The conception of healthy and sustainable cities is one of the biggest challenges of our time. However, architects and engineers struggle with the complexity of urban physics and with an increasing amount of environmental data and constraints. UrbanMetrix is a new site-analysis and conceptual-design software that solves this issue. It provides in a simple and intuitive way key suggestions related to sun, airflow, views, and noise, also in complex urban settings. This solution breaks the closed scheme of traditional building simulation by allowing the extraction of suggestions that fit to the local conditions directly from the empty space of every site. After research at the ETH, in 2021 we opened Archimethod, a multidisciplinary office through which we have developed and applied the tool to the first real projects. With support from Innosuisse, EsaBic, and Supsi we are now developing a user-ready version that will be ready for all Swiss architecture and engineering offices in one year.
Texte Davos Kriterien (Selbstevaluation)
This tool allows architects and engineers to address with new means the use of local environmental resources. It can support multidisciplinary collaboration processes of professionals but also the involvement of actors such as private owners, communities, and governmental administrations. New transparent and inclusive decision and design processes can have very positive impacts, for example on public participation, urban planning, competition processes, communication, and education.
The extracted suggestions can be used for new projects or to transform existing buildings. They can guide the conversion of the building stock or they can be used to define the form, the position, and the orientation of new buildings. They can be used to shape and locate internal spaces and functions, or to shape facades and distribute openings, shadings, PV, and thermal panels. A more informed design can increase the architectural quality related to daylight, views, air, and acoustic exposure.
This interdisciplinary integration among the disciplines of architecture, physics, engineering, and computer science, is aiming at bringing back together architecture and sustainability at the root. It also offers new means to reduce energy demand, to increase renewable emission-free energy supply, and to reduce materials and plants through efficient solutions. It aims at achieving both urban density and smart energy use, while preserving access to light, air, and nature.
A design process based on a more aware use of environmental resources will have a strong economic impact in both the short and the long term. With this tool architects can achieve in a few hours what they usually hardly achieve in weeks of work for data collection, versioning, and iterations with engineers. This provides an immediate reduction of worktime cost. The extracted suggestions can then reduce construction and operation costs and also increase the value of the architectural results.
By allowing to address environmental questions at the root, we aim at stimulating the genesis of a variety of new architectural ideas. Diversity will be granted by the fact that every site has a unique contextual setting and by the fact that the architect has the full choice on how to use the environmental information. On the other side well-designed spaces with an increased livelihood can allow the design of new forms of living together that could stimulate social interaction and integration.
The ecological transition requires a change in the methods and tools we use. The proposed bottom-up process is based on a more accurate initial observation of the site-specific resources and constraints of each single urban site. This enlarged information on the existing place, and on the relationships with its topographic, built, and natural context, will generate a new knowledge that can be fruitfully combined with the other social, cultural, historical, and economical aspects of the context.
Genius Loci
The people’s understanding of the local resources, and their understanding of the meaning of an architectural solution will lead them to a much stronger connection with both the architectural work and that specific place. Architectural solutions with a deep link to nature, to the close context, and to landscape qualities will have higher chances to be experienced as special locations with a positive and strong identity.
The augmented perception given by these new means of analysis, visualization and synthesis, and the possibility to interact with multiple variables and their quantitative, volumetric, dynamic, and directional dimensions opens to a variety of new formal possibilities. This will stimulate novel compositions and expressions and new types of aesthetic and atmospheric designs
that will characterize a novel generation of efficient, healthy, and durable solutions.
Baukategorie (SIA 102)
Art der Aufgabe
Art des Verfahrens
Baukosten in CHF (SIA 416)
Geschossfläche in m² (SIA 416)
2021 → 2023
2021 → 2023