Page 7 - The New ARCH Vol1 No2 (2014)
P. 7
International Journal of Contemporary Architecture ”The New ARCH“ Vol. 1, No. 2 (2014) ISSN 2198-7688

VIEWS ON THE MATTER Philippe Rahm: No, it is not my personal decision, it is a

product of the analysis and it depends on the program.
For example: we just finished a competition in which we
In your works we can recognize evaporation and other made a storage for art work. Of course, it was intended
methods used to create the internal climate of the to have different temperatures in different storage
building. What about the external climate, and the facilities as well as different humidity levels. Therefore,
building envelope? How do you treat that part of the it was quite simple to focus on the principles. I think if
project? we focused on one element, it could increase quality of
the space. Likewise, in traditional architecture you focus
Philippe Rahm: We have to think in a different category.
The first question refers to the building envelope, the on the columns, the structure of the building or the wall
shape and the form of the building. For example, we structure or try to define the quality of the space
made a project where we considered wind, sun and through a structural choice or material choice. However,
orientation, which is something quite common in green in this project we tried to give increase quality through
architecture. But also, there is another aspect the some climate figures.
question of the colour or the material and I think it is
quite interesting, because depending on the colour of
Do you believe that certification is a good way to
the material it could absorb more or less heat.
Therefore, in my view the question of the colour of the promote green architecture or do you prefer more
building, which is more related to the aesthetic choice individual case studies, analyses and research as a more
or some cultural choice, is an interesting challenge adequate way?
today. However, deciding on the colour of the building Philippe Rahm: I think that the regulations and rules for
is more challenging if you consider climatic choice. It buildings were never set / made by architects. In 2005,
could be a new way of perceiving the appearance of the when we started to deal with these regulations, the
building. Also, we have to consider the public space and general community of the architects was not interested
roads more like an interior because it is like an envelope in green buildings at all. It was more like a business or a
– the façade of the building is like the interior of the political approach, which in our view was wrong and
street. Thus, we made the proposal were the ‘colour’
black is used for the floor of the street because the therefore, we tried to get more involved in this topic. As
project was in a cold climate country. Black floor absorbs the architects were missing, the result was that
more heat from the sunlight and then creates warmer someone ‘out of profession’ decided what the relevant
microclimate in the street. Meanwhile, the higher parts regulations are. Therefore, it is in a certain way the
of the buildings are in lighter colours, so they reflect the responsibility of the architect to know that these rules
sunlight back to the walkways and increase the heat do exist and what they are. This is the reason why
quality and maybe also the noise quality by using some architects always have to be more up to date with what
absorbing material (like concrete that acts like a is happening and not to allow themselves to be lost in a
catalyst). Therefore, in my opinion we can challenge the course of change and to suffer the consequences of not
shapes and the materials through the same climate knowing new rules. I do think that we have to be always
issues. avantgarde and to do research, in order to avoid
receiving a set of rules and just following them.

However, rules can sometimes be stimulating as they
What is the main reason for choosing these methods in
your designing process? force you to think differently and also develop your
Philippe Rahm: The reason why we need the building is
to create a pocket of different climate within another,
larger one. The main fundamen tal reason is to shelter us What is the response to your methods from the clients,
from the rain, cold etc. Therefore, I tried to make a the building officials and colleagues?
comeback to this very primitive idea of architecture. As
Philippe Rahm: When I started to talk about this topic I
it is dealing with climate we have to decide on the
interior and the protected space using climatic was quite alone but I was sure that it was something
parameters, and afterwards make a decision and try to interesting. You always have to wait a little bit, maybe a
imagine depending on the program what would be the few years, before anything new and interesting takes
most important aspect of the space. hold. I think this is one of th e most important challenges
for the architecture today. Also, I think that the question
of energy and ecology will transform deeply the
Is this decision your personal one or is it a conclusion of architecture and the future. Therefore, the response to
the analysis? these methods will then become better.


“The Meteorological Architecture of Philippe Rahm” e2
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