Special Issue "Responsive Architecture"

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dušan Katunský

Faculty of Civil Engineering, Institute of Architectural Engineering Technical University of Košice, Slovakia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: architectural engineering; building physics
Guest Editor
Prof. Jeffrey Huang

Faculty of Computer and Communication Sciences & Faculty of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, EPFL, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: artificial design; computational urbanism; intelligent environments

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Similarity architecture or responsive architecture has been a well-known term for more than 50 years. Originating in the middle of the last century, it has many definitions.

The basis, however, is the creation of buildings or structural elements of buildings that are able to adapt to external influences, external conditions, and overall outdoor environments. A building and its elements utilize physical states and force effects (light, heat, humidity, noise) in the form of sun, wind, and rain. These effects are used to make the building elements or the building as a whole change and adapt sensitively to create a suitable (self-sustaining, self-adaptive) sustainable architecture, building, and environment. The shape of the building will be able to appropriately adapt to environmental conditions. External conditions also cause the adaptability of the construction elements to create a suitable internal environment.

The Special Issue of Buildings on “Responsive Architecture” will also be dedicated to sensitive, creative, adaptable, and sustainable architecture. This issue will deal with case studies and demonstrations of concrete (real) situations from practice. It will also deal with the design of adaptive structural elements, and the constructional justification of designing an adaptive architectural detail of a building. All ideas that support the suitability of adaptive designs are welcome.

Prof. Dušan Katunský
Prof. Jeffrey Huang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 650 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Responsive architecture
  • Structure of building 
  • Adaptive detail 
  • Building design 
  • Creative design 
  • Sustainability in architecture

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying the Generality and Adaptability of Building Layouts Using Weighted Graphs: The SAGA Method
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper presents an assessment method that uses weighted graphs to quantify a building’s capacity to support changes. The method is called Spatial Assessment of Generality and Adaptability (SAGA), and evaluates the generality (passive support for change) and adaptability (active support for change) [...] Read more.
This paper presents an assessment method that uses weighted graphs to quantify a building’s capacity to support changes. The method is called Spatial Assessment of Generality and Adaptability (SAGA), and evaluates the generality (passive support for change) and adaptability (active support for change) of a building’s spatial configuration. We put forward that the generality and adaptability of a floor plan can be expressed in terms of graph permeability, and introduce a set of five quantitative indicators. To illustrate the method, we evaluate six representative plan layouts, and discuss how their generality and adaptability scores relate to their spatial configuration. We are developing the SAGA method for two areas of application. First, SAGA’s global graph indicators can be used to analyse and compare large sets of plan graphs, for example to map or plan adaptable capacity throughout a building or city. Second, the SAGA method can serve as a tool to inform design, allowing architects to improve the generality and adaptability of their plan layouts. While we conclude that the method has significant strengths and promising applications, the paper ends by discussing ways to make the assessment more robust and extend it beyond measuring spatial configuration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal Responsive Performances of a Spanish Balcony-Based Vernacular Envelope
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
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Abstract
Many operable and complementary layers make up a vernacular adaptive envelope. With vertical operable translucent textile blinds, horizontal foldable glass doors with thin structural framing, wooden horizontal foldable frames with vertical rotational shutters, plants with dynamic densities, humidity concentrations, and opaque operable textile [...] Read more.
Many operable and complementary layers make up a vernacular adaptive envelope. With vertical operable translucent textile blinds, horizontal foldable glass doors with thin structural framing, wooden horizontal foldable frames with vertical rotational shutters, plants with dynamic densities, humidity concentrations, and opaque operable textile blinds forming the deep responsive façades of many Southern European buildings as part of the building envelope. This low-tech configuration utilizes behavioral human interaction with the building. On their own, these are singular mechanisms, but as coupled systems, they become highly advanced adaptive building systems used to balance temperature sensations. The research investigates such an adaptive envelope structure through identification of operable elements and their thermal and energy performances through computer simulation models. The designed research computational model includes assessment of heat reception and transfer, resultant operative temperatures, and adaptive comfort sensations. The aim of the research and the material presented in this paper is understanding the performance of native, local, low-tech systems as an opposing approach to contemporary high-tech, complex mechanical systems. The study finds that the operable elements and various compositions make a significant, yet less than anticipated, impact on adaptive thermal comfort temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Transformed Shell Roof Structures as the Main Determinant in Creative Shaping Building Free Forms Sensitive to Man-Made and Natural Environments
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract
The article presents author’s propositions for shaping free forms of buildings sensitive to harmonious incorporation into built or natural environments. Complex folded structures of buildings roofed with regular shell structures are regarded as the most useful in creative shaping the free forms that [...] Read more.
The article presents author’s propositions for shaping free forms of buildings sensitive to harmonious incorporation into built or natural environments. Complex folded structures of buildings roofed with regular shell structures are regarded as the most useful in creative shaping the free forms that can easily adapt to various expected environmental conditions. Three more and more sophisticated methods are proposed for creating variously conditioned free form structures. The first method allows the possibility of combining many single free forms into one structure and leaves the designer full freedom in shaping regular or irregular structures. The second, more sophisticated method introduces additional rules supporting the designer’s spatial reasoning and intuition in imposing regularity of the shapes of the building structure and its roof shell structure. The third, most sophisticated method introduces additional conditions allowing the optimization of the regular shapes and arrangement of complete shell roof segments on the basis of an arbitrary reference surface and a finite number of straight lines normal to the surface. This original, interdisciplinary study offers new insight into, and knowledge of, unconventional methods for the creative shaping of innovative free forms, where great possibility and significant restrictions result from geometrical and mechanical properties of the materials used. Solving a number of issues in the field of civil engineering, descriptive geometry and architecture is crucial in the process of creating these structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Interaction Narratives for Responsive Architecture
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
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Abstract
In this position paper, we present the results of an ongoing theoretical investigation into the phenomenon of interactive architecture. Interaction in architecture deals with the meaningful exchange of information and physical acts between building and person. This goes beyond responsive systems like automated [...] Read more.
In this position paper, we present the results of an ongoing theoretical investigation into the phenomenon of interactive architecture. Interaction in architecture deals with the meaningful exchange of information and physical acts between building and person. This goes beyond responsive systems like automated doors, shading systems, and so on. Most examples of interactive architecture are technological explorations that probe possibilities and the potential for interaction. In this paper we claim that this is not enough. The notion of interactive architecture is explored through social aspects, user experience, situatedness, and agent-based theory. From this we argue that interactive buildings need comprehensive and consistent styles of interaction rather than a series of isolated and unrelated interaction events. Different people in various contexts require different sets of behavior from an interactive building. These sets are conceptualized as interaction narratives, following the work of Maria Lehman. We argue that such narratives can provide a better fit of the interactive building with the user, and lead to a more profound understanding of such systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Rationalized Algorithmic-Aided Shaping a Responsive Curvilinear Steel Bar Structure
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
The correlation of the architectural form and the structural system should be the basis for rational shaping. This paper presents algorithmic-aided shaping curvilinear steel bar structures for roofs, using modern digital tools, working in the environment of Rhinoceros 3D. The proposed method consists [...] Read more.
The correlation of the architectural form and the structural system should be the basis for rational shaping. This paper presents algorithmic-aided shaping curvilinear steel bar structures for roofs, using modern digital tools, working in the environment of Rhinoceros 3D. The proposed method consists of placing the structural nodes of the shaped bar structure on the so-called base surface. As the base surface, the minimal surfaces with favorable mechanical properties were used. These surfaces were obtained in two optimization methods, due to both the structural and functional requirements. One of the methods used was the so-called form-finding method. It wasalso analyzed the amount of shadow produced by the roof and the adjacent building complex, during a certain research period, to find the roof’s optimal shape. The structure of the optimal shape was then subjected to structural analysis and its members were dimensioned. The dimensioning was carried out for two bar cross-sections, and as the optimization criterion, the smallest structure’s mass was used. The presented research aims to show how it is possible to use generative shaping tools, so as not to block the creative process, to obtain effective, responsive structural forms, that meet both architectural and structural requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Digitally Designed Airport Terminal Using Wind Performance Analysis
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
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Abstract
Over the past few decades, digital tools have become indispensable in the field of architecture. The complex design tasks that make up architectural design methods benefit from utilizing advanced simulation software and, consequently, design solutions have become more nature-adapted and site-specific. Computer simulations [...] Read more.
Over the past few decades, digital tools have become indispensable in the field of architecture. The complex design tasks that make up architectural design methods benefit from utilizing advanced simulation software and, consequently, design solutions have become more nature-adapted and site-specific. Computer simulations and performance-oriented design enable us to address global challenges, such as climate change, in the preliminary conceptual design phase. In this paper, an innovative architectural design method is introduced. This method consists of the following: (1) an analysis of the local microclimate, specifically the wind situation; (2) the parametric shape generation of the airport terminal incorporating wind as a form-finding factor; (3) Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis; and (4) wind-performance studies of various shapes and designs. A combination of programs, such as Rhinoceros (Rhino), and open-source plug-ins, such as Grasshopper and Swift, along with the post-processing software Paraview, are utilized for the wind-performance evaluation of a case study airport terminal in Reykjavik, Iceland. The objective of this wind-performance evaluation is to enhance the local wind situation and, by employing the proposed architectural shape, to regulate the wind pattern to find the optimal wind flow around the designed building. By utilizing the aforementioned software, or other open-source software, the proposed method can be easily integrated into regular architectural practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Parametric Creative Design of Building Free-Forms Roofed with Transformed Shells Introducing Architect’s and Civil Engineer’s Responsible Artistic Concepts
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 2 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 March 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (37488 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The article concerns a parametric description of unconventional building forms roofed with folded sheeting transformed elastically into shells. The description supports the designer in the search for attractive forms and a rational use of materials. The adoption of strictly defined sets of initial [...] Read more.
The article concerns a parametric description of unconventional building forms roofed with folded sheeting transformed elastically into shells. The description supports the designer in the search for attractive forms and a rational use of materials. The adoption of strictly defined sets of initial parameters determines the diversification of the designed architectural free-forms. An impact of selected proportions between these parameters on these forms is illustrated by an example of a single structure. Folded elevations and a segmented shell roof make each such structure internally coherent and externally sensitive. The mutual position and proportions of the shape of all elements, such as the roof, eaves, and façades, along with regular patterns in the same structure, determine this consistency of its form and sensitivity to harmonious incorporation into the natural or built environments. The study is a new insight into shaping free-forms of buildings in which the modern and ecological materials determine the important shape and mechanical limitations of these forms. With a skillful approach, the materials allow their extensive use in buildings. However, various interdisciplinary problems related to architectural shaping of free-forms and static and strength work thin-walled shell sheeting roofs must be solved. For effective design it is necessary to use relevant software applications, where spatial reasoning is crucial for ordering the three-dimensional space by means of simplified engineering models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
Responsive Parametric Building Free Forms Determined by Their Elastically Transformed Steel Shell Roofs
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (69612 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The article concerns the unconventional architectural forms of buildings roofed with transformed shells made up of thin-walled steel fold sheets, and a parametric description of how they are shaped. Complicated deformations of flanges and webs, as well as the complex static–strength work of [...] Read more.
The article concerns the unconventional architectural forms of buildings roofed with transformed shells made up of thin-walled steel fold sheets, and a parametric description of how they are shaped. Complicated deformations of flanges and webs, as well as the complex static–strength work of the folds in a shell roof, demand the creation of simplified models regarding the parameterization of such shells and their integration with the general forms of the buildings. To obtain favorable results, it was necessary to write computer applications because of both the complicated problems related to the significant limitations of the transformations, as well as the great possibilities of shaping shell roofs by means of directrices of almost free shape and mutual position. The developed procedures enable the prediction of shapes and states of all the folds in the designed shell. They take account of two basic conditions related to these restrictions, which guarantee that the folds encounter little resistance when matching their transformed forms to the roof directrices, and that their initial effort was as low as possible. The developed procedures required solving a number of issues in the fields of architecture, civil engineering, and structures, and are illustrated with an example of shaping one unconventional architectural form. The interdisciplinary study explains a new insight into shaping such forms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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Open AccessArticle
The Structural Effectivity of Bent Piles in Ammatoan Vernacular Houses
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 10 February 2019
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Abstract
Ammatoa Kajang vernacular houses are buildings that have existed for a hundred years as residential house buildings. These traditional houses are unique in their use of bent piles. This research examines the strength of the structural system of Ammatoan vernacular houses based on [...] Read more.
Ammatoa Kajang vernacular houses are buildings that have existed for a hundred years as residential house buildings. These traditional houses are unique in their use of bent piles. This research examines the strength of the structural system of Ammatoan vernacular houses based on said houses’ ability to adapt to various environmental conditions and natural phenomena. This study seeks to enrich these studies by examining the specific structural strength of these buildings. In the face of modernization and extreme climate change, the continued existence of such traditional houses has been threatened. Disaster may strike at any time, and as such we must explore the structural strength of their structures to predict these buildings’ ability to endure such events. This research applies an interpretative model to explore the structural system, using a load test to examine the houses’ structural strength. Although such a model assumes that each building has the same pitch, each house has its own pitch. Therefore, the measurement results cannot be applied generally to describe the structural strength of every Ammatoan house. This research also notes that the pin joint system, material selection, and application of a grounded foundation are factors that promote these buildings’ continued endurance and ability to withstand earthquakes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Design and Fabrication of a Responsive Carrier Component Envelope
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
Responsive architecture comprises the creation of buildings or structural elements of buildings that adapt in response to external stimuli or internal conditions. The responsiveness of such structures rests on addressing constraints from multiple domains of expertise. The dynamic integration of geometric, structural, material [...] Read more.
Responsive architecture comprises the creation of buildings or structural elements of buildings that adapt in response to external stimuli or internal conditions. The responsiveness of such structures rests on addressing constraints from multiple domains of expertise. The dynamic integration of geometric, structural, material and electronic subsystems requires innovative design methods and processes. This paper reports on the design and fabrication of a responsive carrier component envelope (RCCE) that responds by changing shape through kinetic motion. The design of the RCCE is based on geometry and structure of carrier surfaces populated with a kinetic structural component that responds to external stimuli. We extend earlier prototypes to design a modular, component-driven bottom-up system assembly exploring full-scale material and electronic subsystems for the expansion and retraction of a symmetric polar array based on the Hobermann sphere. We test the kinetic responsiveness of the RCCE with material constraints and simulate responses by connecting the adaptive components with programmable input and behavior. Finally, a concrete situation from practice is presented where 16 fully-functional components of the adaptive component are assembled and tested as part of an interactive public placemaking installation at the Shenzhen MakerFaire Exhibition. The RCCE experimental prototype provides new results on the design and construction of an adaptive assembly in system design and planning, choice of fabrication and assembly methods and incorporation of dynamic forms. This paper concludes that the design and assembly of an adaptive structural component based on RCCE presents results for designing sensitive, creative, adaptable and sustainable architecture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Responsive Architecture)
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