|Yesterday we covered Vanity Fair's World Architecture Survey—a survey which polled various professionals in the architecture field ranging from professors to critics to architects themselves and asked what each individual thought was the most significant building over the past thirty years. Many complained that the results of the poll did not include any attention to sustainable design. In response to this lack of present awareness, Lance Hosey—a writer and former architect at William McDonough and Partners—developed a new survey which he distributed via Architect magazine.|
Hosey asked 150 experts in the field of green architecture and used the same basic format as the survey conducted by Vanity Fair. The question slightly altered, "Name the five most-important green buildings over the past thirty years", delivered startlingly disparate results. Hosey also asked for each individual to name the most significant green building constructed since 2000.
The results? The Adam Joseph Lewis Center by William McDonough and Partners took first place for most-important green building over the past thirty years, while Renzo Piano's Academy of Sciences won for most significant building since 2000. The entirety of the poll is known as the G-List and can be viewed here.
While Hosey's poll rectifies the negligence issued in Vanity Fair's initial survey, it too falls to the same faults, namely, that architecture can actually have a most significant building. Architecture is best viewed and understood as a series of movements that adjusts with the natural shifting of our environmental, social, political, economical, and ideological landscape. Architecture can be understood as a response to the environment at the time, and thus is in its own way a critique on the current world. To claim that there is one building above the rest which best encapsulates this paradigm is placing too much weight on the individual architect and building. Rather, architecture should be viewed as moments in time when the collective will of several designers decided to address current issues, and how appropriately the issues were addressed, and how well they performed in their concerns.