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FAIRE 2023

The mechanics of cold

Nicolas Dorval-Bory Architectes

Research aimed at analyzing Parisian climatic systems, understanding the physical principles of coolness and proposing architectural strategies for a comfortable and frugal climatic future.

Research aimed at analyzing Parisian climatic systems, understanding the physical principles of coolness and proposing architectural strategies for a comfortable and frugal climatic future.

"In 1713, an untitled work entitled La mécanique du feu (Fire Mechanics) appeared in Paris. The modesty and obscurity of its author contrast with the lasting influence it was to have on the technical and scientific thinking it inaugurated. All those who followed in his footsteps, including 19th-century engineers and technicians, recognized Gauger's fundamental contribution to the science he helped found.
According to Olivier Jandot, Nicolas Gauger's contribution to the history of Parisian comfort is indisputable, and has also led to fabulous advances in heating throughout the world, particularly in the United States with Benjamin Franklin's interpretation of his work.
Although Paris has always been a temperate city, where the main comfort challenge is heating, the capital's future lies in a new geological and climatic time. With heatwave summers of up to 50°C on the horizon in a few decades' time, Paris is inevitably approaching Seville's current climate. But the city needs to evolve if its inhabitants are to continue to live there serenely, despite the existing structure of its architecture, which is necessarily ill-adapted.

Prior to Nicolas Gauger's work, there was virtually no literature that so precisely combined both an understanding of the heating principle itself and the improvements to be made to existing systems, which were particularly inefficient and energy-hungry in France.
We therefore propose to launch a similar, thermally symmetrical research project: La mécanique du froid, ou l'art d'en augmenter les effets, et d'en diminuer la dépense.
Initially, we will identify Parisian climatic devices - essentially heating systems - throughout its history. We will then seek to understand the physical principles of coolness and the ways in which other cultures have integrated its production, conservation and diffusion in architecture. Finally, based on projects from our office and case studies in Paris, we will propose several architectural and technical strategies for envisioning a comfortable and frugal climatic future.
Nicolas Dorval-Bory (1980) graduated from ENSA Paris Val de Seine in 2007.
After working in Santiago, Buenos Aires and Paris (2009-2013), Nicolas Dorval-Bory Architectes, based in Paris and the Lot region, now works on a wide range of projects in France and abroad.
Nicolas Dorval-Bory has been teaching since 2011, at ENSA Normandie (2011-2014), at the Porto Academy summer school (2019), and since 2014 at ÉNSA Versailles. He is currently a doctoral student at Université Paris-Cergy. In 2016, he was awarded the AJAP national prize by the French Ministry of Culture. In 2022, he is co-curator of BAP!2, the second Biennale d'architecture et de paysage d'Ile-de-France.
He has completed numerous renovations, including the Onet-le-Château media library, nominated for the Prix de la Première œuvre in 2014, the Villa Bloch in Poitiers and a house on rue d'Athènes in Paris. He is also involved in studies for the construction of a 185-unit social housing building in stone and wood structure on the ZAC Saint-Vincent de Paul (Paris 14th), 45 housing units in solid brick along the rue de Tolbiac (13th), as well as the rehabilitation of the former AP-HP headquarters on avenue Victoria (4th) and the Fleurus daycare center (6th).
For this research work, we will be working with several thermal and environmental engineering firms, some of which have already begun studies on the projects we have diagnosed, and others with specific skills: B52, Zefco and AtmosLab.