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Architecture under Construction

With a Foreword by Joseph Rosa

Mies van der Rohe once commented, “Only skyscrapers under construction reveal their bold constructive thoughts, and then the impression made by their soaring skeletal frames is overwhelming.” Never has this statement resonated more than in recent years, when architectural design has undergone a radical transformation, and when powerful computers allow architects and engineers to design and construct buildings that were impossible just a few years ago.  At the same time, what lies underneath these surfaces is more mysterious than ever before. 

In Architecture under Construction, photographer Stanley Greenberg explores the anatomy and engineering of some of our most unusual new buildings, helping us to understand our own fascination with what makes buildings stand up, and what makes them fall down. As designs for new constructions are revealed and the public watches closely as architects and engineers challenge each other with provocative new forms and equally audacious ideas, Greenberg captures penetrating images that reveal the complex mystery—and beauty—found in the transitory moments before the skin of a building covers up the structures that hold it together.  

Framed by a historical and critical essay by Joseph Rosa and including an afterword by the author, the eighty captivating and thought-provoking images collected here—which focus on some of the most high-profile design projects of the past decade, including buildings designed by Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind, Thom Mayne, and Renzo Piano, among others —are not to be missed by anyone with an eye for the almost invisible mechanisms that continue to define our relationship with the built world.

See a gallery of photographs from the book.

120 pages | 80 halftones | 11 x 11 | © 2010

Architecture: American Architecture

Art: American Art, Photography


“These magnificent photographs capture the romance of construction sites with the precision and poetry and insistent probing curiosity we have come to expect from Stanley Greenberg. For lovers of photography, architecture, city life, or simply the physical world, this book is a must have.”—Phillip Lopate

Phillip Lopate

“Stanley Greenberg specializes in revealing those aspects of our man-made environment that would otherwise remain unseen—the hidden infrastructure of New York City, the water tunnels that form the city’s mysterious lifelines, and now, with Architecture under Construction, the brilliantly illuminated inner structures of important recent buildings. Greenberg’s photographs take the viewer beyond the ‘look’ of new edifices and directly to their essence—past the skins and into the bones—of contemporary architecture.”

Gail Buckland, The Cooper Union

“In these truly beautiful images, Stanley Greenberg deftly realizes one of Louis Kahn’s most iconic insights: that a building is at its most sublime at two moments—when it is under construction, and when it is in ruin.”

Kenneth Frampton, Columbia University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Joseph Rosa





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