Passive Solar Fissues in An Urban Canyon. Boston University's New Student Residence

Boston University Chippendale photo

Photo Credit: Brett Boardman, from Tony Owen Partners blog

The childhood illness of rickets, where kids bones are softened and deformed by a deficiency of vitamin D, was rife during the Industrial Revolution of the late 1700's. It was discovered that the suffering children lived in urban enclaves so dense that very little natural daylight penetrated. And yet sunlight exposure could cure rickets. As our urban density increases, with soaring apartments and office blocks, sunlight is again being banished from our cities.

But not at the new student residences at Boston University's international campus in Sydney, Australia,where natural light is welcomed, deep into the building. Here architectural fissures split the building's façade, "to provide maximum solar access to be[d]rooms as well as natural ventilation throughout the building."The eight storey building can house164 students, but also includes three lecture halls, a library, an internet lounge, a rooftop terrace and an adjoining communal kitchen, as well as a cafe.

Boston University Chippendale streetscape photo

Photo Credit: Brett Boardman, from Tony Owen Partners blog

The building was designed by local architecture firms Tony Owen Partners and Silvester Fuller, who were engaged by property developer Ceerose.

Architect Tony Owen in quoted by Architecture and DesignArchitecture and Design as saying, "Air is drawn through the voids and passes through the building like gills, allowing the building to breathe naturally," going on to point out that,"East-facing operable louvres on each level further help to lower ambient temperatures by drawing in fresh breezes."

Tony Owen Partners blog via Architecture and Design.

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