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.