March 2014

The Boring Envelope ///

 

Building envelopes are composed of an increasing array of specialized layers. Each component is optimized for a single function: fire protection, structure, insulation, vapor barrier, air barrier, drainage plane, UV protection, finish, etc. With the promise of higher performance come increased labor complexity, potential for error, and reliance on non-local materials. Traditional structures made only of mud, wood, or stone have been built for millennia. How might contemporary materials and methods inform a single-material building today? How does the envelope react to temperature fluctuations, rain, moisture, and fire? What are the inherent benefits and issues of constructing with only one material? What happens when a building envelope is boring?  

 

Participants are asked to consider non-traditional materials and construction methods. Submissions may be technical, conceptual, practical, and/or artistic.

JURORS ///

 

Joseph Cincotta, AIA

Wilmington, Vermont, United States

M.Arch, Harvard University

Firm: LineSync Architecture

 

Philipp Hoppe

Cologne, Germany

Dipl.-Ing, RWTH Aachen University

Faculty: RWTH Aachen University

 

Kristina Simcic

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

B.Arch, Temple University

Firm: Coscia Moos Architecture

 

RESULTS ///

 

1
2
3
T7

Cat Theriault

Valencia, Spain

 

Jakob Vermelin

Lund, Skåne, Sweden

 

Ross Chinn

London, United Kingdom

 

Alfredo Di Zenzo & Daniel Felix

Florence, Italy & Guimarães, Portugal

 

Carola Winnie I

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Prem Balasubramanian

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Jim Bogle

Providence, Rhode Island, United States

ENTRIES ///

 

15
6
8
1

ENTRIES

 

 

Africa

 

Asia

 

Europe

 

N. America

 

S. America

 

Oceana

Cat Theriault

Valencia, Spain

 

1st Place

JURY COMMENTS ///

 

"What I really like about this solution is the potential blurring of the envelope with wearable textiles, following the idea to conceive of the building skin as an extension of our own skin and clothes. The building envelope itself becomes inhabitable. Nice and clear graphic language."

 

"This entry has a compelling graphic that brings home the point about seasonal weather adjustments for winter and summer; even in the equatorial regions of Oman the summer is a lot hotter! Animals do it why can't we? The entry suggests a human responsibility to interact with a layer to zip up or unzip as need be. Repression can be a good thing."

 

"As requested, the submission communicates a cohesive concept, involving a single contemporary material. The structure’s presumed human-controlled response to seasonal temperature fluctuations is illustrated clearly. An inherent benefit of constructing with this single material – “coat” as building-scale envelope and “coat” as human-scale blanket – is intriguing."

Jakob Vermelin

Lund, Skåne, Sweden

 

2nd Place

JURY COMMENTS ///

 

"The submission began with a study of a traditional single-material building. The Urgloo’s forebear’s success is due to air pockets in snow, which make the material a good insulator; AAC is a clever contemporary substitute because of its similar properties. This parallel implies some latitude-dependent shortcomings for The Urgloo, the consideration of which would have made for an interesting illustration."

Ross Chin

London, United Kingdom

 

3rd Place

JURY COMMENTS ///

 

"This entry presents a building that is completely low-tech, not having to do anything with sophisticated materials. But it seems to stand in perfect harmony with nature and may raise a question about the appropriateness of many contemporary materials, which often come with a huge environmental impact. The graphic quality of the image adds to the power of the conveyed idea."

Alfredo Di Zenzo & Daniel Felix

Florence, Italy & Guimarães, Portugal

 

Top 7

JURY COMMENTS ///

 

"This entry, while somewhat tongue in cheek, deserves attention for offering a reconsideration of something we wear every day. Fabric in many ways emulates the 7 layer epidermis in a single layer of woven mesh. As we continue to enmesh ourselves in technologies that produce non woven mesh products I suspect the approach of filtering out the elements may hold great promise. The fact that it might be a singular material is compelling in its promise for simplicity."

Carola Winnie I

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Top 7

JURY COMMENTS ///

 

"The building’s single-material envelope goes far beyond traditional – it’s prehistoric. I am fascinated by the juxtaposition of rendering and text – the image’s scale figures seem to celebrate the benefits of wind as building envelope, while the words suggest its flaws. This tension makes the submission thought-provoking."

Prem Balasubramanian

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Top 7

JURY COMMENTS ///

 

"This entry seems to be simply a photograph of an actual tactile model, it's wonderfully compelling! It excels in providing a poetic expression of a simply wrapped layer over a rigid frame. On presentation alone it should win, however it raises many of the same issues as B and L."

Jim Bogle

Providence, Rhode Island, United States

 

Top 7

JURY COMMENTS ///

 

"This entry brings awareness to the sophistication and organic qualities of the (human) skin which, much like building envelopes, take on very diverse functions. In this sense, it challenges us to consider and learn from the skin (and nature in general) when inventing the building envelopes of the future."

Esther Rubina

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Amrutha Sree CN

Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Max Bontoft

London, United Kingdom

 

Richard Manoharan

Mysore, Karnataka, India

 

Anastasiia Ieremenok

Chernigiv, Ukraine

 

Edoardo Milli

London, United Kingdom

 

Soumyajit Maiti

India

 

Andreas Christodoulou & Helen Kyprianos

Barnet, London, England