It is now just over a year since the unveiling of Zaha Hadid’s Al-Wakrah Stadium in Doha, Qatar, and in the intervening twelve months, it seems like the building has never been out of the news. Most recently, remarks made by Hadid concerning the deaths of construction workers under Qatar’s questionable working conditions created a media firestorm of legal proportions. Hadid’s stadium has been widely mocked for its ‘biological’ appearance, not to mention the fact that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, for which the stadium will be built, has encountered a storm of controversy all of its own.
The criticism surrounding Al Wakrah has prompted us to look far and wide for the world’s most debated buildings. Could Al Wakrah be the most controversial building of all time? Check out ArchDaily’s roundup of nine contenders after the break.
Find out which buildings top our controversial list after the break
Bloomberg Philanthropies has awarded its 2014 Mayors Challenge to Barcelona, selecting its plan to deal with the problems of an ageing population over the proposals of 20 other European cities shortlisted earlier this year. The award, developed to promote the most creative and transferable solutions to intractable social problems such as public health, unemployment and transportation, carries a €5 million prize for Barcelona to put toward implementing the plan. In addition, four runners-up – Athens, Kirklees, Stockholm and Warsaw - will also receive €1 million each for their own plans.
“To meet the biggest challenges of the 21st century, city leaders must think creatively and be unafraid to try new things – and the Mayors Challenge is designed to help them do that,” said Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Read on after the break to learn more about the proposals of Barcelona and the four runners-up
The Basilica of the Sagrada Família in Barcelona have laid out their planned milestones for the forthcoming year, visualising it in a short film that begins to piece together Antoni Gaudí’s incredible vision. The Sacristy and Raking Cornice will be constructed between this year and next, while new stained glass windows will be installed flooding the interior spaces with evermore coloured light.
Arguably there are only two architects in history that have become almost completely synonymous with one particular city – Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Glasgow and Antoní Gaudi for Barcelona. Indeed, a Catalonian architect, Enric Miralles, designed the Scottish Parliament Building in Holyrood, Edinburgh. The fact that both of these cities are part of large enclaves who are seeking, or have sought, independence is perhaps just a coincidence. Architecture, often used as a symbol for the identity of nationhood, will certainly be part of a wider dialogue about the Union of the United Kingdom following yesterday’s referendum.
For architects, it is a project perhaps more recognizable in plan than in photograph. The dazzling rhythmic complexity of the construction drawings for Barcelona’s Olympic Archery Range, completed in 1991, brought more fame to the 1992 Olympic event than any arrow shot from the buildings’ shadow. The drawings show an overlay of organic curves and rectilinear shapes working in sublime harmony, producing a composition that clearly conveys both the architects’ concept and the process through which it was developed. Amazingly, the project is no less spectacular in person than on paper, and its completion helped launch the husband-and-wife partnership of Enric Miralles and Carme Pinós into international stardom.