Report from the AIA National Convention, Part 1

Avant Garde Sustainable Architecture

One of the great things about being at the architects' national convention is that we can witness what the trends are in architectural design on a national and world stage. Every year it seems there is a discernable shape or concept that is trending among leading architects. This year a common theme is the double exterior wall concept, whereby the outermost exterior wall serves as both aesthetic and functional. Here are some representative examples:

Albi Grand Theatre, Paris, France

Albi Grand Theatre, Paris, France

Parque Biblioteca, Medellin, Columbia

Parque Biblioteca, Medellin, Columbia

Parque Biblioteca - this image shows the double exterior wall separation

Parque Biblioteca - this image shows the double exterior wall separation

The strategy of the double exterior wall is an environmental enegy savings technique. The exterior skin not only blocks the wind and sun, it functions to channel hot air through convection currents from the base of the building up and out through vents in the top of the building. 

Another very interesting project is Contra Leopardi housing project in Treviso, Italy. Parking is isolated to the perimeter of the site so the buildings on the interior pathways are completely pedestrian. Furthermore, the buildings are laid out in a medieval fashion that is remeniscent of the Italian heritage and creates more interesting pedestrian streets and gathering spaces.

Contra Leopardi, Treviso, Italy. Parking limited to north and south edges, buildings arranged in a medieval pattern.

Contra Leopardi, Treviso, Italy. Parking limited to north and south edges, buildings arranged in a medieval pattern.

Contra Leopardi - pedestrian view

Contra Leopardi - pedestrian view

Frank Gehry continues to push the limit of archtiecture and design. His latest building located in Sydney, Australia exhibits elements common to his architecture - dynamic forms, undulating walls, windows that project to varying degrees along the facade. The exterior stone cladding of this building is meant to resemble the sandstone of the southeastern Australian outback.

UTS Business School, Sydney, Australia

UTS Business School, Sydney, Australia

Remodeling and Home Design
Austin Architects & Designers