Transparency in Urban Environment

Luke Leung
Director
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Chicago

A generation of tall buildings has been dominated by International Style with full height glazing that is often vision glass. Large glass was intended to bring the outside in, to allow a connection to the natural environment, and to promote daylighting. Yet the glass box model of architecture is now under criticism due to expense to build, thermal and visual comfort issues for occupants, large carbon footprints, danger for birds, and aesthetic concerns with lack of transparency. This presentation took a fresh look at glass, transparency, energy consumption, and human health before offering alternative paths forward.

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