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Careful use of resources: Andy Senn on past freedoms and future challenges

Back then a lower density of rules, ecological exigencies today and tomorrow. With Detail marking its 60th anniversary, Andy Senn of St. Gallen looks 60 years into the past and the future.

What is the legacy of the sixties?
A light and airy feel on the one hand and the massive concrete structures of béton brut on the other. The architecture of the sixties was characterised by an unwavering belief in the future and in terms of design, delighted in making the most of the lower density of rules that applied at the time. This positive attitude is perceptible in the buildings of those times to this very day and is a good incentive for our current work.

When did you first encounter Detail?
Already during my apprenticeship and later on during my studies, when the DETAIL magazines provided me a reference work that was both comprehensively documented and detailed in the true sense of the word. The magazines have always been a reliable compass at the designing, planning and implementation stages.

Where will architecture be 60 years from now?
Architecture always reflects the spirit of its time, serves society’s current needs and anticipates future ones, in the process balancing out economic expediency and ecological exigencies.  A more careful approach to use of resources is already becoming apparent, as also seen in respectful rehabilitation of historical and old buildings. The mechanisation of buildings may recede somewhat, as it has become apparent that  it is less effective than originally hoped; instead, new (old) technologies and an intelligent approach to construction materials are taking its place. Due to the warming climate, building envelopes and interior and outer space will be subject to higher requirements. Possible solutions include regulating the indoor climate in natural ways and taking solar shading into consideration in façade articulation and design.

Andy Senn, Architekt BSA SIA
1965        Born in Bern
1982-1986    Architectural draughtsman apprenticeship 
1987-1990    Architectural draughtsman at various architectural practices
1991-1994    Burgdorf University of Applied Sciences, architectural studies 
1994-1995    Architect at Rolf Mühlethaler, Architekt BSA SIA, Bern
1995-1997     Architect at Beat Consoni, Architekt BSA SIA, Rorschach
1998-present     Free-lance architect, St. Gallen

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