William McDonough

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Works Coffee Creek Center
Environmental Defense Fund
Gap Inc. Offices, at San Bruno, California, 1994 to 1998
Lewis Center, Oberlin
Miller SQA
Nike Europe Headquarters

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William McDonough

(b. Tokyo 1951) The firm of William McDonough + Partners was founded in 1981 by William McDonough in New York City, and moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1994. They have a strong international reputation as outstanding practitioners of environmentally sensitive design and buildings.

William McDonough became dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia in 1994.

The Creator's Words

"All of our projects celebrate nature and encourage connection to the world outside. For Herman Miller's Miller SQA factory and offices in Zeeland, Michigan we built the design around views of the landscape and a daylit interior 'street' where all employees mingle during their breaks. The offices we designed for Gap Inc. in San Bruno, California are filled with daylight, fresh air, and views of the outdoors, and the roof of the building is covered in indigenous grasses to reestablish the site's natural habitat. Oberin College's Lewis Center for Environmental Studies uses natural energy flows and biological processes to produce and conserve energy and to process all its own waste water.

"People and their well-being are at the center of what we do. In Chesterton, Indiana we have designed an intelligent community built around people's needs and lives. One of the features of all of our buildings and sites is the presence of communal spaces--facilitating people's connection to each other. In all of our architecture projects we also take great care to use materials and building processes that are safe and responsible.

"In the end, even our most ecologically intelligent and people-centered designs address business needs. A strategy cannot be 'sustainable' in the long run if it doesn't meet immediate requirements. Our design strategies have proven to be good for the bottom line, as well as for people and the environment. By maximizing daylight, fresh air, and overhead space in the offices for Gap Inc., the building's energy efficiency is resulting in significant operating savings. Respecting people's need for a connection to the outdoors has given Herman Miller's Miller SQA performance benefits and a recruiting and retention edge."

— from the William McDonough + Partners web site.

Resources Sources on William McDonough

"Solid Green Practice", by Brian Libby, ArchitectureWeek No. 426, 2009.0506, pC1.3.

"AIA Top Ten Green Buildings 2004", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 195, 2004.0602, Woods Hole Research Center Gilman Ordway Campus, pE1.2.

"Sustainable Center for Woods Hole", by Mark Rylander, ArchitectureWeek No. 162, 2003.0910, pE1.1.

Cradle to Cradle : Remaking the Way We Make Things. William McDonough, Michael Braungart. North Point Press, April 2002. ISBN 0865475873. — Available at

Earth to Spirit : In Search of Natural Architecture. David Pearson, William McDonough. Chronicle Books, May 1995. ISBN 0811807312. — Reader review at "Earth to spirit explores classic habitats from all corners of the world, and introduces us to the basic, and common shelter needs of us all..." Available at

Sustainable Architecture White Papers. Earth Pledge Foundation, February 2001. ISBN 0967509912. — Reader review at "The essayists are each a part of the sustainable design movement; some have been in the trenches for years, such as Randy Croxton and Kirsten Childs, James Wines, and Bill Browning, and others are household names, such as William McDonough (writing with his chemist collaborator Michael Braungart)..." Available at   Find books about William McDonough

Search the RIBA architecture library catalog for more references on William McDonough

Web Resources Links on William McDonough

William McDonough + PartnersThe firm's official web site.

William McDonough at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

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