New Living

Contemporary Passive Shelters | Environmental Diversity and Contemporary Lifestyles

Environmental diversity is one of the key elements of the adaptive theory of thermal comfort.
It can be defined as the adaptive opportunity generated by architecture. It consists in the provision of a range spaces with diverse qualities and environmental attributes where users can choose those that they prefer. Creating such diversity by natural means and bioclimatic strategies, is the objective of the design research of the projectr, which focuses on a proposal for a new residential development near Florence, IT. Multidimensional analysis and cross field research on site, climate, household environments and contemporary lifestyles informed a new concept for a contemporary passive residential unit which reflects a progressive definition of a passive house and speculates on projected lifestyle trends. With most household appliances becoming portable, the traditional functions of rooms appear to be redundant. Spaces in a dwelling can now assume different functions depending on occupant moods and lifestyle thus providing choice and environmentally diverse options. Passive design strategies have been reined by detailed analysis achieving all year thermal comfort and providing diverse environmental combinations of light and temperature. The centrality of the usersí experience of the space and its diverse
conditions was based on the interaction of the user with the varied moods that the architecture allows in its space.
This design research leads to an innovative contemporary and projected vision of what the spaces of a residential unit could provide. However, the main outcomes of the research can be extended to a wider architectural design approach. In fact, if the sustainable design agenda in architecture is not only focused
on the energy issues but also extended to the user experience of the building and interaction with it, the generative potential of sustainability becomes immense, challenging the very definition of architectural space.

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