows and doors
  • Windows are designed to reflect heat
  • No flat ceilings to allow air to stagnate
  • Both parts of the house are very open• windows or doors on each wall for good cross-ventilation.
  • Isolate the hot, humid kitchen and bath areas from the remaining living space
  • A cupola provides a very efficient way to bring natural light inside without allowing direct radiation to enter the house.
  • Most important building material in house is wood ( timber )
  • Cistern which can be used to collect rainwater for all household water needs
  • No fossil fuels
  • Use of the Composting Toilet (black water and gray water)
  • In a typical household, 35 to 45% of all household potable water is flushed down the toilet
  • Wooden cook stove
  •  Hot water for household use is mainly provided by a solar collector.
  • Able to generate a current or voltage when exposed to visible light or other electromagnetic radiation

The two-story greenhouse :

  • Temperature-moderating thermal mass .
  • Passive solar heating in the winter.
  • Open to the kitchen .
  • Food production.
  • 2500 square foot organic garden.
  • High level openable windows capture winter sun & create cooling currents in summer.
  • No Stagnancy of wind

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Contemporary Architecture

MICHAEL GRAVES – WALT DISNEY WORLD

WALT DISNEY WORLD, DOLPHIN & SWAN HOTEL:

  • Location : Walt Disney world resort, Florida
  • Design started : 1987
  • Design completed : 1990
  • Area : 2- million sq. Feet
  • Structure : reinforced concrete & steel superstructure
  • Material : exterior insulation & finish system with painted murals.

About the building:

  • The 1,500 room walt disney world resort dolphin faces its composition project,the 758-room walt disney world resort swan hotel, across a large crescent shaped artificial lake.
  • Both hotels contain extensive convention facilities, restaurants,  and retail shops.
  • The colors and decoration of the two hotels suggest the character of florida resorts and provide a thematic context consistent with disney’s program for “entertainment architecture”.
  • Gigantic statues of dolphins and swans mark the ends of the hotel roofs, making the hotels visible and recognizable from a great distance.
  • Within the both hotels, the lobbies, ballrooms, guestroom corridors, restaurants, and the other areas experienced by hotel visitors are embellished bt a wide variety of patterned materials and custom-designed light fixtures and furniture,delighting the visitor with the unexpeted

Introduction:Michael Graves:

  • Date of birth: April 1934
  • Place of birth: Indianapolis in Indiana, USA.
  • Nationality: American
  • Education: received architectural training at the university of Cincinnati & Harvard University, won “the Rome prize” in 1960 & studied for 2 years at “American academy” in Rome.
  • Profession: began his practice in 1964 in Princeton, New Jercy.
  • Firm: Michael graves & associates, 1964, (a 75 persons firm)

Influences

  • Graves continues to turn to architecture itself for his inspiration.
  • He has a deep interest in existing architecture: – ancient, neo- classical, modern – & derives pleasure from reinterpreting it’s forms & compositions.
  • He gives credence to the basic tenet that there is no such thing as an original idea but that everything original is based on the reworking of what already exists.
  • One very strong influence on the work of graves is the interest in & appreciation of; the simple domestic rituals of life that one enjoys or ought to be able to enjoy, despite the speed at which technology is rustling us into the cyber space.

Japan travel:

  • Graves has been steadily developing his practice in Japan for the last 15 years.
  • He explains that Japan has “become a place to experiment a bit with abstraction. In Europe & America I’m probably a bit more conscious of historic context”. Because so often the cities we’ve been asked to design for there are completely rebuilt.
  • In Japan graves architecture was seen as ‘humanistic’ rather than ‘mechanistic’ i.e. In terms of materials & the anthropometric qualities of the building. He used man as the metaphor rather than the machine

Philosophy:

  • Grave’s language of architecture operates on a number of levels. It is meant to be legible & a part of everyday life.
  • Secondly, & certainly no less important although admittedly more understandable to the trained eye, is a passionate & sometimes playful interest in reworking the commonly accepted language of architecture into a uniquely personal expression of what it might become, without losing its identity.
  • The reworking of what exists into what is unknown but still recognizable is the goal.
  • Grave’s practice is practice in the literal sense of the word. He is constantly practicing the rules & principles of architecture.
  • He desires to create a pleasant, comfortable environment for the people in his building.
  • His continually evolving experimentation with architectural form & language at the level of abstraction & figuration, scale & color, size & structural system is such that, there is emergence of new ideas without denying existence of traditions.

Architectural style:

  • Graves has been an architect who is not simply concerned with formal manipulation a self- referential language but is equally occupied with a building’s significance with time & place.
  • He designs building in a near-populist attitude, so that non architects can recognize distinct architectural elements within their compositions & relate them in scale to their own bodies.
  • His early projects reveal distinct references to the environment that the buildings are a part of:-
    • a curve referring to the clouds above.
    • A mural expanding the perspective of a room.
    • a yellow rail referring to the sun
    • a terracotta base suggesting grounding in the earth.

GRAVES STYLE IN 1980

  • Graves strategy has been “to internalize the events  of the building”, identifying particular components     of the program that can be given formal emphasis. The result is that these large complexes become cities into themselves, self contained by somewhat inward looking.
  • Whether the emphasis of the building is primarily  horizontal or vertical, a hierarchial route is established through the repetitive spaces.
  • Relationship b/w indoors or outdoors by “pushing the wall as far out as it can get to make a bay window    that grabs the light” e.G. Humana building or by carving something out of the face of the building so people can literally go outside, e.g  Tazima building.

Architectural details:

  • Built form
    • Influenced by the roman style, Graves tried to create grand interior spaces but broken down to human scale.
    • Cubical facades treated in the classical three part division or tripartite form with the base, shaft & cornice.
    • In later projects, the strict form of the cube is broken.
  • WINDOWS:
    • It forms the basic element as surface texture, due to their proportion & repetition.
  • Façade:
    • Uses column as surface treatment & defining the cornice or the head of the building &   entrance.
    • Facades are symmetrical &  linearity broken by adding vertical bands of colors &   windows.
    • Uses square windows but tries  to achieve the principles of neoclassical style.

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