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Tall buildings are a fact of urban life. Influenced by building codes, engineering and profitability, their design is often predictable. Behind the glittering skylines, generic high-rises–responsive neither to climate nor culture–now dominate many of the world's cities.

This exhibition displays work from Harvard Graduate School of Design students who were challenged to conceive of a skyscraper that consumes as little energy as possible. Class visits to Dubai and Shenzhen (prior to the COVID-19 lockdown) focused on environmentally friendly local building methods and passive energy solutions that could inspire supersized solutions for tall buildings.


Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities at the Graduate School of Design.

  • Sandra Bonito
  • Astrid Cam Aguinaga
  • Sichuan Chen
  • Qiaoqi Dai
  • Xinyun Li
  • David Ling
  • Diastika Lokesworo
  • Ailing Zhang
  • Chengzhang Zhang

Ali M. Malkawi, PhD
Professor, Architectural Technology
Founding Director, Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities

Gordon Gill, FAIA
Partner, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

This exhibit is presented by Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities Harvard Graduate School of Design