Stan Allen – Landform Building

Lecture date: 2011-11-01

Green roofs, artificial mountains and geological forms; buildings you walk on or over; networks of ramps and warped surfaces; buildings that carve into the ground or landscapes lifted high into the air: all these are commonplace in architecture today. New technologies, new design techniques and a demand for enhanced environmental performance have provoked a rethinking of architecture’s traditional relationship to the ground. Some of today’s most innovative buildings no longer occupy a given site but instead, construct the site itself.

Landform Building examines the many manifestations of landscape and ecology in contemporary architectural practice: not as a cross-disciplinary phenomenon (architects working in the landscape) but as new design techniques, new formal strategies and technical problems within architecture.

Stan Allen is an architect working in New York and dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University. He holds degrees from Brown University, The Cooper Union and Princeton. He has taught at Harvard, Columbia and Princeton, and his architectural firm SAA/Stan Allen Architect has realised buildings and urban projects in the US, South America and Asia. Responding to the complexity of the modern city in creative ways, Stan Allen has developed an extensive catalogue of innovative design strategies, in particular looking at field theory, landscape architecture and ecology as models to revitalise the practices of urban design. In 2008 he received a P/A Award for the Taichung Gateway Park and a Faith and Form Award for the CCV Chapel; in 2009 he received a P/A Award for the Yan-Ping Waterfront in Taipei, an AIA Award for the CCV Chapel, the John Q Hejduk Award, and an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in 2010, his building for Paju Book City in Korea received an AIA Award. In 2011, the Taichung InfoBox was recognised with a P/A Award, and AIA Awards from New York City, New York state and the Tri-State Region. In addition to numerous articles and project reviews, his architectural work is published in Points + Lines: Diagrams and Projects for the City, (Princeton Architectural Press 2001) and his essays in Practice: Architecture, Technique and Representation (Routledge, 2008). His most recent book is the edited volume Landform Building: Architecture’s New Terrain, Published by Lars Müller in 2011.