Thomas Herzog, House of Waldmohr, Germany, 1983
In the past recent years, some architects are trying to address the issue of eco-tech as art. In these cases, the buildings are to be designed to adapt to environmental experimentation, without locking into Modernist conventions and falling into the trap of an overly cultivated stylistic orthodoxy. Thomas Herzog’s architecture fits this description. Herzog’s thoughtful focus on what he terms “constructional physics”. Rather than dwell on the dead-end pursuit of high-tech style, he interprets technology as a response to such issues as zoning, natural infrastructure, economics, site restraints, solar energy, and the thermal value of different materials. For the house in Waldmohr Herzog used the “thermal onion” plan, involving another interpretation of the building within a building. The basic principle is to place the rooms requiring the highest indoor temperatures, bathroom, for example, in the center of the house, surrounded by rooms where the temperatures decrease proportionally as they get closer the exterior. In Waldmohr, Herzog placed a cube in a square on the diagonal of a south-facing site to create both an external and internal glass facade. A conservatory between these membrane walls functions as a temperature control buffer zone, and heating comes from hot water under the floors. Each of the environmentally favorable features of the house is clearly visible and part of its aesthetic statement, inclusive of the surrounding trees, laminated timber construction, mylar foil sun screens on the interior, planted roof, and verdant trellis structure shading the east and west elevations.
Sinde 2001 Thomas Herzog continues in doing research the entire spectrum of climate control within a single building, including air circulation, air quality, lighting, and temperature control. His basic belief is that a truly bionomic building also has a corresponding resolution in aesthetic form.
WINES, James. Green Architecture, 2000. Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH: Italy. pages 132-136.