By Emily Carter
“If you’re going to build a center for energy and the environment, then the architecture should be about nature and the landscape.” That was the core idea that architects Tod Williams A.B. ’65, MFA ’67 and Billie Tsien presented as they started work on the spectacular building that is now home to the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.
I say “spectacular” not in the sense of a dazzling edifice; I use that word because of how superbly the building manifests that original vision and how strongly it supports the ambitious and urgent mission of the Andlinger Center. That mission is to develop solutions that provide the world with the energy systems it needs while protecting this planet and preserving its resources for future generations.
As with the architecture, we are taking an integrative approach. We recognize the enormous and wonderful complexity of both nature and humanity. That complexity demands solutions that draw together expertise from multiple disciplines, institutions, industries, governments and nations. We must develop not only technical solutions but also policy, behavioral and economic solutions – all within an environmental context that continuously questions how our solutions stack up against the realities of nature. We work closely with the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Architecture and other colleagues across the University.