William McDonough : biography

21 February 1951 -

McDonough is also a Senior Advisor and Venture Partner at VantagePoint Capital Partners, one of the largest venture capital investors in clean technology.

Architectural philosophy

William McDonough and his architecture and urban design firm, William McDonough + Partners, ground their work in Cradle to Cradle Design, a philosophy developed by McDonough and German chemist Dr. Michael Braungart in their 2002 book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. The goal is to frame design as "a beneficial, regenerative force—one that seeks to create ecological footprints to delight in, not lament."

The design of the firm is often categorized as green architecture or sustainable architecture. The concept, closely linked with green building, is not known for a distinctive visual style, but for minimizing the negative environmental impact of a building. McDonough, however, is often quoted as saying the aspiration is to design something like a tree, something that creates good, like oxygen, rather than minimizing negative impact. McDonough's designs use solar and other passive energy efficiency techniques, as illustrated by the William McDonough + Partners' designed for the Make It Right Foundation New Orleans. The design incorporates deep overhangs, multiple connections with exterior areas allowing for lots of daylight and natural ventilation, roof mounted PV panels, water cisterns to harvest rainwater runoff and rain gardens to absorb any storm runoff.

In 1984, McDonough and his colleagues designed the Environmental Defense Fund office in New York City. Since then, William McDonough + Partners has been responsible for other milestones in the movement, such as in San Bruno, California, completed in 1997 for Gap, Inc.; it is now home to Google's YouTube. The building features a green roof that helps to prevent water runoff, insulates the building from noise and provides a habitat for several species, and received the BusinessWeek/Architectural Record Design Award in 1998. The for the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, in Clermont, Kentucky, completed in 2005, blurs the line between outdoor and indoor space. This project, like others designed by William McDonough + Partners, draws heavily on the biophilia hypothesis - the study of the human desire and physiological need for contact with nature. The building was awarded the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum rating.

William McDonough co-founded the Make It Right Foundation New Orleans with Brad Pitt. This is an effort to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. William McDonough + Partners was an overall adviser to the Make It Right project, bringing the Cradle to Cradle philosophy into designs by all firms involved with advising on standards by the firm.

Dedicated in 2012, NASA Ames Research Center's , is designed to harvest more energy than it needs to operate and to cleanse its own water. It was designed to meet a conventional budget and tight timeline, be a test bed for NASA technologies, and it exceeds LEED Platinum metrics. The facility is designed to "learn"—and continuously improve—over time.

Architectural works

  • Ford River Rouge Complex
  • Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies
  • 901 Cherry Office Building in San Bruno, California the current headquarters of YouTube
  • Nike European Headquarters
  • Bernheim Arboretum Visitor's Center located at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky
  • NASA Sustainability Base
  • Fuller Theological Seminary Library

Published works

  • Braungart, Michael; & McDonough, William (2002). Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. North Point Press. ISBN 0-86547-587-3
  • Braungart, Michael; & McDonough, William (2013). The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability - Designing for Abundance. North Point Press. ISBN 9780865477483
Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine