Author(s): Kimberly Drennan
Harnessing architecture’s potential as a biotic force offers a powerful evolutionary advantage for human and non-human life during times of intense change. This paper seeks to define a new type of architectural product, the adaptive buffer, that has emerged in response to ecological disruptions. It is no longer enough to shelter; architecture needs to also buffer time, space and information. While all buildings manage the environment for inhabitants, the adaptive buffer preserves or provokes structural and/or behavioral adaptation. In concept and embodiment, this type of architecture operates as a physiological extension of its inhabitants and performs work on their behalf. Distinct from earlier building types, an adaptive buffer is provisional in nature, dependent upon predictive models to remake itself annually, and buffers time based on the inhabitants’ progress toward an intended future state outside of its boundary. The evolution of this concept borrows from historical frameworks of typological reasoning and embraces new technology to explore emerging spatial temporal dimensions. As an example of an adaptive buffer in practice, a mobile, indoor, controlled apiary for honeybees will be discussed.