LA CONQUÊTE DU SOLEIL
Summer is the season of all possibilities. In July, the amount of sunshine remains incredibly generous: almost 16 hours per day. This allows for a wide range of activities.
Summer is the season of lightness and discovery. Lightness in clothing, lightness on holiday, discovery of new horizons. But also self-discovery, in the primary sense of the word: wearing lighter clothes, possibly leaving certain parts of the body uncovered.
Summer is a season when sensations are felt more directly, when bodies are constantly in demand. The sun acts on the epidermis and leaves its traces of tan in memory. We humans remain essentially sensitive receptors of light and heat. Summer is the season when we feel most and best connected to nature, even in the city, like the naturists in Tiergarten. In other capitals, artificial beaches flourish on the banks of rivers, making it seem as if we don't even need to go on holiday to the coast.
Summer is the season when everything is decided by the sun, whether we go out to get it or turn away from it. Heat becomes a tourist value, sometimes to the extreme: choosing the hottest destinations, not being afraid of getting lost in the desert, pushing the limits of your body to accept the highest temperatures. This quest can also be carried out on an individual scale, and without travelling. Putting reflective panels around your face for a quick tan is already claiming the sun for yourself. And if the sun isn't there, it can even be made. Thus, artificial domes, totally unaware of the natural course of the elements and the climate of their own sites, recreate, under a bell, sunshine based on UV lamps, and holiday destinations based on images or even holograms. But no one is obliged to obey this quest for sunshine at all costs. The dosage remains intuitive and is based on listening to our own sensations.
For some years now, summer has also been the season of anxiety. Heat waves, forest fires and droughts are on the increase, tangible proof of climate insecurity. Summer should not be allowed to become a disaster season and travel a trap. The summer season has always been marked by a taste for exacerbation (going to the hottest destinations, getting the most intensive tan), but now it is disruption that threatens it. The Anthropocene is being warned.
The original quest of architecture was also to seek out the sun (light, sunlight, hygiene) while at the same time providing spaces for shade and coolness. A building is like a person. The façade is its skin. It can choose whether or not to cover itself with a layer of fabric to protect itself. More broadly, architecture has always been able to invent "air conditioning" or even "cooling" solutions, long before the appearance of electrical appliances. Allowing air to circulate in a building (even if only in a terracotta chimney) is already enabling it to be eco-responsible and to guarantee a well-tempered climate. Buffer, shade or air-conditioning zones are spatial layers that ensure that the building is well tempered.
Summer is thus a season of revelation, making it possible to experience how light and heat affect us, both emotionally and physically. Summer also highlights several reactions to this light and heat: stimulation, protection, regulation. Summer" architecture will therefore be that which allows a whole range of arrangements, both conquering and protective, to continue to make this beautiful season come alive.
PHASE I: MYTHOLOGIES
PHASE II: FINDING FREEDOMS
PHASE III: BINDING FRAGMENTS
Studio on Wednesdays in room 312
Introduction on Wednesday, 19.04.2023 at 14:00 in room 312