What Is Green Architecture? - A Talk by Stefan Behnisch Print
Thursday, 27 November 2008 07:38

Lecture + Dialog

12/04/08  at 7:00pm

The Architectural League of New York
457 Madison Avenue (@ 51st Street)
New York, NY 10022

Free admission.

The Goethe-Institut New York presents What Is Green Architecture?, a series of conversations, lectures, and events exploring the cutting-edge developments in the field and their impact on contemporary life as well as implications for the future. This season, we’ve explored promising cities with zero-emissions pioneer Steffen Lehmann and the spectacular concepts that exist beyond “just a building” with avant-garde instigator Friedrich von Borries. For our final talk of the year, we’ll consider the campus of the future with Stefan Behnisch, who’s currently showing them how it’s done at Harvard, where’s he designing the university’s high-profile new Allston science complex.
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In a recent interview with The Harvard Gazette, Behnisch discussed the sustainable aspects of the project as they relate to the university’s existing historic campus, noting, “What we have to do is look at this as a future campus, and the perspective we should take is over the next 25 years. Within the next 25 years our energy prices could quadruple, so we have to look at how we can make the science complex so efficient that the University can actually afford these buildings decades from now. We should also look at the master plan, at mixed use - the way that people will live, work, and study, [ways to] cut down on traffic, travel time, and energy used to commute. If you build a totally new campus, it is important to start building that campus with the first building. The sustainable Allston campus should be a showcase of what's possible, reasonable, and doable. My approach to sustainability is pragmatic. It should be affordable and add qualities... To build a sustainable campus is a great opportunity and a huge responsibility. After all, it is the University that sets the tone in research, in economy, in so many disciplines. The University should also set the tone in sustainability and architectural quality.”

Stefan Behnisch, who founded his architectural firm, Behnisch Architekten in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1989, specializes in public buildings, sports facilities, office and bank buildings, schools, and museums. He doesn’t consider himself a “Green Architect,” because for Behnisch, architecture and environmental responsibility are eternally meshed. “We can’t build these dinosaurs anymore,“ says architect Stefan Behnisch of the outdated structures that many designers and clients insist on building. Behnisch has brought creative environmental thinking to extraordinary architecture in Europe and North America.

What Is Green Architecture? series curator and moderator Dr. Andres Lepik studied art history and German literature at universities in Augsburg and Munich, earning his Ph. D. in Rome on Architectural Models in the Renaissance. He has curated noted architecture exhibitions, including solo shows highlighting the work of Renzo Piano, Rem Koolhaas, and Oswald Mathias Ungers at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, and the German venue for The Museum of Modern Art’s Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Die Berliner Jahre 1907-1938 at Altes Museum. He is currently Curator in the Architecture & Design Department of The Museum of Modern Art, as well as author of Skyscrapers.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 10:19