Meet an architect

Adrian D. Smith is an American architect whose projects stand out for showing sensitivity to the environment, and for meriting, altogether, more than 100 awards for design excellence. But above all because among his designs are some of the tallest buildings in Chicago and the tallest in the world.

He designed the world’s tallest structure, Burj Khalifa, as well as the building projected to surpass it, the Jeddah Tower. Among his other projects, he was the senior architect for the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, and Zifeng Tower in Nanjing.

“When I designed a building I wanted it to look as if it could only exist in this location”

Adrian D.Smith

In 2003 he founded his own firm, Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture, in partnership with fellow architect Gordon Gill and I would like to highlight a quote of their philosophy that caught my attention :

“We believe that architecture has a unique power to influence our world. As architects, we must recognize and respect our role in shaping civic life. We strive to create designs that aid society, advance technology, sustain the environment and inspire those around us to improve our world.”

Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture

From my point of view this is a hundred percent accurate because architects are the responsable of creating and designing our everyday spaces.

Smith has a passion for the use of vernacular and indigenous forms and compositions, which is also evident in his work. As environmental sustainability is at the heart of all his projects, he pays close attention to the location, climate, geographical, geological, cultural and social influences of the site. In recent years he has adopted a new design approach of producing energy on site. To make buildings sustainable with less energy and more efficient, it designs buildings so that they absorb more and more energy from natural resources, including sunlight, wind and geothermal conditions, thus producing energy for the projects on the respective sites. This not only helps energy, but also decreases the buildings’ dependence on local infrastructure. Smith’s technique has opened up new dimensions in the field of architecture and has led to the proposal of a new philosophy in the world of architecture called Global Contextualism.

Adrian Smith Buildings