Design integration

Material Information

Design integration an investigation of technology oriented solutions in pursuit of efficient, attractive and meaningful architecture
Barpal, Ofer
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
75 leaves : illustrations ; 28 cm

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( Master of Architecture)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
College of Architecture and Planning, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Committee Chair:
Boonyatikarn, Soontorn
Committee Co-Chair:
Pellecchia, Anthony
Committee Members:
Kindig, Robert
Gallegos, Phillip


Subjects / Keywords:
Architecture -- Philosophy ( lcsh )
Architecture -- History -- Israel ( lcsh )
Architecture -- History -- Colorado -- Denver ( lcsh )
Architecture ( fast )
Architecture -- Philosophy ( fast )
Colorado -- Denver ( fast )
Israel ( fast )
History. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
History ( fast )


Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Architecture, College of Architecture and Planning.
General Note:
Includes 13 col. slides (35 mm.)--in pocket.
Statement of Responsibility:
Ofer Barpal.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
24333350 ( OCLC )
LD1190.A72 1990m .B375 ( lcc )

Full Text
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the
Masters of Architecture Degree.
School of Architecture and Planning
University of Colorado at Denver
Mr. Soontorn Boonyatikarn, Chair
Mr. Anthony Pellecchia, Advisor
Mr. Robert W. Kindig, Advisor
Mr. Phillip Gallegos, Advisor
Ofer Barpal
May 8, 1990

I would like to thank my advisors, Mr. Soontorn Boonyatikarn, Mr.
Anthony Pellecchia, Mr. Robert W. Kindig and Mr. Phillip
Gallegos. It was a privilege to work with them and they made
this experience a pleasure as well as highly educational for me.

This work is an attempt to show the potential of the advancements
in materials and technology to improve our environment. These
advancements present us with the opportunity to significantly
enhance the performance of our built environment without having
to sacrifice either aesthetics, meaning or uniqueness. An
analysis of different climatic solutions will examine this claim.

p. 1 Problem Statement
p. 4 - Introduction
p. 5 - Chapter 1: Israel The History of the
P. 27 - Chapter 2: Denver The History of the
P. 43 - Chapter 3: Design Guidelines
P. 59 - Chapter 4: Design Objectives
P. 62 - Chapter 5: Design Process
P. 70 - Chapter 6: Design Evaluation
P. 73 - Conclusions
P. 74 - Bibliography

There exists a dilemma in architecture as to whether form follows
function or the reverse, function follows form.
Some who advocate the latter even go further and suggest that
when the form follows the function as the dominant factor in
design, the form may suffer and be inherently limited.
This argument serves as the premise for my work. I want to argue
that form and function are of equal value and importance in
serving as the dominant factors in design considerations.
Furthermore, it is my belief that neither should be regarded as
limiting the potential of the other.
I feel that this question is especially important today. The
significant and rapid advancements in materials, techniques and
equipment present us with new possibilities to express form and
texture. At the same time they have the potential to greatly
improve building performances. However, some considerable risks
are also involved. On the one hand there is the danger of losing
sight of the social and cultural aspects of architecture, letting
them trail far behind the "High Tech" appearance, at times almost
lost in the design process. On the other hand, there are risks
concerning the building performances themselves. It can be
argued that all too often technology today is being taken for
granted by designers. In other words, there are many cases in
the which the efficiency of the performance is not considered
seriously enough in the initial design stages. In such cases,

the designers assume that the engineers can later take care of
any and every flaw. For example, air conditioning is often
expected to "cure" bad air circulation that results in
temperature discomfort and foul air. Or electric lighting is
assumed to be a perfect replacement for natural lighting when in
fact a proper design could rely much more on the natural light,
thus reducing costs and increasing remarkably the quality of
light and the comfort. And these are only two examples.
In order to examine this problem, I looked for a type of
architecture that embodies both a relatively clear purpose and
expression of the society, culture and location. I chose
dwelling architecture as this type and more specifically, a
single family dwelling unit.
I feel that this is a proper selection because it is precisely
where form and function have to come to terms with each other.
Dwelling units obviously have to provide some very basic
functions while maintaining a desirable level of comfort. At the
same time they are also expected to provide a link to the culture
and society that created them, and be a source of pride for their
I feel that the integration of the new technology can be achieved
in dwellings while maintaining the cultural and social contexts,
one can surmise the validity of the premise.
I would like to close out the problem statement by stressing that
an important part of this work is the assumption that efficiency

should never be used as an excuse to allow for inferior form and
aesthetics. In fact, if anything it can often serve to generate
unique and original architecture. As examples, Frank Lloyd
Wright's Falling Water and the Solar Hemicycle, or the very
modern Bank of Hong Kong headquarters in Hong Kong (designed by
Norman Foster), each represents this very notion. While they
obviously differ in almost every respect (like period of
construction, function, materials used, technology used, site,
scale, mechanical equipment and more), they are all unique and
impressive in addition to being remarkably efficient.

In the research stage of my thesis, I intend to provide a data
base and a frame for the design stage. While I will present
historical, cultural and architectural context, I also want to
leave the design phase open ended enough. That is, I would like
to provide myself with appropriate options in terms of materials,
forms, technologies etc., and yet not to suggest too specific a
direction so as not to diminish the excitement of the
exploration. However, during the design I will document my
progress, including the thinking and the options in each stage in
view of the research that I have done.

I intend to open this research by describing the development of
the architecture in each location, which seems to be a cultural
spring board for this thesis. I will refer to the history of the
architecture in general as well as to the dwelling architecture
specifically, as they usually feed off each other and thus
represent similar principals and ideas.
In each case, I will first detail general topographic and
climatic conditions, (more specific ones will be added once the
site is determined for each location). Then, I will proceed to
outline chronologically the main events and turning points that
shaped each region's architecture. Of specific interest will be
the influence of these events on the birth and introduction of
ideas, forms, layouts and technologies that together can be
identified as unique to these countries.
I will conclude by listing a preliminary group of these unique
features. This group may be modified in the next chapter in
which I will deal with possible changes in social or cultural
aspects, as well as new technologies, that suggest such a

For this part, I relied largely on "New Israeli Architecture", by
A. Harlap.
Physical Setting and Climate
The climate in Israel is particularly important in design
considerations. In many ways, Israel is still a developing
country with few natural resources at its disposal, and energy
costs have traditionally been high. As a result, the use of
mechanical systems is not that wide spread. Obviously, this
situation necessitates a high efficiency of building performance.
The Israeli climate can get harsh at times, particularly during
the summer months and, as the above indicates, one often lacks
the mechanical system as a back-up to cope with this climate.
Despite Israel's small size (which is comparable to that of
Maine), it has a variety of climatic zones, as well as remarkable
variety in landscape and vegetation. Between the desert
conditions of the south and the Mediterranean mountain climate in
the north, one finds significant changes in humidity, rain fall,
temperature and topography. Israel can be divided into three to
five topographical zones and four to five climatic zones.*
*In "Rebuilding the Land of Israel", G. Canaan divides Israel
into five geographical and climatic zones (Canaan, 1954:9), while
A. Harlap details three distinct topographical zones and four
climatic ones (Harlap, 1982:30-35).

At this stage, it will be sufficient to outline the more general
division that Amiram Harlap chose.
Thus, Israel can be divided into three parallel topographical
strips, each stretches north to south (see Map 1.1). Going from
west to east, they are:
1. The Coastal Plain, with an average width of about ten miles
along the Mediterranean, starts narrow on the north and
widens toward the south. It is the most densely populated,
industrialized and cultivated part of Israel. It is divided
into the Sharon, in between the two major towns of Haifa; the
Shfela, south of Tel Aviv; Zevulun Valley, north of Haifa;
the Arava, south of Tel Aviv. Two of the main rivers of
Israel, the Yarkon and the Kishon, 16.1 miles and 8.1 miles
long respectively, flow in the coastal plain.
2. The Mountain Ranges, bordering the coastal plain on the east,
that can be divided into the Golan heights on the north, the
Upper Galilee (a plateau, 3,300 feet above sea level), the
Lower Galilee further south, the hills of Samaria, the hills
of Efraim and lastly the Judean hills, on which Jerusalem,
the Capital is located. Along this strip are also located
the historic towns of Nazareth (in Lower Galilee), Hebron and
Bethlehem (both south of Jerusalem on the Judean hills).
The height of this strip varies, usually between 1,600'-
3,500', with a few peaks higher.

3. Farthest to the east is the Jordan Rift, which links the Sea
of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) on the north with the Jordan
Valley further south, the Jordan Depression, the Dead Sea,
and continues south along the Arava Plains all the way to
Eilat. Here, in the converging point of the Arava, the Sinai
Desert and the Negev, is the Israel port and gateway town to
East Asia and Africa.
As for the climate, the diversity is quite striking, and includes
desert conditions in the south (Gulf of Eilat), subtropical
conditions in the Negev, cold winters in the Galilee, and humid
summers along the coast. Once again following the more general
division of Amiram Harlap, one can single out four climatic
zones. However, in general terms Israel has hot summers, mild
winters (with occasional brief periods of extreme temperatures in
each) and pleasant springs and falls. The rainy season is
roughly from October to April, with December through February
being the wettest season. The north has more precipitation than
the south, with 60-70 rainy days a year (in the upper Galilee)
and occasional snow. The Jordan Valley has recorded temperatures
of below 15F and above 125F. The summers are known to
occasionally have hot dry winds blown from the eastern deserts.
The four climatic zones are:
1) Mediterranean Coastal Climate, along the coastal strip. The
summers are usually humid and hot, with a relatively narrow
temperature differential of 9F-18F. Daily temperatures are
about 77F-95F and night temperatures range between 68F-

73F. A slow summer wind velocity of about 6 m.p.h. slows
even further in the afternoon, and almost stops at night.
The wind varies from southwest in the morning to northwest in
the evening. Rainfall reaches on average of 20" in the north
and diminishes southward. Strong winds often accompany the
winter rains, especially from the southwest. Winter
temperatures are higher than in the rest of the country.
Daily minimum average is about 47F. As a result of the high
humidity here, orientation of buildings and spaces in between
in relation to summer winds takes precedence over orientation
in relation to the sun, (though, naturally windows are given
sun protection and walls are painted in light colors). As A.
Harlap mentions, building orientation toward north-northwest
and south-southwest will allow the benefit of the western to
northwestern winds and at the same time will reduce sun
radiation. This region can benefit from green areas, shade
trees, low shrubbery that allows breezes, exterior terraces
to catch the wind and colonnaded areas to shade and allow
breezes to flow underneath (see Fig. 1.1, 1.2 for sun shading
2. Mediterranean Climate, in the northern Negev, the coastal
plain east of Lod and eastern Jezreel Valley, which are
semi-arid, and serve as a transition between the desert and
the mountains to the coastal plain on the west. Maximum
average temperature in the summer can vary between 93F and
104F. With an average daily temperature differential of
27F-30F in the summer, it is the highest in the country.
This swing results in a significant humidity swing, between

30-40% at midday to 80-90% at night. In the winter, the
minimum temperatures are about 43F-45P, with occasional
32F. Rainfall varies from 8"-16". Since this climate
necessitates closing windows, orientation in relation to
winds is not a factor. However, it is important to capture
evening and night winds. A. Harlap recommends a north-south
orientation, which is effective in using the evening
northwest wind for ventilation. Southern orientation for
entry doors can provide good protection against dust.
3. Mediterranean Mountain Climate, along the mountain ranges,
all the way north of Hebron to the Golan Heights. While the
summers are mild, the winters are more severe with
temperatures often near 32F with occasional snow. Heavy
rainfall will often be accompanied by strong winds,
especially when there is an opening to the west. During the
winter the hills will often be covered with clouds, resulting
in high humidity. In contrast to the harsher winters, the
summers are pleasant, with temperatures usually below 85F,
except for sharav days (hot and dry winds from the eastern
deserts) in which temperatures may soar up to 104F. The
winds, strong when slopes open to the west, blow usually
between southwest to northwest. This climate requires more
attention for protection in winter, in the form of
weatherproofing and preventing window condensation. The mild
summer conditions should be used for cross ventilation and
preventing overheating of walls and windows.

4. Desert Climate, in the southern Negev and in part of the
Jordan Rift. This climate is dry and has high summer
temperatures of above 104F with intense sun radiation.
Daily temperature differential can get to 24F-30F. It
rarely rains here, with the Jordan Rift getting more rain
than further south. Sandstorms are common. This climate
necessitates primarily sun protection as well as protection
from extreme hot air and sandstorms. Cross ventilation
during evening hours is important. North-south orientation
in addition to small windows and shutters to minimize
sun radiation and heat gain is also important. Public
passages should be shaded. Walled-in patios can protect from
dust (Harlap, 1982:30-35).
As I mentioned before, I will provide more specific climatic data
later once the site is selected. For now, I feel the above gives
an idea of the local climate and an adequate background for the
architectural history to follow.
Historical Review of the Local Architecture
When dealing with Israeli architecture, three important
influences need to be realized:
a. Two thousand years of physical and cultural dispersement
(known as the diaspora) prevented the development of any
architectural tradition.

b. The renewal of Jewish settlement in Israel 100 years ago was
marked by a struggle for survival and aesthetic architectural
qualities were not among the main priorities.
c. Traditional Judaism prohibits the creation of any image or
sculpture, thus preventing architectural development even
further (Process #44:5).
From the beginning of the new Jewish settlement in Israel and
through most of this young nation's life, a constant struggle in
multiple fronts became the norm. Not only did the new state have
to accommodate hundreds of thousands of new immigrants over
night, but it had to do it in the face of constant war with its
neighbors. In addition, Israel faced simultaneously the problems
of malaria-infested swamps, the need to integrate immigrants from
diverse cultures from all over the world, desalination of lands,
a severe shortage of water, and the need for industrialization.
In fact, many of these problems and others are still very much a
part of Israel at the present.
Coupled with urgency and the lack of capital, it is easy to
understand why speed of construction, function, economy,
location, and mass production were the priorities. Over the
years, various influences had an effect (usually local and
temporary) on Israeli architecture, most often brought over by
new immigrants and by scholars who studied abroad. However, it
seems that more than most, the local arabic tradition served as a
basis for the new Israeli architecture, both as a unifying style
and as a link to the Jewish past in this land. Another important

influence was that of the Bauhouse (again brought over by
immigrants from Europe. Its philosophy fitted well with the
Zionist socialism (and the Kibbutz concept in particular). The
simple forms with square planning and flat roofs, with one color
stuccoed concrete and monotonous surfaces, interrupted only by
cubic balconies, seemed to speak the language of the local
spartan society. Articulation of structure, materials or texture
was almost nonexistent. It should be noted that in the first
five years following the establishment of Israel in 1948, the
population tripled (from 650,000 to 1,800,000) with housing
comprising up to 90% of the newly built environment.
Only in later years, and especially following the prosperity
after the 1967 Six Day War, did form join function as equal
factors in architectural considerations. In the pursuit for
original and unique local architecture, some architects looked
for mediterranean feelings, others for local arabic and
historical motifs, and yet others for analytical, geometrical and
systematic architecture, at times based on natural habitation of
animals and plants.
(ibid, p 6-9)
At this point, I would like to detail a little further the
development of the local architecture, once again following A.
Harlap's steps, and conclude this part with a description of the
state of the architecture at the present.

A. Harlap divides the Israeli architectural history into two
periods, the one prior to the independence of May 15, 1948, which
he calls the Palestinian period, and the other is the post-
independence period, or the Contemporary Israeli period.
The Palestinian Period
Up to the turn of the century, the Israeli architecture lacked a
unique identity and the local Southern Mediterranean style, mixed
with Arab idioms, was about the only style used. Any differences
when existing, were usually due to the country of origin of the
designing architect. Only toward the turn of the century, when
the time came to build institutions and buildings other than
dwellings, did the need for a "new style" arise. And as was
mentioned earlier, the Jewish settlers found it a difficult task,
realizing they did not have architectural tradition of their own,
nor even a recognizable and unified source to draw from. In
fact, these early settlers tried to cut all connections with the
diaspora, and the architectural styles of their countries of
origin were part of these connections. Naturally then, they
turned to the local Arab architecture as a means of expressing
continuation of the tradition and architecture of their
ancestors. And the local architecture did indeed have some very
typical features, such as domed or terraced roofs (to catch the
breeze), shuttered bay windows, arched windows (see Fig. 1.3)
battlements and Moorish archways (see Fig. 1.4). Some of the
major institutions to be built at the time, like the first high
school in Tel Aviv and the Haifa Institute of Technology, had
such features. Oriental ornamentation was also adapted at times,

like the use of inlaid ceramic tiles depicting biblical scenes.
However, the modern style was making its way in, and one of the
first major representations of the style was the Jewish Agency
Headquarters in Jerusalem, built in 1932. This building
reflected the situation and mood at the time, used stone for its
exterior, concrete (as a modern structure technique) for the
skeleton, small windows as expression of the stone and for sun
protection, and looked like a fortress. The simple form, lack of
ornamentation and the directness by which the function was
expressed were to become prevalent in Israeli architecture. The
transition to the International style was accelerated with a new
wave of immigrants, many of whom were architects coming from
schools advocating the theories of Le Corbusier, Gropius and the
Bauhouse. (It should be noted that a few young local architects
went abroad to study, thus bringing back the international style
ideas from Europe.)
Buildings from this period represent the integration of the
Bauhouse theories into the local spartan society, with flat
roofs, monochromatic stuccoed concrete walls and monotonous
surfaces, broken only by balconies, recesses, or protrusions.
Articulation of either materials, structure, ornamentation or
relief was very rare. At this time, though, the use of columns
on the ground floor made it possible for the landscape to get in,
and helped with shaded area (see Fig. 1.5).
This type of architecture, possibly because of the volumes of its
construction, has left a great and lasting mark on the Israeli
architecture. Towards the establishment of Israel in 1948,

construction declined and the only developments were in climatic
orientation and a bit more luxury on account of the severity.
Thus, balconies were gaining more area and privacy as they were
achieving a status of outdoor rooms (see Fig 1.6). Also,
cottages with gabled roofs and red tiles started appearing in the
rural and suburban areas, practically replacing the previous
concrete boxes.
The Israeli Period
Right after Independence, a large number of immigrants created
the urgent need for mass housing. Coupled with the war at hand,
there was no time for a master plan, nor the money for anything
other than adequate and simple housing. Due to these conditions,
design qualities were pushed aside in favor of mass production
and low cost. These necessities were further justified by the
idea of providing everybody with the same dwelling for
integration and unification purposes. Thus, the first decade
after independence was not noted for great improvements and
advancements in architecture.
By 1955, though, construction caught up with the housing need,
and the architects finally had a chance to look around and
evaluate their environment. As could be expected, the impression
was gloomy and it was apparent that merely shelters were erected,
but not homes, and the climate was rarely considered. A new
generation of architects that were free of the sentimentalism
toward zion became dominant. That generation regarded Israel as
a progressive state that ought to have been able to express it in

Fig. 13 Local faaturas.
A photo by A. Harlap.
Fig.15 Modern architecture. 193 1.
A photo by A. Harlap.
Fig.1.4 Moorish architecture.Jerusalem,1S40.
Based on a photo by Israel governmont
Press Office.
Fig.1.6 Balconies as outdoor spaces. 1950's.
A photo by Prior.

its architecture. At this time, Brazil was going through
exciting development, led by Oscar Niemeyer and a Le Corbusier-
inspired group, that demonstrated the possible use of elements
very much applicable to the Israeli reality. Among other things,
they showed the possible use of sun control devices that were
both functional and decorative, how concrete could be used
elegantly and playfully, and how ventilation could be integrated
into design. As A. Harlap notes, the adopted International Style
justified duplication of styles in different regions of the world
in the face of technology. That only made it easier to import
the new Brazilian motives into similar climatic zones and
conditions of Israel. And indeed, the period witnessed the
proliferation of buildings raised on round stilts, and facades
with brise-soleil or checkered patterns as shading devices (see
Fig. 1.7). Le Corbusier's Unite d'Habitation of 1952, showing a
new solution to mass housing and revealing the qualities of
concrete such as its coarseness and the form work imprints on
unplastered concrete had a tremendous effect as well. In fact,
it was a great discovery in the face of the deterioration problem
of plaster under the intense sun and humidity. However, despite
all this there was the feeling that the Israeli architecture
still did not solve the current problems; the main one being the
lack of Israeli identity. New solutions were tried, among them
attempts to increase protection against sand storms in the desert
areas, and providing more sense of protection and identity within
a community. In towns within the hill area, grouping of houses
was developed to resemble the terracing system. New materials
and technologies had also been tried, such as asbestos, cement,
plywood, sandwich panels, metal sheets, prefabrication and

standardization. An important concept called the "space packing
theory" was initiated. This theory was based on repetitive
geometrical forms in order to create a strong sense of three
dimensionality (see Fig. 1.8). However, as A. Harlap notes the
main stream architecture preferred restraint, clarity and
simplicity of concept and honest use of local materials.
The Six Day War of 1967 was another major turning point. A new
wave of affluent immigrants came, along with large capital and
demands for higher qualities and standards, better and bigger
houses, universities, hospitals, and shopping facilities. The
increased tourism demanded high-class hotels. In Jerusalem,
intensive construction has been taking place ever since with a
serious and mostly successful effort to preserve the local
character and relate to the existing architecture (see Fig 1.9).
Thus, in addition to the local typical forms such as arches and
domes, the stone is almost the sole facing material.
In the other major city of Israel, Tel Aviv, the aspect of an
architectural character is much more problematic. Apart from its
young age of 67 years, the city is flat, built on sand, lacks any
real history (apart from the adjacent Jaffa), and its climate is
very humid in the summer, with smog, sea salt, and intensive sun.
And indeed, even though Tel Aviv has seen the construction of
quite a few attractive buildings during the last twenty years,
many of these can hardly be regarded as characteristic of a
unique Israeli architecture (Harlap, 1982:41-80). I should
mention here the original Israeli concept of a Kibbutz. This is,
generally speaking, a community form that shares its assets and

Fig.lib 'Space Packing Theory*. 1966.
A photo by Comerlner.
Fio.UBc 'Space Packing Theory*.
A photo from Procaaa #44.
New dwelling architecture in Jerusalem, relating to existing architecture.
Based on photos from Process #44.

earnings, and traditionally based its economy on agriculture.
Architecturally, the houses are often one storey, simple and
functional (see Fig. 1.10). Probably the more significant aspect
is its typical layout, which incorporates a lot of greenery and
open, lawned spaces. Though this movement comprises less than
10% of the Israeli population, it is certainly one of the more
familiar Israeli symbols and has had a significant role in
shaping the Israeli culture and politics.
I would like to close by describing the current Israeli
architecture. Construction has traditionally been among the
largest branches of economy (clearly the largest until the 1973
war), with about 200 million square feet of new construction in
1982. As A. Harlap notes, in the 1970's Israel was building
housing in the highest rate in the world, in housing units
started per capita. Considering its prominent stance and role in
the economy, the construction industry has been known to serve as
an indicator of the Israeli economic activity level. Due to this
industry's large share of employment and production, changes in
demand for buildings have far reaching influence on the economy.
Raw materials that make up about 40% of the construction input
are mostly concrete and concrete products, mainly produced in
Israel. Only 2% of total input are imported directly, and
average imports comprise only 15%-16%, with lumber, steel, and
white cement being the main imports.
As for technology, to a great degree it developed around the use
of concrete and its products as the main materials. Though stone

Fig. 1.10a
Kibbutz housing. 1955. Based on photos by i. Kaiter.

is still being used (mostly for facing, and more often in the
hilly regions), the lack of any steel and wood resources leaves
the concrete as the principal building material. And indeed, the
concrete is an integral part of the Israeli architecture, in
terms of technology and appearance. In addition to some concrete
products such as terrazzo tiles, and concrete blocks, there are a
few glass factories, factories for masonry units from sand and
lime, for bricks, tiles, plywood, celotex and for masonite.
Other local products include ceramic plumbing fixtures, asbestos,
concrete pipes, and aluminum windows.
As a result of the constant demand, the industry looked for ways
to speed up and economize construction, and more than ten plants
for prefabrication of building elements have been operating since
1970. Other technological advancements include slabs connected
to open web steel joints, prefinished doors and windows,
partitions made of dry wall and gypsum, precast stairs,
prefabricated bathrooms (made of concrete or fiberglass),
plumbing walls, resilient flooring, wall papers, and wall-to-wall
carpeting. In this context, it should be noted that in 1972 a
law was passed, by the name of "Modular Coordination Law",
essentially seeking a cross industry modular coordinated
dimensions for more efficiency. Apart from prefabrication, the
so called industrialized construction is another major approach
to industrialization. Here various methods are used for on-site
casting, involving large, often prefabricated molds.
Despite these advancements, though, the lack of variety of
structural and finishing materials has pushed the profession and

the industry toward a considerable degree of uniformity and
describes it:
of erection and finishing. The following quote
Concrete floor slabs supported by concrete
columns or bearing walls, all cast in situ.
(nonbearing): Concrete blocks plastered
both sides, whitewashed or painted on the
inside. Occasionally, in the Tel-Aviv
region, white silicate bricks may be used,
exposed on the outside. In Jerusalem the
exterior is faced with local stone, in
keeping with municipal regulations to this
effect. In the last decade or so, the use
of exposed concrete as the final finished
product has become widespread.
Concrete blocks plastered both sides, with
whitewash or paint finish.
Terrazzo-tiles on a layer of sand and mortar.
In apartment houses the ceiling is the
plastered underside of the structural slab.
In public buildings it is sometimes of
suspended acoustical material.

Concrete with terrazzo finish.
Asphalt coating, painted white to deflect
sun rays.
Wood or aluminum.
Doors: Mostly wood, in wood or steel frames.
Entrance doors to public buildings are
occasionally aluminum.
Shutters: Wood or plastic material." (ibid, p. 36-41)
Finally, I will point to what I feel are the main and unique
characteristics of the Israeli architecture, as the material
presented above suggests. In Israel, climatic responses seem to
be of major importance, and as such will have to carry a similar
role in my suggested design. Thus, elements such as various
shading devices (whether by the use of columns, deep verandas,
facade treatment, or vegetation) will probably be important, as
will orientation on the site, in relation to the sun and wind.
Materials will have to be selected from the relatively limited
list mentioned, unless other materials can be proved to fit the
reality of price and availability. Outdoor spaces seem to be an
integral part of the culture and the response to climate, and
outdoor living is only natural in many areas in the hot and humid
season. From a contextualism point of view, attention should be
given to the local landscape of rocky hills, sandy coastal strip,
cultivated valleys, and the vegetation, mostly known for its

olive trees and the citrus, as well as the cactus called Sabra.
Another typical feature is the intense sun that creates sharp
contrasts of light and shade (Process #44:58-59).
In terms of local images, I provided a few typical ones above,
and as the specific site is selected I will provide a few more.
For now, though, I feel a context and a basis for the design of a
dwelling unit in Israel have been established.

Physical Setting and Climate
In this part, I am going to address the state of Colorado in
general as well as the area of Denver in particular. Colorado,
being almost rectangular, lies between the 102 and the 109 W
longitudes, and the 37 and 41 N latitudes, with the Rockies
crossing through the state in a south-north direction. With
about 104,247 square miles, Colorado is primarily a mountain
state, though almost 40% of the state is composed of the eastern
high plains. See map 2.1. The main features are the inland
continental location, the mountain crossing the middle of the
state, and the high average altitude of about 6,800 feet above
sea level. (The state has 54 mountains of 14,000 feet or higher,
and about 830 mountains of above 11,000 feet). The high plains
of eastern Colorado slope gently upward for about 200 miles from
the plains of Kansas and Nebraska, with elevations ranging
between 3,350-6,000 feet above sea level. The foothills border
the plains on their west side, rising abruptly to 7,000-9,000
feet above sea level. Backing the foothills on the west are the
"front ranges" with elevations of 9,000 feet (or more) above sea
level. Beyond these are more mountain ranges, and furthest to
the west are the high mesas, which are rugged plateaus. Four
major rivers originate in Colorado and flow outside. They are
the Colorado, the Rio Grande, the Platte, and the Arkansas.


: I

Host of Colorado has a cool climate. The hot summer days in the
plains are often relieved by afternoon showers. The humidity is
usually low, which provides comfort even in the summer. The thin
atmosphere results in a greater solar energy penetration, and
brighter light. Local climate conditions are affected by
elevation variations, and to a lesser degree by the orientation
of the mountain ranges in relation to air movements. The
variations can get quite extreme over short distances. There is
a 35 difference between the annual mean temperatures of Pikes
Peak and Las Animas, 90 miles apart. The average snow fall at
Cumbres is about 300 inches, where 30 miles away at Manass, it is
less than 25 inches. In general, precipitation increases with
altitude, while temperature decreases. The orientation of the
mountain ranges has a modifying effect on these patterns by way
of influencing local air movements. Since air currents usually
reach Colorado from the west, they lose most of their moisture in
the form of rain or snow while passing the mountains. As a
result, the lower elevations and Denver area in particular get
little precipitation. Occasionally, (mostly in the fall and
winter) storms and polar air will move in from the north, causing
a sharp drop in temperature and at times, when they come in
contact with moist air from the south, the result may be heavy
snow fall and even blizzards. A phenomenon with a great
moderating effect on the winter temperatures of the eastern
slopes and the adjacent areas of the plains is the "Chinook".
When these plains are covered with a thin layer of cold air,
strong winds from the west at times cross the mountains.
Descending rapidly they warm up and bring a sharp temperature
rise in these plains. The Chinook is known to have caused

temperature rises of more then 35 within two hours! In the
spring, moist and warm air from the south moves in and drops most
of the annual rains of the eastern portion of the state while
crossing the mountains westward. In the summer, hot and dry air
from the deserts of Mexico and southwestern U.S. often bring the
hottest weather to the plains, but they usually last a short
At this stage I will elaborate a little more on Denver's climate
as this is going to be the area for my design. Denver is located
on the border of the eastern plains and the foothills. The
typical characteristics of the plains are low relative humidity,
much sunshine, little rainfall, moderate to high wind movement
and a wide daily temperature range. Maximum daily temperatures
in the summer are 95 F or above, and the winter extremes are 10
F or below. At the western edge of the plains (where Denver
sits), the climate can get quite different. While air movement
is less, turbulent winds come at times from the mountains.
Winter winds come from southwest, west, northwest and north.
Temperature variations are not as big, both from day to day and
from season to season. The precipitation is lower than that at
the eastern border. Overall, the winter climate is milder than
elsewhere in Colorado. Severe storms and even tornadoes are a
common sight along the eastern slopes though they are not as
severe as in states farther east. As for precipitation, while it
is deficient for the local agricultural needs, the winter snow
often makes up for it, supplying water for the springs and
rivers. (The South Platte drains a considerable portion of this
region including Denver's area). Denver, like most of Colorado,

has clear days for more than one third of the year. It receives
a mean 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, which represents about
65% of the maximum sunshine possible. The solar radiation is
quite strong, comparable to that in areas in southern California.
At Denver's elevation and considering the low relative humidity,
evaporation often exceeds precipitation. Pollution in Denver is
often a problem, at times rising to dangerous levels. (Vincent
R. Scheetz, 1974) Table 3l2 provides us with some more detailed
information regarding Denver's climate and will be discussed
further on in this paper.
Historical Review of Denver's Architecture
In this part I will emphasize Denver's architecture as this is
going to be the immediate context for my design. However, I will
also include Colorado's architectural history as a whole in order
to give a broader context.
Going through Denver's streets today one immediately notices the
variety of styles and materials composing the local architecture.
Side by side in downtown, for example, there are attractive old
masonry buildings as well as modern, high rise glass ones. Log
cabins, Greek revival mansions and others all can be found
here. The following review will formalize this observation while
putting it in chronological order.
Overall, the first few decades after the founding of Denver in
1858 were marked by the lack of any architectural identity. The
first settlers who came to seek gold and silver and didn't plan
to stay, brought with them the architecture they knew such as the
adobes from New Mexico on the south, or the shingle style houses

from New Fort on the east. The result was a real diversity of
styles (in Denver as well as in Colorado as a whole). (Dallas,
The first structures that were erected as shelters for the gold
seekers were torn down in favor of brick and wood buildings in
the 1860's. The abundance of brick clay all around, as well as
its durability, made it a natural selection. By the mid-60's it
was almost the sole building material. In the 1860's, Denver's
buildings were mostly red brick, with many arches and repetitive
bay construction. Homes constituted a major part of the
construction. The architecture was still simple and compact.
The main material brick was used both for structure and for
decoration (in arches, cornices). Denver's commercial
architecture was somewhat classical. It was regular, often
lacking a central feature on the facade. The heavy cornices were
rarely interrupted (see fig. 2.1). The buildings were
multifunctional, as was suitable for the transient population.
The residential architecture was less severe and repetitious,
often one story with a gable facing the street, made of wood as
well as of brick. Later, another floor or a floor and a half
were added. The houses were mostly unornamented, with porches
supported by plain wooden pillars.
With the arrival of the railroad in 1870, extensive changes were
taking place, like the founding of Denver Gas and Electric
Company and Denver City Water Company. That year also marked the
introduction of some stylistic changes in the architecture like

the use of Gothic arches or commercial buildings (Brettell,
In the mountains, the log cabin was among the first permanent
styles. It was initially plain, its size often dictated by the
size of the pines used, and tended to be rough and rustic. The
log cabin remains a favorite style for mountain dwelling even
today, at times getting quite big and very nicely built (see fig.
2.2) .
In the eastern plains where trees were scarce, an adobe
construction was used. Even though it was hard to keep them
clean, they were popular for lasting quite long, being
inexpensive to construct and for their good thermal properties.
They were usually simple and square though large buildings could
also be built of adobe. The adobe bricks were covered with
protective mud layers, later to be replaced by cement. Adobe
remains a desired construction material today, especially for its
low price and thermal qualities. See fig. 2.3. (Dallas,
The train also marked the arrival of metal that soon was
incorporated for ornamentation of new and existing buildings,
though not much else was changed. The double metal brackets to
hold the cornice were a typical feature from that period. In the
1870's, the Second Empire style with its mansard roofs, round
arched windows, heavy cornices and symmetrical massing took a
central role in Denver's architecture, as it did all over the
U.S.A. See fig. 2.4. In fact, the Second Empire style and the

Italianate, another popular style, were among many styles
introduced then. (When it was clear Denver was going to survive
after the gold rush, the dwellers looked for ways to improve
their homes).
The Italianate was characterized by low roofs with overhangs
supported by elaborate brackets, decorative porches supported by
intricate pilasters and the use of quoins in the corners. The
windows often were long, narrow and round at the top. For
construction, stone, brick or wood were used. In the mountains,
the style to replace the log cabin was the American Gothic, or
the Carpenter Gothic, used to a great degree as a way to express
their owners' aspirations. This style was also used in other
parts of Colorado. Due to later experimentation with roof lines
and trims, it became known as Mountain Gigsaw. Despite the
style's nice looks, the houses were often cold and expensive to
heat. See fig. 2.5. (Dallas, 1986:35-61).
In the second half of the 1880's, Denver experienced a tremendous
boom of construction, among the biggest ever in terms of both
quality and quantity. Stone, quarried locally, began to replace
the brick as the most popular building material (often
rusticated). During 1888-1893, many of the most important
buildings in Denver were built. This was the period when a lot
of skilled architects were responsible for the construction and
design, where before owners and construction workers were.
(Brettell, 1973:20-25). These boom years and the wealth they
brought found their expressions in the numerous styles used, at
times by the way of mix of styles. Some of these styles included

library historic department.

Queen Ann, Shingle, Georgian and Greek Revival. Queen Ann was
particularly desired, due to its use of many elements such as
towers, gables, shingles (on second stories mainly), tall
chimneys and sharp roofs. The style was even more appealing as a
result of it being built of any material, using a variety of
porches and capable of being painted with any color. See fig.
Overall, this era called Late Victorian, had no one distinct
style. Ecclecticism was characteristic of the interiors. The
smaller houses were still cramped but the larger ones
incorporated salons, ballrooms and libraries as ways of
reflecting their owners' ambitions.
In these boom years prior to the 1893 crash, the wealthy built
extravagantly in the front range, often expressing their
aspirations in big castles and mansions. See fig. 2.7. In the
prairies, the population that first built dirt houses, later
replaced them with frame houses, most often painted white and
frequently having a porch. See fig. 2.8. (Dallas, 1986:78-154).
The Richardsonianism should also be mentioned here having had
influence especially in Denver. The more prominent features of
this style were the massive walls, the round arches and the over
scaled stone work. (Brettell, 1973: p. 183). The 1893
depression halted sharply the above mentioned boom, and ended
what Richard Brettell calls Denver's most significant
architecture to have ever been produced. Much of it was torn
down and replaced by modern buildings during the boom of the

1970's. After 1893, the architecture for awhile became simple,
unornamented and with little style. (ibid, 198-207).
At the turn of the century and after the 1893 depression,
Colorado's architecture became more elegant and sophisticated.
Neoclassical and Greek Revival, simpler and more symmetrical
designs were now used, along with French Mediterranean, French
Chateau and others. See fig. 2.9.
At the same time, with the rise of the middle class more people
wanted and could afford their own homes, though smaller than
those of the rich. Among the more popular styles of the time
were the bungalow, the more expensive and sophisticated Tudor
Cottage and the four square brick houses, termed "Denver squares"
due to their popularity in Denver. See fig. 2.10. (Dallas,
Until the 1930's, the typical home architecture in Denver was
that of revival of various historic styles such as colonial farm
houses, Cape Cod Cottages, Tudor Manors, Spanish Haciendas, and
others. At the end of World War I, many of these had indoor
plumbing, electricity, central heating and a variety of consumer
goods like refrigerators and cars. These same houses, though,
maintained the images of the past.
In buildings other than the domestic, however, the modern
architecture and the international style started penetrating
earlier, with the use of steel trusses and reinforced concrete.
Typical international style features were independence of frame,

flat roofs that could serve as gardens, double height spaces,
different types of staircases (such as spiral), ramps and curved
rooms. Another element was access to sunshine, sky and garden.
What helped the spread of the style was the fact that it didn't
require new techniques and most features could be produced with
the existing techniques. Some of the styles and influences
during the first 30 years of the 20th Century were:
1) The Bungalow incorporated Swiss, Japanese and other
elements. Usually had a simple and low profile, open floor
plan, a simple use of natural materials (such as exposed wood
bracketing and field stone walls), horizontal windows and
wide porches. See fig. 2.11.
2) Frank L. Wright's early prairie houses represented abstract
designs and a departure from Victorian architecture as well
as from the early 20th century architecture. See fig. 2.12.
3) A synthesis of North American Indian Pueblos and white washed
Greek Islands towns. See fig. 2.13.
Many of the houses that represent the international style of that
period had conventional floor plans. With the resumption of
residential construction in the mid-1940's (after a break during
the war), the international style lost quite some of its appeal.
What appeared to be an uneconomical use of materials and space,
the old fashion construction methods all contributed to the
style's demise. In addition, the often leaking roofs, the lack
of over hangs, being a foreign style, etc, all worked against


the international style, and prevented it from further influence.
Nevertheless, Denver witnessed many buildings built in the style.
See fig. 2.14. (Etter, 1977:1-122). World War II was followed by
a building boom. Houses were being built very rapidly. Often
the most important factor was convenience, without much regard
for style or aesthetics, which resulted in architecture that was
not different from that of any other city in the U.S.A.
Nostalgia for past times and styles brought only phony elements
on the exteriors but not much else, with the possible exceptions
in the mountain resort areas. The rich tended to build bigger
houses while using larger lots, rather than resorting to certain
styles. (Dallas, 1986:239-246). In seeking moderity and renewal
Denver tore down a lot of its past buildings and architecture.
(Brettell, 1973:X).
Walking through downtown Denver today, the modern glass buildings
are certainly dominant, both in number and in size. However,
much of downtown character lies in the mix of this modern
architecture with the surviving older buildings from the past.
I will close up this chapter by outlining a preliminary list of
major considerations for my prospective dwelling unit design, as
suggested by the material above.
From a style point of view, it seems to me that no one style can
be credited for being unique to Denver. The large variety of
styles described above may present the designer with a relative
free hand in choosing a specific one. However, while this notion
is not completely wrong it seems to me that a more appropriate

way for a selection will be to address the smaller scale context
of a street or a part of the city. This will help to define more
clearly what style or styles should be related to, rather than
the whole variety throughout Denver. As for materials, I feel
the attitude should be similar. While brick and wood seem to be
a more "natural" selection from the point of view of them being
local materials, the abundance of steel, glass and other modern
materials may suggest otherwise. Therefore, I feel that in
addition to performance and environmental considerations, I will
look for the more immediate surrounding of the selected site for
clues for materials. The local climate will certainly have to be
regarded as a major part in the design considerations, both from
the performance point of view and from the cultural/social ones.
The abundance of sunshine can be utilized both for passive solar
uses in the winter and in active solar heating throughout the
year. At the same time, the bright sun should be considered, in
the way of providing adequate sun protection in the summer. The
low relative humidity can be used for evaporative cooling in the
hot days in the summer. Finally, comfortable weather most of the
year (with the exception of the winter months) can be taken
advantage of by providing adequate out door spaces such as
porches, court yards, etc.


In this part I will provide what I believe are the appropriate
parameters for my design. I will define the criteria and the
guidelines by which I will determine what technologies I will
look for in each case. I think it is of particular importance
for my project since the range of technological advancements is
too wide and not all of them should be integrated in each design.
In fact it is my belief that certain technologies will be
inappropriate in various cases even if theoretically they may
enhance the performance of the specific buildings. As a general
example, an arbitrary application of materials in historic parts
of Denver on the one hand and Jerusalem on the other, will not
do. It seems obvious that the historical context (in terms of
texture and materials, among other things) will dictate to a
great degree what the new architecture there should be like. My
criteria then, will have to include references to culture,
tradition, economic situation and naturally the architectural
history as described above. I will first discuss some general
ideas as to what may be appropriate architecture in a certain
situation. Then, I will describe the sites for my dwelling units
for both Denver and Israel, and detail what I think are the right
technologies in each case.
One of the main premises for my work is that it is possible to
preserve architectural identity while utilizing new techniques.
Kenneth Frampton, in his article in Perspecta #20, 1983,
"Prospects for a Critical Regionalism", addresses this problem.
He refers to it as somewhat of a paradox. On the one hand there

is the process of universalization that constitutes an
advancement of mankind, and on the other hand we find the
destruction of traditional cultures and old sources. He wonders
if indeed they need to be one on the account of the other. He
states the paradox as " to become modern and to return to
sources; how to revive an old dormant civilization and take part
in universal civilization..." (There, p. 148). Frampton mentions
both sufficient prosperity and a desire for identity as
preconditions for regional expressions. However, he
distinguishes between critical regionalism, which evokes a
critical perception of reality, and a mere employment of
sentimental vernacular elements that may serve as low cost
communication and information signs. In turn, only the cultural
regionalism has the capacity to resist its own assimilation and
disintegration in the universal culture. Frampton mentions local
topography, urban fabric, local materials, craft work and local
light qualities as important ingredients in creating regional
architecture. An important aspect of regional expression is its
ability to reinterpret outside influences and integrate them with
the local sources.
As for creating this local identity, we get a few important clues
from Christian Norbert Shultz in his book "New World
Architecture", 1983. He writes "... a house is something more
than a functional container. It ought to look like a house and
thereby offer a sense of identity in space and time... the house
has to possess what we have called figural quality. This quality
is obtained when each element as well as the whole is a nameable
object". (There, P. 22-23).

Norbert Shultz brings Frank Lloyd Wright as an example for
providing an identity for the new world ideas of freedom and
expansion. The outreaching walls, the sense of shelter provided
by the deep overhangs, the heavy set chimneys that convey the
feelings of stability all have significant meanings and exhibit
them clearly. While these examples may have a more universal
context, they should also serve as a model for expressing certain
ideas with the appropriate forms, specifically in the local
contexts of this project. Norbert Shultz brings another good
example by quoting Robert Stern: "... My attitude toward form,
based on a love for and a knowledge of history, is not concerned
with accurate replication. It is eclectic and uses collage and
juxtaposition as techniques to give new meaning to familiar
shapes" (There, P. 24) Norbert Shultz carries this idea on by
stating, "Forms do not lose their meaning when they are
transferred in space and time. They are certainly subject to
choice and perhaps they are devalued, but they do not become
meaningless... When particular forms are avoided, it is obviously
because they are meaningful. If they were not, it would not make
any difference to include them". (There, P. 43-44).
I will first describe the two sites. Based on the research so
far, I decided to design one house within the Coastal plain (in
Tel Aviv area more specifically), and the other in the Hills
areas, near Jerusalem. My selections stem from my desire to

introduce significant differences in terms of character and
The Tel Aviv area represents Israel's cultural center. It is my
feeling that Tel Aviv today does not possess a strong
architectural identity overall, and I would like to explore this
subject. For many years, the costs of buildings were the
dominant factor in shaping the architecture. The most common
material, the concrete, was chosen for being the least expensive
and produced locally. The cubical apartment buildings (and quite
a few houses) got their forms primarily for their simplicity and
thus their economic construction, and not very much due to their
architectural aesthetics. At this point in time, I feel that the
situation in Israel justifies a continuation of this trend.
While the concrete was not used traditionally as widely as the
stone, many of the characteristics of the past half century that
dictated the use of concrete still exist. The economy has been
slow, pressing, and the security problems all around the country
justify the use of concrete, both from an economic point of view
and from a character point of view. Yet I feel that an
integration of stone and concrete may be appropriate as well, as
the stone is as much a part of the Israeli architecture as
anything. At the same time, as the climatic data presented above
indicates, stone and concrete as commonly used, do not constitute
the best materials for the two selected regions.
The site is on a flat area, typical for this region. The
Mediterranean Sea is 10 miles to the west and a typical coastal
vegetation of low grass and occasional low bushes exists here.

The ground is steady, able to support even heavy houses, and is
also fertile. Looking at Table 3.1 and at the following coastal
climate analysis, it is evident that the climate overall is
pleasant most of the year. That suggests the provision of
outdoor spaces like terraces, courtyards, etc. that can support
outdoor life. At the same time, these spaces should be provided
with adequate sun protection in the summer, as it can get very
hot there. Sun protection should also be provided in the other
spaces (in the form of shutters or awnings, vegetation or
others). The winter sun should be captured for passive solar and
active solar for water heating can be used year round. The hot
temperatures in the summer can be reduced using mass in the
structure, which the concrete can certainly be good for. (Other
materials for achieving the goal of a more even temperature
distribution by the way of creating a time lag, will be
As for the Jerusalem site, it will be located just outside of the
city, on a slope of a mountain. In addition to the bushes and
the low vegetation (rather abundant), there are plenty of
Jerusalem pines around (evergreen). In contrast to Tel Aviv
area, Jerusalem has had a very strong architectural identity for
hundreds of years. The stone is an inherent part of it, and most
of Jerusalem architecture is closely associated with masonry work
(though concrete is also used, certainly). The figures presented
above exhibited some typical forms to be found here, like domes
and arches. Even though the weather here is cooler than the
coastal region, outdoor spaces are also desired. It seems to me
that underground spaces (like bedrooms) may be an appropriate way

to deal with the cold winter while responding the the hilly
topography. As can be seen from Table 3.1 and the climate
analysis of this region, sun radiation during the winter (when
ever available) should be utilized. The summer sun, while not as
hot as in the coast, should be protected against. Active solar
can be very appropriate here as well. The climate in this area
requires much less mass for time lag purposes, as very high
temperatures are not very common. (At the same time, the typical
heavy masonry obviously provides a significant mass). A good
insulation will be very important.
Overall for Israel, stone and concrete seem to be the more
fitting materials. Any technology used should be reasonably
economic as to reflect the ongoing reality. Outdoor spaces are
desirable both from the climate and the character of the local
society points of view.
I feel that the material presented above points to the regional
climate as the major factor influencing the local architectural
identity. The rich and wide selection of materials, styles and
types found among Denver's houses can hardly suggest one specific
architectural identity. While I feel that brick and wood do
represent somewhat a more typical material for this area, there
are many Spanish style homes, modern houses using steel and glass
to suggest materials other than the first two. I will not select
a site within an area with a specific characteristic. I prefer

to deal with Denver in general. Thus, while I may borrow motives
from around the city, I will try to rely on the more general
characteristics of Denver as a whole. The climate and the
topography are, therefore, the main ones. Denver is located on
the plains, facing the mountains on the western side. While the
winters can get cold at times, overall the climate is very
comfortable, as can be seen from Table 2.1. and the climatic
analysis below. Outdoor spaces should be provided, with
accommodation for possible hot sun in the summer and windy,
cooler temperatures in the fall. The many sunshine hours present
an opportunity for passive and active solar, as well as for
spaces indoor that provide plenty of light and outdoor feeling
with adequate glazing. Medium heat capacity of masses seem to be
appropriate, to create a few hours only of time lag in the
summer. Wind protection is desired, and vegetation can be a good
solution both for this purpose and for shading in the summer.
While snowfall is not a major problem, it requires a
consideration in terms of vehicle access and roof design, as well
as placement over the ground. The very dry weather may require
humidification, but presents the opportunity for evaporative

Jan. Feb. March Apr i 1 May June July August Sept. Oe t. Nov . Dec
COASTAL PLAIN Mean Maximum Relative Humidity (%) 89 94 88 85 86 87 86 87 81 84 8 5 8 4
Mean Relative Humidity 80 86 77 75 77 77 76 74 70 7 3 75 72
Mean Minimum Relative Humidity 70 78 66 66 69 69 67 61 59 62 6 5 6 0
Mean Maximum Temperature (K) 70 70 80 84 92 90 92 92 90 88 86 7 5
Mean Temperature 57 57 6 5 67 71 75 77 80 78 74 68 60
Mean Minimum Temperature 44 44 50 50 52 59 64 66 64 59 5 0 4 5
Precipitation (Inches) 5 3.2 1 5 0.5 0.15 -- -- -- 0.8 2.7 4 7
Mean Maximum Relative Humidity (%) 77 76 68 69 58 79 77 81 81 74 7 3 6 2
Mean Relative Humidity 71 67 59 55 44 55 56 59 58 56 6 2 56
Mean Minimum Relative Humidity 65 59 50 40 30 32 35 37 36 39 50 4 9
Mean Maximum Temperature 57 61 65 79 90 86 91 91 88 88 7 9 6 1
Mean Temperature 48 51 5 3 63 73 72 76 76 74 7 3 6 4 5 1
Mean Minimum Temperature 39 41 41 48 57 57 61 61 61 59 50 4 1
Precipitation (Inches) 6.5 5.6 3 1.3 0.2 -- 0. 1 0.4 2.7 5

1 January|February! 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 March I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 April 1 May 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 i 1 June i i i i l July ) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 August|September J October J i i i i i i i i i i l 1 l November)December J 1 | t | 1 | 1 i 1 1 1
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(M 1 II ) 1 1 1 1 I i 1 1 1 j 1 1
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\v('ra.i'i* Del at i ve limn i d i ly , : -14/47 : 43/42 I 41/40 : 38/35 : 38/36 : 37/36 ) 36/36) 36/35) 39/36 35/35) 44/49 ) 44/50 )
Murn i n' / A l t rnoon ( % ) ! | 1 1 I ! ! ! 1 1 1 1
Normal Mai ly Maximum 1 43.5| 46.2 : 50.1 ! 6 1.0 ; 70.3 : 80.1) 87.4) 85.8) 77.7 66.8) 5 3.3 ) 4 6.2 )
l' m p' ra t iin:. i i 1 ! I ! i i 1 j i
Nor in a Da i 1 y Min i muni : i R. 2 ; 19.4 : 23.8 : 33.9 ; 4 3.6 ; 5 1.9) 58.6) 57.4 ; 47.8 37.2) 24.5 ) i8.9 ;
Ti -nip*' r a 1 u r s 1 1 ! 1 I ! 1 1 1 i | i
Nonna 1 Moan Trmporat uros 1 29.9 ] 32.8 1 37.0 1 47.5 I 57.0 | 66.0 | 7 3.6) 7 1 6 | 62.8 52.0| 39.4 ) 3 2.6 j
Normal (.on 1 ing Degree Days 1 0 1 0 1 0 | 0 ! 0 I 1 1 0 | 248) 208 | 54 r>! 0 1 0 i
Normal Ileal i ug Degree Days I 1088 | 902 | 868 ) 525 | 253 80 | 0 | l 1 20 4 08 | 768 j 100 4 j
N (< r inn 1 11 r > i p i 1 a t i o n ; o i; i ; 0.67 ! 1.21 : 1.93 I 2.6 4 1 .93 ) 1.78) 1.29) 1.13 1.13) 0.7 6 ; 0.4 3 )
( 1 no lies ) 1 i 1 1 i | i 1 | 1 1 j
i'.mii i-. :i.i'umatic data FOli DUNV KU .SOIJKCK: NATIONAL OCKANIC ATMOSIIIKIV 1 0 ADM 1 N 1 .STUAT 1 ON
ASIIKV 1 1,1,1*:, N.C., MAY, 1978.

Response, for the
Indicated Conditions:
Evaporative Cooling
SUMMER Humidity
WINTER Wind (Important) Sun (Important)

Response f
or the
SUMMER Humidity (Important)


Respo Condi

/' 1 Evapo
- -jp
1 1 1 V ZONE s. s 'll* s.
iiii mm & i !

Radiation and Humidification
SUMMER Sun Moisture
WINTER Wind (Important) Sun (Important)

Below I present more specific data based on climatic
considerations (Table 3.3), and conclude the first part of the
thesis with a graphic representation of the conclusions based on
climatic considerations (Table 3.4).

Local, i on
Sun Ang l e
Response :
Temp. Vuri at i
I'roi i p i t.a t. i on
Hum i ci i t.y
W i nd
Responso :
So 1ar/so1ar r
DENVER...... .............
Lat. 40
Deo. 22: 26.6
June 21: 73.5
Overhang Design
on (Day/Night) 27.8
Moderate Mass, Create
Time Lag
59" Annual Snowfall Average*
15.5" Annual Rainfall Average
Moisture Protection; Ground
Floor Design Considerations
Average of~35%-50% R.H.
Evaporative cooling in the
Average* of 8-10 M.P.H., but.
also 50 M.P.H. between S.W.-
N.W. In winter also from north
In summer primarily from south-
wes t..
In winter protect against winds
from north all the way to west.;
in summer open for ventilation
from southwest.
adiat ion Strong radiation 69.9%
annual sunshine average.
Passive solar; sun protection;
Orientation toward south.
Lat. 32
Dec. 22: 35
June 21: 81.7
Overhang Design Overhang Design
8 -9 10 -1 3
Small Mass Small Mass
18 3/4" Annual Rainfall Average 25" Annual Rainfall Average
Occasional Snow
Moisture Protection Moisture Protection
High most of year. Varies between Low to M(;dium Average of
60-65% during day to 90% during night 44% in May, 74% in January
Good von t i 1 at. i on , 1 i gh t cons true t. i on
From northwest, in summer.
From west in winter.
From west and northwest, in summer,
from southeast, in winter. Eastern
night, breezes in summer.
Lat. 32
Dec. 22: 35
June 21: 81.7
Provide for east-west ventilation
Open toward northwest .
Much radiation. 69% clear sky
annual average.
Orientation; sun control; passive
Much radiation. 75% clear
sky annual average.
Or i en tat. i on ; sun control ;
pass i ve so 1ar
Table 3.3

CUHATTC analysis
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7 NATURAL VfmftAiron
6 sun fi^rrnroM
1 NATURAL l^f nTlLAHori
2 usr or OUTPOOtf Alft
} fAssivr souft
4 SUM ffCOTttflON
5 MiMimzr noisruicr gain
1 usr or ouipoore aiic
2 rAssivr souue

In this part, I intend to describe the design process and
evaluate the results. I will do it by first detailing the design
objectives in each case, followed by a description of the
evolution from the initial stage to the final product, and then I
will conclude with evaluation of the final design. This last
step will be based on the jury comments as well, and will judge
the end results in view of the initial objectives.
Overall conclusions to the entire work will close this thesis.

From the onset of the design stage, I intended to address two
interconnected aspects:
A. Creating buildings that would perform well in their
respective locations and respond to the various climatic,
architectural and social conditions in each place.
B. Express the most important climatic factors in form,
materials or construction. In other words, I intended to use the
primary factors as the driving forces in the design.
These two aspects served as the basis for constructing the
objectives for each site, as they are described below. But
before I detail these objectives, I would like to bring up a few
general issues. As the material presented so far has indicated,
there is an interesting contrast between the three locations from
an identity point of view. Denver represents a collection of
many styles, any of which may serve as a source for a new design,
and yet none (in my mind) can be regarded as a main stream and a
"typical architecture" of Denver. This, possibly, presents the
designer with the opportunity of creating a new style. It may be
based on a few of these earlier styles or even serve as a new
"regionalism" the sources of which are primarily climatic and
topographic. The Israeli coast, on the other hand, represents a
lack of any significant style altogether, which in turn, resulted
in continuous efforts to come up with a new style, as has been
demonstrated above. The Jerusalem site serves as a middle ground
between these two extremes. The stone as the primary building

material and the repetitive use of forms such as arch and dome,
give the architecture here a very strong identity.
This contrast between the three places is also evident in the
design objectives. In order to concentrate on the differences
between the three locations, I decided to create a generic site
that would serve all three. I chose it to be almost flat, as
this is the condition in both Denver and the Israeli coast (and
flat areas can certainly be found near Jerusalem).
At this point I would like to state the design objectives:
As a response to Table 3.4, I wanted here to express the
importance of the sun; the necessity of protection from the
winter winds and the natural ventilation and evaporative cooling
as major considerations as well. While these were to be the form
generating forces, I felt it was imperative to underline the
overall good weather by providing sufficient outdoor spaces,
integrating indoor and outdoor, and also provide views toward the
west. At that stage I did not choose materials and let them
evolve from the design process.
Israel coast
As the first part revealed, the climatic differences between the
Israeli coast and the mountain areas are not very significant,
which could suggest similar solutions. Yet, I felt it was an

opportunity for me to explore a few alternatives, each of which
could be legitimate for both areas. For this reason, I decided
to explore here the possibility of a high degree of modularity as
a response to the economic situation. Apart from this, and again
as suggested by Table 3.4, I wanted to express the ventilation in
the summer as the major force, in addition to addressing the
overall conditions of relatively humid summer and moderate and
comfortable temperatures most of the year. This last aspect was
to be underlined through integration of inside and outside.
Israel Mountain
While there are a lot of similarities between this area and the
coastal one, as I have mentioned, I wanted to identify the design
here as belonging to the Jerusalem area, by the use of stone on
the exterior, and integrating typical forms for this part of the
country. The other aspects, such as ventilation, outdoor living
and relation to the sun were to be addressed as well.

I assumed each house to be with a size of about 2600 square feet.
While I set a program which I did follow in each case, I kept
some degree of flexibility in regard to the floor area of the
The general program, used in all three places, is as follows:
Master bedroom and bath 200 sq. ft.
Two bedrooms 240 sq. ft.
One guest room 120 sq. ft.
One and a half baths 80 sq. ft.
Living room 200 sq. ft.
Family room 150 sq. ft.
Kitchen 150 sq. ft.
Dining room 120 sq. ft.
Laundry room 40 sq. ft.
Two car garage 500 sq. ft.
Storage and utility 150 sq. ft.
Outdoor/central space 350 sq. ft.
Subtotal 2260 sq. , ft.
15% circulation 340 sq. ft.
Total 2600 sq. ft.
Once this program was established I devised three different
alternatives for every place, each alternative representing

another design concept, and then chose the ones that seem to be
the best solutions to serve as the basis for the design.
As for general layout guidelines, I felt that in all locations a
few elements were equally as important. I wanted to expose the
bedrooms to light and if possible to the early morning sun. It
was also important for the kitchen to be well lit naturally and
again to be exposed to the morning sun light. Sun protection in
summer appeared to be a very important factor in all of them.
Apart from sun shading devices for the fenestration, it
influenced layout of the plan, as will be discussed in each case.
Below I present and describe the design process in each place,
starting with the selected design concept through the final
product. It should be noted that at times, this initial concept
was changed substantially as the design progressed while
preserving the main idea.
As the main concept here, I positioned a central space to be
protected from winter winds and cold by an "envelope" of the
other spaces. The specific wedge shape towards the north was to
signify the protection from the strongest winds, usually coming
from that direction. The southern side was to be open to sun and
serve as a sun collector. While I was not sure how exactly, I
did want to provide a framed view toward the beautiful west,
while not compromising the protection from the western winter
winds. The western side is shifted toward the southwest so as to

help direct the natural summer ventilation coming from that
direction. A pond in front was to be used for evaporative
See Figure 5.1.
As the design progressed, I kept this overall layout but added
and changed various elements (see final drawings below). I
decided to put the garage underground so as not to obstruct
ventilation from southwest, while keeping it close to the main
entrance on the south. While bedrooms were kept on the eastern
side in order for them to catch the morning sun, I moved the
kitchen to the northern edge so it can serve as an extra
protection against the winter cold. The square, central space
serves as the social area, having the living room on the first
floor and the family room on the second. A semi-outdoor space is
located on the roof. This central space is projecting upward,
protected (physically and symbolically) by the wide roof and the
other spaces around. The northern wall is quite thick and well
insulated, while the southern one is thick concrete, serving as a
trombe wall. And finally, the pond on the south serves for both
evaporative cooling and swimming and is enclosed in greenery in
order to provide privacy.
Israel Coast
As the main idea here I chose the expression of the natural
ventilation as the most important element, and therefore

Fig. 5.1 Denver- concept, initial stage

positioned the major portion on a north/south axis, so as to
facilitate the east/west ventilation (see Figure 5.2). This is
obviously a very strong move as sun protection is very important
here, and west fenestration was going to present difficulty in
terms of sun control. Another major aspect was that of the very
comfortable climate, which I intended to relate to by the way of
expressing the integration of inside and outside. I wanted to
provide spaces with various microclimatic characteristics, such
as fully indoor, fully outdoors, and then gradation of semi-
outdoor by way of partial enclosures and different roofing
methods and styles. As the design progressed, I used various
techniques to strengthen these ideas (see final drawings below).
I tried to stay as close as possible to a modular unit size of 41
or its multiplications. I further stressed the ventilation
importance by laying out the house as one long "fin" with a
double roof in places in order to help the heat escape or to
prevent its accumulation altogether. Also, all rooms have a
simple, free flowing west-east breeze path. The outdoor spaces
are using the same 4' x 4' grid used in the interior, thus
underlining the importance of outdoor here. The structure is
very light as a way to combat the high relative humidity and to
prevent any significant time lag. Finally, the exterior is
composed of metal or lightweight concrete panels, thus being more
economic and giving a more technological character. Once again,
sun protection was a very important factor and was achieved here
primarily with lattice on the south and west side. The open
garage is in response to the comfortable weather.


Fig. 5.2 Israeli coast- concept, initial stage

Israel Mountain
Considering the specific site was selected near Jerusalem, I
chose to express this in the massing by grouping different
masses with elevation variations, so as to symbolize an Arab
village. Apart from this, I wanted to facilitate the ventilation
that comes primarily from northwest. I achieved it by opening
the house toward northwest (see Figure 5.3). As in the coast
house, I wanted to express the good weather by integration of
inside and outside. The final design in this case remained very
close to this original concept. I further expressed the
architectural nature of this region by the use of stone on the
outside and the selection of a specific style for sunshading
devices. I should mention that the use of stone here is not
structural because the weather is too comfortable and would not
justify that heavy a construction. (As will be discussed later,
this is probably one place where the architectural character
described stood in conflict with the climatic requirements.) As
in the coast house I provided various outdoor spaces, each with a
different degree of enclosure and sun protection. See final
drawings below.

Fig. 5.3 Israeli mountain- concept, initial stage

At this stage I will evaluate the three designs in view of the
design objectives. I will include the final jury comments here
as well.
On a comparison level and looking at the three designs
simultaneously, the Denver house certainly seems to have the
strongest identity. While it incorporated very little of what
may be called typical Denver architecture, I feel it does have
quite a strong image and accommodates the climate reasonably
well. The two Israeli houses, on the other hand, lack as strong
an identity (especially the coastal one). Yet, I feel they do
relate to the climate and exhibit the design flexibility one has,
being that different in a similar climate (thus proving partially
my premise for this project). I think that all three have images
that do suggest what kind of climate they respond to, the Denver
one being protecting and enclosing, the Israeli ones being much
more open, more lightly built. Overall my impression is that the
real value of this project lies in viewing the three designs
together. While each one represents merely one possible response
to the specific conditions together they better illustrate the
different requirements of different climatic conditions.
And now I will elaborate a little further on each design

The main comments of the jury here were in regard to the
articulation of materials and the circulation sequence. As for
the first, I did not distinguish well between the northern wall
and the southern one, even though their functions are different.
While the southern wall serves as a trombe wall and therefore is
built of massive concrete, the northern wall could be well
insulated and lighter, rather than the massive wall I chose as a
way to symbolize the protection it provides. Also, the square
central volume could have lighter walls (or even none at places)
so as not to stand in competition with the other forms. As for
the circulation, it lacks enough of a deliberate sequence and
rhythm, and could have been better expressed vertically. The
entrance also is not strong enough.
Israeli Coast
This house, while responding reasonably well to the climate,
lacks a strong image as probably its main deficiency. I think
the light structure and the image of lightness and simplicity are
appropriate, but at the same time could be used with a more
exciting scheme. However, the modular concept seems to me to
have a great potential from a visual point of view in addition to
being economically attractive.

Israeli Mountain
As I mentioned before, this area presented a conflict between the
use of stone as a typical material to this area, and the local
climate which does not justify the common use of stone as a
massive structural material. I tried to solve this problem
through using the stone as a thin exterior material only while
giving it a more massive appearance. One of the jury's comments
was that the light columns supporting the second bedroom floor
did not fit in nature. Another area in which I feel I did not
exploit the potential is playing more with the elevations there
was an opportunity here to accentuate the different spaces by
varying much more the heights, which I did not. While the
overall image does relate to the typical existing architecture in
this region, this elevation variation stands out as possibly the
weakest part.

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It is my feeling that overall, this project did demonstrate the
validity of the premise that technology can serve as a meaningful
and helpful basis for design. Despite the flaws that were
pointed out above, it seems to me that taking technology as a
starting point did not diminish the potential of the designs, but
rather focused the process more on performance. Looking at the
three houses together, and comparing specifically the two Israeli
ones, it is evident that symbolism and meaning need not be
sacrificed in the name of function and better performance. In
fact, the two Israeli houses being that different do demonstrate
the range of design solutions available, in physical terms as
well as in overall identity and character terms.
I also think that technology oriented designs, with a strong
emphasis on accommodating the climate fully, can serve as a
springboard toward creating a new kind of regionalism, one in
which the form evolves naturally from performance requirements.
One last comment I would like to make is that the design process
demonstrated to me that the advancement in technology can not
serve as a substitute to answering basic performance requirements
such as natural ventilation or sun control. Technology may help
us do a better job in using the natural forces to our advantage,
but will be unable to correct bad designs other than be a poor
cover for them.

1. Victor Olgyay, DESIGN WITH CLIMATE. Princeton, New Jersey:
Princeton University Press, 1963.
FOR BUILDINGS, 7th edition. New York, Chichester, Brisbane,
Toronto, Singapore: John Wiley and Sons, 1986.
3. J. Douglas Balcornb, PASSIVE SOLAR HEATING ANALYSIS, a design
manual. Atlanta, Ga: American Society of Heating,
Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc., 1984.
4. ASHRAE HANDBOOK, 1985 Fundamentals, Inch-Pound Edition.
Atlanta, GA: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and
Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc., 1985.
URBAN GROWTH. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England:
MIT Press.
6. AIA Research Corporation, ENERGY INFORM, 1978.
7. John A. Duffie and William A. Beckman, SOLAR ENGINEERING OF
THERMAL PROCESSES. New York, Chichester, Brisbane, Toronto,
Singapore: John Wiley and Sons, 1980.
Virginia: Environmental Design Press, 1977.
9. Christian Norbert Shultz, NEW WORLD ARCHITECTURE. New York,
N.Y.: Princeton Architectural Press, 1988.
PACIFIC REGION. Proceedings from a symposium held in
Bangkok in January 1987. London, New York: E & F.M. Spon.,
11. Gershon Canaan, REBUILDING THE LAND OF ISRAEL. New York:
Architectural Book Pub. Co., 1954.
12. Harlap Amiram, NEW ISRAELI ARCHITECTURE. Rutherford, N.J.:
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1982.
13. Sandra Dallas, COLORADO HOMES. Norman: University of
Oklahoma Press, 1986.
14. Don D. Etter, DENVER GOING MODERN. Denver, Colorado:
Graphic Impressions, Inc., 1977.
Process Architecture Pub. Co., 1984.
Perspecta #20. Cambridge and London: MIT Press, 1983.

17. Richard R. Brettell, HISTORIC DENVER, 1858-1893. Denver,
CO: Historic Denver Inc., 1973.
18. Vincent R. Scheetz, J. Michael Fritsch, John F. Heaz,
19. Regional Guidelines for Building Passive Energy Conserving
20. Denver The City Beautiful. By Thomas J. Noel and Barbara S.
Norgren. Denver, CO: Historic Denver, Inc., 1987.


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