Hot Air is a monograph that situates and defines the hot air of the urban equator through the architecture and creative practice of Erik L’Heureux and the Office of Equatorial Intelligence.
By critically evaluating intersections of architecture, the tropics, the equator, urbanization, colonialism, mechanical cooling, and fossil fuel dependency, L’Heureux’s built work offers decarbonization, passive comfort, and contextual case studies appropriate for the urban equator. The architectural projects are also the outcome of deeply personal and self-reflective thinking, having lived on the equator for 20 years.
The book offers insights into the practice of architecture on the equator in an age of climate calamity. Themes embedded in a series of architectural projects engender writings on tropical representation, postcolonialism, monoliths, jungles, carbon, and others from diverse contributors. Each contributor offers a divergent inquiry and critical reflection on Hot Air, examining the architectural work through different cultural and geographical contexts while situating the work at the equator and in our rapidly warming world.
Erik G. L’Heureux (PhD) FAIA is an award-winning architect based in Singapore. Through his creative design practice, the Office of Equatorial Intelligence, Erik specializes in designing for the dense equatorial city in a rapidly warming world. He employs simple monolithic forms and delicate veils to harmonize buildings, interiors, and experiences with the hot air of the urban equator, resulting in delightful and surprising outcomes. Erik holds the position of Dean’s Chair Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore, where he imparts his knowledge to the next generation of architects, nurturing their commitment to decarbonization and the creation of planet-positive architecture tailored for the equator.