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best architecture 2017

22 Of The Most Ingenious Buildings Of 2017

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa In South Africa

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa In South Africa

Thomas Heatherwick’s studio in London, England has created a museum for Contemporary African Art in Cape Town, South Africa. The architects have taken a grain silo and hollowing out sections which have created 42 vertical concrete tubes. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa will house more than 80 galleries and be a part of the V&A Waterfront complex.

Apple Campus 2 – Cupertino, California

Apple Campus 2 – Cupertino, California

After 6 years in the working, Norman Foster’s firm revealed this amazing design for Apple’s new Cupertino campus. The architecture is design in an enormous hoop-shape and opened its doors to employees in April 2017 while still under construction. This beautiful structure is home to research and development facilities, offices, a fitness center, a cafe, and a 1,000-seat capacity auditorium. The facility was developed to increase creativity and collaboration among the staff. In 2011, it was estimated to cost $3 billion but ended out costing $5 billion.

The Lego House In Billund, Denmark

Located in the company’s hometown of Billund, the BIG’s new visitor centre for Lego is designed to resemble a stack of their famous plastic bricks. Bjarke Ingels, the studio founder, took the idea for his design from the basic two-by-four Lego bricks for its creation. The building contains areas for exhibitions, a cafe, shop, and a number of beautiful public roof gardens!

Chaoyang Park Plaza, China

Chaoyang Park Plaza, China

Over the past few years, Ma Yansong, founder of MAD, has been offering is ideas for a “Shan-Shui city”. This is an urban development spawned by forms that show the traditional Chinese landscape paintings. As of 2017, he unveiled his first example in Beijing. Chaoyang Park Plaza is a wonderful complex consisting of skyscrapers, offices, and public areas. The entire design looks like mountains, hills, and lakes!

The Alserkal Avenue, Cultural Centre in the United Arab Emirates

The Alserkal Avenue, Cultural Centre in the United Arab Emirates

Rem Koolhaas’s architectural firm has unveiled their first project in Dubai. This is an amazing cultural centre that will host huge public events, art exhibits, performances, and conferences.

The project transformed 4 warehouses with spray-on concrete exterior walls. Inside, there are 4 eight metre high movable walls that will rotate and slide to provide different levels of space configurations to fit the needs of the event.

 King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture In Saudi Arabia

King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture In Saudi Arabia

Snøhetta is an international architectural and interior designing firm based in Oslo, Norway and New York City. They have studios in San Francisco, Stockholm, Innsbruck, Austria, and Singapore. Craig Edward Dykers and Kjetil Traedal Thorsen, founding partners, have approximately 150 designs in the works worldwide.

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture is the largest project undertaken by Snøhetta. The center offers 100,000 square metres of cultural areas including an auditorium, library, exhibition hall, cinema, museum, and archive. The exterior consists of huge cylindrical metal-pipe forms and opened to the public in the second-half of 2017.

The Museum Of The Human Body in Montpellier, France

The Museum Of The Human Body in Montpellier, France

This 7,800 square metre structure offers 8 curbed interlocking areas with sloping roofs from the ground going in alternate directions. Some of these roofs are covered in turf while others are paved. The overall look is amazing! This is another creation of BIG, along with their Lego House.

The Guardian Art Center in Beijing, China

The Guardian Art Center in Beijing, China

Originally, this complex was estimated to open in 2016 but carried into 2017. Located between Beijing’s Forbidden City and the shopping district, it is the headquarters for China’s oldest art auction house with several galleries, areas for events, and a fabulous 120 room hotel.

The lower level comprises of small blocks which resemble the old hutong neighbourhoods. The large hollow structure known as the “floating ring” has been raised to the top. This entire complex is an amazing piece of art.

Seoul Skygarden, South Korea

Seoul Skygarden, South Korea

Inspired by New York’s High Line Elevated Park, many proposals have been put forward around the world. The first to be completed was an elevated road in Seoul and turned into a public park. This is the creation of MVRDV architects working with the Dutch design studio Studio Makkink & Bey, along with landscape designer Ben Kuipers. The overhauled, 938 metre long Seoul Station Overpass, created a pedestrian walkway with 254 species of trees, flowers, and shrubs.

 Design Society, China

Design Society, China

The V&A has a second project in the wings, the museum in Shenzhen which has been created in partnership with the China Merchants group. Designed by Fumihiko Makie, Japanese architect & Pritzker Prize winner. The Design Society is the first major design institution beating out Herzog & de Meuron Designs.

The Cotton Gin In Hutto, Texas

In order to revitalize the site at the Co-Op District in Hutto, Texas, the reuse of 2 existing cotton gin structures was purchased by the City of Hutto. The structures were taken down and rebuilt as a single open-air, 6,500 square foot public events environment. The building was wrapped in perforated stainless steel that is striking against the hot Texas sun. Amazingly, during the night hours, it offers an interesting transparency that should be seen.

The designers created a flexible space for both public and private events. This structure complements everything from the local library, farmer’s market, artisan fairs, and wedding receptions. It reflects the local environment and culture.

Victoria Gate Arcades in Leeds, UK

Victoria Gate Arcades in Leeds, UK

This expansive, shopping centre has been inspired and designed from nearby 19th-century arcades that complement each other. It is adorned with a woven, geometric patterned facade, reflecting the city’s bygone wool trade.

The Wolfson Tree Management Centre, UK

The Wolfson Tree Management Centre, UK

Constructed by local trainee carpenters, the two timber buildings were erected and adorned with local timber. The center is located at the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire and a wonderful testament to originality in carpentry!

Dyson Campus Expansion in the UK

Dyson Campus Expansion in the UK

Located at the Wiltshire HQ, these 3 new buildings offer a cafe, multi-purpose sports centre, and R&D facilities. They are so beautifully constructed that the external reflective glass seems to just disappear into the landscape, becoming a natural part of the surrounding, lush landscaping.

 The Tate Modern Blavatnik Building in the UK

The Tate Modern Blavatnik Building in the UK

Often referred to as the Switch House, this is an impressive extension to the Tate Modern on London’s Bankside. The structure offers a spacious gallery that leads to a free rooftop gallery, providing an amazing panoramic view of the city. The perforated chain mail facade has set a new precedence for the use of bricks.

Dujardin Mews in the UK

Dujardin Mews in the UK

This is the first phase of Ponders End in north London that was led by the council along with social housing delivered by the local borough in over 40 years. These wonderful new homes are built in the local style of London brick and are the first step in a massive rejuvenation of Enfield.

Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech

In 1966, world-famous French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent spent a great deal of time in Marrakech. During this time, he created an amazing couture collection. Now, there is a museum completely devoted to his work. Designed and created by Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier’s studio – Ko. With their years of experience designing beautifully crafted minimalist Moroccan homes, they have finally opened in the city.

Their building, set in a terracotta brick facade, represents fabric while the exquisite creamy walls of the entrance looks like fine silk. Visitors feel like they have just draped themselves in a Yves Saint Laurent designer outfit. The museum offers a complexity of venues from galleries, an auditorium, cafe, library, and bookshop.

The use of laurel, stained glass, glazed bricks, oak, marble, pearlescent tiles, and lacquered surfaces gives homage to the great designer himself.

Hastings Pier, East Sussex in the UK

Hastings Pier, East Sussex in the UK

This renovated seaside pier was initially completed in 2016 when Hastings-born lead singer of Madness, Suggs, placed down the last piece of the decking. This festive structure won the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize which is the architect’s equivalent to the Turn Prize. Alex de Rijkke and Sadie Morgan’s firm, dRMM, not only provided their expertise as designers but also worked with the local initiative which was led by the Hasting Piers Society. They all agreed to bring a wonderful new look to the battered and burned Victorian structure, which was often the fate of many seaside piers. This structure now dons a brand new look with modern pavilions and is embraced by all. 516

Juergen Teller Studio in London

Juergen Teller Studio in London

Set in a London suburban street, this unpretentious studio is home to German-born artist and photographer, Juergen Tell. He showed everyone how to turn ugly and narrow city areas into something special! His grey concrete facade hides a structure designed from three individual blocks, offices, and an archive. Above, a studio, dining room, and private quarters surrounded by garden courtyards. The textured concrete is offset by the streaming of sunlight that adds intriguing shadows and lush greenery.

The gardens were designed by Dan Pearson, reflecting the natural growth of greenery from London’s bombsites that started taking place after WWII. The surrounding buildings were taken over by plant life similar to the ruins of Pompeii. There are a series of courtyards that are hidden by the glare of neighbours. Teller’s studio has created a modern yet reminiscent feel of the ancient Roman homes that were wedged into thickly occupied, restrictive areas of the city.

Louvre Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates

Reflecting the original Louvre in Paris, this is an amazing art gallery. Set on the Saadiyat Island, that is located off the coast of Abu Dhabi, will be completed around 2020. Nouvel’s new Louvre is designed like a modern Medina which is based on the traditional Arab city centres. Surrounded by walls and alleys that are formed like mazes, this is an exceptional concept. The museum consists of 23 galleries that are designed like separate city buildings, protected from the sun with its enormous, intricate dome that almost seems to float above everyone. There are 7,850 perforated, interlaced steel and aluminum panels and the dome brings in a play of light that fills the museum’s alleys.

Napoli-Afragola Railway Station in Naples, Italy

Napoli-Afragola Railway Station in Naples, Italy

This glorious new station is one of 13 for the expanded high-speed rail system with over 80 tracks that connect the overlooked outer areas of Naples. This is a spectacular bridge formation that emphasizes the 300 kph railways and their pristine trains. The main stations offer ticket offices, cafes, offices, and amazing views of Mount Vesuvius that are mysterious but also haunting. This was a challenge for the Italian State Railways engineers because this region has such a history of earthquakes and volcanoes. The engineers did come up with a design and structure that is not only dynamic but a great feat of excellence.

Tianjin Binhai Library in Tianjin, China

Tianjin Binhai Library in Tianjin, China

This Chinese library looks like a giant eye looking out at everyone and all who stop by must take photos to bring home. This is an impressive piece of architecture with the pupil of the eye serving as the circular auditorium which is located in the centre of this five-story, and eye socket-like appearance for the hall. The hall’s white walls are loaded with books that, in some cases, are literally stacked from end to end. That said, some of these books are not really books, they are a part of the plan. Quite cleverly, the upper, unreachable shelves have aluminum panels that are in a print that look likes books!

In Conclusion

There are so many wonderful ideas and creative innovations taking place around the world with architectural designing. New and upcoming designers with new visions are creating unbelievable, original concepts. Who knows what tomorrow will bring and what exceptional works will be on the top of the list for 2018. Only time will tell but there will always be new ideas and new visions of creativity, as long as there are people who think outside the box.

Recent Research Has Discovered A New Chamber In The Great Pyramid Of Giza In Egypt!

Probably one of the most renown architectures in the entire world is the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. It is considered the oldest of the Seven Wonders and has been researched for hundreds of years by anthropologists and archaeologists.

The Great Pyramid was completed around 2560 BC and has always been surrounded by many mysteries. Many anthropologists and archaeologists that have studied the 455-foot pyramid came to the conclusion that there were no more hidden chambers to be found within its walls.

That said, a new article published in The Nature has announced that an unknown chamber has been discovered in the pyramid. This definitely has caused an enormous stir in the Egyptology community and has people scrambling for answers.

Going back in time, the walls of the Great Pyramid were first entered in the Middle Ages. This was the first time anyone understood the inner workings and construction of the pyramid. Overall these centuries, there are still many things that are unknown about this pyramid. This led to why it has been researched and studied for centuries by those looking for answers revolving around this massive structure.

Archaeologists have long known about the three major chambers within the pyramid. The King’s Chamber, The Queen’s Chamber, and The Grand Gallery. According to the latest article published in Nature, scanning through the rocks has discovered another area. Although archaeologists do not fully understand its size, its parallel to the ground or its angle, they do believe it is substantial and comparable to the Grand Gallery. The Grand Gallery is 154 feet long and 28 feet high.

The team that has been assembled to study this space believe it is approximately 68 feet above ground level. What this chamber was originally used for is still unknown and will probably take many years or even decades to reveal its mystery.

Archaeologists have always dedicated their lives and the patience to understand this amazing ancient culture. This will, once again, entice them to reveal this incredible find! The Nature stated: “There are still many architectural hypotheses to consider”.

The Great Pyramid was originally built as a testament to Pharaoh Khufu who was considered one of the greatest Pharaohs who ever lived. There has never been any doubt that the builders of this Great Pyramid were geniuses that are still leaving modern man trying a figure out the secrets hidden within. It has been over 4,500 years since its construction and archaeologists are still looking for answers regarding its mysteries.

Save Dunelm House in Durham

Commonly known as the Durham Students’ Union, Dunelm House in Durham UK is facing a very bleak future. The Dept. for Culture Media and Sports (DCMS) told the Architect’s Newspaper (AN) that Secretary of State Karen Bradley has been approached to issue a Certificate of Immunity from Listing (COI). This is a campaign to save the building.

Durham University has applied for a COI in April of last year. They have also launched a competition for redesigning the concrete structure. Last December, Bradley avoided calls from Historic England to award the Brutalist 51-year-old building a Grade II listing status.

The university contends that restoring Dunelm House would be far too expensive, running an estimated $18-million.

Brutalist architecture is a movement in architecture that was popular from the 1950s to the mid-1970s. It descended from the modernist architectural movement of the early 20th century. Peter and Alison Smithson met while studying architecture at Durham University and noted this style of architecture has very deep roots in Durham.

Since the time of its opening, Dunelm House has won the 1966 RIBA Bronze Medal and the Civic Trust Award. The Dept. for Culture Media and Sports (DCMS) announced that through consideration, it has decided that Dunelm House does not meet the historic or special architectural interest required for listing.

Dunelm House was designed by Architects’ Co-Partnership and engineered by Ove Arup. The materials and form used, complimented Arup’s Grade I Kingsgate Bridge which was also completed in 1966. The Kingsgate Bridge has odd details such as chains attached to the concrete for tying the structure down.

The slopes are in harmony with the terrain of the site which dramatically veers down to the River Wear’s banks. There are also incredible views of the 937-year-old Durham Cathedral which rises to incredible heights above trees that form the landscape integrated with the Kingsgate Bridge.

Historic England has stated this building should be listed due to its superb example of the 1960s university architecture. The university’s argument that it would be too expensive to restore falls short of the simple fact that it would be twice as expensive to replace it with anything meaningful. No one seems able to follow the reasoning behind the DCMS overturning the advice of Historic England. Their statement does absolutely nothing to answer questions and concerns.

Dunelm House is an exceptional piece of modern architecture. It’s boldness and originality speaks volumes of the rich culture of the great architectures of its time. The university’s belief that they can construct something, even half as good, at a lower cost than repairing Dunelm House is living in a total fantasy! It’s a significant building that works with and complements its surroundings. It’s aggressive, captures your attention, and is an important part of the River Wear. It offers a peaceful place and the more time one spends there, it evokes something so very friendly.

Why This Building Is So Important
Dunelm House was completed in 1966 by the Architects’ Co-Partnership and engineered by Ove Arup. Arup was born in Heaton, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and was considered one of the greatest engineers of the 20th century. He played an important role in pioneering engineering projects worldwide. He was the designer and supervisor of the Kingsgate Bridge and as the design engineer for the world famous Sydney Opera House.

An Honorary Geordie, Arup believed Kingsgate Bridge was one of the most important projects in his career. He requested his ashes be scattered from the bridge upon his death in 1988.

Dunelm House and Kingsgate are connected as a union of structures that depend on each other. They are the two most significant structures in the United Kingdom if not all of Europe or the entire world. They are at the doorway of Durham so why would anyone want to lose or damage these treasures?

It Is Old, Ugly, Dirty Concrete
It’s concrete and therefore needs to be cleaned. If your home wasn’t cleaned for 50 + years, it wouldn’t look too nice either. The building does need work but the university calculates it will cost £14.7m to restore. Although that might seem like a great deal of money, it’s no more than renovations to other university buildings. Keep in mind what it will cost to demolish it, bury it in a landfill and then rebuild on top of it. Would the land even be sustainable?

The Building Can Not Accommodate New Users
This is simply a statement by the university to justify their master plan to put another building in its place. Of course, there would be a significant investment but their master plan is not justifiable with their existing building plans. Wouldn’t it be wiser to adjust the master plan instead of trying to put a round peg into a square hole?

Demolition is highly unsustainable, wasteful, and very costly both environmentally and financially. That should be the very last resort when everything else fails. The building is not falling down, it’s a testimonial to one of the greatest engineers of the 20th century!

The Roof Leaks
All roofs leak at some point in time. Your modern roofs are only guaranteed for 20 years. Dunelm House’s roof is over 50-years old. It needs a new roof just like so many other buildings! The university has been aware of this condition for well over 10 years and now it’s time to fix it!

It Costs Too Much To Repair
Durham University has estimated redesign and repairs would cost at least £14.7m. With an interior of 3,980 sqm, it is estimated the cost would reach £3600 per sqm. Although that might seem steep, the cost for the Durham University’s new Ogden Center for Fundamental Physics costs £11.5m per sqm, that was a staggering £4,640 per sqm!

A completely new building on top of Dunelm House will cost millions more due to demolition , disposal of Dunelm House into a landfill, numerous complexities of the site due to terrain, retaining walls, structural requirements, and access issues that will make the project very complex and very costly. Refurbishing the current building will be a great deal cheaper than a new building.

A New Building Will Make Durham A World Class City
Durham is already a world class university city! Its diverse architecture over the past millennium includes the 20th century. The university is a huge patron of modern architecture, especially during the 60s. Why fix something that is not broken? Why undo great architecture and lose it forever?

Look at very successful refurbishments to modernist buildings such as Park Hil in Sheffield (Hawkins Brown) or the Barbican in London (AHMM) completed just 10 years ago. Both are successful projects, prestigious, award-winning, high profile, world class buildings that have celebrated the value of the Twentieth Century Architecture. New is not always better! Keep Durham on the world class stage. New and modern will not work but will simply remove Durham from its current position!

A petition to help save the building is available online and naturally, there is a Save Dunelm House Twitter page.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-dunelm-house