A-lab

These corporations might not have tons of fans in the environmental movement, but you wouldn't know that looking at their idealistic architecture choices.

Corporate behemoths are aware of the love/hate feelings nurtured by many of their customers. Perhaps that's why they spend so much money and effort building headquarters that are shining beacons of earth-friendly architecture. We're talking hundreds of acres of sloping, verdant hills, burbling streams and weeping willows, zig-zagging grass roofs and vertical, enclosed gardens. The public face of these petroleum giants is so green that William McDonough would do the Dougie with joy.

From the “mountain-water garden” aesthetic of the new Chevron HQ in Nanjing to the sprawling lawns of Exxon's campus in Houston, an exemplar of "high standards of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship," there's no trace of petro-stink on any of these buildings. You can see a few beautiful examples in the slideshow below. For fun, we've also tossed in the vegetation-festooned headquarters of Weyerhaeuser, a huge logging company based near Seattle, and the Belarusian Potash Company in Minsk (potash is a main ingredient in chemical fertilizers).

Slideshow assembled by Mark Byrnes and John Metcalfe

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Four houses of wood and glass sit on the water.
    Environment

    Are These Dutch Floating Homes a Solution for Rising Seas?

    Houseboats have long been a common sight near Amsterdam, but a new community may signal a premise that could work elsewhere, too.

  2. A woman sits reading on a rooftop garden, with the dense city of Tokyo surrounding her.
    Solutions

    Designing a Megacity for Mental Health

    A new report assesses how Tokyo’s infrastructure affects residents’ emotional well-being, offering lessons for other cities.

  3. Environment

    Visualize the Path of the Eclipse With Live Traffic Data

    On Google Maps, a mass migration in progress.

  4. A city overpass with parked cars and sparse trees
    Civic Life

    How 'Temporary Urbanism' Can Transform Struggling Industrial Towns

    Matchmaking empty spaces with local businesses and the tiny house movement are innovative solutions that can help post-industrial cities across Europe and North America adapt to the future.

  5. POV

    Grenfell Was No Ordinary Accident

    The catastrophic fire that killed at least 80 in London was the inevitable byproduct of an ideology that vilified the poor.