Subsidence tower at the architect’s home office
This practice normally develops new emergent building systems in partnership with its clients. The policy is that the fundamental building will with its proven passive and low energy systems operate satisfactorily. That then integrating further initiatives may also further enhance this performance, but that in the event of ‘failure’ of the new element, the resultant building and usual elements is still very good.
At the same time, over the decades, this architect’s own home office has sometimes been the test bed for prototypes – for trialing new building elements which might later become new emergent methods.
When the home office itself was first developed, classic ‘passive solar design’ approach was the only commonly known paradigm in the development industry; and it was the early application of new thinking about hot arid climate design techniques that were integrated into this house.
That thinking in later years then evolved past what this house was at its time of original conception envisaged for.
Then a subsidence tower was built, positioned external to the building envelope on the shadeside pergola. Its purpose: to somewhat condition external air before this is drawn into the building as cross ventilation and heat flushing.
As a result, this tower is less about absolute temperature reduction, and more about enhancing cross ventilation flow rates.
After 3 years of use with a standard steel roof ‘lid’, the tower was revamped in 2005 with a curved roof which increases shading to pads, and opens the opportunity to introduce more baffles, shading and insulation. This is for on-going trails. The photo shows that current tower form.