Event Date: 
10.06.22 to 01.13.23

Exhibition: Biogenic House Sections by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis

Posted By: 

Biogenic House Sections


October 6 — January 13, 2023

Reception: Thursday, October 6, 2022, 6pm

Hours: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm

North Gallery, School of Architecture

View Installation Photos


Given that the most viable means to radically reduce embodied carbon in new buildings is to use plant- and earth-based materials, what are these materials’ qualities and characteristics? How have they been a catalyst for architectural invention as tested in houses around the world? What design trajectories exist for future exploration? The exhibition examines how designing through these materials pushes architecture toward peculiar, unconventional, yet logical assemblies. 


The exhibit is composed of three parts. 


First is an exhibit of a new book, Manual of Biogenic House Sections. A line of stands holds the book into two-page spreads, each featuring a cross-section perspective of a house. The book, and thus the exhibition, is organized into material-specific chapters (Wood Frame, Mass Timber, Bamboo, Straw, Hemp, Cork, Earth, Brick, Stone, and Reuse). Each chapter starts with a life cycle understanding of the given material and its processes of fabrication.


Second is a selection of building materials organized according to the amount of their embodied carbon (CO2e), arranged from most sequestering to most emitting. 


Third are five small houses designed by LTL Architects that use biogenic material assemblies as a catalyst for building form, domestic organization, and spatial seduction. These projects demonstrate our optimism about architecture’s agency when embracing biogenic materials in the move towards a regenerative future. 


Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki and David J. Lewis are the principals of LTL Architects in New York City and professors of architecture at Princeton University, Columbia University and Parsons School of Constructed Environments. They are the authors of Manual of Section, which has been translated into six languages, and three monographs. David is also currently the Dean at Parsons SCE, Marc is the President of Storefront for Art and Architecture and Paul recently completed two terms as President of the Architectural League. LTL’s biogenic house section book and exhibit managers are Celia Chaussabel and Kyle Reich.



Exhibition Design: LTL Architects: Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis, Celia Chaussabel, and Kyle Reich

Exhibition Manager: Kira McDonald 

Exhibition Assistants: Tengku Sharil Bin Tengku Abdul Kadir, Danial Mahfoud, Olivia Ahmadi, and Katharine Solien

Five Biogenic House Designs: LTL Architects: Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis, Celia Chaussabel, Kyle Reich, Tengku Sharil Bin Tengku Abdul Kadir, and Danial Mahfoud. Thanks to the students in ARC 560A S’22 Building and Embodied Carbon Design Seminar for advancing ideas about biogenic wall sections that informed these designs: Melinda Denn, Jasen Domanico, Tessa Flanagan, Julian Gonzalez, Daniel Hall, Jonathan Hanna, Kaleb Houston, Rinna Jiang, Austin Madrigale, Danial Mahfoud, John Mikesh, Adrian Mitchell, and Ian Ting

Material Donations: 475 High Performance Building Supply, The Donghia Healthier Materials Library at Parsons School of Constructed Environments


Special thanks to Dean Monica Ponce de Leon and the School of Architecture staff.