LF 02 - 19 - 2010

After living in the mid-west for several years I had forgotten how hot it can get in some regions. I was quickly reminded how uncomfortable heat and humidity can feel upon arriving in Singapore. Elements for shading and cooling in both buildings and landscapes are apparent in the city plan and building facades. In Singapore a small group of us walked along Henderson Waves with our guide. The bridge is around 72m above sea level. Despite the afternoon heat locals were out walking in the park as well. The design of the bridge incorporates seating for pedestrians. On one side benches are built in underneath the structure of the waves and on the other side the railing provides informal seating spaces (seen in the lower image). The curve of the railing creates shade and the spacing of the wooden material allows the breeze to flow through and cool the people sitting there. Similar cooling techniques can be found in the stilt houses in Siem Reap, Cambodia. In addition to needing protection from the summer sun people living in Cambodia need protection from the insects which live around them. The stilt houses outside Siem Reap elevate the living space, bedrooms, and create a buffer from the insects as well as creating a shaded area below (top image). After observing I noticed that many of the shaded lower areas were being used to store items and as shared living areas. Both these examples used passive means to provide comfort to the people living in the cities. In the design for the Henderson Waves the designer thought about the users and their needs but in Cambodia the people thought about their own needs and ways of filling them. All though the stilt houses came before the Henderson Waves the principals of design are still relevant today.

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