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This book provides an in-depth, scholarly exploration of curtain-wall architecture. The curtain wall can be defined as the nonload- bearing, exterior skin of a building, often composed primarily of glass supported by a metal frame. The term refers to the fact that this type of wall "hangs" on a building's structural frame. From early visionary projects of modern architects such as Mies van der Rohe in the 1920s and the proliferation of the Modernist glass box in the 1950s and '60s to the currently emerging rise of multilayered intelligent facades, the curtain wall has played a pivotal role in the development of contemporary high-rise architecture. Increasingly, these sophisticated systems are shaping not only the aesthetic experience of architecture but also the technical performance of buildings with respect to energy efficiency and occupant comfort. The book provides an overview of the development of the curtain wall from the late nineteenth century to the present, providing an in-detail look at the most recent innovations in curtain wall and building enclosure design by the world's leading architects and engineers, including Behnisch Architekten, KieranTimberlake Associates, Kengo Kuma and Associates, Rafael Viñoly Architects, Bernard Tschumi Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Steven Holl Architects, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and others.
Scott Murray is an architect and assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he teaches graduate seminars on innovations in building envelope design.