The Trombe Wall during the 1970s: technological device or architectural space? Critical inquiry on the Trombe Wall in Europe and the role of architectural magazines
During the 1970s, before and after the international oil crisis of 1973, some European architectural periodicals were critical of standard construction methods and the architecture of the time. They described how architects and engineers reacted to the crisis, proposing new techniques and projects in order to intervene innovatively in the built environment, using energy and natural resources more efficiently.
This article will provide a critical analysis of the role of architectural magazines of the time, describing the technological innovation of the Trombe Wall in Europe. It will treat when, how, and what specific aspects were described. It will also carry out a critical analysis of the Trombe Wall itself: about its performances, its evolution throughout the 1970s, its integration in different houses, and its influence on inhabitants’ behaviour. Using three houses as case studies, an analysis of the architects’ efforts to integrate the technology of the Trombe Wall with architectural elements such as shape, aesthetic, materiality, and natural light will be carried out.
Though this article is historical in character, it aims to inform the contemporary debate, especially concerning issues of the built environment meeting the Paris agreement on climate change (AA, 2015).
AA, V. (1974a). Architectural Design (AD), n. 9 (Vol. 44). The Standard Catalogue Company Ltd, 26 Blomsbury Way, London, WC1A2SS.
AA, V. (1974b). Architecture d’Aujourd’hui (Vol. 174). Groupe Expansion, Paris.
AA, V. (1977). Casabella. pp. 22-33 (Vol. 425). Electa.
AA, V. (1979). Techniques et architecture, pp. 80 (Vol. 325). Editions Regirex-France Juin - Jt 1979, Paris.
AA, V. (2010). Field: 4 ‘Ecology’, Issue 1. Filed: journal. Retrieved from http://field-journal.org/portfolio-items/field-4-ecology/
AA, V. (2015, December). United Nations Treaty Collection. Retrieved 3 April 2017, from https://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXVII-7-d&chapter=27&clang=_en
Bonnemaison, S., & Macy, C. (2003). Architecture and Nature: Creating the American Landscape. London, England: Routledge.
Borasi, G., & Zardini, M. (2007). Sorry, Out of Gas: Architecture’s Response to the 1973 Oil Crisis. Canadian Centre for Architecture.
Cabessa, R. (1979). La démarche de conception de l’habitat climatique [The design process of the climatic habitat]. Techniques et Architecture, 325, 76–80.
Carroll, N. (2009). On Criticism. London, England: Routledge.
Colquhoun, A. (2002). Modern Architecture. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Curtis, W. J. R. (1996). Modern Architecture Since 1900. London, England: Phaidon Press.
Frampton, K. (2007). Modern Architecture: A Critical History. London, England: Thames & Hudson.
Hogan, I. (1975). Solar building in the Pyrenees. Architectural Design, 45(1), 13–17.
Hogan, I. (1976). Generic Solar houses. Alternatives Technologies Section of Architectural Design, 46(1), 50–51.
Meadows, D. H., Randers, J., & Meadows, D. L. (2004). The Limits to Growth: The 30-year Update (Revised edition edition). London, England: Routledge.
Medici, P. (2017, August). Interview with Mark Vaye and Frédéric Nicolas.
Michel, J. (1973). Chauffage par rayonnement solaire [Heating by solar radiation]. Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, 167, 88–93.
Moorcraft, C. (1973). Solar energy in housing. Architectural Design, 43(10), 634–643, 652–653.
Mulcahy, S. (1975). Glass Houses. Architectural Design, 45(3), 144–148.
Nicolas, F., Traisnel, J.-P., & Vaye, M. (1974). La Face cachée du soleil : énergie solaire et architecture [The hidden face of the sun: solar energy and architecture]. Paris: Bricolo Lezardeur
Nicolas, F., & Vaye, M. (1977). Pour une approche bio-climatique de l’Architecture [For a bio-climatic approach to Architecture]. Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, 192(4), 28–30.
Pedregal, P. D. (1977). Architecture solaire: quelques perspectives [Solar architecture: some perspectives]. Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, 192(4), 2–6.
Scheichenbauer, M. (1977). Impianti e pannelli solari [Solar panels and installations]. Casabella, 425, 22–34.
Stickells, L. (2015). Exiting the Grid: Autonomous House Design in the 1970s. Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand, 32. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/16106628/Exiting_the_Grid_Autonomous_House_Design_in_the_1970s
Tafuri, M., & Dal Co, F. (1987). Modern architecture. London, England: Electa/Rizzoli.