Special Issue "Sustainable Architecture"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2013
Prof. Dr. Volker M. Welter
Professor, History of Art & Architecture, Ellison Hall 2834, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106-7080, USA
Interests: californian architectural history; Western/European architectural history from the 19th century onwards; Zionist and Israeli architectural history; the modern city since the 19th century; history and theory of sustainable architecture; contemporary architecture and architectural criticism; modern architecture in relation to philosophical and sociological thought
For quite some time now sustainability has been an important paradigm in architecture. Yet in contrast to Modernism and Postmodernism, for example, which rather quickly created memorable designs and agreed upon conceptual parameters, sustainable architecture seems to struggle to define itself through exemplary, identifiable buildings, images, and ideas.
Depending on time, place, and architect or author, sustainability in architecture can mean the renewal of Modernism, the return of traditional ways of building, the continuous innovation of materials, technology, and construction methods, the reorganization of human life along collective lines, or a path to individual salvation. Accordingly, is sustainable architecture an architectural practice, a method, a style, a social, economic, or even aesthetic principle? How can sustainable architecture be defined other than as in reaction to existing ecological problems, especially when considering that mankind may face ecological issues that are still unknown? Looking back at decades of experiments and sustainable buildings, do the efforts amount to a history of sustainable architecture with recognizable patterns and emerging questions worthwhile the attention of the historian? Or is all that remains a collection of discarded, even if quaint designs?
Contributions are invited that critically analyze sustainable architecture from historical and contemporary perspectives while addressing questions as those outlined above and issues of comparable focus. Papers on any period, geographical area, and type of architecture, and of any methodological approach (including biographies of protagonists of sustainable architecture) will be considered, except those that specifically discuss contemporary technical solutions to current ecological problems.
Prof. Dr. Volker M. Welter
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
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Title: For an Environmental Sustainability Beyond a “Linguistic” Phenomenon
Author: Nicola Scardigno
Abstract: After decades where belief was in the absolute dominion of man over nature and thus in the separation between natural and anthropic processes, we are at the beginning of a new architectural era characterised by a search for a renewed pact between man and the environment. This search has in recent years coined a new vocabulary aimed at more sustainable ways of tranforming the territory on different scales; in fact zero-energy development, bioclimatic architecture, eco-buildings or low carbon footprint represent the new terminology that has literally impacted on the anthropic environment. It seemsall these terms try to combine the physical aspects of the build environment, such as settlement and architecture, with both the prefix eco, which derives from other scientific fields, and concepts like zero-energy or low carbon footprint which allude to a sort of high-tech version of the Corbuserian idea of an architecture as a "machine" for living.This new linguistic phenomenon that hovers on the "building" considered by G. Caniggia as the "general built context" (G. Caniggia, 1979) seems to be symptomatic of two aspects: a sort of "amnesia", in the sense that already the traditional constructions were closely related to local climate and materials as well as being "sustainable" not out of choice but out of survival needs; and of a designer's identity crisis caused by the difficulties in finding specific boundaries both to the architectural project and to the urban design's disciplines.
On the basis of the above assessments, this essay will attempt to address the renewed interest in reestablishing the inseparable binomial between anthropic and natural processes, towards some “building”pivotal aspects such as: the building typologies, the construction technique, the building language, the building character and the urban morphology. All this data must represent the substance upon which to formulate evaluations aimed at contextualized environmental sustainability.The focous of this essay will be developed by discussing recentexamples (known or unknown) of sustainable architecture.
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Sustainable development, architecture and modernism. Aspects of an ongoing controversy.
Authors: Han Vandevyvere and Hilde Heynen
Affiliation: Unit Transition Energy & Environment, VITO NV, Boeretang 200, B-2400 Mol, Belgium; Tel. +32 14 33 58 68; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: In some discourses on sustainability modernism is blamed for its technocratic beliefs that supposedly generated a lot of the problems the world is facing today. In this paper, we react to this viewpoint in two different ways. First we are scrutinizing the arguments about modernism’s technocratic nature, showing how they rely upon a specific understanding of modernism that is partial and incomplete. We offer a different framing of modernism, which allows to understand it as a multilayered and multifaceted response to the challenges of modernity, a response that formulated a series of ideals that are not so far removed from the ideals formulated by many advocates of sustainability. Secondly we argue that a reconsideration and reconfiguring of some key-ideas of modernism might be very helpful in recalibrating the debates between so-called constructivists on the one hand (those who are convinced that the call for ‘green buildings’ is but another screen behind which the same old logic hide) and the technical environmentalists on the other hand (those who are convinced that the threats posed by climate change are such that immediate action rather than further reflection is needed). To unfold this argument, we are relying upon the modal sphere theory of the Dutch philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Learning From Vernacular Turkish Architecture in the Context of Sustainability: Mardin, Cumalıkızık
Author: Güliz Özorhon
Affiliation: Ozyegin University, Turkey; E-Mail: email@example.com
Abstract: Today, one of the most important criteria which effect architectural design is sustainability. Its contribution to architectural design is increasing with the development in technology and material science day by day. Although sustainability seems to be new, the subject, in reality, isn’t. Contemporary architecture has been developing with references from traditional architecture which in different parts of the world has presented many examples of sustainable architecture. This paper aims at investigating traces of sustainable design criteria in Turkey’s traditional housing architecture with two examples. Turkey has different traditional housing culture which were formed own characteristics. In this study, two settlements, which were very different from each other, were chosen. In the context of sustainability one of the investigated locations is Cumalikizik, the other is Mardin. Each of the cases will be systematically introduced.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Sustainable Architecture! The Oslo Opera House Building Designed by Snøhetta
Author: Elin Haugdal
Affiliation: Department of Culture and Literature, University of Tromsø, Norway; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: This article discusses the Oslo Opera House building designed by Snøhetta (inaugurated 2008) as one of three monumental buildings in EU’s Eco Culture Program and a so called demonstration building for ecological solutions in architecture. The most visible result in the Opera House is a large-scale glass wall with integrated solar cell panels, producing electricity as well as providing sun shading. The real ecological values, however, are hardly to be measured in money or watt, nor in reduced emissions or climatic change. This solar wall is first and foremost putting a strong ecological intention on display.
With its giant ecological footprint Snøhetta’s building can never be defended within a rational, environmental discourse. It is a contradictory example of sustainable architecture measured up against crucial factors like situatedness, construction and materials, energy consumption and costs. But this spectacular monumental construction which presents a new urban space in a former industrial part of the city, needs to be studied in accordance with deep ecology theories like Félix Guattari’s Les trois écologies (1989). Guattari’s extended definition of ecology, including sociocultural conditions and human mentality, gives an opportunity to discuss ecology not first and foremost as a rational and ethical challenge in architecture but as an aesthetical.
- David Serlin, Department of Communication, La Jolla, USA
- David Haney, Kent School of Architecture, University of Kent, UK
- Christopher Pierce, Architectural Association School of Architecture, London
- Karen Koehler, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002, USA
Last update: 2 December 2013