How Hospital Rooms Went from Airy Temples to “Inhuman” Machines

Architecture Used to Pamper Patients. Then Designers Began Prizing Efficiency.

In the March 1942 issue of the journal Modern Hospital, Charles F. Neergaard, a prominent New York City hospital design consultant, published a layout for a hospital inpatient department that was so innovative he copyrighted it. The plan held two nursing units—groups of patient rooms overseen by a single nursing staff—in a single building wing. For each unit, a corridor provided access to a row of small patient rooms along a long exterior wall and to a shared service area between the two corridors.

The feature that made his plan …

A Punk Rock Tour Across Europe Gave Me Hope for Philly’s Revival

Photographing My Hometown’s Urban Neglect Captures the Hidden Potential in a City’s Ruins

Growing up in Philadelphia, I played and photographed in the ruins of buildings—some noble, even ones designated as important national historic landmarks. I wasn’t really cognizant of their importance in …

How Much Energy Do Buildings Use?

We Understand Car Emissions, but My Team Is Just Beginning to Measure the Efficiency of Homes and Offices All Over L.A.

In energy, we are learning how to make the invisible visible.

We now know that cities are responsible for 70 percent of the globe’s greenhouse gas emissions. We know …

Why Does Los Angeles Keep Rewriting Its Own Script?

Finding What's Worth Preserving in a City Known for Constant Change and Flux

There’s a classic scene in the 1991 comedy L.A. Story, where “wacky weekend weatherman” Harris Telemacher, played by Steve Martin, is giving a tour around the city of Los Angeles. …

If These Walls Could Talk

Photographs and Drawings from Allied Works Architecture/Brad Cloepfil: Occupation


For over a decade, architect Brad Cloepfil and his firm, Allied Works Architecture, have been designing some of the United States’s most influential public, institutional, commercial, and residential buildings. A …