Descrizione: 51oUlSkr9uL








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Titolo originale: Ulrich Pfammatter, Gebäude für eine CHAN Kultur und das Klima. WELTATLAS für nachhaltige Architektur, Hochschulverlag AG, 2012, Zurich




Argomento e tematiche affrontate

Descrizione: 51oUlSkr9uL

The book defines various ways of considering architecture and urbanistic according to the history, technology, ecology and social needs. There are five chapters in which are described different ways of looking at design and structure. In every each of them there was analysed another problems or possibilities of using new technologies agreeably to the nature and history. There are shown also the advantages of using historical masterpieces as inspirations. The book is very rich of interesting examples of architecture from all over the world.



Giudizio Complessivo: 9 (scala 1-10)

Scheda compilata da: Katarzyna Jurek

Corso di Architettura e Composizione Architettonica 3 a.a.2014/2015




Descrizione: Pfammatter_1

Autore Ulrich Pfammatter


Ulrich Pfammatter (1945), PhD Studied at the ETH Zurich, Master Diploma, took a second Degree at the University of Zurich. He had a practice as an assistant post at the ETH Zurich, then subsequent teaching and professional work. Pfammatter started running office with Christian Fiertz. He was also responsible for numerous guest lectures, magazine articles, books and research activities. The most often in collaboration with Zurich University. This book the author’s many years of practice. Ulrich Pfammatter lives in Bettwill, Switzerland.

Ulrich Pfammatter


The book describes various ways of thinking about present architecture and urban planning. There are shown sources of designing inspiration like masterpieces of the past, traditions of regions where the new building raise, necessities of society, changes in technology, the story and emotions attached to the proper place, meteorology, climate and danger of the natural disasters. The author pays attention on the subtle similarities between described objects which most of us would not notice. The World Atlas of Sustainable Architecture helps to consider designing and architecture from the another point of view and maybe change the previous way of thinking about.


Capitolo I– Genius Loci- Unique Places in a State of Change

Description of the contemporary and historical architectural and urban projects. This chapter shows the involvment of the design in correspondence with projects of the same topics. The present architects and engigneers design with the same or simmilar goals and program philosophy. There is shown the connection between existing from centuries, well-known masterpieces and the new ideas. The author paid attention on the simmilarity of projecting ideas in an incredible way. He has chosen the same assumptions setted up in the various centuries designed in style proper for the actual epoque. It is amazing way of considering the still correspondence between the architecture and urbanism of different ages.

This way of thinking was well explained on a base of the numerous well-known examples. The idea of arcades conquer vertical space is explained by the descriptions of Linked Hybrid in Beiging from 2003- 2008 designed by Steven Holl and Liu Hu and Corridoio vasariano in Florence from 1565. They are setted in another centuries, but contemporary Linked Hybrid and renaissance Corridoio vasariano both have the corridor, which connects all the building of each assumption. Another great example are Funf Hofe in Munich (1997- 2003 by Herzog & de Meuron) and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan (1863- 1877 by Giuseppe Mengoni). They make up a picture of integrating arcades into the urban fabric. Theese and another groups are an illuminating indications to think wilder about categories of designing.

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Capitolo II – Building in Extreme Situations

In the second chapter there are described renovations, reconstructions, changing purposes or meaning of buildings projects. There is a wide variety of analysed objects. Some of the projects were carried out in significant places where something else existed before. As an example there are sustainable experiments: requirements for skyscrapers, which were supposed to replace the distructed World Trade Center. There was a competition for a new project, which had to contain not only the ideas for contemporary design, construction and technology of skyscrapers, but also the memorial message of the WTC tragedy. Both described designs “United Tower Project, Ground Zero” and “World Cultural Center Project for Ground Zero” respond very well for the demand.

As an another matter in this chapter there are projected buildings localyzed in the “desert” places. As an architect Diebedo Francis Kere saw a real nessesity of a school in his home town, he decided to do everything to resolve that problem. He designed schools for a needed number of students connecting low and high technology. The idea of  “School Building Blocks for Burkina Faso” was a great success perfest for that society and the climate.

In this chapter there are many examples of giving a new quality of places by the architecture and contemporary technological solutions.

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Capitolo III- Space, Structure and Climate Challenge

An impressive collettivity of buildings with the unconventional construction. Many architects created their masterpieces relying on a process of trial and error. I was a bit risky but they gained their goals and unexpected effects. The projects based on this way of thinking are “Crystal Dome” in Chicago of William Jenney, glass pavilions at Chatsworth, 1834- 1850 of Joseph Paxton. There are also the building monted with as less materials as possible and on as simple construction as possible keeping the rules of casual objects and increasing their resistance. Suprisingly it is a description of transportable “Galla huts” in Ethiopia, yurt in Afghanistan or assembly sequence of the Wichita House, USA of R. Buckminster Fuller.

The author described not only easy- raised and easy- movable buildings, but also huge objects of easy- arrangeble interiors. The steel resistant structure lets for flexible adaptation of this type of objects’ spaces. There can be insert various kinds of activity like library, museum, gallery, offices, shopping centres and multiple other funtions. Flexibility of use and life cycle strategies are well shown on the basis of Centre Pompidou, Paris 1971- 1978 by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, Mediatheque in Sendai, Japan 1995- 2000 by Toyo Ito or La Miroiterie, Quartier le Flon, Lausanne 2008 by Brauen+Walchli.

Pfammatter paid attention also on the spatial climate layers. Explained the necessity of considering the position of the sun, meteorology and climate of the proper place while designing every each building. The chosen projects show how to “use” the nature to construct and exploit in agreement with it. The “Epadesa”, Nanterre- Paris 2010 by Philippe Rahm, Science Park, Viikki, Helsinki 2001 by ARK-house and “Berliner Bogen” office building, Hamburg 1998- 2001 by Bothe Richter Tehrani are grate examples of the statement above.

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Capitolo IV – The Nature of Materials – and the Future of Materials Technology

The description of various methods of designing using innovative structures. The author talks about building materials and the ways how they have been used and what kind of objects could have been raised thanks of the involvment of technology. In the following chapter there are shown meaningful passes in upgrating the structures. Pre-stressed structures let for transmitting high loads by using various materials like stone, steel or structural glazing. It is the reason why engineers use them to create big scale buildings, for example natural stone construction- The Padre Pio Pilgrim Church, San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia 1991- 2004 by Renzo Piano Building Workshop; structural glazing- Tower Place, London 2003 by Norman Foster and Partners; concrete structure- the Rolex Learning Center, ETH Lausanne 2004- 2010 by Kazuyo Sejima+ Ryue Nishizawa, SANAA; ribbed structure- Torino Esposizioni, the Giovanni Agnelli Exhibition Hall, Turin 1947- 1948. Many possibilities give metal structures: iron, steel and aluminium. There are over 200 years of the innovative development. The very well-known projects are The Iron Bridge in Coalbrookdale designed by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard; Palais des Machines, World Ehxibition 1889, Paris by Charles-Louis-Ferdinand Dutert; Dornier Museum, Friedrichshafen 2009 by Allmann Sattler Wappner and Werner Sobek. Pfammatter has put attention on value of using materials or types of structures typical for the region of the construction place. He also appreciated the traditional methods of working the structure elements. There are many buildings worh of consideration as the natural stone constructions, for example Raffaele Cavadini and Iragna’s village in south of Biasca in Switzerland; Taliesin West, Maricopa Mesa, Paradise Valley in Arizona by Frank Lloyd Wright. There are decribed also the ancient methods of building which survived the ages: traditional stone building techniques in Khumbu, Nepal; Dragon House, Mount Ochi, southern Euboea in Greece or “Temple of the Sun”- El Torreon in Machu Picchu and “House of the Sun” in Sacsayhuaman in Peru. Architects and engineers from ages were advancing methods of constructing and learning from the previous designers and this process still goes on.

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Capitolo V – Architectural Memory: Industrial Culture and Transformation Strategies

The last chapter is mainly about revitalizations. There are presented the abbandoned places, closed fabrics and manufactures, harbours or ecological emaciated areas. The renovation processes is runned by reinforcing existing structure, adapting the function for the present needs, analyzing the story of the place and giving a new aesthetical value. Pfammatter gave examples of well- maid projects of re-establishing old buildings, squares or all areas. There are some in which the original function has been kept, but has been given a new technilogical and visual merit, like in Fiat Lingotto Complex in Turin from 1984- 1996 by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Then there are objects which were given assignment, like Arenas de Barcelona- from bullring consumer temple and Museum of Rock 2002- 2011 by Richard Rogers or the “Viadukt” market, Zurich-West 2004- 2010 by Mathias Muller and Daniel Niggli, what before was a railway line and now became a long shopping center. In urban scale there are usually social or ecological demaged zones. In every city is very easy to find a place like this- abbandoned, dirty, with dagerously aged buildings. So did some architects in Vienna, Prague and Budapest. Now the revitalized squers (Durchhofe, Pavalcen, Udvarok) are well-known and full of people. Nowadays one of the biggest ecological concepts is the Eden Project, St. Austell, Cornwall in England from 1995- 2001 designed by Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners. It was an old clay pit what became a “ghost town” and was returned to use because of constructing a series of differently-sized interlocking “biomes”. This kind of revitalization process is a way of winning back seemingly lost and distructed places.

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Sustainable architecture – a method of designing and considering architecture in a balanced way, what means in correspondence to the necessities of the present society

Redevelopment – urban redevelopment areas; a conversion of the urban areas which do not correspond to the social necessities any more into more useful spaces according to the present times

Genius Loci – the protective spirit of the place; in the book this name is used as a common idea of the various designs from different ages

Vernacular architecture – the architecture typical for the region where the building are constructed; the use of local signs as designing inspirations