The Boston Architectural College was pleased to present a public lecture and exhibition by the Spring 2011 Hideo Sasaki Foundation Distinguished Visiting Critics, Stefan Behnisch from Behnisch Architekten and Thomas Auer from Transsolar KlimaEngineering.
Stefan Behnisch and Thomas Auer believe that architects are charged with making a balanced, considered response to resolve a respectful tempering of the natural environment—based on local cultural and climatic conditions—with the basic necessity of providing shelter. Their lecture, Integrated Design: Concept, Process, Realization, explored the ways in which architects can create buildings that are better integrated in our world and place less strain on our environment through the process of building.
Their exhibition, Integrated Design Strategies: The Collaborative Work of Behnisch Architekten and Transsolar KlimaEgineering, showcases projects—both realized and in process—from the 12-year collaboration between Behnisch Architekten and Transsolar KlimaEgineering. It provides insight into their process and expression of sustainable design and demonstrates that investigating solutions to current and potential environmental problems poses both fascinating and rewarding challenges.
Stefan Behnisch and Behnisch Architekten
Stefan Behnisch studied philosophy, economics, and architecture in Munich and Karlsruhe, Germany. He worked as an architect in Behnisch & Partner, the practice founded by his father Günter Behnisch, before founding his own practice in 1989. This practice, Behnisch Architekten, became mainly renowned for various innovative sustainable buildings, for example the Institute for Forestry and Nature Research in Wageningen, The Netherlands. Stefan Behnisch has been an advocate of sustainable design since he started working as an architect. Many of his buildings have received prestigious awards, and the Genzyme Center in Cambridge, MA, was rated LEED Platinum. Projects on the firm's drawing boards include Harvard's Allston Science Complex in Allston/Boston and several residential buildings in the US, as well as offices, museums, concert halls, schools, and more in various countries. Stefan Behnisch was the Eero Saarinen chair visiting professor at Yale School of Architecture in 2005, 2006, and 2008. In 2007, he was nominated for the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture (one of five) and in 2008 named Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Stefan Behnisch originally founded Behnisch Architekten as a branch office of Behnisch & Partner, which existed from 1952 to 2008. It became independent in 1991 and has subsequently developed into an international practice with offices in Stuttgart, Munich, Los Angeles, and Boston. Behnisch Architekten, Stuttgart and Munich are directed by Stefan Behnisch and his partners David Cook and Martin Haas, with Robert Hösle and Stefan Rappold as additional partners for the Munich office. Behnisch Architekten, Los Angeles is directed by Stefan Behnisch and Christof Jantzen, and Behnisch Architekten, Boston by Stefan Behnisch and Robert Matthew Noblett. Since the foundation of the firm, the social dimension of architecture has been a fundamental aspect of its design philosophy. The search for innovative and sustainable design solutions making optimum use of natural resources has produced a variety of buildings, each of which responds to specific user requirements and site conditions.
Thomas Auer & Transsolar KlimaEngineering
Thomas Auer trained as a process engineer at the Technical University in Stuttgart. He is a partner and managing director of Transsolar KlimaEngineering, a German engineering firm specializing in energy-efficient building design, and has collaborated with internationally recognized architecture firms on numerous design projects and competitions. As a specialist in the fields of integrated building systems and energy efficiency in buildings, Thomas Auer has developed energy and building service concepts for projects around the world noted for their innovative design and energy performance. His projects include the Hochtief Prisma naturally ventilated atrium building in Frankfurt, Germany and the Manitoba Hydro office tower in downtown Winnipeg, Canada, which is considered one of the most energy efficient high rise buildings in North America. He has also developed strategies for carbon neutral urban developments such as the Toronto Lower Don. In addition to his role at Transsolar, he is currently teaching at the Yale University School of Architecture, UCLA, and at the ESA in Paris.
Transsolar KlimaEngineering, founded in 1992, develops innovative climate and energy concepts in order to improve the built environment's impact on the natural environment while maintaining indoor and outdoor comfort. They consider each step in the building design process from the standpoint of fundamental thermodynamics and physics by working collaboratively from the early stages with clients, architects, mechanical engineers and other consultants to generate solutions in which local conditions, form, material, and mechanical systems are integrated components of a climate control system.
The Hideo Sasaki Foundation & DVC
Each spring, The Boston Architectural College appoints a Distinguished Visiting Critic to conduct an advanced studio for those seeking to study with highly accomplished design practitioners. The programs of the Hideo Sasaki Foundation are funded by a trust established by Sasaki Associates, Inc. and family, friends, and colleagues of Hideo Sasaki. Hideo Sasaki was internationally respected as a landscape architect, planner, teacher, and mentor. He instilled the firm he founded with a spirit of critical thinking and open inquiry and pioneered the concept of interdisciplinary planning and design and insisted that every project be put in its cultural, historical, geographical, environmental, social, and economic context.