With our annual Building of the Year Awards, over 30,000 readers narrowed down over 3,000 projects, selecting just 14 as the best examples of architecture that ArchDaily has published in the past year. The results have been celebrated and widely shared, of course, usually in the form of images of each project. But what is often forgotten in this flurry of image sharing is that every one of these 14 projects has a backstory of significance which adds to our understanding of their architectural quality.
Some of these projects are intelligent responses to pressing social issues, others are twists on a well-established typology. Others still are simply supreme examples of architectural dexterity. In order that we don't forget the tremendous amount of effort that goes into creating each of these architectural masterpieces, continue reading after the break for the 14 stories that defined this year's Building of the Year Awards.
After two weeks of nominations and voting, we are pleased to present the winners of the 2015 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards. As a peer-based, crowdsourced architecture award, the results shown here represent the collective intelligence of 31,000 architects, filtering the best architecture from over 3,000 projects featured on ArchDaily during the past year.
The winning buildings represent a diverse group of architects, from Pritzker Prize winners such as Álvaro Siza, Herzog & de Meuron and Shigeru Ban, to up-and-coming practices such as EFFEKT and Building which have so far been less widely covered by the media. In many cases their designs may be the most visually striking, but each also approaches its context and program in a unique way to solve social, environmental or economic challenges in communities around the world. By publishing them on ArchDaily, these buildings have helped us to impart inspiration and knowledge to architects around the world, furthering our mission. So to everyone who participated by either nominating or voting for a shortlisted project, thank you for being a part of this amazing process, where the voices of architects from all over the world unite to form one strong, intelligent, forward-thinking message.
We love seeing a project through fruition, and after being introduced to the collaborative vision of the Iceberg for Arhus, Denmark, we were anxiously awaiting its construction. As we have previously shared, the Iceberg, or “Isbjerget” in Danish, was designed as an iconic waterfront marker to invigorate the harbor front’s transformation from a sole industrial entity to a residential and commercial hub. Construction is swiftly progressing on the four building block, and earlier this week, the team enjoyed the project’s “topping out” ceremony. More about the Iceberg after the break.
Back in June, we sharedJDS‘ winning mixed use project for Hangzhou, China. Conceptualized as the iconic link that fuses two prominent parts of the city, the Hangzhou H project is a dynamic experiment of formal expression. The tiered volume opens pedestrian connections at the ground level, and supports a generous landscape that functions as a rain water retainer on the roof level. The young firm has just received the necessary building permits, and will begin construction in March of 2012. We’ll keep you covered on the building’s progress, and be sure to view our previous coverage of the winning competition proposal here.
Just in time for the holidays, the Brooklyn Night Bazaar will return to a Williamsburg warehouse the 15th through 17th of December. The Bazaar will re-imagine the sights, sounds and smells of traditional markets and will be filled with independent vendors selling artwork, accessories, and furniture, along with great music and food. Our friends from Danish firm JDS will be designing the master plan for the Bazaar and different furniture pieces after the firm captured the attention of the Bazaar organizers with their innovative ski jump in Norway. More about the bazaar after the break.
Although Brazil has been growing quickly as a nation, its economic growth has been stinted by the country’s lack of investment in infrastructure. In preparation for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Brazil is expected to spend over one trillion dollars from the Brazilian government and as much as $34 billion from private investors. The money will go toward numerous construction projects designed to increase and improve upon Brazil’s roads, railways, stadiums, hotels and airports. More information after the break.
This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to Copenhagen. This is our first stop in Europe, and admittedly the selection was not completely unbiased. While studying at the Danish Building Research Institute a few years ago I couldn’t help but fall in love with Copenhagen’s architecture. The Danish attention to detail is absolutely stunning. Besides the wonderful historic architecture, Copenhagen is filled with contemporary architecture of the highest quality. Remarkably, you rarely find the new clashing with the old. More often than not, the contemporary architecture in Copenhagen actually heightens the experience of the historic buildings and streets. Last week our readers suggested so many great buildings I decided to double the usual number of buildings to 24. This still did not come close to including all the suggestions or even some of my favorites, so we will be looking to expand on this list in the near future. Once again thanks to all our readers for your help. As the list is incomplete please add your favorites in the comment section below. The Architecture City Guide: Copenhagen list and corresponding map after the break.
One of our favorites, CEBRA, (and their collaboraters JDS, SeARCH and Louis Paillard) shared their latest winning competition entry. Situated in Aarhus, Denmark, right in front of the harbor, the21.500 m2 project features mixed dwellings types and commercial space. The project receives its jagged heights to allow better views toward the ocean and better daylight conditions, and the tops and bottoms are shifted so that views between the volumes become possible. This breakdown of the mass creates the potential for an “iconic” building for the harbor area, and one that, due to its form, creates its own skyline within itself. There’s just something about the Danes’ approaches, like BIG + Cebra, where they tackle simple realities, such as light and views, and allow their whole building to respond them in an unconventional and dynamic way.
More images, diagrams and more information about the winning design after the break.
During 2009 the Guggenheim Museum celebrated its 50th anniversary. And now, the museum commissioned nearly 200 artists, architects and designers to imagine their dream interventions on the most significative space of Frank Lloyd Wright’s building, the central void. “Contemplating the void” will be on exhibit at the Museum from Feb 12th until Apr 28th. We are going to present you some of the interventions proposed by the architects, starting with “Experience the void” by danish practice JDS. JDS/Julien De Smedt Architects proposal is architecture turned into enjoyment and participation. Instead of contemplating the void we propose to experience it by letting a trampoline net spiral down the rotunda space. The experience plays with Wright’s original scenography for the Guggenheim: to visit the exhibition downwards.
We all know that the Dutch are experts on reclaiming land from the sea. And with all this new land, come new cities. One of these is Almere, a city founded in 1984, which is growing fast into becoming the fifth largest city in the Netherlands. This growing city is now into the process of consolidating a new center, Olympiakwartier, envisioned on a larger master plan for a sustainable city by Mecanoo.
By 2030, Almere expects to grow into a city with a stronger identity and a total of 350,000 inhabitants, which involves the building of 60,000 new homes and the creation of 100,000 new jobs for the expected 150,000 new inhabitants. For this, Amsterdam based housing association Housing Stadgenoot commissioned MVRDV to be planner for 60,000m2 work space, 120,000m2 housing (1,000 homes), 15,000m2 education, 2,000m2 commercial space, 2,640 parking spaces and various public spaces. This total has been split into 93 volumes of which MVRDV will design 45. The plan demands individual development of the buildings: a dense mix of living and working leading to a complex urban condition. Retail, a public square and communal gardens are also part of the comprehensive plan which introduces inner city life to the mostly suburban typology of Almere. Flexibility is a key objective: All ground floors and part of the office and apartment buildings are designed to facilitate future change of use. In this way the owner, Stadgenoot, can adjust the district more and more to the needs of the growing new town and its inhabitants.
The remaining 48 buildings (500m2 to 5,000m2) are going to be designed by a selected group of 24 international practices, including established and emerging offices (see list after the break).
This project is very ambitious, with the potential of becoming a milestone on urban planning, apart from recent mega projects by groups of architects we have seen lately, which can be very innovative in terms of form or solving individual housing problems, but lack of a clear master plan that make all the individual architect’s efforts act as a whole. It sort of reminds me of the Weissenhof Estate, lets hope this one becomes an example for future architects.