Jonathan Hill

Weather Architecture Grounding environmental awareness in historical understanding, Weather Architecture begins in the Enlightenment. Alongside a concern for reason and empirical science the eighteenth century gave new attention and reverence to subjective experience and the natural world, so that one became a means to explore the other. Reconfiguring the relations between nature and culture stimulated an expanded understanding of architectural authorship. In contrast to the aloof and individual authorship developed in the Italian Renaissance, an alternative conception of the architect encouraged a new type of design and a new way of designing that valued the ideas and emotions evoked through experience and acknowledged the creative influences of the weather as well as the user. The changing weather became synonymous with changing perception and was considered to be as exceptional as the imagination.

Analysing attitudes to a changing environment, Weather Architecture identifies a picturesque and romantic thread that began in the eighteenth century and was revived in the mid-twentieth century as a means to revise modernism, while today it is increasingly relevant due to anthropogenic climate change and the emergence of a hybridised weather that is industrial, electromagnetic and radioactive as well as natural. At a time when environmental awareness is of growing relevance, my overriding aim is to understand a history of architecture as a history of weather and thus to consider the weather as an architectural author that influences design, construction and use in a creative dialogue with other authors such as the architect and user.


Jonathan Hill is Professor of Architecture and Visual Theory at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, where he is Director of the MPhil/PhD Architectural Design programme. He is the author of The Illegal Architect (1998), Actions of Architecture (2003) and Immaterial Architecture (2006). Jonathan is the editor of Occupying Architecture: Between the Architect and The User (1998), Architecture—the Subject is Matter (2001) and Research by Design (2003), and a co-editor of Critical Architecture (2007) and Pattern (2007). His current research focuses on the relations between architecture and weather.