The construction of high rise buildings did not commence until the late 1800’s but sustained its development well past the turn of the century with the first states to see this new growth being New York and Chicago. Through the years the rest of the world decided to join along in redesigning the architectural structure of their skyline but was only able to do so based on their countries economic growth and stability. Today we live in a world where the construction industry has merged closely with some of the finest known architects to not only build the tallest skyscrapers but to give the world a taste of what the future of architecture will look like. Every year more and more outstanding buildings arise from the ground, and the year of 2016 was not an exception:
1. Herzog & de Meuron’s “Jenga Tower”, Manhattan
Herzog & de Meuron’s design comprises an assemblage of glass cuboids, some of which are offset from one another, like a tower of wooden Jenga blocks in the middle of a game. It follows a trend in architecture for irregularly stacked boxes, with other examples planned for New York including BIG’s replacement for Foster + Partners’ Two World Trade Center skyscraper and a trio of towers on the Williamsburg waterfront.
2. Bjarke Ingels’ Serpentine Pavilion Surface
Described by the Danish architect as “both transparent and opaque, both solid box and blob”, this year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is designed as a simple wall that has been distorted into a more freeform shape. Viewed side-on, the pavilion is rectangular. But when seen from the front or at an angle, its curving silhouette is revealed. It also changes from opaque to see-through, depending on the viewing angle.
3. Jean Nouvel’s Domed Louvre, Abu Dhabi
The striking and innovative Louvre Abu Dhabi building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel: ‘I wanted this building to mirror a protected territory that belongs to the Arab world and this geography.’ Combining modern architecture and inspiration drawn from the region’s traditions, the design reflects the desire to create a universal museum in which all cultures are brought together. Situated on the Saadiyat Island, Louvre Abu Dhabi is poised between sand and sea. Providing a haven of coolness, the building forms a place of shade during the day and ‘an oasis of light under a spangled dome’ at night.
4. Diller Scofidio+Renfro’s “Cascading Campus”
The Columbia University Medical Center’s new state-of-the-art medical and graduate education building — the Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center — now looms large over the neighborhood. The 14-story glass and concrete tower, located in Washington Heights in Northern Manhattan, was designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler and forms an extraordinary new educational hub for New York City’s next generation of medical students.
5. OMA Taipei Performing Arts Center
OMA’s Taipei Performing Arts Center (TPAC) has topped out in a ceremony including Taipei’s mayor Hau Lung-pin, and OMA’s Partners in charge of the project, Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten. The rigidly geometric form is clearly expressed with it’s central cube supporting three protruding auditoriums, two cubic and one spherical. The design of the TPAC is in many ways experimental, incorporating a looped public path which shows off the building’s backstage areas, and flexible auditoriums which can even be combined, offering extraordinary stage spaces that allow performances which would be impossible in any other theater.
6. Mahanakhon Tower in Bangkok
At 1,029 feet, the MahaNakhon is now the tallest building in Thailand. The 77-story tower beats the skyscraper that previously held the title, Baiyoke Tower II, by 33 feet. The building is designed for a mix of retail, hotel and residential use — it holds 200 condo units managed by Ritz-Carlton Residences.
7. Zaha Hadid Crystalline Port Authority in Antwerp
Zaha Hadid’s second posthumous project to be completed (after the oyster-shaped Maritime Terminal in Salerno, Italy, this past April) is the new Port House in the Belgian city of Antwerp. Composed of a restored early–20th century fire station with a new 364-foot-long glazed structure above it, the building overlooks both port and city, and shimmers as if in motion, an effect amplified by a massive angled concrete “leg” and cantilever at one end, and faceted triangular glass panels on the other.
8. Shenzhen Museum
As part of the Futian Cultural District masterplan, the firm created two distinct volumes that are unified by a translucent skin and a series of stone louvers. The twisting, tessellated form is raised above the ground by several meters in order to match the height of the surrounding buildings. The interior reveals a labyrinthine swell of glazed skylights supported by a frame of steel trusses. The glazing encircles a massive silver ‘cloud,’ a centerpiece of the complex’s main entrance area the ‘plaza,’ containing the central stairs.”
9. Pennovation Center in Philadelphia
The Pennovation Works is a unique blend of offices, labs, and production space being developed by The University of Pennsylvania to bridge the intellectual and entrepreneurial initiatives for advancing knowledge and generating economic development. Built into a three-storey concrete and brick industrial building on the site’s northern edge, Pennovation Center, designed by Hollwich Kushner and KSS, fronts a boldly patterned black on white plaza. The design team painted the building’s concrete frame bright white, creating a powerfully gridded backdrop, along with an A-shaped entryway.
10. National Music Center in Canada
Allied Works was selected to design the National Music Centre of Canada (NMC) following an international competition in 2009. The building is a gathering of resonant vessels that hold the many diverse programs, spaces and experiences of the National Music Centre. Nine towers form the body of the building; the vessel walls, clad in terra cotta, rise in subtle curves that merge, part and intertwine, modeled by light, gravity and acoustics. Entering from the street, the building is filled with the reverberation of voices and music, drawing visitors up into five floors of performance, education and collections spaces.
11. A Labyrinthine Art Auditorium
Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, an artistic collaboration between architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh, have created a labyrinthine intervention at the heart of the c-mine arts centre in Genk, Belgium. The development of this sculptural-spatial intervention has its foundations in the artists’ interest in fundamental architectural typologies; earlier installations of theirs have been based on structures like the city gate, the bridge, the wall, and the dome. Here, the “age-old” form of the labyrinth” is explored as a spatial experience in a unique composition of wall and void.
12.Tao Yin Yuan in Taiwan
Also known as Tao Zhu Yin Yuan, the eco-friendly residential tower is being developed by BES Engineering Corporation on one of the largest designated residential sites in Taipei that once housed the five-star Agora Garden hotel. The 20-storey Agora Tower is designed to resemble the double helix structure of DNA, with two helicoidal towers twisting around a fixed central core. The building will contain two or four apartments on each floor of the building.
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