The past year in architecture has been filled with milestones, from the completion of Africa’s tallest building to the opening of Europe’s first underwater restaurant. We also watched in horror as Notre Dame burned, gained new “supertall” skyscrapers and lost industry giants like I.M. Pei and César Pelli.But at the dawn of a new decade, it seems fitting to look ahead at the structures set to shape our cities — and architecture itself — in the coming year.From museums and skyscrapers, to a hotel with a hole in it, these are CNN Style’s most anticipated buildings opening or completing in 2020.
1. Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center, Nanjing, China
Taking inspiration from traditional Chinese “shanshui” paintings (literally “mountain and water”), Ma Yansong’s curved creations merge nature with the built environment. This new 23-acre development in the historic city of Nanjing is surely the most ambitious realization of the architect’s “shanshui city” concept to date.
Irregular white fins give the complex’s towers the appearance of icy mountains, their flowing lines contributing to what Beijing-born Ma’s firm, MAD, describes as a “philosophy of cooperation between humanity and nature.” At ground level, six separate plots are connected via man-made streams and footbridges.With the country’s authorities pushing for increasingly conservative architecture, the complex is a refreshing reminder of what bold Chinese architecture can look like.
2. Powerhouse Telemark, Porsgrunn, Norway
Snøhetta made international headlines last year when its underwater restaurant — Europe’s first — opened near the southernmost tip of Norway. But the design firm has also gained a reputation for innovative carbon-negative buildings that, over their lifetimes, produce more energy than they consume.
Located on the banks of the Porsgrunn River, the practice’s latest “energy-positive” project, Powerhouse Telemark, has been designed to “set a new standard for the construction of the buildings of tomorrow.”Everything about the sleek structure, which is almost entirely coated in photovoltaic cells, has its carbon footprint in mind, from a diamond shape that maximizes the solar energy it captures, to the use of recycled materials from local demolition projects.
3. Opus, Dubai, UAE
More than three years after her death, Zaha Hadid continues to shape the world’s cities with her bold, curvilinear creations.
Opus, which was first proposed by the British-Iraqi architect in 2007, takes the form of a glass-fronted cube punctured with an asymmetric hole that appears to bulge at the seams. Yet, closer inspection reveals that the building is formed from two separate towers joined by a four-story atrium at its base and a footbridge connecting the upper floors.
The structure will house a boutique hotel — with interiors also designed by Hadid — as well as office space and restaurants. Despite being located just a kilometer from the 2,717-feet-tall Burj Khalifa, it might yet be the neighborhood’s most eye-catching piece of architecture.
4. Vancouver House, Vancouver, Canada
Twisting from a triangular base to a rectangular top, Vancouver House appears to defy the laws of engineering when viewed from afar.
It’s precisely the sort of eccentricity we’ve come to expect from Bjarke Ingels, the Danish architect who recently built a ski slope on top of a power plant in Copenhagen. But it’s also a smart response to various restrictions and regulations that limited the size of the tower’s footprint in downtown Vancouver.
The pixelated facade, also characteristic of Ingels’ work, helps to create deep-set balconies for residents in the 493-foot-tall tower.
5. 1000 Trees, Shanghai, China
British designer Thomas Heatherwick has never been short of ambition. And now his seemingly farfetched vision of a tree-covered urban mountain has become a reality.
The 3.2-million-square foot development now occupies a huge stretch of riverside in Shanghai. Structural columns emerge from the structure’s mass to hold some of the plants and greenery alluded to in the project’s name, 1000 Trees.
More than a piece of architecture, this is, in Heatherwick Studio’s own words, “a piece of topography.”
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Categories:Art and Culture