BIOCLIMATISM IN ARCHITECTURE: AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE
Free (open access)
Volume 12 (2017), Issue 1
16 - 29
A.T. NGUYEN & S. REITER
The well-known Darwinian evolutionary theory (1859) introduced natural selection as the most important mechanism of evolutionary processes at every level from biological systems, including species, individual organisms… to molecules, such as DNA or proteins. In architecture we observe similar evolution processes, which lead to the development of various architectural movements and concepts from common primitive living structures. Fundamentals of vernacular architecture have been used in bioclimatic architecture, which has gradually become the inspiration of various movements in contemporary architecture. The study points out that the development of bioclimatism in architecture has followed the pattern of a natural evolutionary process in which ‘natural selection’ is likely motivated by several factors, including resources and environment problems, and driven by different mechanisms including novel building design concepts and methods, new standards and codes, discoveries in building science and construction costs. This study is an effort aimed to clarify the evolution process of the bioclimatic approach in architecture over time and its influences on contemporary movements in architecture. The paper shows also that the evolutionary theory generated new scientific tools able to improve building design thanks to simulation-based optimization methods applied to building performances. Finally, this study investigates new motivations in the era of climate change whose effects are expected to introduce more challenges as well as more trends towards a sustainable built environment through the new concept of Eco-adaptive architecture.
bioclimatic architecture, climate change, eco-adaptive architecture, evolution, evolutionary optimization, vernacular architecture