Meeting with student project participants Michael Babayev, Konstantin Mikhailov and Natalia Shesterneva. (Unable to participate: “Harmony” and “Wonderland” students.)
Suggest focus on a design proposal for the Hermitage. “Indirect mechanical evaporative cooling (IMEC) as pre-treatment of summer ventilation air”. Possible roof (garret) plant taking air from the inner courtyard with exhaust to the Neva / Embankment side, with cooled air supply in a ring duct round the Garret to supply 2A and 9B and all other future fresh-air systems. Alternative, or supplementary, to above, a technical study of the posibilities and limitations of IEC in St.Petersburg. Another possibility, a market study of the awareness of IMEC among professionals in St.P. Also, a comparison of this project with Polytechnic student project “Dagmar”.
Possibly a study (interviews) of the psychological reactions to something so new as micro-climatic multi-function stops, trees, lanterns. Ordinary people, children, politicians? Alternatively, or as supplement, detailed application in, for example, Palace Square (remove status-symbol Alexander column and replace with micro-climate outdoor shelters, meeting places etc.?) Or as part of Town zoning proposals “Zone for pedestrians with micro-climatic artificial trees”. Many possibilities for new ideas; “white paper” project.
I propose focus on the “Matisse” part of the project. Shutters with mirrors, coloured glass? or shutters with electric (plasma) lighting?, with music?, with solar-cells?, with plants?, with burglar-alarms?, with water (evaporative cooling?), with… ?? Many possibilities. There are 2 approaches generally—a poster that investigates the design possibilities, models, drawings, cost-estimates, practical things, or a poster about the whole question of attitude in the building industry (in St. Petersburg). Instead of architecture becoming “cosmetics” or “nostalgic”, where is the real design? And why this stagnation? Where is the renaissance? “Harmony”! Give the 21st a kick to wake us up to the possibilities of a world in “harmony” :) Ask the big architects why they are in reality so boring! Corbusier would “throw them all out” (I hope!).
Yes, we need “wonderlands”! Again, there are 2 basic possibilities for the “details” poster; the physical and/or the psychological. You could make models, drawings etc., of the “bubble”, what materials, how to build it, planning permission, fire safety, costs etc., a study of high-tech translucent fabrics that are strong and light enough to permit such structures (“blue sky” project in England). Alternatively, or supplementarily, investigate (interview) decision making. Why allow spaces between buildings to be filled by more buildings = overcrowding, instead of creating wonderlands. Who is democracy for, really, if the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, economically, or, in this case, regarding the richness or poorness of the city infrastructure?
Meeting with student project participants; Katarina (with Xenia, Dagmar project), Anna (Rastrelli), Darya (Palladio), Marina (Fortochka).
Refer to aurelie.dk and suggest detailing a real design proposal for the inner (Dagmar) courtyard—what type of plants, how many, where, expected climatic effects, cost, maintenance. Plants have both a thermal (evaporative cooling) effect and an air cleaning (chemical absorbtion) effect. Each part, or just one, can be studied in detail in relation to the Hermitage building.
Refer to www.sofiebadet.dk (danish only!) but suggest detailing a real double-shaft rastrelli proposal for a multi-story housing block. Possible external balcony type solution? Again, what type of shafts, how many, where, expected climatic effect, cost, maintenance. Problem for all multi-storey dwellings all over the world. Possible study of the reasons for neglect of ventilation in multi-storey housing design?
Suggest detailed focus on Palladio effect, possibly in the Hermitage. Possible marketing study—what are the trends, what type of inside wall surface materials are most used in 2006? What is the marketing trend from the past? In the future? What is the awareness (demand) for hygroscopic surface materials? Among consumers? Designers? Contractors?
Ventilation window folder handed over. Commercially available. Discussion of filtration effect. Possible detailed analysis (measurement) of dust settlement effect, can be quantified by measuring weight difference between known dust quantity outside and measured dust settlement quantity inside. Other possibilities: measure pre-heating of ventilation air under Russian conditions. Noise attenuation levels?
Answer to the “why” question! Example: Why is there not more use of plants to absorb harmful gasses? Sergio's hypothesis:
- philosophical assessment of the role of the engineer over the past 2 centuries—see “Brunel” article.
- scientifically, very little quantifiable knowledge in 2006. Very little research. Some plants, some gasses.
- commercially, very little dissemination of the (little) available knowledge.