2004: Material & Craft
2000: Reinventing Space
1998: Megaform as Urban Landscape
1992-1996: Technology, Place & Architecture
Green Design // from Theory to Practice
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Since founding the office of Behnisch & Partner Büro Innenstadt in 1989, Stefan Behnisch has directed the design of dynamic, award-winning buildings that promote sustainability within the built environment. His approach to sustainable architecture is highly acknowledged in Europe and worldwide. His buildings have been honored by prestigious institutions and industry organizations alike.
With a design portfolio that includes public buildings, sports facilities, offices, schools, and museums, Behnisch oversees a wide range of global projects at all scales striving to design inclusive buildings that provide maximum benefit to the community as a whole.
Stefan Behnisch has been an advocate and educator of Sustainable Building Design and other design-related topics. He recently served as the Eero Saarinen Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture teaching alongside prominent urban developer Gerald D. Hines. Behnisch has previously served as a visiting lecturer at University of Stuttgart and as an external examiner at the University of Portsmouth, UK and at Bergen Architecture School, Norway. In 2001, he was a guest professor at the University of Texas in Austin.
Behnisch is a frequent lecturer who speaks frequently to public and professional audiences. He has been awarded numerous design honors, and was recently designated an “Environmental Champion” by EnvironDesign Journal and Interiors & Sources.
For the last 15 years, ever-increasing pressure has come to bear on developing building technology and architecture, which utilizes natural resources in a more economical and responsible manner. The question we must ask ourselves is, ‘How can we, as architects, create buildings which are better integrated in our world, and how we can place less strain on our environment in the process of building?’ We believe that we have been entrusted with offering a balanced, considered response which reconciles these seemingly contradictory aims and respectfully tempers the local cultural and climatic conditions of the natural environment with the basic necessity of providing shelter.
As architects and engineers, we are clearly experiencing a change in attitudes toward building, on the part of clients who expect us to design, develop, and deliver environmentally responsible buildings. Following the lead of not-for-profit organizations, the business sector has likewise come to recognize the value of a healthy indoor and outdoor environment. In 1993 the United States Green Building Council was established, and soon after, it initiated the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, a tool that looks beyond the purely quantitative aspects of the environmental impact of buildings. It is a system that will continue to evolve, but is the most comprehensive evaluation system today and serves as an important point of departure for an advanced certification process to be applied by the recently founded German Sustainable Building Council.
As we continue to make extreme demands on nature, it is essential to treat our natural habitat with reverence. We must acknowledge that resources are finite and carefully review our behavioural patterns. Above all, we must learn to live and make use of our environment with an eye towards preventing future shortages. We must focus not only on constraints, but also celebrate nature’s wealth and diversity. There are still those who continue to insist that economically and ecologically sound behaviours are incongruous. In enlightened economic circles, the protection of our environment is seen as an absolute necessity, and as an opportunity for potential growth, social development and economic progress.
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Image: NordLB Interior courtyard at dawn, total view photo R.Halbe
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