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Unesco World Heritage Site: The Latest Architecture and News

Italy to Rebuild the Colosseum with Retractable Floor

The Colosseum will undergo a renovation with a new, retractable floor platform. In ancient Rome, thousands gathered to watch enslaved gladiators, criminals, and wild animals fight to the death. These fighters and caged animals would emerge from the ground through secret tunnels beneath the arena’s wooden and sand-covered floor. Colosseum director Alfonsina Russo told the Times that the plan is to host concerts and theater productions on the new floor.

Medieval Brutalism: The Entrance of Switzerland's Castelgrande Captured by Simone Bossi

Situated on Ticino's rocky peaks are the historic Medieval Castles of Bellinzona: Montebello, Sasso Corbaro, and Castelgrande. And while all three castles and their fortifications have become part of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, it is not only the ancient walls that leave visitors enchanted, but the gateways that leads to them.

Architectural photographer Simone Bossi decided to solely capture the castle's entrance, displaying how a dialogue between the organic forms of nature and refined man-made walls can be as majestic as a historic fortress.

A Visual Journey within the Sanctuary of Wadi Rum

Delicately excavated from the natural grounds of Jordan’s Wadi Rum, Jordanian architect Rasem Kamal transformed the phrase of “form follows function” into “subtraction follows function”, emphasizing the relationship between external form and internal space with a resort that promises a sanctuary both above and underground.

In the newly-released video of the proposal, the architect uncovers the hidden resort and takes viewers on an enchanting walkthrough of the proposed Wadi Rum Sanctuary Resort. Kamal complements the desert’s jagged landscape with the resort’s subtle architecture, letting the structure blend seamlessly with its surroundings.

Jean Nouvel Designs Resort in Saudi Arabia, Hidden Within Rock Dwellings

Jean Nouvel has just unveiled his design for Sharaan, a resort hidden within the rock dwellings of AlUla, a cultural oasis in north-west Arabia. Showcasing a modern take on millennia-old ways of living, the project puts in place monumental designs carved into the rocks, respecting and preserving the landscape. Inspired by the nearby Hegra, Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the concept takes a curatorial approach bringing together landscape and history.

© Jean Nouvel© Jean Nouvel© Jean Nouvel© Jean Nouvel+ 13

6 UNESCO Cultural Sites Virtually Rebuilt in Gifs

Budget Direct and NeoMam Studios, a creative studio based in the UK, have created a series of animated gifs restoring 6 UNESCO cultural sites and showcasing how these ruins would have looked like if they had been preserved. Bringing to life endangered sites, the project includes the recently destroyed ruins of Palmyra in Syria and Hatra in Iraq, demolished by ISIS in 2015.

CRA Reveals BIOTIC, a 1-Million Square Meter Extension of Brasilia's Historical Master Plan

CRA - Carlo Ratti Associati has unveiled a major extension for Brazilia, reinterpreting “Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer’s modernist master plan for Biotic - a high-tech innovation district immersed in nature”. Developed in collaboration with Ernst&Young, the project that started in 2018 reimagines primarily the superblocks.

Courtesy of Carlo Ratti AssociatiCourtesy of Carlo Ratti AssociatiCourtesy of Carlo Ratti AssociatiCourtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati+ 6

Architectural Works that Were Declared World Heritage Sites in the Last Decade

World Heritage Site is the title given to specific places on the globe (landscapes, cultural routes, cities, or architectural structures) by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, as a way to recognize their natural or cultural relevance and to encourage their preservation. Up to 2019, 1121 places in over 167 countries have been declared World Heritage Sites, of which 869 are cultural, 213 natural and 39 are mixed category.

The 'Manhattan of the Desert': Shibam, Yemen's Ancient Skyscraper City

Walking through narrow chaotic alleys dwarfed by soaring towers, few would estimate the age of Yemen's city of Shibam at nearly 1,700 years. Located in Yemen's central Hadhramaut district, Shibam has roots in the pre-Islamic period, and evidence of construction dating from the 9th century.

Shibam is known as the first city on earth with a vertical masterplan. A protected UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982, the city is home to densely packed buildings ranging from four to eight storeys, beginning in 300 AD but now mostly built after 1532. Thanks to a fortified ring wall, the city has survived nearly two thousand years despite its precarious position adjacent to the wadi floodplain.

Enter the ancient walled world of Shibam after the break

© Wikimedia CC user Aiman titiShibam rooftops. Image © Flickr CC user maartenF© Wikimedia CC user Jialiang GaoHaroon Alrashid Mosque in Shibam. Image © Flickr CC user Najeeb Musallam+ 6

Foster+Partners Reveal Conceptual Design for Winery in Saint-Émilion, France

Foster + Partners have released images for their proposal for the new Le Dôme winery in Saint-Émilion, the firm’s second winery in the Bordeaux area, the first being Château Margaux in 2015. Located in a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape, the design blends seamlessly with the topography.

Mixed-Use Project in the Cultural City of Riga Receives Planning Approval

The Latvian city of Riga, the largest between the three Baltic states, is undergoing a cultural and urban renaissance. The city's pedestrian-only Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with several museums, cultural centers, and restaurants, attracting thousands of new visitors every year.

London-based architecture firm AI Studio have received planning approval for the development of a mixed-use tower in the Latvian capital, featuring retail stores, offices, restaurants, and public spaces.

© Photoreal3D© Photoreal3D© Photoreal3D© Photoreal3D+ 17

MDDM Design Winning Proposal for Oscar Niemeyer’s Fair in Tripoli

The international competition for the design of the Knowledge Innovation Center (KIC), part of the Tripoli Special Economic Zone (TSEZ), selected the proposal of MDDM, a Beirut based architectural firm, as the winning project. Taking place in the Rachid Karami International Fair designed by Oscar Niemeyer back in the ’60s, in Tripoli, Lebanon, the imagined intervention had to be functionaly and conceptually compliant to specific requirements.

MDDM winning proposal. Image © MDDMMDDM winning proposal. Image © MDDMMDDM winning proposal. Image © MDDMMDDM winning proposal. Image © MDDM+ 17

FCBStudios Reimagines Industrial Heritage of Cornwall to Revitalize UNESCO Harbor Site

Hayle North Quay. Image Courtesy of Forbes MassieHayle North Quay. Image Courtesy of FCBStudiosHayle North QuayHayle North Quay+ 9

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios has received unanimous planning approval for the third phase of work in Cornwall. Called Hayle North Quay, the 20 acre mixed use regeneration project was made to create a contemporary harbourside as part of the region's UNESCO World Heritage Site. The scheme draws inspiration from Cornish coal wharf heritage and the natural landscape to creating a vibrant vision for Cornwall's coast.

8 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings Given UNESCO World Heritage Status

Eight buildings by acclaimed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Titled “The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright,” the list of eight major works is a revision of a previous application lodged in February 2015. Submitted by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, the list spans Wright’s 70-year career with schemes such as Unity Temple, Taliesin West, Fallingwater, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Buddhist Monasteries and Spain's Islamic Palace-City Among 19 New Sites Added to UNESCO's World Heritage List

© Council for Inscription of Buddhist Mountain
© Council for Inscription of Buddhist Mountain

After carefully deliberating in their annual session, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee selected 19 new sites to inscribe on the World Heritage List in the city of Manama in Bahrain. Featuring 13 cultural sites such as Buddhist mountain monasteries in Korea, the industrial city of Ivrea in Italy, and the Caliphate city of Medina Azahara in Spain, alongside three natural sites and three mixed sites (classified as both cultural and natural heritage), the list now aggregates to 1092 sites in 167 countries.

From the historical Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul to the contemporary city of Brasilia orchestrated by Oscar Niemeyer, the World Heritage List has continuously exhibited varied examples of architecture and urban planning from different eras and movements from around the world. Amongst the new additions, there are several sites of religious importance, city organization, and natural conservation.

© Madinat al-Zahra Archaeological Site (CAMaZ)/M. Pijuán© IPOGEA© DAI/Göbekli Tepe Project© Förderverein Welterbe an Saale und Unstrut/Guido Siebert+ 15

8 Treasured Historic Architecture Sites That Have Hosted Huge Rock Concerts

Thanks to their loud, brash, and nocturnal nature, rock concerts are often held in dark bars and nightclubs designed to withstand the abuse of rowdy fans and guitar-smashing rockers. But as musicians earn a following, they eventually graduate from beer-soaked basements to prestigious theaters, outdoor amphitheaters, arenas, and stadiums. For performers and music fans alike, playing or attending a show in a space like Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Madison Square Garden or Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater can be a momentous, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that ties together the sublime power that great music and architecture can both evoke. As rare as these opportunities are, an exclusive group of iconic musicians have managed to reach an even higher level of prestige by organizing one-off performances amid humanity’s most treasured historical sites—from the Acropolis and ancient Mayan cities to the Colosseum and the Eiffel Tower.

While these special concerts have given fans the chance to experience music history firsthand, many have also been mired in scandal as local officials and residents have raised concerns about potential damage to the sites or inappropriate commercial misuse of treasured cultural landmarks. Despite these legitimate and often justified concerns, these nine iconic sites have hosted some of the most ambitious concerts in the history of popular music:

Dorte Mandrup to Design Her Third UNESCO World Heritage Wadden Sea Project

Denmark-based architect Dorte Mandrup has won her third UNESCO World Heritage Center project, with her design of the Trilateral Wadden Sea World Heritage Partnership Centre. The project was the winner in a contest to design a new headquarters for the Centre, an organization that aims to protect the Wadden Sea and is jointly run by Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Tel Aviv's New Skyline Brings Residential Density

Harugei Malchut by HQ Architects
Harugei Malchut by HQ Architects

With the completion of the citywide light-rail expected in 2020, connecting Tel Aviv’s city center to neighboring Ramat Gan, Ramat HaHayal, Bat Yam, Jaffa, and Givatayim brings a new wave of residential architecture to transform the skyline. The city of Tel Aviv boasts the highest land value in the Middle East, and with this new connectivity it is only projected to increase demand and value.

The city Tel Aviv is deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its collection of over 4,000 Bauhaus and Eclectic Architecture-style builds. The original city plan was made in 1925 by Sir Patrick Geddes, and is about to witness a significant shift. To promote density, the “TAMA 38” policy gives developers the opportunity to add additional units and floors in exchange for updating the existing units and infrastructure.

Temporary Porcelain Clad Pavilion Addresses The Notion of Ornamentation in Architecture

Courtesy of Alexander Wolhoff
Courtesy of Alexander Wolhoff

The Pavilion d’Eau, designed by EPFL architecture student Alexander Wolhoff, was constructed in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The pavilion is a product of six months of research, prototyping, and coordination with different local and academic organizations done in conjunction with LHT3 labs. The exterior of the octagon pavilion has a structural aesthetic, while the interior -- only accessed by wading in the water -- is ornamental, clad in handmade ceramic tiles.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site municipality of Saint-Saphorin en Lavaux allowed for the temporary pavilion in the waters of Lake Geneva. The project is designed to touch the landscape lightly, not affecting the natural lake bed. The pavilion is comprised of materials including lake stones, wood, and porcelain tiles. To ensure a minimal and reversible impact on the site, the footings of the pavilion are made of seven gabions, metal cages filled with stones collected from the lake.

Courtesy of Alexander WolhoffCourtesy of Alexander WolhoffCourtesy of Alexander WolhoffCourtesy of Alexander Wolhoff+ 20