Environmental Diversity in Architecture
Koen Steemers, Mary Ann Steane
Spon Press, 2004 - Architecture - 237 pages
This book takes the position that the dynamic of the architectural environment is a key aspect of good design, yet one which is not well anticipated or understood. Environmental variety is a design characteristic closely related to our experience of architecture - an architecture of the senses. Each chapter demonstrates how an understanding of a particular context or environmental characteristic in dynamic terms informs design. The book is an antidote to the misconceptions of 'optimum' environmental performance or fixed criteria, instead embracing the richness of environmental variety.
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This book is before its time in that it deals with issues only beginning to come to the fore: of human perception and environmental performance of buildings and cities from theoretical, sociological and technical perspectives. Contributions are from international authors who have links with the renowned Martin Centre at the Department of Architecture of the University of Cambridge, where the notion of environmental diversity has been explored for a number of decades. Each essay has a focus (e.g. light, comfort, theory, etc.) and can be dipped into.
This is essential reading for anyone engaged in the design and research of the built environment and it provides both thoughtful and real hard-nosed research findings to back up the arguments. It puts people at the centre and establishes the context for understanding environmental or ecological design of buildings.