Building Skins was started as a supplement to an in-house seminar presented in September 2007. The postings and links here are meant to serve as a repository and forum for discussions relating to high performance and well designed buildings with a focus on their envelopes. We are most interested in the place where elegant technical solutions become poetic moments. As authors study and embrace grammar, we as designers study the details and systems of our compositions. Through the encouragement of well considered design solutions we seek to elevate the quality of our human experience.
Much of the initial discussion comes out of a study produced at Lawrence Berkley National Labs called High Performance Commercial Building Facades which was finalized this year. This study was a clear and concise survey of the state of high performance building science in North America at the time.
But, it is the keen observations of glass artist James Carpenter which elevate all of these efforts and clearly place the technical developments and the social agenda at the temporal intersection of technesis and poesis:
"This trend is a rejection of much work in the 70's, which relied heavily on heat reflective coatings or heat absorptive glasses, to answer solar issues. There is currently a rejection of the methods of construction of those decades and one now sees the reemergence of modernism and its entendant embrace of transparency. It is a rejection of post modernism and a reemergence and a reinterpretation of modernism. That is not so much a fashion as much as a philosophical and aesthetic undertaking that re-states philosophical arguments that were very much in the forefront of societal discussion at the turn of the last century. That discussion focused upon the openness of buildings to enhance interchange of the individual with the public and how urban environments can be more open and communicative in terms of their functions. I think what is really driving this is a coupling of industry developments and a reemergence of a more social agenda, an agenda that attaches a significant value to the energy used being part and parcel of that social agenda." - From the Workshop Session at California Edison
This is what brings poets and gearheads to an intersection that is most fascinating. We look forward to good discussion and open collaboration.