Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Re-visiting performance-based design in pursuance of passive techniques manifested in Thomas Herzog’s architecture

Ali Nik Eteghad, Ezequiel Usón Guardiola, Seyed Reza Hosseini Raviz, Antonio Armesto Aira


The first buildings designed by Thomas Herzog reflect solar design techniques. Overarching geometric forms as well as efficient structures complimented long, slanted, south-facing walls incorporated in the meticulously-crafted structures. These design strategies created much more approval of solar buildings in the eyes of the mass consumer. Inspired by the early modern movement, his buildings are characterized by treating structure and function both ecologically and typologically while at the same time stressing the formal organization of the floor plan and façade in tandem. In line with first followers of this movement, Herzog, also resorted to stretching the limits of tradition (including the modern movement) by taking on a leadership role to broaden the view of present and future practitioners. By means of the analysis of a series of Thomas Herzog´s works, four cases of study, in which their design approach is based on Performance Form, have been selected for further discussion both on their techniques and processes. There is a considerable integration between architecture and engineering throughout these projects. This paper seeks to outline the prominence of performance-based design in which building performances are translated into guiding design principles which are considered either equal or more important than designing the forms. Furthermore, it attempts to depict the performative aspects of Herzog’s works and suggests that the objectives sought by performance-based design can introduce an opportunity to accomplish a more efficient architecture.

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