In this review, we discuss new insights in cell wall architecture and cell wall construction in the ascomycetous yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Transcriptional profiling studies combined with biochemical work have provided ample evidence that the cell wall is a highly adaptable organelle. In particular, the protein population that is anchored to the stress-bearing polysaccharides of the cell wall, and forms the interface with the outside world, is highly diverse. This diversity is believed to play an important role in adaptation of the cell to environmental conditions, in growth mode and in survival. Cell wall construction is tightly controlled and strictly coordinated with progression of the cell cycle. This is reflected in the usage of specific cell wall proteins during consecutive phases of the cell cycle and in the recent discovery of a cell wall integrity checkpoint. When the cell is challenged with stress conditions that affect the cell wall, a specific transcriptional response is observed that includes the general stress response, the cell wall integrity pathway and the calcineurin pathway. This salvage mechanism includes increased expression of putative cell wall assemblases and some potential cross-linking cell wall proteins, and crucial changes in cell wall architecture. We discuss some more enzymes involved in cell wall construction and also potential inhibitors of these enzymes. Finally, we use both biochemical and genomic data to infer that the architectural principles used by S. cerevisiae to build its cell wall are also used by many other ascomycetous yeasts and also by some mycelial ascomycetous fungi.