Bird-Safe Design
For the Birds: Three projects demonstrate how glass buildings can be designed to protect our feathered friends from deadly collisions.

Photo © Chris Cooper

Timber Grows Up
Architects and engineers, drawn to wood for its environmental attributes, push the material to new limits.

Image courtesy ARTEC/Sweco

Dr. Nancy Foster Florida Keys Environmental Center

Feedback Loop
With a frequent gap between predicted and actual performance, post-occupancy evaluations begin to catch on.

Photo © Timothy Hursley

Water And Resilience










This set of articles examines strategies for dealing with severe weather and flooding in the built environment. It describes some of the measures implemented or planned for New Orleans, both in terms of traditional hard infrastructure and so-called "green infrastructure." It explores a new park in Jinhua, China, that is designed to thrive even when inundated. And it discusses the flood-prevention tactics used at two recently completed waterfront art museums.

New Orleans Goes with the Flow
Ten Years after Katrina, the city learns to live with water.

Befriending the Floods
A Chinese landscape architect restores the ecology of an urban wetland and creates an innovative, ever-changing park.

Flirting with Disaster
Two recent art museums with prime waterfront sites protect their buildings and collections from severe weather and rising water levels.

Pictured: London Avenue Canal; Photo © Alex S. Maclean/Landslides


The Picture of Health
A new certification system for buildings places the occupant at the center of sustainable design.

Photo © Bruce Damonte

Passive House

Adapting to New Environs
As Passive House certification gains ground in the United States, the standards are modified for North America's diverse climate conditions.

Photo © Jeremy Bittermann

The Fine Print

The Fine Print
Three design teams employ three different methods to arrive at 3-D printed structures.

Photo © Olivier Middendorp

Innovations In Glass

Innovations In Glass
Glass may be the most chameleonlike of building materials. Depending on how it is manipulated, combined with other materials, or how it is installed, it can appear transparent, translucent, or opaque. The same glass surface can take on varying characteristics in different atmospheric conditions. It can be made flat as a pancake or bent into perfect arcs. These stories explore how architects are pushing the limits of technology to exploit this material's mutable nature, its aesthetic qualities, and its energy-conserving potential—demonstrating that glass is more than merely molten sand.

Pictured: Elbphilarmonie, Hamburg, Germany, Herzog & De Meuron; Photo Thies Raetzke

One Central Park

One Central Park
With a dramatic cantilever and carefully coordinated sets of mirrors, a design team brings sunlight into a new development in Sydney.

Photo © Murray Fredericks

Fondation Vincent van Gogh

Fondation Vincent van Gogh
Fluor Architecture's renovation of a 15th century building for the Fondation Vincent van Gogh d'Arles exploits the city's brilliant sunlight.

Photo © Fluor Architecture

Fulton Center

Fulton Center
Downtown looks up: A multifaceted design team creates a 21st-century transportation hub for New York while preserving an important piece of the citys history.

Photo © James Ewing

Thirst for Knowledge
Data on water conditions are feeding digital tools to solve myriad planning problems.

Photo courtesy Arid Lands Institute

With the help of acousticians, architects incorporate generous quantities of glazing into spaces where the quality of sound is critical.

Ruth Caplin Theatre, University of Virginia
William Rawn Associates, Threshold Acoustics

Fondation Louis Vuitton Auditorium
Gehry Partners, Nagata Acoustics

Crystal Cathedral Renovation
Johnson Fain, Idibri

Pictured: Fondation Louis Vuitton Auditorium; Photo Iwan Baan

Approaching Zero
Design teams reach the once-elusive goal of creating buildings that produce as much energy as they consume.

Pictured: Photo Nick Merrick © Hedrich Blessing

Sculptural Skins
Digital fabrication comes into its own for creating precisely crafted, complex building envelopes, even on larger projects.

Pictured: Tonatiuh Ambrosetti Bundesamt fr Bauten und Logistik BBL

The Engineering of Art
Artists who use public space as their canvas often depend on structural experts to help them realize their visions.

Pictured: Skies Painted with Unnumbered Sparks; photo © Ema Peter

Building with Wood
Shigeru Ban, Kennedy & Violich, and others design forward-looking projects with an age-old material.

Pictured: Tamedia Headquarters Expansion ; photo © Didier Boy De La Tour

Going with the Flow
From coast to coast, design professionals deploy innovative strategies to manage water and enhance sustainability.

Image © Albert Vecerka/Esto

The New Master Builders
Architects warm to a project delivery method that makes them more integral to the construction process and reasserts their control over the final product.

Photo © Lawrence Anderson

Moving Up in the World
Structural gymnastics help ultrathin, ultra-tall residential towers for the ultrarich make their mark on the Manhattan skyline.

Photo © SHoP Architects

Converging Networks
As building-control apps go mainstream, home-automation providers explore wireless options.

Photo © Otto Steininger

Towering Ambition
The architects and engineers behind an office building in rapdily expanding Guangzhou, China, put super green before supertall.

Photo © Tim Griffith

Modular Classroom Makeover
New designs for portable school buildings make improvements that are more than cosmetic.

Photo © Laurel McConnell

Performance Anxiety
Creating buildings that deliver on progressively more ambitious environmental goals will require energy simulations that reliably predict post-occupancy consumption.

Photo © Lara Swimmer

The Art of Science
A new center for the study of nanotechnology merges landscape with building, and sculpture with architecture, reshaping a formerly bleak part of the University of Pennsylvania campus.

Photo © Albert Vecerka/Esto

Facade Retrofits
Face-lifts for three buildings showing their age aim to correct performance problems, project a more desirable image, and address the needs of new occupants.

Making Sense of the New LEED
The latest version of the widely adopted green building standard is set to debut in November with the most thorough overhaul since its inception. Here’s what you need to know.

Photo courtesy JFAK

Shady Business
Integrated designs for lighting and daylighting, automated by controls, can help conserve resources and please building occupants.

Photo © David Sundberg/Esto

John and Frances Angelos Law Center
Behnisch Architekten with Ayers Saint Gross and the lighting design team at MCLA use daylight to guide the design of the John and Frances Angelos Law Center for the University of Baltimore.

Photo © Brad Feinkopf

Saint Louis Art Museum, East Building
David Chipperfield Architects collaborated with the Arup lighting design team to create daylight-filled galleries for the new East Building of the Saint Louis Museum of Art.

Photo courtesy Saint Louis Art Museum/Alise O'Brien

Energy Biosciences Building
For a research institute focused on climate change at the University of California, Berkeley, SmithGroupJJR and Loisos + Ubbelohde have created an open and mostly transparent building largely dependent on daylight.

Photo © Bruce Damonte

Urban Agriculture Grows Up
A wave of rooftop greenhouses and vertical farms captures the imagination of architects while offering an alternative to conventional cultivation methods.

Rendering courtesy SOA

The Bullitt Center
A Deeper Shade of Green: An office building aims to be self-sustaining, offering a new model for commercial development in dense urban settings.

Photo Nic Lehoux

Buildings Show Off New Moves

Buildings Show Off New Moves
To enhance environmental performance and create dramatic visual effects, architects devise facades that adapt to changing conditions.

Photo © Earl Carter

A Force of Nature

A Force of Nature
As design teams work toward harnessing air flows around buildings, they are producing some intriguing structures. But just how viable is wind power as a source of on-site renewable energy?

Photo © Peter Fairley

Renewed Promise

Renewed Promise
Two teams of architects employ very different strategies to reinvigorate a pair of ambitious 1960s apartment projects, one in the north of England and the other in Paris.

Photo © Keith Collie

Yale University Art Gallery

Stitches in Time
A well-executed renovation, along with a few carefully conceived insertions, weaves together a museum's trio of stylistically distinct landmarks.

Photo Elizabeth Felicella

Handled With Care
As schools for students with autism move from makeshift or retrofitted quarters to new buildings tailored to their specific programs, architects and educators focus on what makes the best places for learning.

Photo © Albert Vecerka/ESTO

Revival of an Icon
The United Nations renovation team brings back the long-faded luster of the Secretariat while satisfying ambitious performance goals.

Photo: Ezra Stoller © Esto

Wave of the Future
Designers behind the London 2012 Summer Olympics look well beyond the Games' closing ceremonies, creating venues that can be readily disassembled or adapted to long-term needs.

Photo © Morley Von Sternberg

Sculpting the Skyline
Architects, engineers, and contractors tackle a challenging geometry to build a supertall tower with a striking silhouette for a desert city.

Photo © SOM/Pawel Sulima

Second Skin
From high fashion to high performance: Two design teams work closely with fabricators to develop visually dynamic exterior wall systems.

Photo © Pal Rivera /Archphoto

Off the Map

Off the Map
Geographic information systems put data in the hands of designers, relief agencies, and policy-makers, helping them plot recovery efforts, anticipate the effects of climate change, and create more livable urban environments.

Image courtesy of Esri

Lighting within Limits

Lighting within Limits
Tightening energy codes and standards, along with new technology, present lighting designers with opportunities and challenges.

Photo © Warren Jagger

Performance Puzzle

Performance Puzzle
Museum design teams juggle the sometimes-competing demands for preservation of collections, human comfort, and energy conservation.

Renderings courtesy the Barnes Foundation

Industrial Evolution
A move toward more comprehensive and accessible data on the environmental and health impacts of building products gains momentum.


A New Spin on the White City
A Cambridge, Massachusetts Architect Makes a 21st-century Addition to Tel Aviv's Tradition of Modernism

Photo © Amit Geron

A Fetish for Fabrication
In digitally sophisticated Los Angeles, the Southern California Institute of Architecture's new Robot House ups the ante.

Photo © Lawrence Anderson

One World Trade Center
Part monument, part speculative real estate venture, the nation’s soon-to-be tallest building takes shape.

Photo © James Ewing

Ed Roberts Campus
With its grand roof canopy and sweeping entry plaza, the Ed Roberts Campus welcomes everyone into its fold.


Photo © Tim Griffith

The Royal Conservatory
KPMB renovates and expands Canada's venerable music education institution.

Photo © Eduard Hueber

525 Golden Gate

Green at Its Core
An innovative and robust seismic frame is a key part of a San Francisco office building's sustainable strategy and its bid for LEED Platinum.

Image: courtesy Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz

Masdar Institute
The first completed piece of a new city under construction about 20 miles outside of downtown Abu Dhabi merges traditional construction practices, passive climate control strategies, and high-tech features.


Photo © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

Low Energy, but High Impact

Low Energy, but High Impact
The Passive House system, a design and construction concept with considerable traction in Europe, begins to take hold in the United States.

Working with Water

Working with Water
Coastal cities respond to the threat of rising sea levels with diverse design strategies at multiple scales.

Virtual but Vivid

Virtual but Vivid
A sonic rendering technique known as auralization helps acousticians make the sound of even unrealized spaces tangible.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park
Designers Transform a Defunct Shipping Complex and Reconnect a City With Its Waterfront.

Zeroing In on Net-Zero Energy

Zeroing In on Net-Zero Energy
With an office building for its Colorado campus, a national research lab aims to prove that super-green can be cost effective and replicable.


An ambitious plan for a world-class research university in Saudi Arabia's desert spurs an unprecedented building project.

Live | Build | Sustain

Live | Build | Sustain
A new green building program aims to push the design and construction industry well beyond current best practices.

Behind the Curtain Wall

Behind the Curtain Wall
Three residential buildings with highly innovative facades rise in New York City.

Beyond Limits
The Burj Khalifa's designers tackle extreme height and extreme climate to create a landmark for the 21st century.

More Than Skin Deep
An integrated facade strategy helps designers create more comfortable and better-performing glass buildings.

Reviving "Almost Nothing"
A multidisciplinary team of consultants tackles the tricky restoration of a pair of iconic Chicago towers.

Shattering Myths About Glass
As architects and builders put more faith in the structural properties of glass, its use has expanded to all areas of design.

Testing Timber's Limits
Designers push a traditional material to create longer spans, reach new heights, and find unconventional applications.

Control Freaks
Pervasive sensing and interactive building controls stand to radically reshape the human response to architecture, the city, and even the air we breathe. Call them the new controls.

Performing Arts
Read tech-focused supplements to our Project Portfolio and earn CEU credits.

Getting the Lay of the Land
With several projects nearing completion, Steven Holl Architects spreads out across the Chinese landscape.

Diving Into BIM
For two firms now fully immersed in digital modeling, a group of community libraries proved the ideal medium for trying out new technology.

Into Thin Air
While most structures are firmly rooted in the ground, some seem to float through the skies.

Quenching the Built Environment's Thirst for Water
An intricate array of CNC-milled components brings ceilings and walls to life.

When the Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts
An intricate array of CNC-milled components brings ceilings and walls to life.

An End in Sight for a Centuries-Old Building Project?
Don't confuse the high-performance glass facades of these new buildings with textbook examples from early Modernism.

Transparency: Literal and Sustainable
Don't confuse the high-performance glass facades of these new buildings with textbook examples from early Modernism.

LEED Looks Ahead With an Ambitious Overhaul
A number of structurally innovative towers defy convention, and gravity, by getting bigger as they get taller.

Tall Buildings Push Limits by Stepping Up, Not Back
A number of structurally innovative towers defy convention, and gravity, by getting bigger as they get taller.


Not-So-Pedestrian Footbridges
A portfolio of projects demonstrates that there is more to creating signature spans than connecting point A to point B.

Image © Shannon Images

"And the award for best sound effects goes to …"
Acoustics get a staring role in the design of a new performing arts center.

Photo © Chuck Choi

Three Buildings, Three Different Approaches
Bay Area projects demonstrate that the retro fit of existing structures demands as much seismic sophistication as new construction.

Image courtesy SOM

Model Behavior: Anticipating Great Design
Cutting-edge projects throughout the Middle East rely on a variety of simulation programs to inform design and predict building performance.

Photo courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

An Energy-Conserving Technology From Europe Makes Inroads in the U.S.
American architects and engineers are discovering the advantages of chilled beams, a mechanical device that provides cooling and heating. The energy-saving technology has been popular in Europe for more than a decade.

Photo © Peter Vanderwarker

Getting High Design from a Low-Tech Approach
Eschewing complex forms and technology, socially minded architects rely on age-old building techniques to create modern marvels.

Photo © Nicolás Cabrera Andrade

Some Assembly Required
Five firms explore the potential of prefabrication with digital tools, a diversity of materials, and varying degrees of on-site labor.

Photo © MOMA/Richard Barnes

Design Professionals Follow the Physician's Precept: "First, Do No Harm"
Innovative strategies improve air quality inside health care facilities so that patients don't end up sicker than when they arrived.

Photo © John Durant Photography

BAM’s Next Wave: A Forward-Looking Institution Updates Its Own Look with a Nod to the Past
Since the 1970s, Hugh Hardy’s work for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) has run the gamut, spanning new cinemas and a café for the experimental film and performing arts venue to, most recently, a faithful restoration of the 1908 facade of its historic Peter Jay Sharp Building.

Pictured: Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM); Photo © Peter Mauss/Esto

Inside Beijing's Big Box of Blue Bubbles
A multidisciplinary design team employed an innovative digital process to produce a surprising, highly integrated envelope-and-structure combination.

Photo © Iwan Baan

A Sleek Skyscraper in San Francisco Raises the Profile of Performance-Based Design
The nearly complete tower demonstrates multiple benefits of a nonprescriptive approach.

Photo © Henrik Kam

Let the (Indirect) Sun Shine In
A highly collaborative design process and In-depth analysis produce daylighting systems for two expanding art museums on opposite coasts.

Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

Crimps, Facets, and Folds
An ingenious Y-shaped mullion supports a quartz-like facade on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.

Photo © William Zbaren

Rapidly Renewable Materials' Complex Calculus
Evaluating the environmental impact of alternative building products is more involved than a straightforward examination of the length of planting and harvest cycles.

Photo © J.D. Peterson

Learning to Live on Alternative Energy
Three landmark projects show us how to integrate renewable-energy strategies into architecture, without compromising design.

Photo © Doug Snower Photography

Mutsuro Sasaki

Mutsuro Sasaki
Interviewed in his Tokyo office, the Japanese structural engineer reflects on the dramatic turn his work has taken since Toyo Ito’s Sendai Mediatheque, nearly eight years ago.

In Canada, a rammed-earth wall for the ages
The relationship between architecture and nature rarely gets more explicit than with rammed-earth construction.

Photo © Nic Lehoux

Recently Posted Reader Photos
View all photo galleries
----- Advertising -----

Groups advance two sets of high-performance building standards
In the not-too-distant future, there could be two U.S. standards for green buildings.

Pictured: Chandler Airport Commerce Center in Chandler, Arizona; Photo courtesy Green Building Initiative

Aiming at super-tall market, Mitsubishi opens record-breaking elevator testing tower
Inazawa City, Japan, is the home of Mitsubishi Electric’s elevator division, and accordingly, the city skyline includes six small peaks—all towers that the company uses to test its product.

Photo courtesy Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Microalloy promises better steel structures
The U.S. Army, in conjunction with private industry, is involved in a multiyear research project that could yield stronger, lighter, and longer-span structures, for both civil and military applications. The research is examining the benefits of adding vanadium to steel.

Photo courtesy Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Book Reviews
We review two recently published books: One tracks the relationship between the practice of medicine and architecture from ancient times to the present, while the other discusses the urgent need to reinvent medical facilities so they are better for patients and the environment.

Behind SANAA’s illusion of weightlessness
Now that the New Museum on Manhattan’s Lower East Side is complete, and its structure enclosed, there is little evidence of the system that supports the seven-story building that seems to be made up of nothing heavier than precariously stacked cardboard boxes.

Diagrams courtesy Guy Nordenson and Associates

Multifaceted structure supports audaciously sculptural BMW Welt
The 172,000-square-foot roof that seems to hover over Coop Himmelb(l)au’s BMW Welt in Munich does more than keep out the elements.

Photo © Duccio Malagamba

Looking Back and Moving Forward
Postoccupancy evaluations offer a systematic process for assessing completed projects, pointing the way to better-performing buildings.

Photo © Peter Aaron/Esto

A base-isolated makeover for Pasadena's historic City Hall
Structural base isolation—effectively "floating" a building on rubber pads to safely ride out an earthquake—is nothing new in California.

Photo © Victor Muschetto

California hospitals get a seismic reprieve
The California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) moved in December 2007 to allow the reclassification of potentially hundreds of seismically questionable hospitals in the state to avoid possible closure due to code noncompliance.

Architecture, Hot and Cold
The collaboration between two Australian firms on Melbourne's new Council House 2 shows off the design possibilities for building-integrated HVAC.

Photo © Russell Fortmeyer

Fashioning an aural architecture
How do you protect a concert hall from extreme desert heat and noise generated by planes flying overhead? We examine how Barton Myers Associates and Architekton solved this problem in their roof design for the Tempe Center for the Arts.

Photo © John Edward Linden

Building Even Better Concrete
Manufacturers, scientists, and designers strive to reduce a vital material's environmental footprint while exploiting its many beneficial qualities

Photo courtesy Portland Cement Association

"Smart Glass" on the Verge
After languishing for years outside the mainstream, "switchable glazing" is poised to become a viable alternative and could soon have a significant impact on facade design.

Rendering © Werner Sobek

Hanging Loose
Perhaps the most famous cantilever in America is one of the shortest: Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1935 design for the exterior concrete terraces at Fallingwater, the longest of which extends a mere 15 feet to hover over the rush of Pennsylvania’s Bear Run stream.

Photo © Justin Maconochie

Chuck Hoberman wants buildings to change
Chuck Hoberman has a vision of Buckminster Fuller. As the New York–based artist, mechanical engineer, and product designer expands his projects to large-scale architecture, he is integrating his mechanized elements to develop a new strain of sustainable and flexible structures that conceptually relate to what the late Fuller had imagined, but never realized, decades before.

Rendering Courtesy Foster + Partners

----- Advertising -----
View all
----- Advertising -----