The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo 2017 is just around the corner! The annual conference is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. Greenbuild brings together industry leaders, experts and frontline professionals dedicated to sustainable building in their everyday work, and a unique energy is sparked. We are excited to be presenting on multiple topics at this year’s conference at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on November 6 – 11.
As we get ready for the conference, we wanted to share some of our favorite green buildings and spaces. What would you add to the list?
James Baer’s Picks:
I told myself I wouldn’t pick the Rose Kennedy Greenway even though it is the one project that has had the biggest impact on my life during the fifteen years I’ve lived in Boston. It was too easy! Here are three of my alternate favorite green spaces / buildings with each one being in its own category.
‘Urban Green Space’
The High Line, New York City
James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro
This project doubles as adaptive reuse and green space. It’s also a great example of when a landscape architect, design architect and structural engineer harmonize on something incredible. Is it a park? A walkable art exhibit or installation? I’m still not sure to this day, to be honest. Every section has a different theme, as if you experience the changing seasons in a year over the course of the couple hours it takes to walk. I appreciate the departure from a monotonous continuous pathway; there are different sections breaking away, creating both ‘room’ and seating areas, which host various types of activities. There are elevation changes, stairs and ramps that add to the experience, coupled with lush plantings and visual connections to the amazing built environment that is New York. There is no city like it, and this high line is one of my favorite ways to experience it. My only complaint – and a common one for busy tourist areas such as this – is the prevalence of too many tourists stopping to take photos. They detract from the experience by clogging up the pedestrian pathways.
‘Rural Green Space’
World’s End, Hingham, Massachusetts
Frederick Law Olmsted
Growing up in a coastal Massachusetts community, I felt compelled to pick a spot on the water and this was an easy choice. Even though it’s on the wrong side of Boston (I am a North Shore kid), this South Shore gem is so beautiful it is hard to capture in photos or words – you just have to go. Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (originally as a residential subdivision that was never built) and situated on a series of connecting peninsulas overlooking the Hingham Bay, the landscape varies between wooded, open, coastal, rocky and marshy offering unique areas to explore. The views of Boston and neighboring towns across the water are visually stunning. The limited availability of parking enhances this experience, ensuring that the park is never too crowded. It’s the perfect destination to spend a few hours unplugging and enjoying a quintessential New England landscape.
James Baer and Peter Vieira’s Pick:
Genzyme Headquarters, Cambridge, Massachusetts
James Baer: I visited the Behnisch-designed headquarters during my first semester of third-year in architecture school back in 2005. Until that point we had been learning about the fundamentals, the classic authors of the profession (Mies, Wright, and Corbusier). I remember seeing the exterior and thinking that it was OK, a bit boxy, but it was interesting with the varying curtainwall, color splashes and sunshades. The interior is what pulled it all together for me; I was blown away. The day was overcast, but the light was radiating down through the atrium, glimmering off of the prismatic chandeliers and creating dancing reflections on all interior surfaces. The use of water, trees and wood flooring added to the sensory elements and created a very inviting environment for working. I would have loved to come to work every day in such a compelling, active space. The use of daylight harvesting to enhance employee’s production, as well as the commitment to energy reduction and use of recycled materials left a strong impression on me both as a student and as a working architect.
Peter Vieira: The Genzyme Center designed by Behnisch Architekten, remains one of my favorite green buildings in Boston, 13 years after its completion. From the reflective paint applied to its concrete columns to the light-diffracting chandelier suspended within its main atrium, the building is a wondrously inventive and inspiring workplace that set a high bar for others to aspire to.
Peter Vieira’s Pick:
Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University
On a grand scale, it’s hard to top the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, located in the Jamaica Plain/Roslindale neighborhoods of Boston. Part of Frederick Law Olmstead’s Emerald Necklace, its 281 acres are an amazing mix of indigenous and exotic woodland species. Noted Beatrix Farrand was its landscape design consultant from 1946 to 1950. It is beautiful in every season, but none more so than autumn. Don’t miss the view of the Boston skyline from the top of Peter’s Hill.
Elizabeth Cilley’s Pick:
The Reichstag Building in Berlin Germany, designed by Norman Foster, is one of my favorite green buildings. I had the opportunity to visit it when I was in Germany for my study abroad program. I was impressed by the mix of old and new architecture. The old structure had so much history behind it which Norman Foster was able to maintain, while the new architecture represented new beginnings. In addition to aesthetics, it has always impressed me how they were able to make this a very sustainable building. Not only does the building produce much of its own energy, it also produces enough energy to power other local government buildings. One of the other unique things is they wanted the building to be transparent and allow the public to see into the governmental proceedings. As you stand within the dome on top of the building you can look down and into the main room where all the big proceedings occur. This transparency and mix of old and new architecture has made the Reichstag one of my favorite buildings.
November 6 – 11
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC)
415 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
Payette People at Greenbuild 2017
Payette Buildings at Greenbuild 2017