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Public Space for the Extreme: Convection

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+city+networkedurbanism+research+sustainability+Uncategorized

Digestible Gulf Stream, Philippe Rahm, Venice Biennale 2008. Image courtesy of Philippe Rahm.

Digestible Gulf Stream, Philippe Rahm, Venice Biennale 2008. Image courtesy of Philippe Rahm.

Con·vec·tion. Convection results from the tendency of most fluids to expand when heated.

The use of convective air flows with the purpose of cooling traditional houses was not alien to traditional Persian and middle eastern architecture. Joining the “simple” badgir ventilation system with more refined and complex cooling technologies was one of the most advanced points reached by Persian/Iranian building knowledge. Passive cooling systems in the Yazd desert were so advanced that iced formed (and accumulated) during the cold winters could be conserved frozen until the height of the long, hot, desertic summer.
In addition to sensible cooling, the cooling caused by a change of air temperature but not its humidity, badgir combined with a savvy use of water can provide also evaporative cooling which is generally more effective than sensible cooling alone.

Water deposit cooled with badgirs in the Yazd desert, in Iran

Water deposit cooled with badgirs in the Yazd desert, in Iran. Image courtesy of Flickr user dynamosquito, CC BY-SA

In order to do so, windcatchers have to work together with a water source that supplies water which is then evaporated cooling down the flowing air, this can be achieved in many ways. The first one is taking advantage of the of the basement damp walls of the windcacher itself, if there is enough humidity in the underground the basement walls will be constantly wet and when the wind tower is working as an air intake the evaporation of the thin superficial layer of water will cool down the downward incoming stream of air. The second solution is to put a water source, if available, right under the shaft of the tower, a fountain or a small pool is used in this case, sensibly and evaporatively cooling down the entering wind. A great example, found in Yazd, combines and refines even more these two methods placing the tower further than usual from the house (50 m) and then using an underground tunnel to connect the tower with the house. The tunnel, being underground benefits both from the earth thermal inertia and from the humidity of the soil and at the end of the tunnel a fountain is placed to cool down even more the air. The third, and more advanced, passive cooling system based on windcatchers benefits from an underground water stream to cool down the water.

Climatic Tree in the Vallecas Ecoboulevard, Madrid 2004. Image courtesy of Ecosistema Urbano.

Climatic Tree in the Vallecas Ecoboulevard, Madrid 2004. Image courtesy of Ecosistema Urbano.

The use of convection with the purpose of cooling public space is mostly centered on evaporative towers, in a normal evaporative (cooling) tower hot water is distributed in the upper part of the tower, the sprayed hot water release heat in the atmosphere condensing and flowing down to the bottom of the tower where it is collected and recirculated if it’s the case. In evaporative towers designed to cool the surrounding space the process is inverted, cool water is sprayed with nozzles at the top of the tower and rapidly evaporating absorbs energy from the air coming in from the top of the tower, the cooler and more humid air being denser descends to the bottom and causing the area above it to cool down. The design of an evaporative tower able to work properly is challenging, a single design flaw or dysfunction can cause the sprayed water to condensate an drip.

During the 1992 Seville Expo the white towers of the Avenida de Europa were originally designed just to be architectural objects landscaping one of the main avenues of the exhibition but considering a wider plan to improve public space comfort in the whole exhibition area, technically developed with the help of the “termotecnica” group of the university of Seville, were converted into evaporative towers to improve the environmental conditions in the area.

The design, obviously not conceived thinking about the cooling effectiveness, had to be converted a posteriori into a cooling machine. Two main modifications were made: a wind collecting cap was added to the top of the tower and nozzles were installed inside it. For six months the exhibition remained open and the engineers responsible for the bioclimatic design of the event collected data about the functioning and the performances of the design (the report can be found in this book). The added wind-collecting cap proved to be too small for the purpose it was installed and was not sufficient to “catch” enough wind during an average summer day. The second flaw was caused by the structural design of the tower itself, the internal part of the chimney wasn’t smooth and wasn’t totally free either, the secondary steel structure that stiffened the tower was in fact a lattice continuously crossing the chimney section, water nozzles were installed in circles on the inner perimeter of the membrane and functioned properly but the vaporized water copiously condensed on the lattice structure causing continuous dripping under the tower itself. This was obviously a major flaw and the towers functioned only partially, also due to the difficult maintenance of the water nozzles.

In 2004 Ecosistema Urbano realized one of its most iconic designs, the eco bulevard in Vallecas, Madrid. Each one of the three trees has different characteristics and each one is focused on a different aspect of public space, but in this case the most interesting is the northernmost one that was designed as a rack of twelve evaporative cooling towers grouped to form a semi-enclosed public space shaded and cooled by the bioclimatic tree. Each one of the cylinders is made of two textile tubes, the exterior and reflexive one creates a protective layer for the inner cooling mechanism, the interior tube is the evaporative tower itself. A cap, provided with three openings to collect winds from all directions, is placed on the top of the inner cylinder, right under the cap there is a fan that starts spinning when temperatures rise above 28ºC to increment the existing breeze or to move the air if there is no breeze at all. About at the height of the fan water is sprayed creating a fine mist and its evaporation greatly increases the cooling effect on the air descending in the inner tube and then exiting in the semi-enclosed public space, delimited by the crown of the cooling towers.

Ecobulevar- Arbol de Aire, Ecosistema Urbano, 2004, Ensanche de Vallecas, Madrid.

Ecobulevar- Arbol de Aire, Ecosistema Urbano, 2004, Ensanche de Vallecas, Madrid.

The ecobulevar, being a fully designed public space, can count on many other design characteristics that improve the overall functioning of the cooling towers, their efficiency and the energetic behavior. The design of the public space under the “tree” is very important, the enclosing section, creates a favorable space for artificial climate conditioning, though it is an open space the “habitable” part (the first 2m from the ground) are somehow closed by the design of the pavement itself, this design contributes to the refrigeration of the central area reducing the hot breeze influence at the ground level and avoiding the direct escape of cooled air. Solar panels contribute to the over sustainability of the artifact generating enough energy to power the fans and the pump for the water. Extensive studies on the ecobulevar, demonstrated that air temperature at the ground level can be up to 9ºC cooler than the air at the top of the tree and that the average temperature difference is around 6,5ºC.

The last two examples are practically based on the same design principle but there are huge differences concerning both the size and the technological character of the project.

The first one is the wind tower that the British architects Foster+Partners designed for the Masdar Institute in the planned city of Masdar, Abhu Dhabi (which they also planned). The Masdar institute is, as of 2016, one of the few built parts of the city, which, in turn, is facing serious development and financial problems with only the 5% of the planned area being completed. The core plaza of the institute hosts a 45m tall windtower that contributes to the climatic comfort of the plaza channeling down the breezes that often spire in the desert, it is important to notice that the tower is not the only element designed to improve the ambient conditions of the plaza but all the strategies are focused on the sustainability and the comfort of both the buildings and the public spaces, in this case the dense urban form is supposed to reproduce the one of the traditional local architecture and buildings façades are self shadowing reducing the reflected sun radiation in the square, streets are narrow, etc.

Masdar Institute Courtyard showing the wind tower. Image Copyright: Nigel Young/ Foster+Partners

Masdar Institute Courtyard showing the wind tower. Image Copyright: Nigel Young/ Foster+Partners

This tower is a hi-tech interpretation of traditional ones, its size is greatly increased (the highest windtower in Iran is 33m high) and many design details are engineered improvements of the original windwoter concepts. The 45m teflon sleek tube is naturally designed to offer the smallest possible resistance to the passage of the wind and to reduce the possibility of condensation to the nebulized water used for passive cooling. Computer controlled louvers opens and close according the direction and the speed of the incoming wind and reduces the suction caused by negative pressure on the downwind side of the tower, with this refined mechanism, and the triangular design, the tower is always exploiting the precious wind. To increase even more the cooling potential a ring of water nozzles, also computer controlled, is placed right at the top of the shaft transforming this tower in a evaporative cooling device.

A low-tech version, though very similar in the functioning is the windtower built at the Nitzana Educational Village, in the Negev desert at the border between Israel and Egypt. This design is constituted only by a vertical metal chimney topped by a fixed wind catcher oriented towards the prevailing wind. The playful design is enhanced by a clever usage of the bottom part of the tower, a perforated ceramic brickwork is used to enclose a relatively generous meeting place that can host dozens of people from the local community, to reduce solar gain on the habitable part of the tower a sun protection is installed around it permanently shadowing the ventilating part.

Nitzana Educational Eco-Village, Nitzana. Picture courtesy of the The Jewish Agency for Israel CC BY-SA 2.0 from flickr.

Nitzana Educational Eco-Village, Nitzana. Picture courtesy of the The Jewish Agency for Israel CC BY-SA 2.0 from flickr.

 

The cooling process is based on a combination of wind-catching, mechanical ventilation, and evaporative cooling. In the upper part of the shaft a large fan is installed to generate an artificial windflow (power is apparently generated by solar panels placed on the south side of the tower) and under the fan two rings of nozzles are placed to implement passive evaporative cooling. Though being quite a raw design, this cooling tower uses all the technical mechanisms to achieve a cost effective cooling for the small public it has to refrigerate. Compared to the Masdar windtower this one might have a major flaw, in both the Ecobulevar and Masdar the proper cooling shaft is always protected from the direct sunlight, in this case instead the shaft is thermally conductive and prone to overheating,

But the most advanced look at what convection means for the perception and comfort of the human body in the space has to be find in Rahm’s “Digestible Gulf Stream”. In this project, two white sleek metal boards are placed at different heights in a room, one of the boards, placed on the floor, is constantly heated to 28º C, the second one, hanging at a higher point is cooled down to 12ºC. The temperature difference between the two panels creates a convective flow, the air heated on the lower plan becomes less dense and lighter and tends to float towards the second object that gradually cools it down causing it to descend until reaching again the warm plate. This constant air flow is invisible but certainly perceivable by the human body, for the purpose of the exhibition in fact, actors with different clothing (from naked to well dressed) were standing on the plates showing various levels of comfort and doing various activities that had a different impact on the heat production.

Digestible Gulf Stream, Venice Biennale 2008 - Philippe Rahm. Image courtesy of Philippe Rahm.

Digestible Gulf Stream, Venice Biennale 2008 – Philippe Rahm. Image courtesy of Philippe Rahm.

Rahm’s pioneering work in “climatic architecture” is extremely interesting, in this case the space is defined only by its temperature which is something we are not really used to, our normal physical division of space (walls, windows, curtains…) is totally visual but then our comfort is determined by variables like air temperature, this is particularly true in public space, where usually there are no “rooms” and the use (or the avoidance) of space is more often determined by factors like shadow, noise, comfort, etc.

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Public Space for the Extreme: Call for Papers

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+city+networkedurbanism+research+sustainability+Uncategorized+urbanism+work in progress

Woody Allen starring in The Front, Martin Ritt, 1976. Copyright of Columbia Pictures.

Woody Allen starring in The Front, Martin Ritt, 1976. Copyright of Columbia Pictures.

The Book

As you may have noticed from our last posts, it has been a while since we have started researching on the possibilities of designing better public spaces for those cities and regions that have to deal with extreme climate conditions. Extreme heat, very often combined with extreme humidity are conditions that, more or less seasonally, affect wide areas of the world. These regions, classified under the Köppen-Geiger climate map mainly as Equatorial and Arid (although with many sub-classifications) comprise various densely populated areas that all face a common problem: the harsh climate, combined with a generic design of the city, results in a scarce and difficult relationship of the citizens with the public space. Our goal is to publish a book that will serve as a design manual and reference for architects, urban planners, public administrators, decision makers, and citizens. This book, containing good practices examples, technical solutions and theoretical essays, will help designers imaging and designing better public spaces considering the local climate, the bioclimatic-comfort needs of the citizens and the responsiveness to the changing environmental conditions.

The Call

We would like to announce a call for papers inviting authors (architects, urban planners, designers, sociologists, engineers, scholars, etc.) to submit an abstract, no longer than 250 words, for a paper that will be published in the book. The content of the paper must necessarily be related with the topic of the book that can be summarized in the“design of bioclimatic responsive public spaces under extreme climate conditions” and can be either about a general original investigation on the topic or related to a more specific field within the main subject, like for example specific bioclimatic control techniques, technologies or principles, specific open air comfort conditions, the relationship between climate and public space usage, etc. Any other idea, even loosely connected with the main topic, that offers an original and innovative point of view is welcome and will be considered by the editors.
The abstracts will be blind reviewed by the editors: prof. Jose Luis Vallejo, prof. Belinda Tato and Marco Rizzetto; they must be written in English and be the result of an original and high quality research. Selected abstracts will be then discussed with the authors to develop the final paper according to the indications of the editorial board, the publication of the paper(s) will, in any case, depend on the quality of the final work.

The Deadlines

Deadline for the submission of the abstract: November 12th 2016
Notification of acceptance: November 19th 2016
Deadline for final paper submission: January 20th 2017

Submit!

If you are interested please send your abstract to sorry you have to write it down with the Subject: “Extreme Public Space CFP”

A street in Bahrain, photo by Emilio P. Doitzua

A street in Bahrain, photo by Emilio P. Doitzua

All submissions will be treated as confidential prior to publication in the proceedings; rejected submissions will be permanently treated as confidential.
The final book will be both digitally published under a CC-NC-SA licence and made available for download and physically printed, a limited number of copies will be distributed to key institutions related with design and planning all around the world, especially in regions directly interested by extreme climate conditions. The author, or authors, of the selected essays will be credited and acknowledged. For any other information or doubt please do not hesitate to contact us at the address provided below.

If you want to know something more about our current ongoing research you can take a look at the previous posts belonging to this same series:
01 – Defining the Extreme
02 – Public Space for the Extreme @ GSD Harvard
and stay tuned for upcoming updates.

 

Bonus link

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Ecosistema Urbano finalista del 2016 Taipei International Design Award

Category: ⚐ ES+concursos+Cuenca Red+diseño+espacio público+Uncategorized

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Nos alegra informaros de que Ecosistema Urbano está entre los finalistas del premio internacional conocido como 2016 Taipei International Design Award.  continue reading

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Instalación de casaleganitos en el hall del Ateneo

Category: ⚐ ES+arte+creatividad+diseño+eventos+Uncategorized

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Si estáis por el centro de Madrid estos días, os recomendamos entrar en el hall del fabuloso edificio del Ateneo de Madrid (s. XIX). Allí encontraréis la instalación que por segundo año consecutivo ha diseñado CASALEGANITOS para el evento Ateneo Mucha Vida!

El año pasado, colaborando con el equipo de Cartonlab, realizaron la primera pieza de la serie “Atención! Esto es una Lámpara!”. Este año se han puesto las botas de color e imaginación y han diseñado y fabricado una estupenda instalación llamada “la ferretería es el nuevo Tiffany’s”, una creativa combinación de tecnología y elementos industrializados con un toque artesanal y colorista.

En palabras de los autores:

CASALEGANITOS de nuevo en toda su salsa! Las nuevas piezas aúnan la sofisticación y precisión de la fabricación digital, la belleza de los componentes industrializados y la exhuberancia de la manufactura artesanal. Como resultado de este cóctel de técnicas y herramientas, materiales nobles como las pletinas de fontanería, la madera laminada o el bambú de jardinería, se combinan con piezas extraordinarias de utilillería doméstica como los protectores de mesa Sirios realizados en paja y cinta plástica.

Podéis verlo en el Ateneo de Madrid, Calle Prado 21.

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EXPORT: Arquitectura española en el extranjero

Category: ⚐ ES+arquitectura+eventos+noticias+Uncategorized

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Hoy os recomendamos esta exposición de la Fundación ICO sobre la trayectoria y el peso que nuestra arquitectura tiene fuera de las fronteras desde hace ya unos años.

Desde 2002 con la Terminal de Yokohama (Zaera-Polo y Moussavi), hasta la ampliación en 2013 del Rijksmuseum de Amsterdam (Cruz y Ortiz), Export recorre los distintos caminos profesionales que vienen desarrollando muchos arquitectos fuera de España. Lo más interesante es que la exposición no aborda exclusivamente un listado de construcciones, si no un abanico mucho más amplio de experiencias, como la colaboración entre equipos, la docencia, la apertura de oficinas fuera de España, la implantación de grandes empresas de moda a nivel internacional, el diseño de muebles, joyas, producción de imágenes en 3d para importantes firmas de arquitectura. La lista es inagotable, igual que el esfuerzo de estos profesionales.

Lo mejor es el modo en que muestra, con ejemplos reales y datos constrastados, la reputación cada vez mayor de la arquitectura española, inmersa en un mercado global y en continua transformación.

En Ecosistema Urbano estamos encantados de tener un hueco en la exposición y mostrar algunos de nuestros últimos trabajos: Dreamhamar, la reconversión de una plaza en Noruega mediante un proceso de participación, la escuela Reggio Children en Italia y el actual Plan Maestro del Centro Histórico de Asunción en Paraguay.

Internacional

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Foto vía www.plataformaarquitectura.cl

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Guillermo Aroca | eu collaborators

Category: ⚐ EN+colaboradores+ecosistema urbano+Uncategorized

Dear all! Today we introduce Guillermo Aroca, a young architect who is collaborating with us from September 2014. He is bringing a critical fresh view of urbanism and architecture. A sharp observer who gives the perfect touch to our reports. Below, in his own words:

 

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I was born in Madrid in 1989 and I have always had a special interest for design, society and politics. I developed my passion for politics through my participation in the Model European Parliament (MEP), a debate program organized by the European Union.

I have learned architecture at the Architecture School of Valladolid and I have studied the fifth year of my career at the University of Technology and Economics of Budapest (BME). I have presented a selection of freehand drawings, photographs and collages that I have made during my career to the Association of Architects of this city (FUGA).

I began to practice as an architect at the architecture firms M57 and ODImasP, the former is based in Granada and the latter in Valladolid. I have also worked in the gallery of contemporary art Álvaro Alcázar, where I got in touch with the most active professionals in the Spanish creative scene.

In 2013, after volunteering in a Spanish NGO and submerging myself into the Spanish crisis, I conducted a final thesis project of a social nature, with the desire to serve the most disadvantaged part of the population.

During my stay in Ecosistema Urbano, I have developed an interest for urban social planning with citizen collaboration. These past months I have focused in the execution of a Master Plan for Asunción (Paraguay), I have also been working in the preliminary phase of the development of a Master Plan for Encarnacion (Paraguay) and a group working space in Barcelona. This commission has allowed me to mentally travel to South America without moving from my own city. Apart from learning how to trace a Master Plan full of content and without losing any attention to its design and appearance, I have also enjoyed an extraordinary work environment, full of great energy and fellowship.

In the future I look forward to further developing my passion for architecture, fashion, photography and writing. I have been able to cultivate these interests through various collaborations in many magazines, such as Curador, Doze and Metal Magazine.

More information at:
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Ecosistema Urbano en Teckids: Tecnología para Ciudades Family Welcome | eu:KIDS

Category: ⚐ ES+eu:kids+Uncategorized

mesa-mammaproof-en-teckids

Os invitamos a dar una vuelta por alguno de los muchos eventos que habrá los próximos 26, 27 y 28 de septiembre con motivo del festival Malakids!

Un festival urbano para familias que convierte durante varios días el centro de Madrid en un gran y bullicioso escenario para niños y mayores. Lugares como la Plaza del 2 de Mayo, el auditorio de Conde Duque, Comendadoras y San Ildefonso se llenarán de conciertos y actividades para todas las edades.

LASEDE del COAM acogerá el nuevo market de Malakids! y el evento Teckids, donde Mammaproof organiza una mesa redonda sobre la tecnología ligada a los niños y la forma de habitar las ciudades. Han invitado a Ecosistema Urbano y tendré el placer de acudir el domingo 28 para mostrar de forma breve nuestro Carrusel de la Energía de Holanda.

“En el contexto de una ciudad cada vez más densa y deshumanizada, brotan propuestas desde el activismo cívico de participación, inclusión, humanismo y sostenibilidad. Queremos dar la palabra a las personas que haciendo uso de la tecnología, de la pasión y de su capacidad comunicativa para mover comunidades, están haciendo el cambio en la calidad de vida de nuestras ciudades. Empezando por pensar en las necesidades de los más pequeños. Hablaremos de viandantes, de camino escolar, de disfrutar los espacios públicos, de la progresiva adaptación de los privados, de movilidad y de cómo conseguir traer la naturaleza al asfalto. Os invitamos a sumar vuestras propuestas a esta mesa participativa.”

Habrá más de 130 actividades en un solo fin de semana. Como una mini Noche en Blanco pero durante el día, así que no os lo perdáis y consultad el calendario porque hay mucho donde elegir.

Malakids! es un festival organizado por Kideoo, la web de planes no convencionales para padres y niños, Somos Malasaña, el periódico del barrio y el Ayuntamiento de Madrid, con la ayuda de empresas y comercios.

02 - Dordrecht-movimiento

Post por Luisa Zancada, arquitecta en Ecosistema Urbano y redactora de Mammaproof.

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Maushaus | eu:KIDS

Category: ⚐ ES+eu:kids+Uncategorized

Maushaus-01

Maushaus (San Sebastián), es la casa de los ratones y está dirigida por Carlos Arruti y Anabel Varona. Organizan cursos, talleres, exposiciones y todo lo que se les ocurra para enseñar a los “muy jóvenes” de forma divertida y lúdica los entresijos de la ciudad, el espacio y la arquitectura. leer más

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CLIMATIZACIÓN EVAPORATIVA

Category: ⚐ ES+eu-tec+Uncategorized

BREEZAIR
Es un producto interesante tanto por lo tradicional como por lo eficiente del sistema. La climatización por evapotranspiración es el proceso natural de enfriamiento del aire caliente cuando este entra en contacto con el agua. Se produce entonces la evaporación natural, el agua absorbe el calor enfriando y humidificando el aire.

Los climatizadores contienen grandes almohadillas de filtro que durante el ciclo de enfriamiento permanecen mojadas por el sistema de distribución de agua. Se hace pasar el aire caliente del exterior, impulsado por un ventilador centrífugo, a través de las almohadillas y se enfría por la evaporación. Cuanto más caliente y seco sea el aire, el agua se evapora más rápido y el aire se enfría más.

ECO PROPIEDADES
Suponen un elevado ahorro de energía al usar un 80 % menos que la electricidad consumida por los sistemas refrigerados de capacidad similar, lo que se refleja también en el coste. A diferencia de los acondicionadores de aire a refrigeración, los climatizadores evaporativos no usan clorofluorcarbono (CFC) que daña al medio ambiente.

www.breezair.com

Distribuidor en España:
www.termigo.com

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Tejido cerámico flexible

Category: ⚐ ES+eu-tec+Uncategorized

FLEXBRICK
Es un innovador sistema de láminas flexibles formadas por un trenzado de acero con piezas de arcilla cocida. El proyecto ha sido desarrollado conjuntamente por Piera Ecocerámica, Cerámica Malpesa y el Dr. Arquitecto Vicente Sarrablo. Se puede construir con formatos de grandes dimensiones, de hasta 20 metros, y permite múltiples configuraciones de tejidos. Posibilita proyectar cualquier curvatura y obtener alineaciones constantes de sus piezas.

Nos interesa por la versatilidad en su aplicación y la facilidad de montaje. Al contrario que el sistema tradicional de piezas independientes, este permite un gran ahorro de mano de obra y tiempo de ejecución.

www.flexbrick.es