Philippe Rahm

Climatic Architecture

 © Philippe Rahm
© Philippe Rahm

Traditionally exposure to wind and sun, variations in temperature and humidity, shaped the forms of cities and buildings. Yet, the “architecture of the well-tempered environment” (Reyner Banham) largely ignored these fundamentals of urban planning and building. Today, 40 per cent of CO2 emissions count for the building sector and its enormous use of fossil energy, that today cause global warming in an unprecedented way.

Climate change forces architects and urban planners question the basics of their practice the climatic and the very profile of their professions. Faced with the climatic challenges of the 21st century, Philippe Rahm proposes to reset the discipline on its intrinsic atmospheric qualities, where air, light, heat or humidity are recognized as building materials. Convection, thermal conduction, evaporation, and emissivity are becoming design tools that have the potential to revolutionize the esthetic and social values of architecture

Tuesday, October 24, 2023
CIVA, Rue de l'Ermitage 55, 1050 Brussels



Philippe Rahm is a Paris-based Swiss architect. His work, which extends the field of architecture from the physiological to the meteorological, has received an international audience in the context of sustainability. His recent work includes the first prize for the Farini competition (60 ha) in Milan in 2019, the 70 hectares Central Park in Taichung, Taiwan, completed in December 2020, a 2700 m2 exhibition architecture for LUMA in Arles, France. He has held professorships at GSD Harvard University, Columbia, Cornell or Princeton Universities. He is a tenured associate professor at the National Superior School of Architecture in Versailles, France (ENSA-V). In 2020, he curated the exhibition Natural History of Architecture at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal in Paris. Climatic Architecture, a monographic book is published in 2023 by Actar.