Baumer Lecture Series, Paul Lewis


Sep 20, 2023



Knowlton Hall, Gui Auditorium
United States

Based on both LTL Architects’ recently published book Manual of Biogenic House Sections and LTL’s exhibition in the Banvard Gallery Biogenic House Section this lecture presents a visually compelling argument for rethinking the material basis of architecture in a time of environmental crisis.

Asserting that the most viable means to radically reduce embodied carbon in new buildings is to use plant and earth-based materials, the lecture, exhibit, and book demonstrate how this approach can catalyze new types of houses that reduce or sequester carbon, engage regenerative life cycles, and create healthier spaces for living.

Interlaced into the talk are reuse and biogenic projects designed by LTL Architects. In particular, the lecture will explicate five small houses and a series of experiments 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, FAIA, is a Principal at LTL Architects based in New York City. He is professor at Princeton University School of Architecture.

LTL is focused on plant-based building materials and the creative repurposing of buildings, and they have completed academic, cultural, and institutional adaptive reuse projects throughout the United States. LTL was named the 2019 NY State AIA firm of the year, have received a National Design Award, and were inducted into the ID Hall of Fame.

LTL Architects are the authors of Intensities (2013), Opportunistic Architecture (2008), and Situation Normal....Pamphlet Architecture #21 (1998). Their 2016 book entitled Manual of Section has been translated into seven languages, and their follow-up book Manual of Biogenic House Sections, revealing the architectural potentials of plant and earth-based materials, was released at the end of 2022.

Paul is the past President of the Architectural League of New York and a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. He received a BA from Wesleyan University and an M.Arch from Princeton University.