Contemporary Architecture

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture – Masdar Headquarters

About the firm

  • The firm was founded in 2006 by partners Adrian Smith, Gordon Gill and Robert Forest. Today there are more than 150 employees in offices in Chicago and Dubai.
  • The office is dedicated to the creation of new paradigms for sustainable development.
  • Design of high-performance, energy-efficient and sustainable architecture on an international scale.
  • Believe that the future of architecture relies not on a changing aesthetic but on the implementation of an integrated process, predicated on an equal understanding and consideration of each project discipline.

Adrian Smith

  • Adrian was a Design Partner in the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill from 1980 to 2003 and a Consulting Design Partner from 2004 to 2006.
  • Design approach emphasizes sensitivity to the physical environment.
  • Projects under his design direction have won over 90 major awards for design excellence
  • His work has been featured in major museums in the United States, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Gordon Gill

  • Prior to founding Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture in 2006, Gordon was an Associate Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and a Director of Design for VOA Associates.

Robert Forest

  • Was an Associate Partner in the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill before 2006
  • A recognized authority on the economics of sustainable design,
  • combined his knowledge to develop a system of best practices for the management of high-performance projects.


  • Architecture has a unique power to influence civic life.
  • A holistic, integrated design approach that emphasizes symbiotic relationship with the natural environment–a philosophy termed
  • “Global Environmental Contextualism.“
  • Consider building orientation, day lighting, generation of wind power, solar absorption, and a site’s geothermal properties
  • Also represents a fundamental change in the design process, in which Form Facilitates Performance.
  • Create structures that not only reduce their negative environmental impact, but in some cases, virtually eliminate it altogether.
  • Interaction among building systems as well as between those systems and the natural environment, and seeks to improve each individual system’s performance.
  • To create designs that aid society, advance technology, sustain the environment and inspire those around to improve our world.
  • To create intelligent, high-performance, forward-looking designs that exhibit timeless and enduring qualities.
  • To support the clients in the realization of their visions, while delivering the highest standard of design in the international practice of architecture.


  • Matrix Gateway Complex
  • Elphinstone Mills + Jupiter Mills,Mumbai, India
  • Eco-Bridge,Chicago, Illinois
  • Wings Museum

Characteristic Features:

  • Be the lowest energy consumer per square meter for a modern class A office building in an extremely hot and humid climate
  • Compared with typical mixed-use buildings of the same size, the Headquarters will consume seventy percent less water.
  • Feature one of the world’s largest building-integrated photovoltaic arrays
  • Employ the largest solar thermal driven cooling and dehumidification system – the world’s lowest impact active building conditioning system
  • Be the first building in history to generate power and protect workers during the construction process through a staged construction
  • Will go beyond zero net energy,  will be the world’s first mixed-use, large scale positive energy building.
  • The building will utilize pioneering, never-before-seen technology in the creation of the aesthetically sound, functionally proficient and experientially superior development that will represent the city.
  • Numerous systems that will generate a surplus of the building’s energy, eliminate carbon emissions and reduce liquid and solid waste.
  • Inspired from the centuries of indigenous architecture, historically successful building strategies for the climate with the latest technology and innovative building systems, including some developed especially for the Masdar Headquarters.
  • For exterior walls, Smith and Gill have developed their own patent-pending glazing system to keep the building’s interior cool.
  • The facility also will be equipped with wind turbines, air quality sensors, and a thermal-driven cooling and dehumidification system
  • Sprawling canopy lined with photovoltaics, resting on 11 massive glass hyperboloids. Underneath the canopy, a series of interconnected volumes, topped by green roofs, provide space for offices, retail stores, and residences.
  • Sustainable and efficient from the beginning of construction- the building cones and roof can be built first, creating a shaded micro climate for the remainder of the construction and the roof, covered with photovoltaic panels, will provide enough power to build the rest of the building.

Some Structural Details:

  • Thornton Tomasetti
  • Upper Trellis: Top Chord Bracing


  • As a positive energy complex, the project will have a far-reaching influence on the buildings of tomorrow
  • Will set a new paradigm for the way buildings are designed, constructed and inhabited.
  • Represents the perfect integration of architecture and engineering, resulting in a dynamic, inviting building that outperforms any other structure of its type in the world.

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Contemporary Architecture

SOM – Times Warner Center

Introduction to Building

  • Status – Completed in 2003
  • Architect – David M. Childs of SOM
  • Location – 10 Columbus Circle, New York
  • Height –  750 ft (229 m )
  • Floor –  55 above ground
  • Type – Multifunctional building
  • Investment- $1.7 bn
  • Owner  – The Related Companies

Biography :

  • Birth – 1941 Princeton, New Jersey
  • Background – Yale school of architecture & New York Institute of Technology.
  • Project – 7 World Trade Center, Worldwide Plaza ,US News & world report Head Quarter and many more.

About the building:

  • The complex has an interesting geometry derived from its site, its concave front facing onto the curve of Columbus Circle
  • its dominant twin towers shaped as parallelograms
  • Perfectly calibrated, glittering glass facades, the suave, sharp-edged precision that is amazingly subtle and refined for a structure of this enormous size.
  • Steel and alloys are used in panes and in window , in few parts exposed frame are used .
  • Skeleton Building
  • As geometrical mass
  • Metal grid facade
  • Shopping mall,whole food market grocery shop at the base of the building
  • The complex is also home to a 1,200 seat theater for  Jazz at Lincoln center as well as CNN studio.
  • The two-hundred-and-fifty-room Mandarin Oriental hotel condominium apartments, a big retail atrium, restaurants, and space for cultural events

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