Form follows climate.
At GO Logic we embrace the time-honored ideals of architecture. We are passionately committed to work that both supports and elevates our clients and their communities. We are equally committed to pushing the boundaries of our profession by advancing the process and systems of design and construction.
Developments in climate change, building science, and information technology converge now in a way that challenges traditional modes of practice. Our collective experience, in leading universities and firms in Europe and North America, leads us to view this moment as an historic opportunity. In response, we’ve structured our firm differently from most of our peers, as a design/build organization with a robust R&D division. The result has been not only to speed improvements in our buildings’ energy efficiency and cost effectiveness, but also to add richness and relevance to their aesthetic dimension.
GO Logic’s home ground is the coast and rural uplands of Maine, and our work reflects the gifts and challenges we find here: a rich natural environment, an austerely beautiful regional architecture, and the rigors of a northern climate. Our approach to design grows from our dialogue with this landscape and our efforts to do it justice. We are influenced by European attitudes toward efficiency and durability, but we strive for buildings that are at home in their geographical and cultural context. Our work internalizes the aesthetic mode of modernism, while reflecting our deep appreciation for the local and vernacular, and our perception that every building exists in relationship with its neighbors and the environment.
We also recognize that the environment is changing. In this regard we take our responsibility as architects with the utmost seriousness, because the decisions we make today will lock in patterns of building performance and resource consumption that will long outlive us. We respond by employing tools of imaging and analysis to improve energy efficiency and durability; structuring our practice to integrate not only architecture and construction, but also research and development; and by elevating building performance to a status on par with the fundamental considerations of light, space, form, and materiality.
Seeing opportunities for innovation in high performance construction, we designed an economical super-insulated shallow foundation system (now patented) and a Passive House-optimized, factory-panelized building shell system that can accommodate a 600-square-foot cottage as well as a 300-unit multifamily development. To maximize time and material efficiency, we make extensive use of computer modeling in fabricating large building assemblies. We are currently collaborating with the University of Maine and Maine Technology Institute to develop a high performance nanocellulose wood fiber insulation that could yield a renewable, low-embodied-energy alternative to rigid foams derived from fossil fuels.
Our baseline for every project is the Passive House standard of energy performance and indoor air quality. We embrace that constraint—just as we embrace site, program, and budget—using it to inform and enrich our architecture. Advancements in communication and monitoring technologies allow us to maintain a robust information loop between our design studio and our field crews, fostering rapid improvement in building performance and construction efficiency, and enhancing our ability to approach performance imperatives as aesthetic opportunities.
Our goal is an architectural language that expresses building performance not only as a practical and social value, but also as an avenue of aesthetic expression. Northern climates call for a wall section over a foot thick, a feature we often use to express solidity and comfort. Optimizing a building’s relationship to the sun can lend purpose to the form and depth to the user experience. Designing in response to micro- and macroclimatic conditions—as well as to the needs of the body and desires of the spirit—represents responsible environmental stewardship, but it also allows us to push the next step in the evolution of architectural expression.
Every work of architecture has specific tasks to perform, and for many of those tasks there are now metrics that determine success or failure. We take up these new tools with enthusiasm. But as always, we are also reaching for the iconic and archetypal, the deep essence of something one instantly recognizes, perhaps without ever having seen it before.