Integrated Design

Integrated Design


“Design and technology, if considered separately, present opposing priorities and agendas for architects. Fortunately, their complementary nature allows for an endless variety of starting places and any number of resolutions.”

Leonard Bachman

“The integrated design approach asks all the members of the building stakeholder community, and ht technical planning, design, and construction team to look at the project objectives, and building materials, systems, and assemblies.”

Community Center, Ludesch Austria, 2005. Hermann Kaufmann

Works in a collaborative manner with all disciplines throughout the design process.

Community priorities (client as community): needed community center; mixed us public space; some retail; post office, library; covered public square; offices for local government; child-care center. Decided they wanted this 5 years before contacting Kaufmann. Considered budget, environmental controls, how it would be used and by whom.

Not a dense area. Decided in 1993 to use no PVC in their buildings (can only be down-cycled). Very design conscious community.

Strategies: almost all local materials; all wood used is untreated, no finishes (highly unusual in US, relatively common in Northern Europe), demands attention to detailing and wood selection (freeze and thaw cycles); almost all thermal insulation from renewable resources; no solvents or softeners; no products with PVC, fluorocarbons or formaldehyde (more expensive); built to passive house standard (objective: provide homes / buildings close to zero energy, do not require heating / cooling beyond what you get passively); careful shading strategies, solar hot water and photovoltaic systems.

[Covered village square]

Slots through the building. Beautiful use of interiors, emphasis on acoustics. Warms and materiality of wood. Crisp detailing. Hermann is an “Austrian rationalist.” Shades on back diffuse light in summer. Simple, conventional, timber frame. Clear control of structure of building andintegration of skin. Tests out details with large-scale model-making. Wood graying where it meets metal; eventually whole wall will gray.


21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan, 2005

SANAA – Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa: True shared sensibility, similar design aesthetic and agenda. Working in the context of highly integrated Japanese building trade. Work with client from beginning, client’s design priorities deeply meshed in process.

Public, transparent building that would feel accessible to all. Not meant to be precious building for high art (though it does serve that function).

Serves local artists as well as international contemporary art.

Highly accessible public space except in center core of museum.

Stan Allen, “SANAA’s Dirty Realism

“Researching how to produce an atmosphere and how it is experienced.” SANAA

[21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art]

Relationship to subcontractors: growing emphasis in US, already embedded in Japanese design process.

Ongoing discussions about budget from the beginning. Helps to identify zones of innovation where cost is ambiguous but the rest of more or less resolved.

Architecture firms don’t always do more refined details.

Realized they had made a building that was difficult to navigate (pre-construction) despite transparency. So organized straight shots, SITE LINES, through space. Not only welcome to walk through building, but know where you’re going to go, what’s on the other end.

No hierarchy to building at all: no frontages.

Ground level almost entirely devoid of artificial light.

Division of public / private space contingent on paying a fee. Another courtyard which contains, is accessible, only to art.




Light in Three Museums, November 11, 2010


light source: quantity emitted, lumens; luminous intensity: intensity of beam of light from glowing object – candela; illuminance: lumens falling on an area (lumens/sf); luminance: light emitted from a glowing object (candela/sf); reflectance factor: amount reflected, absorbed; reflection types: specular, reflect lines / matte, scatters; reflection issues: reflected glare; brightness: perceived luminance, not an absolute value. Something can appear very bright after leaving a dark space; brilliance: extreme brightness, intensity that can be overwhelming. Limit of human eye’s ability to adapt to it; sparkle: attractive brilliance, dimly lit environment with extreme contrast; contrast: difference in luminance; dazzle: overpowering vision by light intensity. light so intense, you lose ability to construct a sense of where you are; glare: typically a case of extreme contrast, interference by an uncomfortably bright source; gloom: absence of expected visual information.

Kimbell Art Museum

Fort Worth, Texas

Louis Kahn


Vault includes parabolic reflectors that reflect light up into the ceiling – not pure reflectors, however.

Reflector is a very finely perforated mesh so it’s not a dark shadow. Kahn tried to maintain a neutrality of surfaces. Almost no gradient of intensity, no contrast in the entire surface. Why? When a piece of art is placed in that context, it pops.

Galleries: subtle marking of the figures in relation the the vaults.

Gaps in the continuous vaulting create voids that result in special spaces within the museum.

Much of the light in library spaces comes in through cracks, seams.

Construction of vaults: cast in place concrete.

Menil Museum

Dominique de Menil, Houston, Texas

Renzo Piano


Way of dealing with light would be a major organizational factor.

Always reflected light coming into the space. There is ventilation that allows a thermal tempering zone, renders a much lesser cooling load. Highly integrated systems

Recessed court that becomes a major entrance. Embedded courtyards where some of the bays have been pulled out.

Beyeler Museum

Basel, Switzerland

Renzo Piano


The building is a landscape and a light monitor.

SSB November 9, 2010

Steven Holl

St. Ignatius Chapel in Seattle.

Sketch: Box containing bottles of light. Implies spatial complexity, plays with perception.

Model of the ceiling: Ideas of bottles of light has translated in important principle re: light: subtlety can be your friend. Points of light are cited in ways that transform the rooms their in. Just introduction of color to place can change your perception of the entire space.

Interior is a textured plaster, mostly white. Panel: backside is painted yellow, effecting a cascade of yellow light on the surrounding walls.

Holl plays a lot with the shape of light.


Sacred light has often played off dimness, rather than direct light which focuses our attention.

Light properties:

The characteristics of a surface determine not only how much light but also in what way light is reflected. Most real materials tend to give mixed reflection.

Specular Reflection: Mirror; light reflects intact

Diffuse reflection: Light refracts completely

Mixed Reflection

High Contrast: Illumination of one foot candle is sufficient

Low contrast: ilumnation of over 100 foot candles is required

Contrast is an extremely important factor for visual performance. High levels of illumination are required to compensate for poor contrast.

Ways to think about lighting

1  Atrium, popular in Europe as part of provision that everyone must have access to daylight. How extreme the gradation from light to dark relies heavily on the surfaces. Design of luminous environment is design of light as it enters a space. 2

2  Light shelves: take light and reflect it onto the ceiling.

3  Light Well

4  Clerestory

5 Light duct (mirrored tubes)


SSB November 4, 2010

Ventilation incorporated into wall systems (stack effect, wall systems that leverage trapped heat)

Commerzbank building, Frankfurt

Pioneer, transition building

Moved the environmental control systems out of the mechanical room and into the building’s fabric in an unprecedented manner.

Driven by urban as much as a technical idea. Triangle with “trays.” As the building climbs, only two trays are filled, a third is a garden. Interior offices look across garden to the outside. Like a series of buildings within a building.

Can’t employ air-conditioning and natural ventilation at the same time (otherwise cooling the outdoors)







Square building (minimal pressure gradient)

Barrel vault (intermediary pressure gradient)

Parabolic paraboloid (high pressure gradient)

Old cars vs. New Cars: in past, car windows could be opened without tremendous turbulence. Modern cars are designed to be sealed.

(see: Daniels, “Design of Ecological Buildings”).

Thomes Herzog, (German architect)

Hall 26 Warehouse Project

Cool just the floor (only occupied space). Hot air at the top, ventilated flow beneath canopies, cool air at the base. Night lighting uses the same sources (coming off canopies), lighting the canopies and generating an even light.




Common architectural mistake: more light is better light.

Cult of transparency associated with modern architecture and its rise is build around a culture of light. Reduces our relationship and understanding of light to a unidimensional one.

How do we construct a luminous environment?

Play with idea of how our bodies deal with contrast. Interesting play between dimness and point sources of light (sparkle?).

Le Corbusier working with how to dematerialize the wall, Chapel at Longchamps, Notre Dame du Haut takes a much different approach to light. Deep consideration of relationship between light and mass. Plays very carefully with our perception. In the south wall, plays with thickness such that it recalls side chapels in earlier churches but also allows gradient from deep shadow to light.

Similarly played with by Tadao Ando, barely lighting the space but lighting the entire wall. Koshino. Soft glows created.

James Turrell. Works with light as a phenomenon of the eye. Mendota Stoppages: Began playing with blocking windows, how light would enter and eyes would adapt. Manipulate the space to construct three dimensional geometries with light as it moved across the space. Later, with artificial light, expect something in the corner that may not be there.

Light window reduces edge to a blade. Surface of the sky becomes a “moving screen.” See flatness of line drawn across the plane, but our eye pushes it into a dome form. Highlights how our eyes tend to perceive things.


Roden Crater

Steven Holl’s Bloch Building addition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City would likely qualify as a luminous design:


Wind Pressures, SSB November 2, 2010

Wind Pressures

If you understand prevailing winds and how buildings react to prevailing winds, you begin to understand where you’ll have positive and negative pressure and manipulate the building shape accordingly

Air always moves from positive pressure to negative pressure in an attempt to equalize
Wind speed lower near the ground and higher as it rises

Jeanne Gang, Aqua Skyscraper, Chicago

Responds to winds, terraces counteract wind and create outdoor space.
Understanding forces as wind wraps around building to figure out where you can put balconies, finding pools of calm air
Most intense winds will be at the corners.

Link to a Paul Goldberger review of the structure:
Special categories: Bio-climatic towers, Wind energizers

Big buildings: Vertical movement

Smaller buildings: cross ventilation. See: Glenn Murcutt in Australia; windows letting in high light. On the inside: projected window related to kitchen so that a set of vents draws air from one side to the other while louvers shade.

Broken Hill Mining Museum (unbuilt): Dealing with above ground and below ground. Underneath: grotto like space. Above space: display machinery and architecture that reflects the aesthetic of mine construction. Garden space conceived to cool and humidify the air that is captured beneath the soffit.

What’s going on is just as important as the building.

Link to a revealing essay on the museum’s conception, published in Perspecta by MIT Press:

Salt Chamber

Sauerbruch & Hutton, GSW Building in Berlin, (Early to mid-90s, paved way for generation of buildings)

Program: large addition that radically reduced energy costs. Result of competition.

Intended to set up an east-west dialogue in the newly reunited Berlin

West face rather than south face, hence the vertical louvers. West gets significant exposure given its geography.

Holds two edges of block structure, urban fabric. Creating the two primary streets. Ground floor creates a through passage.

East side: weaving or mosaic of blank panels, window panels, floor panels to draw air into the room, across the floor and out.

As the winds are carried across (much thought given to breezes in relation to ground), strove to get air flow beneath the wing. Series of principles: maximization of natural light with opening on east and west walls; buffer zones on both sides: one thick, one thin, acting as thermal buffers; significant heat recovery system, thermal mass of building becomes main stabilizing force.

“Cult of standardization that characterized much of modern architecture and building design has been altered by computer’s ability to run straight from a set of digital drawings to digital fabrication: standardization doesn’t matter any more. Just as easy to construct different modules as similar modules.”

Renzo Piano, Mercedes Benz Headquarters

Bay Game Assignment 3

Assignment 3: Bay Game Follow up Questions

1. According to Meadows, elements, interconnections and a function or purpose are necessary components in systems. Describe the elements, connections and/or functions or purpose in the Chesapeake Bay watershed system. Diagram the system including these elements. 

The variable parts that determine the health of the bay are myriad and highly codependent. The degree of interdependency, though evident in the playing of the game, became especially clear as I began decoding the systems of the bay for this follow-up exercise. Using the framework provided by the game, I attempted to classify each factor as either environmental, economic, or social. Harvesting Blue Crabs, for instance, is a $50 million industry (economic) that has devastated underwater habitats (environmental) while supporting the highly localized culinary traditions of the mid-Atlantic and the livelihoods of fisherman and restaurateurs alike (social). Similarly, a pigovian tax on factory runoff may reduce the level of industrial effluent entering the bay (environmental) while also reducing the net revenue of industry (economic) and/or the number of workers a particular industry can safely employ (social). To interpret the the systems of the bay in such a linear manner is futile; they must be viewed – and portrayed – only in relationship to one another, with any failure to do so being exclusionary and reductive. That in mind, environmental, economic and social considerations are fundamental to the health of the bay and its inhabitants and can be useful guides when employed effectively (non-linearly), which is why they serve as the three central nodes in my diagram.

2. Describe how your diagram and understanding have changed since your first diagram of the Chesapeake Bay watershed system. 

In the preliminary Bay Game assignment I accounted for as many variables as I could given the limited scope of my knowledge: seasonal variations in weather and temperature; the strength of the tide; local industry, effluent; traffic patterns and flows; pedestrian flows; civic activity, waterfront recreation; permeability of ground plane; level of agriculture, farming; fishing and crabbing; government regulations and taxes. Absent from these considerations is quality of life, which in many ways both contributes to and is an outgrowth of the some of the factors listed above. I have also come to recognize that integral to the success of any highly interdependent system is a relative equilibrium of its many moving parts. A failure to keep any one variable in check poses a systemic risk to the entire system.

3. How do you think delay affects the efforts to improve the health of the Bay? 

The delay acts as a balancing mechanism, preventing any one player in the bay’s dense network of systems from growing too dominant. It is valuable in its ability to limit economic development: the delay allows legislators to evaluate the type of development taking place (green or otherwise) and to adapt legislation accordingly. Similarly, it impedes environmental efforts: in the time it takes to enact legislation, environmentally degradative activities are allowed to persist. In this way, the delay is a microcosm of the merits and failures of a democratic system of governance.

4. What was your perceived understanding of the goal/s of the game? Did you think the overall goal/s “fit” with your goals as a stakeholder and citizen? Describe how your understanding of the goal/s affected your actions within the game?

The goal of the game as I perceive it is to improve the health of the bay while facilitating economic growth and promoting social well-being. The purpose of the game, as distinct from this, is to draw into relief the challenges of balancing these sometimes oppositional interests.

Over the many stages (years) of the game, changes in regulation and economy adapted to help align my financial goals with the interests of the environment: investing in green strategies yielded greater profits over time despite greater up-front costs.

It’s Cold in Here

It’s cold in here.

The fourth floor of Campbell Hall, that is. Colder than the brisk fall weather outside. Colder, even, than the third floor, posing an unexpected challenge to the oft-cited science of rising heat.

In framing the issue at hand, we may benefit more from asking not how but why? The how seems evident, as industrial grade air-vents at regular intervals blast arctic currents unremittingly, the unseasonably cold air indifferent to the season outside and the bloodless fingertips of students inside. Students have tackled the fierce winds with fierce ingenuity, the latest iteration of an obstructive panel seen below.

More frustrating than the cold, however, is the knowledge that resources are being misallocated, rooms cooled that don’t need cooling, all in a building that purports to be a pedagogical instrument and which houses those students and faculty who strive to be catalysts for environmental change. So the question is not how, but why?