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Why Architecture Matters

Great architecture isn't just about iconic buildings


2018 Harleston Parker Medal winner Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex; designed by Payette for Northeastern University

Image courtesy Warren Jagger

Where you live, work, and play is influenced by architecture. Cities are defined by design. Buildings drive economies. This isn't just a question about what's functional or beautiful. Evidence demonstrates that our physical and emotional well-being, as well as our economic, social, professional, and cultural prospects are shaped by our physical environment. Design can encourage social interaction, promote exercise, reduce stress, and rejuvenate our health. Well-crafted buildings promote economic, social, and academic achievement. For example, studies show that excellent school design can increase student results by 25 percent. Architecture matters.

Boston Public Library Central Library Renovation 03

2017 Harleston Parker Medal winner
Boston Public Library, Johnson Building Transformation; designed by William Rawn Associates, Architects for The City of Boston

Image courtesy Bruce T. Martin

Many communities are threatened by environmental, economic, and social instability. At a time when the climate is changing and waters are rising, when buildings contribute 70 percent of urban carbon emissions, when affordable housing is in short supply, and there is increasing disparity between those who have and those who don't—good design has never mattered more.

Great architecture helps people and communities flourish.

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Bolling Building exterior web

2016 Harleston Parker Medal winner
Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building; designed by Mecanoo Architecten with Sasaki; for The City of Boston

Image courtesy Anton Grassl | ESTO

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