The Art of Architectural Grafting

English and French editions are available for purchase worldwide from Park Books or your local bookstore.

Jeanne Gang

Park Books

English edition, 2024
French edition, 2024


(from US English)
Céline Grimault
Marie-Christine Guyon

Grafting /ɡræft/ɪŋ/
is a design philosophy aimed at upcycling existing building stock by attaching new additions (scions) to old structures (rootstock) in a way that is advantageous to both. The practice of architectural grafting connects the two to create an expanded, flourishing, and distinctive work of architecture.

Reusing and adapting existing buildings—rather than demolishing and constructing brand-new—is one of the most effective actions we can take to combat climate change. With The Art of Architectural Grafting, Jeanne Gang aims to enrich design creativity in this area by drawing on the fascinating horticultural practice of grafting to propose a fresh concept for bringing new life to older structures through strategic additions.

Horticultural grafters connect two separate plants—one old and one new—so they can grow and function as one, producing a thriving plant with both useful and desirable qualities. In The Art of Architectural Grafting, Gang applies the sensibility and principles of this approach to architects and architecture at multiple scales. Using Studio Gang projects as examples, she lays out how we can upcycle our existing buildings and urban lands, expanding on their original capacity to create new utility and beauty for communities while minimizing carbon footprint.

Short personal essays reflecting on Jeanne’s environmental ethic and experiences are spliced between the chapters.

Organized into seven chapters, the book moves between the botanical and the architectural to form a unique dialogue between them. Its illustrations comprise original sketches and hand drawings, as well as photographs, architectural drawings and diagrams, and historical images from Jeanne’s research. Nine Studio Gang projects serve as case studies, including the Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation at the American Museum of Natural History, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, the Beloit College Powerhouse, and Tom Lee Park.

“Rather than laying waste to the old, architect-grafters bring fresh eyes and clever hands to the world we have inherited, tapping into the fecundity of nature and the imagination to give rise to something new.”

— Jeanne Gang

“By shifting our focus toward discovering the value in what remains and envisioning its reinvention, what will arise is a new environmental architecture that transforms waste into gold—finding climate balance while producing something original and compelling, even joyful, for our time.”

— Jeanne Gang

Original sketches and hand drawings are included throughout the book.