In his publication on the project for a Solar House (1980), architect Oswald Mathias Ungers refers the sustainable design to the dynamics of the interior life. He would define Architecture as “nothing else but the extension of awareness”. It opens the view for “new worlds of perception” (Bewusstseinswelten) and creates “realities” (Wirklichkeiten) not only for life in the superficial sense, but for thinking, concentration and contemplation.
He states that in a house the responsible use of energy can only be guaranteed by a synthesis of good planning and residential behavior. Life in the Solar House expands and contracts with the changes of temperature: it breathes in and out with the seasons: one can thus see in this design an attempt from Ungers to design an aware way of dwelling.
The video “it becomes an extension of my body: narratives of climatic behavior” reflects on this aspect. It offers a synesthetic re-reading of the passive energy concept found in the Solar House, by combining general and subjective observations. In a hypothetical walk through the house, each thermal and tectonic zone of the house is explained and translated into metaphors. Those introduce us to specific qualities and sensations that would not be visible from any other architectural medium. The residential behaviors fostered by the different zones are explored, highlighting the role that emotions play on the production of space: the sustainable design of the Solar House has effects on the dwelling, influencing aspects such as privacy and intimacy, as well as the available space, that contracts and expands according to seasons.