Illustration: Lauren Nassef | Art Direction: Jelena Schulz

Every year the AIA Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community recognizes projects and research in which innovative technologies, techniques, and progressive practices feature prominently. These two projects, which received citations in the 2017 AIA Innovation Awards, sit on different continents, and serve disparate purposes, but both exemplify the thinking that will drive architecture through this new year and beyond.

Bahá’í Temple of South America: Just outside Santiago, Chile, this house of worship has nine sides, each made of a glass veil, that frame an open and accessible space for 600 visitors. As its architects from Hariri Pontarini Architects say, “To create a building alive with light, we invented this new material utilizing cast glass, which takes light and absorbs it. When the Temple receives just a kiss of light, a prayer is answered.”

Garden Village: Designed primarily for students, this apartment building in Berkeley, Calif., was constructed using modular building technology. It is made up of 18 distinct building volumes, spread out but linked by exterior walkways. To create a communal, interconnected student village, the Nautilus Group in association with Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects “threaded the 77 units with a network of gardens, common space, and a professionally operated urban roof farm.”