Table of Contents February 2014



  • Security Theater

    Edward Snowden was a toddler when Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio began to explore the inverse relationship between security and privacy. Now their work seems prescient.









  • Prefab Grows Up

    Factory-built homes have gotten the hype, writes Christopher Hawthorne, but modular’s true potential may lie in building tall.

  • Brent Grubb (left) and Jeff Kovel at Skylabs Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plants Engineering Building.

    Star Turn

    Hollywood came calling, but Skylab Architecture didn’t sell out. The firm is building its practice by bringing the same rigorous ideals to every project.



  • Tree House

    The London-based firm augmented a pair of 1830s London weavers’ cottages with a curvaceous, and accessible, garden addition for architecture critic Rowan Moore and family.


P/A Awards


Best Practices

  • The Power of Focus

    Chasing every project may seem wise in a tight economy. But smart firms specialize. ARCHITECT asked leading practitioners and management experts to share their perspectives.




  • The Right Angles

    Sanjay Puri Architects created the dizzying interior wood finish of the Auriga restaurant in Mumbai, India, with no software, but rather a pencil tied to a stick.

  • Ramping Up

    A floating concrete walkway by Mateo Arquitectura is intended to be invisible to visitors to the Cultural Center in Castelo Branco, Portugal.



  • How X-Acto Built a Better Knife

    The maker of the reigning precision knife is at work on a product designed to limit trips to the emergency room by its bleary-eyed users. We review the updates to the iconic design tool since its happenstance inception in the 1930s, more than three-quarters of a century ago.

  • The Wrap on Wood

    Researchers and designers are rendering wood to be increasingly resilient, adding new uses—from tall buildings to microfibers—for the classic building material.


Other Articles

  • Iron Man

    Steel is the world’s most widely recycled material, but its high embodied energy is roughly equivalent to that of concrete. A new method to extract iron from virgin resources might give the metal alloy the environmental edge after all.



Exhibits Books Etc.

  • Revival on 22nd Street

    David van der Leer is bringing his expansive vision of urban design from the Guggenheim to the Van Alen Institute, where a redesigned storefront is just one of many changes afoot.


Past P/A

  • Housing Diversity

    West Broadway Housing is one of Boston's most diverse areas, in part due to the renovation of a 1948 public housing project, which won a citation in the 1983 P/A Awards.