Today, many building designs still lack the input of climate and energy principles. They are subsequently made ‘sustainable’ by an accumulation of technological interventions that are unrelated to the logic of living. Now that there is a growing understanding of the connection between energy and space on a larger scale, it is time to collaborate on and build a focussed architectural approach.

The IABR–Atelier Rotterdam explores this energy transition by focusing on the use, building form, floor plan and façade of collective residential buildings. Every change and development in the supply of energy has transformed the typology of residential architecture. For a long time, dwellings were organised around the use of heat, until central heating was introduced – mushrooming energy consumption was the result. In the future, not only heat but also electricity and ventilation will become increasingly important parts of how energy is supplied to dwellings. Is there a typological transformation that can facilitate today’s transition, other than a proliferation of technical installations?

The knowledge to design energy-efficient dwellings is already available, but it is fragmented and spread among different experts. The ‘Lexicon Architectuur & Energie’ combines this existing knowledge into an overview in support of better energy performance, indoor climate, and architecture.

The Lexicon also includes applied knowledge that has been tested and further developed with respect to two typical examples of collective housing in Rotterdam. One is the post-war housing association block that accounts for more than a quarter of Rotterdam’s building stock and is therefore an important example and challenge in renovation. The other is the new high-rise tower, a typology that strives to alleviate certain demographic increases and pressures in Rotterdam’s city centre.

The exploration of these two types is a first step towards a new architecture discourse that can accelerate the ‘energy transition’ and, also generate spatial and user quality. The energy transition is not only a technical challenge, but also the key to a better city.

  • Name: Energy and Architecture IABR
  • Location: Rotterdam (NL)
  • Program: Exhibition, book, 6 provocative designs
  • Commission: Research, design, design of exhibition
  • Period: 2018
  • Client: International Architceture Biennale in Rotterdam
  • Team: Jan Lebbink, Gert Kwekkeboom, Rick ten Doeschate, Ingrid van der Heijden, Angela Solis, Leen Bogerd
  • Partners: IABR, Architectural Workroom, Christa de vaan (Arup), Andy van den Dobbelsteen (TU Delft), Tim Habraken (CBRE)
  • Images: Civic Architects
  • Model: Adam Scale, Studio Woudstra
  • Photography: Aad Hoogendoorn
  • Film: Christian van der Kooy

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