The Trombe wall out of equipoise: a missed analysis and communication on the limitations of a sustainable technology

P. Medici, Leonardo Zuccaro Marchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Throughout the 1960s and the 1970s, some European architectural magazines illustrated the Trombe Wall: a solar collector designed by engineer Felix Trombe, integrated into the southern wall of some housing prototypes by Jacques Michel in France. Magazines such as Architectural Design, Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, Technique et Arquitecture, Casabella and Domus, illustrated these examples especially during the years before and after the 1973 oil crisis. However, they mainly focussed on the technological aspects of the innovation and on energy performances. Taking as a reference the concept of Equipoise described by Sigfried Giedion (1948) and re-considered within the sustainability debate by William Braham,1 the technological interventions of sustainable architectural practices entail three limitations. The first underlines that the interventions could affect the health of the people, the second that sustainability is ultimately a social condition and the third regarded the necessity of regular maintenance and renewal.
This article aims to highlight the absence of debate about the three cautions in the magazines throughout the 1970s and the consequence of this lack on sustainable and energy-efficient architecture of today.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-161
JournalVillardjournal
Issue number02.020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

02.020: Communicate, ISBN 978-88-229-0492-8

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