The Princeton Envelope Group (PEG) is a design and research unit at the Princeton University School of Architecture. Headed by Alejandro Zaera-Polo and coordinated by Urtzi Grau. The unit is engaged in a three year research program on the Politics of the Building Envelope the conclusions of which will be published in a forthcoming book by Actar Press, Barcelona+New York.

Flat Horizontal

The category of flat-horizontal envelopes includes those in which the horizontal dimensions are considerably larger than the vertical. Buildings like airports, train stations, factories, trade fairs, convention centers, markets, and retail and leisure complexes generally belong to this category. The political performance of flat-horizontal envelopes lies in the delimitation of edges, frontiers, and boundaries, and in the sheltering of large-scale atmospheres operating primarily through the articulation between natural and artificial. Since a comprehensive perception can only be obtained from an aerial perspective, flat-horizontal envelopes are experienced in a fragmented manner are, therefore, less concerned with representational and figural performance, than with the organization of material flows: traffic, ventilation, daylight, security, etc. The flat-horizontal envelope usually presents relatively low affective and environmental performances.