Here's a project which offers some fascinating insight into problems of environmental control in modern architecture.
Marcel Breuer's Villa Sayer (Normandy, 1972-1974) is currently featured in an exhibit at the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris. It's a house built with a concrete hyperbolic parabaloid roof. During the design process, Breuer made extensive notes questioning the design problems related to heating and cooling:
There is a persistent notion that Modernists like Breuer were insensitive to issues of thermal comfort. This is clear counter-evidence: an inquisitive effort to create a 'well-tempered environment'. Yet it is also telling that Breuer asks his designers "Is this house air-conditioned?" at a relatively advanced stage in the process. An architect sensitive to energy use would certainly know the answer. (Energy use was not a concern to architects generally at this time.)
The Cité de l'Architecture seems to have a strong interest in these issues. Last summer I wrote about their display on