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 A book about architecture’s new place. explore | author | events | press kit | 

The expressive nature of wrapping is an antidote to shape making for its own sake. The formulation of these projects is in the service to the sun, which by nature starts with site. Solar control is also
about coaxing gentle daylight deep into a space. These are the real solar-powered buildings. Design dialog then can commence with an inventive palette of materials, shapes, and expressions, allowing contemporary architectural expression to acclimatize to its place. Perhaps this is why Spanish architecture in particular is so well-versed in solar control. In a place of sun, these buildings navigate light like a mariner crosses the sea.

The mix of complex culture and unique land is fertile for architecture to assertively pursue high performance and reformulate aesthetic values. Unfolding architecture is a fundamental expression of purpose in the form of an articulated gesture, which manifests in multiple formal and conceptual ways. All of these buildings explore an experimentation that pursues both performance and culture with active design intent, environmentally rooted and expressed as a bold playfulness. Being on the edge requires a resolute and at times aggressive effort, which creates fertile ground for experimentation and leadership. Understanding Australia’s architecture is about accepting the union of opposites.
By embracing an extended living space into the public realm, the need for private space is generously reduced. This greater-built environment subsidizes the privately-designed environment, allowing a family to live with less space but enjoy a contemporary lifestyle. Since privacy has not historically been a design priority in Japan, a home’s interior is given great freedom to explore space making. By opening up the small volumes, architects can incorporate ingenious ways to design interiors visually, functionally, and psychologically larger than they would seem capable of.

Rather than incrementally implementing changes to afford efficiency gains, as is typical in the conservative world of construction, the grassroots movement of Passivhaus has approaches the consumption of energy from the opposite side of the spectrum. The Germanic quality of intensely focusing on the core stringent efficiency goals has opened up a spectrum of new building typographies that excel in quality and energy miserliness. Design a building’s shell that steeply reduces energy use to the point that its savings in ongoing operating costs justifies the added expense of the envelope over the life of the project.

Embedded architecture is not about hiding buildings, but about better integrating them to the human scale. Since you still need to provide light and egress it means the architecture is an insertion, rather than an act of camouflage. The need for public green spaces and infrastructure merge elegantly with underground architecture. Embedded architecture can be a kind of radical form of enhanced land use. By inserting program below, the surface is allowed to facilitate public good.
The Pacific Northwest region, roughly from British Columbia to Oregon, is often referred to as Cascadia and has a distinctive socio-environmental ethic that provides the perfect template to explore and express the potential of heavy timber construction on a large scale. The conversation pivots from sustainability to adaptability by re-localizing the materiality of buildings. In 30 years, or perhaps much sooner, a wooden skyscraper will be commonplace. Buildings, then cities, made out of wood become our carbon bank.

The Danish take the proverb “half the fun is getting there” very seriously. The bike infrastructure is thriving not just for convenience but also because people genuinely enjoy taking a bike ride as a part of their daily work and social life. Movement and architecture can go very well together. Salted with a strong sense of environmental and cultural values, you have the backdrop for 8 Tallet (8 House), which at 61,000 square meters is Copenhagen’s largest building.

There is no perfect building, only the perfect response to existing conditions.

Foreword by Lloyd Alter

Interviews and Projects by:

studio 505

PHOOEY Architects

William McDonough + Partners

KUD Architects

Berta Barrio Arquitectos

Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp.

Unemori Architects

Andrew Maynard Architects

Hassell Studios

Kavellaris Urban Design

Lederer + Ragnarsdottir + Oei

Casey Brown Architecture

Edward Mazria

Peter Busby Perkins+Will

Sean Godsell

Canvas Arquitectos

Dr. Wolfgang Feist

DesignInc

A.L.X.

BIG

Yasuhiro Yamashita

Miller Hull Partnership

KMD Architects

MHN Design Union

Schemata Architecture

Coll-Barreu Arquitectos

Voluar Arquitecture

Durbach Block Jagger

Ramón Fernández-Alonso Arquitect

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“The book is an richly textured exploration. Michler draws out elements of design, materiality and delivery that links sustainable architecture firmly to its context.”

“the book ‘[ours] hyperlocalization of architecture’ can be seen as a contemporary experimental guide for the future designers and produces different approaches to ‘ordinary architecture’ with regional sources or materials.”

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 “In his forthcoming book, Hyperlocalization of Architecture, author and Passive House consultant Andrew Michler turns his lens to contemporary architecture, but his focus is on a very timeless concept.”

WAC

“Hyperlocalization of Architecture is a new, fresh and uber-contextual book.”

“Cactus won’t thrive in Minnesota, and mangroves don’t flourish in Arizona. But the same damned building dominates the cityscape everywhere. As Andrew Michler makes clear in this wonderful book, that is spherically senseless. Buildings designed for their particular site can be ultra-efficient, beautiful, wondrously varied, and deeply resilient. It is long past time for the built environment to learn a few basic lessons from the natural environment.”

– Denis Hayes
President Bullitt Foundation
Founder of Earth Day

 

“This gorgeous book is an impressive collection of the greenest and most beautiful buildings in the world. Michler’s keen analysis provides a new insight into each design in a way that illuminates the design lessons hidden within. By pulling together these incredible projects and renowned architects, this book provides the inspiration you’ll need to pursue deep sustainability in your own projects.”
– Eric Corey Freed 
Architect & Author of 11 books
Vice President, International Living Future Institute & the Cascadia Green Building Council
 

“[ours] Hyperlocalization of Architecture brilliantly delves into contexts and operations which is what an architecture of sustainability is made up of. Reflecting on design, not flair, Michler perfectly inhabits design -if we redefine the word to indicate logic engaging with the environment. In so doing, he generates new powerful classifications of ‘locale’.”

Mitchell Joachim
Professor NYU and Co-Founder, Terreform ONE

“How do we come to terms with the fact that Sustainable Architecture can encompass everything from Japanese microhousing to Mexican shopping malls? The new book Hyperlocalization of Architecture: Contemporary Sustainable Archetypes by Andrew Michler gives us some new tools to understand this vast, disorganized movement. I recommend it to anyone who wants a richer understanding of what’s going on, globally, in architecture.

“Michler traveled to several destinations around the globe and found (for the most part) unfamiliar architects working out new ideas about sustainable architecture. The format, which juxtaposes interviews with the architects and well-illustrated projects, is outstanding, because the reader can toggle back and forth to assemble meaning out of words and images. The effect is one of discovery. What does Sean Godsell mean when he talks about “playing with childhood memory”? I turn the pages and begin to locate what this means in the building images. Michler also offers some interpretive passages, and rather than being intrusive they tend to offer more clues.

Michler’s book is full of wonderful revelations. The real strength of the book is in its curatorial sense of adventure. Who knew, for example, about the wonderful Spanish architect Berta Barrio and her projects such as Biblioteca de Can Llaurador? Now I do! I love her notion that “We are not comfortable if we are just looking for shape when we design.” (This theme of anti-formalism seems to run through the book.)

Like me, Michler loves Japan and seeks to understand its peculiar customs. His observant essay “Japan Condenses” begins with this paradox: “A new house may have practically no insulation but the toilet seat is always heated.” What does this mean for Sustainable Architecture? His answer cleverly touches on everything from building science to urbanism to Japanese shopping habits. Michler’s ability to deftly connect the dots across disciplines results in insights which are both smart and fun.

I wish Michler had included London, which has in my opinion the most well-developed building culture in the world. I expect he stayed away since he is understandably averse to the ‘starchitects’ like Zaha and Foster, and because global capital is driving much of the agenda in the city right now. Still, I think he would have found some smaller firms — like Cullinan Studio, Waugh Thistleton, and Juice Architects — doing exceptional work and exploring new ideas with an exciting pragmatism.

Of course Sustainable is a slippery word and it’s a common criticism that Sustainable Architecture is interpreted differently in different places. But I think Michler wants to celebrate that Sustainable Architecture will look different in one place than another. And his term Hyperlocalization even suggests, I think, that sustainability goals will be achieved differently in one place than another. In other words, Michler is arguing For a Contingent Architecture, one produced as people respond to the peculiar physical and cultural needs and opportunities of their place.

I would argue that this is akin to the developmental period of modern architecture in the 1920s. At that time, architects all over the world explored new ideas about space and form, and though they shared a basic agenda, they produced different kinds of buildings. California’s modernism was different from Paris’, which was different from Germany’s, and so on. Did Bijovet and Neutra wring their hands about the fact that their strains of modern architecture were different from one another? Of course not!

Likewise we shouldn’t be anxious about the imprecise definition of Sustainable Architecture. What Michler’s book finally shows us is that the world of architecture is pluralistic and dispersed, and it’s at the beginning of a profound revolution; this is really exciting stuff.

Disclaimer: Andrew Michler is a friend. But I wouldn’t write anything here that I don’t believe.”

– Anthony Denzer
Author of The Solar House

Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering at the University of Wyoming

 


“If we had trees that made zero emissions we are all dead. Why wouldn’t you want buildings like trees? When you think of it like that then it’s rather obvious. This is all based on human creativity, and the ability for us to advance and continuously improve with freedom from the remote tyranny of bad design. Why should I be tyrannized about yesterday’s bad decision? It’s much more fun to improvise, constantly. That’s why the cultural question becomes interesting because at that point the culture can express itself in a creative way. It still has integrity because you’re expressing yourself creatively within a context. You’re solving for rich, local problems. All sustainability, like politics is local. It has to be.” – William McDonough in [ours]

 

Published by

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[ours] Hyperlocalization of Architecture (LARGE)

Groundbreaking architecture theory
Extensive interviews
264 Pages
350 photographs
Online project index with multimedia

ORDER from eVolo



The Institute for the Built Environment assisted in site selection and research.

About eVolo Press: eVolo is host of the annual Skyscraper Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious awards for conceptual architecture. eVolo Magazine focuses on the world’s most innovative architecture ideas and projects with an emphasis on parametric design. eVolo Publishing produces art quality books on contemporary architecture theory and design.

Andrew Michler

LEED AP BD+C, Certified Passive House Consultant 

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View Andrew Michler’s profile

Born and raised in Oakland, California Andrew found his way to a pine forest in the Colorado Rockies where he has lived off grid for 20 years. He is a LEED AP BD+C and Certified Passive House consultant. Blending his long time experience in design/construction, art, and sustainable building research into the written word he began exploring contemporary buildings for the environmental design website Inhabitat, eVolo Magazine and other publications in 2010 and recently published the book [ours] Hyperlocalization of Architecture. His work has also led him to investigate Passive House to explore the deeper meaning of low impact architecture and completed the first certified Passive House in Colorado which is also foam free. His wide ranging exploration of design and environmental impact has led him all over the world, stepping to the edges of contemporary environmental architecture, and to come to terms with the enormous effect we have with our built environment. He lives with his wife and artist Jennie Kiessling. His consulting company baosol works with industry and groups in integrating cutting edge sustainable construction practices and outreach. Connect with Andrew


EVENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Hyperlocalization of Architecture Living Future Conference, Seattle, Washington, May 11th-13th, 2015

The Architecture of Passive House North American Passive House Conference, New York City, June 13th-14th, 2016

PAST EVENTS 

Decarbonize Passive House Rocky Mountain Green, Denver, Colorado, April 22nd, 2016

Passive House Principles and Design ASHRE Simclub, Denver Colorado, April 7th, 2016

Architecture, Buildings, and Climate Australian Institute of Architecture, Melbourne, Australia  Monday, February 22nd

Conference Keynote: Out of the Box | The Architecture of Passive House 2016 South Pacific Passive House Conference, Melbourne, Australia

Workshop: The Decarbonisation of Low Energy Buildings 2016 South Pacific Passive House Conference, Melbourne, Australia, February 12th, 2016

DeCarbonize Your Passive House, Building Carbon Zero California Palo Alto, CA, November 13th, 2015

[Cascadia Harvests] Large Wood Construction Roundtable, Sustainable Design and Development Conference Bellingham, WA, November 5-6th, 2015

Official book release party! Fort Collins Museum of Art September 25th, 2015, 6-9pm 

[Japan Condenses] reading PechKucha Loveland Museum September 24th, 2015

Hyperlocal Architecture: An evening at Odell Brewery NCRES Speakers Series August 18th, 2015

Attending New York Times Cities for Tomorrow Conference, July 20-21st, 2015

Architecture Emboldened : Museums,  Fort Collins Discovery Center 1-2pm, April 21st, Ft Collins, Colorado

Book Signing  Living Future unConfrence, Thursday 6pm-7-pm April 2nd, Seattle, Washingtonn[/one_half_last]

DeCarbonize Your Passive House PHnw6: Beyond Passive House, Friday, March 27th, 2015, Seattle, Washington

STRAW : CELLULOSE : WOOD – Santa Cruz: High Performance + Natural Materials Friday, February 20th, 2015 in Santa Cruz, California

High Performance Buildings + Natural Materials | Straw, Cellulose and Wood Thursday, February 19th, 2015 in Oakland, California

 High Performance Buildings + Natural Materials | Straw and Cellulose Friday, February 13th, 2015 at RMI Boulder, Colorado

Design and Build/ Passive House in Local Climates, Colorado State University October 1st, 2014

North American Passive House Network Conference 2014 Presentation  DeCarbonize Your Passive House September 21,2014

Passive House Commercial Scale  Perkins+Will SF, September 2014

Designing and Building Passive House  University of Wyoming, June 2014

Architecture Emboldened: Sustainable Museums  Front Range Community College, March 2014

eVolo Skyscrapers NOW/FUTURE  Polytechnic University of Madrid, October 2013

eVolo Skyscrapers NOW/FUTURE  BAM Developers Talk Amsterdam, October 2013

 

Website is hosted by GreenGeeks who upcycle 3X the consumed server energy with wind power. All photos © eVolo Press unless otherwise noted.