Heat: Architecture under the Weather

Related Staff : Au Fai

Students: Chan Wing Yan (Ana), Cheung Jerry Joyung, Lam Yu Yin (Leona), Lee Wing Yan (Joanne), Leung Lok Yan (Ryan), Li Zuye (Rain), Shao Yang, Trisnadi Cheryl Gracia, Tsang Nok Yi (Hayley), Xie Fangda (Jonathan), Yao Dongni (Jean)

Course Description

Situated within this semester’s overall theme “Architecture under the Weather”, this studio investigates the relationship between architecture and weather/weathering through the enquiry on heat. Heat is a latent element vital to the design of built environment. From the environmental science perspective, the examinations of how heat is stored or released by thermal mass, inhaled or exhaled by air flow, and blocked or contained by shading/insulation are the determining factors of thermal comfort. Whilst from the phenomenological perspective, how architectural form, space and materials are manipulated could largely affect one’s perception of heat, i.e., the feeling of hot/cold/warm/cool.  This studio intends to investigate the nature of heat and explore potential architectural responses within both the scientific and phenomenological realm.

Throughout the semester, students are required to conduct progressive and in-depth research on the characteristics of various climate zones, the properties of heat versus building materials, and the precedence of climate responsive vernacular architecture.  Taking these research findings as the design driver, students shall establish their own proposition, design from part to whole, and deliver a 150m3 architectural intervention situated at one specific climatic context as the final design outcome.

In this studio, architectural response to heat is not considered as additive environmental features on buildings.  Architecture and heat are indeed two indivisible entities which inhabit and react to each other. It is not about architecture confronting heat. Heat cast architecture, and architecture grows out of heat.  Form, space and material of architecture should clearly manifest its reaction to heat.

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