Author: Ricardo Lledo Souto
Professor: Dwayne Oyler
Special Advisers: Wes Jones- Thom Mayne
Southern California Insitute of Architecture (Sci-arch)
The name of the thesis was “Adjustable Typologies,” and the interest was to hyper relate a building with its immediate surroundings. To test this hypothesis, I developed three houses in diametrically different climates: the DESERT house (a hot-dry climate), the TROPICAL house (a hot-humid climate), and the ARCTIC house (a cold-humid climate.)
The term “Adjustable Typologies” is in reference to the problems of “STATIC typologies.” I conceive buildings as STATIC typologies, in the sense that their form is preset to accommodate every circumstance that affects it: wind loads, earthquakes, different temperatures, and sun radiation, to name a few. However, not everyone of these circumstances are affecting a building all of the time, so it being prepared may constitute an unnecessary expenditure of energy. An example of this, is a building that necessarily requires to be acclimated through an air conditioner, because it is constantly being bombarded by sun radiation, or a building that requires artificial lighting because its windows need to be shut to avoid heat gain, or an overly large unoccupied living volume that still requires extra energy to be acclimated for the rest of the house to be comfortable, etc.
The Desert house is a building that is capable of adjusting itself according to the surrounding variables. It is a building that is constantly positioning itself with respect to the sun, in order to condense to the roof, the amount of area exposed to radiation and heat gain: this process not only liberates the walls to be more permeable to winds, and refracted light, but it also directly concentrates the sunlight over the solar panels (allowing it to produce the necessary energy it requires to operate itself.) The house is placed on a hot-dry weather, which, in terms of creating a comfortable human habitat, means that in order to stabilize/reduce its inner temperature, it requires some humidity. Thus, the house’s most public spaces (the kitchen, the living room, and dining room) are located over a body of water, that is constantly providing humidity, which is passively incorporated into it through a permeable floor system.