The question: How can something as small as a MICROclimate have an influence on a REGIONAL scale? was the starting point for the Summerschool 2o12 of the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Design on ‘microclimates_for regional diversity’.


The title of the workshop ‘microclimates_ for regional diversity’ intrigued the group. How can something as small as a MICROclimate have an influence on a REGIONAL scale? Working intensively for two weeks on Microclimates, trying to describe or define them and testing this definition on two case study locations, the group discovered some recurring principles. By abstracting the design principles used on the different locations, a methodology exposed. For this workshop David Dooghe was appointed as a tutor.


The methodology exists of three parts: scouting the area, locating the problem and applying the toolbox.

1. Scouting the area.

Trying to describe microclimates, the group visited the Old West in Rotterdam and put down in words their impressions. With these words the group visited Laakhaven in The Hague and decided that microclimates can be described with the following words; Expressive, Synergy, Democratic, Human and Trigger Your Senses.



Drawings: Valeria Loddo and Ekaterina Yurchenko.


A microclimate is Expressive if there is an iconic expressive building or an ensemble of buildings, if humans express themselves by art (legal or illegal) in or towards the public space.

There is a Synergy in a microclimate if there is a connection with the surrounding quarters, a sequence of different spaces, a space that attracts different people and if the shops show a wide variety.

A microclimate is Democratic if people of all ages can live there or make use of it, if they can come in contact with green spaces, if the area is fit for groups as well as individuals and if there is a clear distinction between vivid and silent spaces.

A microclimate has a Human scale if there is a connection and a clear border between the public and the private atmosphere, horizontal as well as vertical, if there is a hierarchy of spaces and if guests feel welcome in the area.

A microclimate is never in a fixed state, it changes by season, by day, by night, ... These changes Trigger Your Senses and therefore a microclimate is able to surprise you again and again.

The group learned that scouting the area from the perspective of these words makes you aware of different qualities and problems which other urban analysis don’t always show.


2. Locating the problem.

Heatmaps of the areas, one for every word, showed if the microclimates had a good quality and if there was a good relation between the building, the public space and the programme. Problems occur when there was no cooperative relation between these three.


3. Applying the toolbox.

The interventions in the toolbox are ordered by the relation between the building, the public space and the programme they focus on.


old west garden

Project: Andika Japa Wibisana


The sections of the areas demonstrated a series of different well-chosen interventions. The interventions improved the human scale within the location, made the space more expressive or created more synergy between the area and the surrounding areas. The sections also demonstrated that interventions can work on the scale of the area, as well as on the scale of the city. Comparing the sections from the different locations proved that the interventions were very location specific. This methodology could therefore diverse the microclimates in the region.



Project: Abraham Cohen


The supervisors of the summer school were Duzan Doepel, Rogier van den Berg. The students participating on the summer school were Abraham Cohen, Herve Dawodu, Valeria Loddo, Aanchal Subbaiah, Andika Japa Wibisana, Ekaterina Yurchenko.