Behind the Green Door. A Critical Look at Sustainable Architecture through 600 Objects

The book Behind the Green Door is a richly illustrated critical portrait of the concrete consequences and paradoxes of sustainability as a dominating paradigm within architecture and urban planning. Drawing on a one-year long investigation carried out for the Oslo Architecture Triennale, Rotor presents and contextualizes the 600 objects gathered for its main exhibition (building models, samples, specialized construction tools, campaign posters, footage of lobbyist gatherings, etc.). As a secondary layer of content, the book contains 300 short comments by prominent architects, critics and scholars from around the world. The publication is presented in an accessible, visually compelling and thought-provoking manner, and will interest engaged citizens, experts, practitioners, activists and politicians alike.

"In popular consciousness there are two main camps in the sustainability debate: the moralists who want us to forsake all pleasures, and the cynics who want to earn money on quick-fix technological solutions. In Behind the Green Door, Rotor present a third position in the form of an undogmatic inquiry, open to all the paradoxes and dilemmas of the contemporary crisis." - Mari Hvattum, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway

"Both as an exhibition and as a publication Behind The Green Door manages to pinpoint the contradictions and dilemmas contained within the contemporary understanding of ‘sustainability’. It provides a most appropriate reference for those of us interested in the continuous evolution of this term." - Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, founding partner, Snøhetta, Oslo, Norway

Buy the book



Lionel Devlieger, Rotor


Livia Cahn, Maarten Gielen, Rotor

With the help of

Tristan Boniver, Lola Bazin, Rotor


Lionel Devlieger, Maarten Gielen, Rotor curatorial team


Oslo Architecture Triennale



Graphic Design



Istvan Virag


Jodie Hruby, Hester Robinson, Emily Darrow




Closed: 170 x 240 mm


900 g

Number of pages


Publishing Date

April 23, 2014

Distribution Europe and US

Exhibitions International

Distribution Nordic countries and general info

Oslo Architecture Triennale

List of commentators

Anker, Peder, associate professor, New York University; Bell, Rick, executive director, AIA NY, New York; Berge, Bjørn, architec; Gaia Lista, Vanse, Norway; Bernath, Roland, partner, bernath+widmer, Zürich; Boelen, Jan, artistic director, Z33 house for contemporary art, Hasselt; Bruijn, Willem, managing partner, Baumschlager Eberle Group, Lustenau; Caldini, Carlo, architect and co-founder, Gruppo 9999, Florence; Canfora, Anselmo, director, Initiative reCOVER, Charlottesville,VA; Carbone, Claudia, associate professor, Aarhus School of Architecture; Castillo, Greg, associate professor, University of California, Berkeley; Catsaros, Christophe, editor-in-chief, Tracés, Switzerland; Cattoi, Francesca, curator, Centro Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, La Spezia; Ciuffi, Valentina, journalist and design critic, Milan; Cucinella, Mario, founding partner, MC Architects, Bologna; d’Hoop, Ariane, fellow, FNRS, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Deleu, Luc, architect, T.O.P. office, Antwerp; Dreicer, Gregory, Museum of Vancouver; Eggertsson Dagur, Rintala Eggertsson Architects, Oslo; El Ultimo Grito, London; Ellefsen, Karl Otto, rector and professor, Oslo School of Architecture; Eriksen, Arild, Eriksen Skajaa Architects, Oslo; Eriksson, Hege Maria, director, Oslo Architecture Triennale; Faulders, Thom, founder, Faulders Studio, Berkeley; Finney, Tarsha, senior lecturer, University ofTechnology, Sydney; Gabrielsson, Catharina, architect and researcher, School of Architecture KTH, Stockholm; Ghyoot, Michaël, fellow, FNRS, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Handel, Dan, curator, Tel Aviv; Helsing Almaas, Ingerid, editor-in-chief, Arkitektur N, Norway; Hjortenberg, Nanna, head of programmes, DAC, Copenhagen; Hoefnagels, Kim, A10 new European magazine, Amsterdam; Holt, Andrew, founding partner, Architectopia, Oslo; Hopkins, Rob, catalyst and outreach manager,Transition Network,Totnes, UK; Hvattum, Mari, professor, Oslo School of Architecture and Design; Idenburg, Florian, architect and co-founder, SO - IL, New York; Jarzombek, Mark, professor, MIT, Boston, MA; Kaegi, Stefan, Rimini Protokoll, Berlin; Kalliala, Martti, Architect etc., Helsinki; Kallipoliti, Lydia, assistant professor, Syracuse University, NY; Keiding, Martin, editor-in-chief, Arkitekten, Copenhagen; Kongebro, Signe, partner, Henning Larsen Architects, Copenhagen; Kunstler, James Howard, writer and social critic, Saratoga Springs, NY; Kusumawijaya, Marco, director, Rujak Center for Urban Studies, Jakarta; Lascelles, Moira, deputy director,The Architecture Foundation, London; Latz, Peter, professor emeritus,Technical University Munich; Linke, Armin, artist, Berlin; Magrou, Rafaël, freelance journalist and curator, Paris; Maniaque-Benton, Caroline, architectural historian, Paris; Mínguez Carrasco, Carlos, associate curator, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; Moens, Jan, professor and founder, Bureau Bouwtechniek, Ghent; Mujezinovíc, Mirza, Malarchitecture AS, Oslo; Nobre, Ligia, architect and curator, Sao Paulo; Ojari, Triin, director, Museum of Estonian Architecture,Tallinn; Öner, Meriç, associate director, SALT, Istanbul; Palmesino, John, founder,Territorial Agency, London; Peleman, David, post-doctoral researcher, Ghent University; Perraudin, Gilles, Perraudin Architecture, Lyon; Pihet, Valérie, director, programme of experimentation in arts and politics, Sciences Po, Paris; Primas, Urs, architect, Zürich; Rönnskog, Ann-Sofi, founder, Territorial Agency, London; Røtnes, Anna, architect and assistant professor, Oslo School of Architecture and Design; Ru, Nanne de, founding partner, Powerhouse Company, Rotterdam; Ruby, Andreas, co-founder, Ruby Press, Berlin; Rynd, Chase W., director, National Building Museum, Washington DC; Sadler, Simon, professor, University of California, Davis; Schiavon, Stefano, assistant professor, University of California, Berkeley; Simpson, Deane, Royal Danish Academy School of Architecture, Copenhagen; Skajaa, Joakim, Eriksen Skajaa Architects, Oslo; Stathaki, Ellie, architecture editor, Wallpaper*, London; Stevns, Michael, Siemens Infrastructure & Cities Sector, London; Swinnen, Peter, Flemish government architect (Vlaams Bouwmeester), Belgium; Szacka, Léa-Catherine, postdoctoral research fellow, Oslo School of Architecture and Design; Szekér, Lászlo, architect, Budapest; Thorbeck, Dewey, director, Centre for Rural Design, St Paul, MN; Thorsen, Kjetil Trædal, founding partner, Snøhetta, Oslo; Tilman, Harm, editor-in-chief, de Architect, Den Haag; Toft, Anne Elisabeth, associate professor, Aarhus School of Architecture; Vaa Bermann, Andreas, director, Norsk Form Foundation for Design and Architecture in Norway, Oslo; Vandermarliere, Katrien, curator Flemish Architecture Institute, Antwerp; Verschaffel, Bart, professor, University of Ghent; Vylder, Jan De, founding partner, DVVT, Ghent; Wouters, Jozef, artist, Antwerp; Wright, Herbert, architectural writer, historian and curator, London; Zehner, Ozzie, visiting scholar, University of California, Berkeley.