As the new year begins, we look forward to the most exciting projects planned to open in 2023. The world's second-tallest tower is currently under construction in Malaysia; Egypt is almost ready to open its largest archeological museum, while MVRDV is currently renovating a large-scale brutalist landmark in Albania. Featuring internationally renown architectural offices such as Snøhetta, OMA, Studio Gang, Zaha Hadid Architects, BIG, along with the latest winner of the Pritzker Prize, Francis Kéré, the following selection presents projects from all around the world. They also range in scale and program, from international airports to sculptural arts galleries or museum expansions.
Several projects presented here have also featured in the previous year's compilation. Resource availability and labor issues generated by the pandemic have also continued to influence opening schedules, but with a diminishing impact. Following the predicted trends for 2023, more and more projects involve the adaptive reuse of existing structures. An underlying theme is visible in the increased interest in expanding artistic and cultural venues and integrating historical heritage into the expression of contemporary architecture.
Read on to discover the projects we look forward to opening in 2023, in no particular order.
Snøhetta, in collaboration with ECADI, has been commissioned to design a new library in Beijing following an international competition. The project aims to create a new type of public space centered on learning, information exchange, and debate. A varied topography underneath a forest-like canopy defines the central common space. The 16-meter-high self-supporting glass façade ensures transparency, while the sculptural columns contain a distributed technology system that controls the interior climate, lighting, and acoustic comfort. The project is set to be completed in early 2023.
Dubbed the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, Studio Gang's expansion of the American Museum of Natural History Expansion in New York links together 10 museum buildings and creates a monumental campus for exhibition galleries, classrooms, and an immersive digital theater. The architecture is inspired by natural Earth processes like the formation of geological canyons and glacial structures. The result is an undulating cavernous structure made of reinforced concrete, with canyon-like openings and bridges offering visual connections to the project's many facilities.
The Buffalo AKG Art Museum, US / OMA/Shohei Shigematsu
The Buffalo AKG Art Museum is being renovated and expanded with a new campus designed by OMA in collaboration with Cooper Robertson. Designed with substantial input from communities throughout Western New York and the museum’s leadership, the campus adds 50,000 square feet of inclusive, interactive, and porous exhibition spaces alongside classrooms and an interior community gathering space. Formerly known as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the museum has announced that it will welcome its first visitors on the 25th of May, 2023.
The Abrahamic Family House is envisioned as a landmark project where three religions come together. The site is occupied by three main structures: a mosque, a synagogue, and a church. By bringing people of different faiths from across all layers of society, the initiative hopes to represent a step toward a peaceful coexistence for generations to come. The Higher Committee, which gathers Christian, Islamic and Jewish leaders, has selected Adjaye Associates have been selected as the winner of the competition to design the new ensemble in Abu Dhabi.
Initially proposed in 2013, the new project for Israel’s national school of art broke ground back in 2015. The design brings together 2,500 students and 500 faculty members as the school moves from its current location in an effort to revitalize the city center and connect to the urban fabric of Jerusalem. The long-awaited project is located at the crossroads of East and West Jerusalem, where secular, religious, Orthodox, and Muslim residents can come together.
In September 2022, MAD Architects revealed the construction details that enable the construction of the Aranya "Cloud Center", which appears to be floating above the landscape. Located in Qinhuangdao, 160 miles away from the east of Beijing, China, the 2,500-square-meters center will become a space for public art, marking the center of a sculptural landscape, conceptualized by the architects as a "white stone garden."
In February 2021, construction began on MVRDV's project for the Pyramid of Tirana, the rehabilitation of a communist monument transformed into a new hub for Tirana's cultural life. The project preserved the concrete shell while opening the atrium to the surroundings. A small village of cafes, studios, and workshops permeates the site of the former museum dedicated to Enver Hoxha.
Construction is nearing completion on the site of the Zhuhai Jinwan Civic Art Centre in China. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the project integrates four distinct cultural institutions: a 1200-seat Grand Theatre; a 500-seat Multifunctional Hall, a Science Centre; and an Art Museum. While each of the constructions has its unique characteristics, the interventions will be united by a structure that spans 170 meters wide from east to west and 270 meters long from north to south.
In December 2021, the skyscraper topped out at 678.9 meters, becoming the second-tallest building in the world behind Dubai’s Burj Kalifa. Designed by Australian firm Fender Katsalidis, the 118-story tall tower features a triangular faceted glass façade inspired by the patterns of traditional Malaysian art. The structure, along with the sprawling mall at its base, is set to complete in the second half of 2023.
Designed to accommodate some of humanity's most precious artifacts, the Grand Egyptian Museum has faced a series of delays since the design competition was first announced in 2002. While the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has not released an official confirmation, CNN reports that there are strong signs suggesting that 2023 will be the year the museum finally opens its doors. Upon completion, it will become the world's largest museum dedicated to one civilization.
The skyscraper topped out at Hudson Yards in New York in February 2021. The 66-story-high tower features a series of stepped landscaped terraces that wrap around the building, leading to its name, "the Spiral". The structure accommodates over 2.8 million square feet of office space, complete with outdoor spaces available to all tenants through a series of interconnected indoor atriums.
The newly renovated and extended Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts in Little Rock, US, is ready to open to the public on April 22, 2023. The Museum’s new architectural identity aims to signify its role as a leading arts institution in the region. One of the Museum’s most recognizable features, the folded plate concrete roof, spans the length of the building, connecting the new construction and the renovated spaces to create a coherent architectural character for the cultural institution.
Factory International, UK / OMA/Ellen van Loon
Factory International is OMA’s first major public project in the UK. The long-awaited project features an area of 13,350 square meters designed to host a broad range of art forms, from major exhibitions and large-scale concerts to intimate performances and immersive experiences. The project also includes public spaces along the River Irwell in Manchester animated through activities such as concerts, markets, and workshops. The OMA-designed venue will welcome its first visitors in June 2023. (link OMA)
The project represents Heatherwick Studio’s first built venture in Japan. The development is planned to add to the public realm of the Minato City of Tokyo, and will also include three towers by Pelli Clarke Pelli and a retail store designed by Sou Fujimoto. The overall experience will include offices, residential, retail, a school, a temple, and power stations.
The Goethe Institute in Dakar, Senegal, is the first purpose-built space for the German cultural association and its 60 years of worldwide activity. Located in a residential area, the design of the structure is informed by the canopy of trees on site. The construction employs local materials, including bricks made of laterite, a residual local rock with insulating properties that will help to passively regulate the indoor climate. The building provides spaces for exhibitions, language courses, concerts, and gatherings. The new institute is now expected to open its doors in the summer of 2023.
The new museum is located in the center of EL Paso, Texas, less than one kilometer from the US-Mexico border. The building is designed to stand out in the city's skyline and to become a civic classroom and energy point for the children and families from El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, the American southwest, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora. Furthermore, the vaulted volume of the museum is lifted from the ground to preserve and enhance public space.
The airport is located on the country's west coast and is part of the larger Red Sea Project and tourism development. The design was inspired by the "colors and textures of the desert landscape" and will feature a series of five pod structures arranged radially around a central drop-off and pick-up space. The five pods can be operated independently as small-scale terminals as the main ancillary spaces of the airport, the hangars, and logistic facilities are located in the two wings. The structure is planned to welcome up to one million passengers annually by 2030.
The Museum of Modern Art Warsaw and the TR Warszawa Theatre are planned to create a new art hub for Warsaw, Poland. The two new cultural entities will add a modern and contemporary touch to the rich heritage of the city. Designed by the New York-based studio Thomas Phifer and Partners, the new center of the arts will occupy a 22-acre site and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Commissioned in 2013 and originally planned for completion in 2020, the expansive 45,000 square meters facility is hoped to open to the public in 2023, as reported by The Times of Israel. Located on a prominent site in West Jerusalem, the National Library is at the base of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and adjacent to the Israel Museum, Science Museum, and Hebrew University. The concept behind the library keeps the books at the center of the design while allowing public spaces to flow around and through the building. Offset concentric circles pass through each floor of the building and culminate in a skylight that binds the project together.
The new air travel hub is conceptualized as a serene transportation experience, combining the image of the airport with that of a garden. The 255,000-square-meter scheme seeks to connect travelers with nature at every opportunity. Trees, small gardens, and ponds featuring local and exotic species of plants will line the interior, while a large indoor garden will contain rammed-earth walls and waterfalls, providing a gateway into the densely-landscaped retail space. Upon completion, the terminal will serve up to 25 million annual passengers.
The 28,000 sqm project in Prague, currently under construction, is designed to create a dialogue between the urban fabric of Prague's Old Town, known as ‘the city of 100 spires,’ and the external "fins" within Masaryčka’s façade. Built over a former car park, the structure introduces a new pedestrian route between Na Florenci Street in the north and Hybernská Boulevard to the south, enhancing the circulation and accessibility to the railway station. The building integrates the existing means of transit, a bus terminal, a metro line, and a future airport rail link.
The 330-meter mixed-use high-rise in central Tokyo, has topped out in early 2022, becoming the tallest building in Japan. The tower is part of the Tora Asa urban village, which aims to "forge a city within the city" and revitalize Tokyo's city center. The tower contains large-scale office spaces, residences, a medical center, a school, and retail facilities.
Snøhetta and WERK's winning proposal for a maritime center on the harbor of Esbjerg, Denmark, is set to open to the public in early 2023. The center is conceived as a shared space for watersport clubs and visitors of the port, providing the coastal town a maritime social hub. Its design, inspired by the craftsmanship of boats, pays homage to the maritime tradition while offering a wide array of social and sports facilities.
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