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 digital imaging systems now allow us to construct buildings that would have been impossible just a few years ago. Yet at the same time, the mystery of what lies underneath these manufactured surfaces is now more overwhelming than ever before. In "Architecture under Construction", acclaimed photographer Stanley Greenberg excavates the skeletons of some of our most iconoclastic buildings, spurring on a continued engagement with those intentionally (World Trade Center) and accidentally (Charles DeGaulle Airport Terminal) destroyed that furthers our fascination with what makes buildings stand up, and what makes them fall down. In stunning photographs, Greenberg captures the complex mystery and beauty found in the transitory moments before the outside of a building covers up the structures that hold it together.
As designs for new buildings are revealed and architects and engineers challenge each other with provocative new forms and equally audacious ideas, Greenberg documents his own interest in this new architecture. Framed by a historical and critical essay by Joseph Rosa, the Art Institute of Chicago's curatorial chair, and 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 Daniel Libeskind, Frank Gehry, and Renzo Piano, among others - are not to be missed by anyone with an eye for the almost invisible foundations that continue to define our relationship with the built world.
Stanley Greenberg is the author of Invisible New York: The Hidden Infrastructure of the City and Waterworks: A Photographic Journey Through New York's Hidden Water System. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005.