Empire State Building Chrysler Building early Icons

Empire State Building Chrysler Building

the skyscraper as a stack of Information

QrtJftM m ""'''I"*1 d0t,*n •A Ih* built inr/uonm*n\

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„ ,n, , »utemmts ar. consistently supported by his own

,,„.•>... WN as the »urnrnary diagram of The Built

,. , (aoove). wt <h model» Interaction* In his own terms it,,, rr.,». to the partitioned matrix arid indud« . -ih«- m«na#«m«nt of input» (L21) > the management of output» (L12)

. tl,. rrnnagern^t of the environmental context of the building (L22) . th- d«--.ign and management of the internal operational system» of thr »ky-.craper In relation to lH<r other three sets of factor, (L11) to the. y«-jriK * 'urther crucial condition: . th«- interactions of »II thr above »ets acting syrnblotlcally a-, a whot«- with tli«- natural tystem« (and lh<i other man mad«: system» M well) In the bloiphere."

t'. it,.-. sum» -ir/ of inUnv tions, rt-.mg ha» added ■i conclusive statement "To fulfil the last (and broadest) goal, that of synchronising .ill the above aspects of the skyscraper (ie. its input'., outputs, operational activities and environmental consequences) with the natural cycles in the biosphere and with other human structures, communities and activities in the biosphere, appears at first to be naively idealistic. Vet it is crucial to the realisation of green design and sustainability; however it would require economic political decisions that lie beyond the scope of the present work and full exploitation of the opportunities of digital technologies." "

rt • universal statement epitomises the intentions, scope and promise of e«-.,,-. philosophy, his » all to order .irid overall understanding, arid I'- total responsibility of his mission thai of an ecological architect if the -.'-rninal text of Green Skymaper, the summary of his life //ork to rial«- In- has expanded his .iddrr-ss in .iri exhaustive survey of : ih< criteria and condition» that surround thr- process of building .rrhiter tur. Thr-v- area» Include, m addition to hi» central theory

• rhe Environmental Context for Building

• Design Regarded as Management of Energy and Materials

• Designing the ',ky»craper'» Operational System», and

• Discussion Ecological Design" "

Fach ,A the,, area» of review and analysis is supported by his

•isv. rnblerj „ ebon of graphic», many drawn from project» and in*,.™.* within his own aver expanding portfolio of ar<hltaclure

Solid-watte rer/ding system

Solid-watte rer/ding system

Rainwater Collection and Recycling Syitem iOITT rower (see pp 110)

Rainwater Collection and Recycling Syitem

On«- further reflection on Yearig's ' /tensive treatise, which require-, study iri full rather than a summary, reveals two outstanding pom!/, relative to the skyscraper The first has to do with modes In tt crucial connection, Yeang who regards each project and building as a progressive development in a series has said

"At the beginning of the production of the design brief, it should be ascertained whether it is possible to meet the skyscraper's comfort requirements largely through a design incorporating passive mode measures with a direct effect. In any event, the design strategy must begin by optimising all the passive mode strategies ... (which are exhibited in many of Yeang's early skyscraper projects included in this book)

"Following which, the designer must endeavour to use those mixed-mode systems that are viable and acceptable. The remaining energy needs in terms of heating, cooling, electricity and ventilation should be met by those active systems powered by ecologically sustainable forms of energy."

Y'-ang then expands on this central question of modes and systems: "It will be useful to categorise the level of operational systems provided to our skyscraper and other intensive building types, in other words the extent of its internal environmental servicing systems ... Into three levels of provision:

" H..<] p /i pp •• // i// 1(7 ,, tr, /H/ " pM

"¡LHV"4""' '«on adapted from

• productive mode

The provision of the basic level of systems at the passive-model level, if acceptable to all occupants, is ecologically ideal. It requires the optimisation of all possible passive-mode systems for the locality. The full conventional systems level of servicing is referred to here as the specialised level or the full conventional systems level of servicing is referred to here as the specialised level or the full mode. The in-between or mixed-mode level is the background level of servicing. Productive mode is the use of systems that generate energy (eg. photovoltaics). The designer must decide at the onset which of these levels of operational systems is to be provided in the building." u

But. on the decisive question of defining the level of provision both for Skyscrapers or other large buildings, Yeang returns to the centrality of the designer's role, and to 'interconnectedness' and the partitioned matrix: "We can conclude that in the ecological approach, the designer must start with the premise that the environmental impact increases in relation to the increase in demands by users for living conditions beyond those of a simple existence. The first question to be asked prior to design is, 'What is to be built?' and to assess its validity and consequences generically. In preparing the design brief, the designer must find out the extent of shelter and comfort that he or she must design for...

By considering the ecological design holistically in terms of the four factors in the partitioned matrix, it is clear that ecological design must encompass not just architectural design, engineering design and the science of ecology but also other aspects of environmental control and protection such as resource conservation, recycling practices and technology, pollution control, energy embodiment research, ecological landscape planning, applied ecology, climatology, etc. The partitioned matrix here demonstrates the interconnectivity of this multitude of disciplines which must be integrated into a single approach to ecological design." "

A- far as this brief synopsis can extend, Yeang's final outstanding point has to do with aesthetics, together with economics and performance within the marketplace:

"••• we might conclude here by declaring that in addition to meeting the systemic aspects of ecological design, the ecologically responsive or 'green' skyscraper or large building type must also be aesthetically pleasing, economically competitive and excel in performance. If it does not meet these criteria, it is likely that it will not be accepted by the Public. The economics of ecological design (or ecological economics) need to be rationalised if business is to accept the benefits of green design ..." "

the skyscraper should not have a sealed skin as in a thermos flask
the skyscraper should not be a multi-storey refrigerator
the skyscraper should not be a multi-storey fortress
the skyscraper as the multi-activity tower

M Ibid p 287


-Low energy design and ecological design are applicable Regardless of architectural sty, Since the beSt opportunity for improving a building's environmen I performance occurs earfy in the design process, .t Is dear then that we must at the onset make our skyscrapers and other large buildings not only ecologically responsive but aesthetically pleasing as well if green design is to be a durable proposition.

m drawing together a synoptic review of Yeang's extensive overall v-von of the formation of a responsive and responsible ecological •ircbitectur'- the importance of his concepts of interconnectedness and comprehensiveness are absolutely central In practice, using Yeang's theories, the importance of the architect and designer applying the principles to the design process is equally crucial in •he actual realisation of truly ecological architecture. Then, in turn, what can be achieved on a global scale, is an architecture and quality of settlement that both satisfies human need and contributes to a sustainable environmentaJ condition

Yeang's summary declaration describes his theoretical work to date as "... a set of ecological ideals or intentions, the full implementation of which may incur additional costs (over and above the conventional building costs) or societal changes (eg. standard-of-living or comfort) or the revision of current technological and design methods. While many of the ecological objectives remain currently technologically or scientifically unfulfilled, the framework ... nevertheless provides a point of departure from which, hopefully, these objectives will eventually be achieved in their entirety." "

With this last statement in mind, it is then possible to see Yeang's development of his own architecture as a set of projects that gradually work progressively towards the ecological objective, both within the constraints of the actual commission and those of the commercial marketplace

In the presentation of Yeang's skyscrapers and large buildings that follows the trajectory of that development towards an ecological objective » naturally revealed in the nature of the architecture itself -inflected and new forms that are signal of a truly contemporary genre of green buildings Beginning in the early 1980s. Yeang has already *ent some two decades in that relentless development, and the active production of increasingly measured and precisely designed projects are consistently emergent from his Kuala Lumpur studio

Collectively, and taken together with his theory. Yeang's work is steadily providing an important place of world leadership in the pursuit of architecture and su,taxability

Q. Any overview of Ken Yeang's skyscraper architecture of the last two § decades will inevitably confront his relentless pursuit of ecological £ design, enacted throughout his growing range of projects, typology and developing hybrid forms.

That the urban skyscraper is central to Yeang's output is self-evident, but alongside this, two other aspects of his creative activity are both synonymous and critical- The first concerns his method, that of research, design and development (R. D & D) within the context of practice, the second is his inventive creation of vertical urbanism within the framework of the bioclimatic skyscraper.

As further background, it is fundamental to refer to his doctoral thesis.

A Theoretical Framework for the Ecological Design and Planning of the Built Environment'. * Yeang's work on ecological design and its theory emerged at Cambridge University in 1971-75. and has ever since consistently addressed the whole built environment, including architecture and urbamsm. His fundamental agenda is sustamability. and in his ground-breaking thesis of 1974 he summarised his theory of ecological design.

"... it is not an architectural theory but a body of theory that is architectural. Ecological design theory, by nature of the interconnected and holistic characteristics of the earth's ecosystems, affects all aspects of human activity that have an impact on the natural environment, consequently, ecological design theory can include, besides architecture, such seemingly disparate fields as energy production, efficient utilization, waste recycling and reutilization." 17

Yeang has consistently stressed, from the outset and his entry into architectural practice in Kuala Lumpur in the mid-1970s, that all his theory needs is to be advanced and developed through systemic application and testing via the implementation of real architectural projects. In turn this attitude is the foundation of his creative process, both in terms of technique and his form-giving in architecture.

In reviewing his theory and practice, Yeang has emphasised that: "Crucial to our entire agenda and work is the focused methodology of research, design and development (R, D & D). This involves an approach to the craft and practice of architecture that demands research as the basis for design and, further, insists on physical implementation as the testing ground for ideas and their poetic interpretation." >■

Yeang's R, D & D work over the last two decades, especially as applied to tall buildings, has resulted in his invention of a new building type: the bioclimatic skyscraper. In turn this typology incorporates his additional principles and spatial development of vertical urbanism

This trajectory of development is evidenced in a particular set of towers selected to exemplify Yeang's architecture.

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Although there Is precedent In Yang's roller work. Menara Mesinlag-K the archetypal summary of the blocllmatlc sun-path type, which .„„bits the clear principles of solar-shield,ng and orientation, coupled with the insertion of planted skycourts and atrial recessions Details such as sun-shading spandrels, and size and profile of protective louvres are all subjected to precise geometrical arrangement related to sun angle and path, while the materials specification throughout Is related to stud.es of embodied energy The external form is appropriately dominated by the spiralling planting of the courts and atrial spaces that are the signal of Yeang's bioclimatlc architecture, which is significantly low-energy in operation. At the same time the building exploits the quality of the pleasant tropical climate, uniting office workers with the natural environment.

The blocllmatlc skyscraper thus stands as an exemplar and in sharp contrast to the sealed, air-conditioned, centrally cored and energy-consumptive form of Its essentially North American counterpart.

The four towers represent progressive developments within the range of Yeang's bloclimatic series

Tokyo-Nnra Supertower Is essentially a spiralling form, rotating within a controlling circular geometry, which extends several theoretical propositions. The Singapore EDITT Tower and the Kuala Lumpur BATC Tower are both signature forms, displaying freer organic plan arrangements th.it incorporate ideas for vertical urbanlsm. While these three are not built, the fourlh project for the Pulau Pinang UMNO Tower was completed in 1998 and essentially wind wing-walls, applied to a constrained rectilinear plan, are the central innovation.

This series also demonstrates Yeang's designs as a progression from formal geometry to a freer organic expression. The formal progression is matched by an expanding ecological and urbanistic investigation.

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