Wood has always been a stong contributing factor in the creation of interesting architecture. Because of its special physical characteristics, its many possibilities of application and combination with other construction materials, since human beings began building houses, wood has been one of the main building materials. In addition, because of the increasing sensitivity for the protection of resources the ecological potential of wood as a renewable raw material wood has gained in significance. To build with wood has been for years and is still a trend topic, this volume is a road tour of contemporary wood architecture. The many possibilities for use of this natural building material are shown with texts, photos, facts and drawings, as well as the innovative construction techniques which have extended these possibilities. The architectural species diversity ranges from energy efficient passive homes to wide span supporting structures, to multi-story productions halls.
An important material for many centuries and used in countless diverse ways before being almost despised for a long time in the modern era, wood has now become a source of fascination and inspiration in contemporary architecture. The sustainable and locally available building material is easy to process, structurally very powerful and extremely simple to combine with other materials. It insulates against heat as well as cold, but is also breathable - excellent qualities for a pleasant and healthy interior climate.Along with these practical considerations, it is the unlimited abundance of creative possibilities that accounts for the ever-growing popularity of residential dwellings made of wood. From one-story bungalows to multi-story dwellings, timber houses are at the forefront of the development of contemporary architecture and design. This volume presents the huge creative diversity of individual solutions from across the globe.
Architecture is on the brink. It is a discipline in crisis. Over the last two decades, architectural debate has diversified to the point of fragmentation and exhaustion. What is called for is an overarching argument or set of criteria on which to approach the design and construction of the built environment. Here, the internationally renowned architect and educator Michael Hensel advocates an entirely different way of thinking about architecture. By favouring a new focus on performance, he rejects longstanding conventions in design and the built environment. This not only bridges the gap between academia and practice, but, even more significantly, the treatment of form and function in design. It also has a far-reaching impact on knowledge production and development, placing an important emphasis on design research in architecture and the value of an interdisciplinary approach. Though ‘performance’ first evolved as a concept in the humanities in the 1940s and 1950s, it has never previously been systematically applied in architecture in an inclusive manner. Here Michael Hensel offers Performance-Orientated Architecture as an integrative approach to architectural design, the built environment and questions of sustainability. He highlights how core concepts and specific traits, such as climate, material performance and settlement patterns, can put architecture in the service of the natural environment. A wide range of examples are cited to support his argument, from traditional sustainable buildings, such as the Kahju Bridge in Isfahan and the Topkapí Palace in Istanbul to more contemporary works by Cloud 9, Foreign Office Architects, Steven Holl and OCEAN.