China's Stunning Green Buildings

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Good architecture is environmentally-friendly, but an environmentally-friendly building doesn’t necessarily make for good architecture. The Linked Hybrid, perhaps the most famous of the country's new green wonders, is proof that sustainability and smart design aren't mutually exclusive. Between its eight colorful 20-storey towers, Steven Holl and co-designer Li Hu inserted gently sloping footbridges, allowing free circulation between shops, cafes, and a hotel. A patchwork of gardens beckons the public. Underneath it all sits a waste water recycling plant and, with 600 wells, one of the world's largest geothermal systems, which eliminates the need for boilers or electrical air conditioners. But this isn't typical Beijing living. The final apartments sold for around $6,500.

Completed 2009

Photo courtesy of Steven Holl Architects