SWITZERLAND - For over ten years, Philippe Rahm's studio has produced virtual domestic and experimental buildings that illustrate the idea of 'architecture follows climate'.
The work of the Swiss architect Philippe Rahm is founded on an analysis of the implications of climatic conditions for the definition of architectural spaces. In his projects, invisible parameters such as temperature and humidity are promoted from their usually subordinate, technical role to become the basis of a new type of sustainable architecture, far removed from the clichés associated with energy efficiency and with the potential to transform the traditional building.
Globalization has led to the diffusion of standardized styles and approaches and in so doing it has effectively reduced the ways in which the elements of comfort and typology are managed. Across the globe 21˚C is considered the 'ideal temperature', regardless of latitude or local building techniques.
Philippe Rahm seeks to re-establish heterogeneity at the global level, as well as inside the buildings he designs; each site has its own climatic identity and the buildings that colonize it are defined by parameters that condition ways of living. His architecture is characterized by deliberate gradations in temperature, humidity and so on, that oblige users to move around the building depending on the degree of climatic comfort they want or the activities they must perform. For this reason the plans and sections of the projects often feature concentric and open forms that allow for a differentiation of parameters. Tall, multi-storey residences allow for a distribution of temperatures that range from a minimum of 18˚C to a maximum of 22˚C.