Designing for Qualitative Building Performance

ARCH 573: Technology & Performance | Spring 2018
Associate Professor Scott Murray


The term “building performance” is traditionally associated with quantitative assessments: energy performance, structural systems, and fabrication techniques. While this quantitative approach is essential to ensure that buildings operate in efficient and environmentally-responsive ways, we must also be concerned with the qualitative performance of buildings: that is, how architecture affects people’s daily lives, how buildings engage their users in sensory and spatial experiences. This studio places equal emphasis on the qualities of the spaces created as well as the quantitative technical development of enclosure and structural systems that support and define those spaces. The goal of this work is to establish a design process that creatively integrates issues related to site, program, structure, and envelope with equal focus on unique spatial and experiential qualities, resulting in design proposals that are advanced both technologically and conceptually.

Project: a mixed-use tower on a prominent infill site on Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s Loop.