Software is allowing architects to design buildings in radically new ways.
New York firm Reiser + Umemoto’s proposed design for the Shenzen Airport, in China’s Guangdong province, incorporates a twisted grid of skylights. The firm didn’t win the bid for the airport, but the 2007 design, shown here in a digital rendering, has been influential. The firm used parametric software to calculate angles that would provide pleasant indirect natural light but wouldn’t let in enough sun to raise air-conditioning bills. Producing curved concrete forms as intricate as these would be impossible without the new software.