Sarah Rich

ECO-FRIENDLY "AIR SUIT"

by , 09/30/05

I seem to have stumbled upon a theme this week: bringing industrial technology to traditional Eastern design aesthetics. Kazuhide Doi, a Japanese architect, won a Bronze award from the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction for his futuristic approach to preserving traditional architecture.

Doi’s “air suit” is a thin skin of glass and membrane that encloses a building, protecting it from heat and water. The “envelope” increases energy efficiency, decreases the need for intensive structural renovations, and provides insulation by creating a greenhouse effect. “The thin, translucent facade is also reminiscent of a traditional Japanese house,” said Doi.

Doi recently revitalized a building in Hiroshima using this technology and aims to present the idea as a solution for architectural preservation throughout the city, which faced historic devastation in WWII. This makes me wonder at the possibilities for restoring existing buildings in our own Southeastern region instead of tearing down and rebuilding anew.

via: we-make-money-not-art via The Daily Yomiuri

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1 Comment

  1. Kevin October 1, 2005 at 7:29 am

    It’s interesting, and I think it has many benefits, and I’m sure they are looking into the social implications as well, but just have not mentioned them for brevity’s sake

    Disclaimer: I have never seen this first hand. That said, I personally would never want to live in something like that. Being behind a sheet of glass would make me crazy. My windows are open 24/7. I have turned down jobs because they are in high-rise buildings with office windows that don’t open. I need my breeze. I need my fresh (or even not so fresh in the case of Tokyo) air.

    Also, while I surely do not advocate simply tearing down old buildings and wasting all the embedded resources to make way for the new, I wonder what it would feel like to be a person living in one of these dilapidated buildings. With no data to back me up, I am going to guess that the people living in the old Hiroshima building were on the lower end of the income scale. It could be misconstrued as something akin to putting them in an aquarium, erecting yet another barrier between “us” and “them”, almost as if to say “You stay inside your glass cage and don’t think about even *breathing* our air.”

    Now obviously that is not how it is meant, but people (like me) may perceive things in strange ways. Just so long as they have considered this as well…

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