Natural ventilation solutions in interior design

Natural ventilation solutions in interior design

When designing houses, architecture is constantly evolving and adapting to environmental conditions. Each climate has specific needs and requires different solutions in terms of comfort. Hot and humid environments require a very different design from cold and dry environments. Natural ventilation, for example, is very important in projects located in hot climates.

Hayden Place / Cuningham Group.  Image Cortesia de Cuningham GroupANOHA — The Children's World of the Jewish Museum Berlin / Olson Kundig.  Image © Hufton + CrowResidência GAF / Jacobsen Arquitetura.  Image Cortesia by Jacobsen ArquiteturaHollywood Second Home Office / Selgascano Image © Iwan Baan+ 25

Natural ventilation can be provided in several ways, including cross ventilation and the chimney effect. Choosing the best strategy and how to apply it often has to do with other factors, such as the orientation of the sun, technology options, the location of openings, and many other aspects. However, when it comes to interior design, the approach is to help or improve natural ventilation, depending on the environment already built. In this article, we have selected interior design projects with different functional programs that use natural ventilation techniques to maximize comfort.

One of the first solutions that comes to mind is to use screen blocks on facades to allow not only ventilation but also natural lighting and some visual permeability. In this project for the GAF House by Jacobsen Arquitetura, the upper floor is entirely wrapped in a wooden skin made up of movable and fixed panels structured in metal frames. The development of this element required several prototypes and special opening systems. In addition to providing visual protection and letting in natural light and ventilation, the wood panels are also used as room dividers in the mezzanine office, transferring a unique identity to the entire project.

Residência GAF / Jacobsen Arquitetura.  Image Cortesia by Jacobsen Arquitetura
Residência GAF / Jacobsen Arquitetura. Image Cortesia by Jacobsen Arquitetura

This other project for the VY ANH house by Khuon Studio uses a louver system that completely covers the facade and air bricks arranged in irregular patterns to ensure safety, ventilation and aesthetic accent. This system also acts as a trellis that will be gradually covered with vines, resulting in a curtain of greenery that provides shade, privacy and comfort based on cross ventilation, creating unique spaces inside the house. House.

Maison VY ANH / Studio Khuon.  Image © Thiết Vũ
Maison VY ANH / Studio Khuon. Image © Thiết Vũ

The Floating Nest House by the NgNg workshop takes the relationship between the elements of the facade and the interior to another level. This house took up the challenge of integrating a large program in a narrow and compact lot while taking into account local environmental conditions. The architects decided to omit the room dividers inside the house, using greenery and voids to separate the functional spaces. The bamboo screen that runs the entire length of the facade allows natural ventilation and also protects the entire house from the strong western sunlight and maintains a high degree of privacy.

Floating nest / NgNg workshop.  Image © Quang Dam
Floating nest / NgNg workshop. Image © Quang Dam

This bamboo element appears in different ways inside the house, for example by rolling to shade the roof. In addition, the CNC iron partitions with cut sheets work as a light and air convection device, used as a sun shade on balconies and for the entrance gate, creating an open and connected home feeling.

Floating nest / NgNg workshop
Floating nest / NgNg workshop
Floating nest / NgNg workshop.  Image © Quang Dam
Floating nest / NgNg workshop. Image © Quang Dam

When designing a new building, these relationships between facade and interior can be created from scratch. In renovation, however, solutions to ensure sufficient natural ventilation must be adapted to the existing building and climate. In this renovation of a village house in San Esteban d’en Bas by unparelld’arquitectes, for example, the free space between two buildings is partially covered with three levels of terraces, expanding the house with more living spaces. outdoors and providing lighting and ventilation in both houses. There are screens that can be closed or opened depending on the time of year.

Renovation of a Village House in San Esteban d'en Bas / unparelld'arquitectes
Renovation of a Village House in San Esteban d’en Bas / unparelld’arquitectes
Renovation of a village house in San Esteban d'en Bas / unparelld'arquitectes.  Image © José Hevia
Renovation of a village house in San Esteban d’en Bas / unparelld’arquitectes. Image © José Hevia

On the other hand, ensuring natural ventilation during the renovation of apartments is particularly delicate because it is not possible to intervene on the facades. In the projects of Apartment 3 Zero 8, by Debaixo do Bloco Arquitetura, and Apartment Brigadeiro, by Nommo Arquitetos, the original floor plans were very closed and made cross ventilation quite difficult. In both projects, the architects decided to strategically knock down the walls to create a more integrated space and ensure better air circulation.

Brigadeiro / Nommo Arquitetos Apartment
Brigadeiro / Nommo Arquitetos Apartment
Brigadeiro / Nommo Arquitetos Apartment
Brigadeiro / Nommo Arquitetos Apartment

During the renovation of the 112 Sul apartment by the architects CoDA, the architects decided to tear down specific walls while highlighting the existing screen facade. The substantial reduction of the laundry room was the key point that made it possible to connect the kitchen and the living room, thus opening up the view on the rear facade, creating a new protagonist to the space: the cobogo Wall. The pattern was recreated on the kitchen ceiling with plasterboard, strengthening the connection between exterior and interior.

Apartment 112 Sul / CoDA arquitetos.  Image © Joana França
Apartment 112 Sul / CoDA arquitetos. Image © Joana França

As we have seen, residential projects can certainly benefit from natural ventilation, both in new buildings and in renovations. However, commercial environments and spaces intended to accommodate large numbers of people are usually artificially ventilated. It is quite a challenge to opt for a natural ventilation system in these spaces, but some architects still choose this solution for the sake of sustainability, as seen in the Cantina Monteiro Ribas by PF Architecture Studio.

Cantina Monteiro Ribas / PF Architecture Studio.  Image © João Morgado
Cantina Monteiro Ribas / PF Architecture Studio. Image © João Morgado

The project consists of an intervention on a building in an industrial complex located on the northern outskirts of Porto, in Portugal. The client’s objective was to work in the administrative building and set up a program for employees, which included a canteen which was intended to be more of a restaurant than an industrial canteen. The space is divided into different environments using a succession of panels, both fixed and foldable, made of wooden slats, which can be moved to allow different configurations. This deconstruction of space helps in terms of distribution and also ensures good ventilation and air circulation.

Another project that also chooses natural ventilation in an environment for large gatherings is ANOHA – The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin by Olson Kundig. Located in an old existing flower hall, the heart of ANOHA is a circular wooden arch, measuring almost 7 meters high and a base diameter of 28 meters. To ensure ventilation in the arch, sustainable strategies are incorporated into the architectural design as an integral part of the user experience. Ceiling fans and opening windows provide air exchange and natural ventilation.

ANOHA — The Children's World of the Jewish Museum Berlin / Olson Kundig.  Image © Hufton + Crow
ANOHA — The Children’s World of the Jewish Museum Berlin / Olson Kundig. Image © Hufton + Crow

Offices and workplaces are among the most difficult environments to successfully integrate natural ventilation. The Hayden Place by Cuningham Group, which is targeted for LEED Gold certification, includes a host of durable features, such as trickle vents that allow fresh air to flow through the space and exit through mechanical ventilation. , using exhaust vents at the other building. These conduits fit into the design without creating distractions.

Hayden Place / Cuningham Group.  Image Cortesia de Cuningham Group
Hayden Place / Cuningham Group. Image Cortesia de Cuningham Group

Finally, Second Home Offices in Hollywood, from Selgascano, combines architecture and interior design to create a radically different environment from the conventional office by organizing the workspaces in a cluster of freestanding oval-shaped glass desks surrounded by greenery. There are windows that open to ensure air circulation inside each workspace. Using a very simple strategy, like opening windows, this unusual project provides natural cross ventilation while bringing workers closer to nature.

Hollywood Second Home Office / Selgascano Image © Iwan Baan
Hollywood Second Home Office / Selgascano. Image © Iwan Baan



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