2017 was a brilliant year for architecture, seeing the completion of some of the most prolific architectural marvels in history. These include the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and the Foster + Partners-designed Apple Campus in Cupertino, California.
Closer to home is the City Centre Tower, a new 27-story office building by Brooklyn-based architecture and design firm CAZA (Carlos Arnaiz Architects). The building is now home to Google’s Philippines offices and the headquarters to several other tech companies in the city.
Additionally, many anticipated museums also opened their doors to the public, including the Louvre in Abu Dhabi at the Saadiyat Island Cultural District and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town. The latter is a beauty, featuring a facade made up of a series of irregular caves and a large, sky-lit central atrium.
Lastly, there is the Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakesh, an ode to the city that sparked inspiration for much of the prolific designer’s career. The 4,000-square-metre building was designed by Paris-based architectural firm Studio KO, and features both modern and traditional Moroccan influences.
This year is no different, promising the completion of a dazzling array of unique museums, swanky hotels and some of the world’s tallest towers. From the Zaha Hadid-designed Leeza Soho in Beijing to the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, check out these architectural highlights that will make waves in 2018.
The National Museum of Qatar, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, will comprise of a series of interlocking discs of varying dimensions and curvatures that form walls, ceilings, floors and terraces. The unique form of the building is said to be inspired by the desert rose that grows organically around the original 20th-century palace of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Thani.
This mixed-use property in Beijing’s Lize Financial Business District was dreamt up by the Queen of Curves, the late Zaha Hadid. A distinctive feature of the Leeza Soho is its atrium, which extends 190 metres through the full height of the structure. The signature Zaha Hadid “twist” allows natural light to flood the building, resulting in breathtaking views of the city from the centre of its floors. Upon completion this year, the atrium is expected to be the world’s tallest, a title now held by the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai.
Located at the foot of the pyramids, the long-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum is set to open in May 2018. The magnificent structure is designed by Heneghan Peng Architects, an architecture firm based in Dublin and Berlin. Described as the largest archaeological museum in the world, the museum will exhibit the full Tutankhamun collection with many pieces to be displayed for the first time upon its opening. It will also house a gilded bed and funeral chariot from King Tut’s tomb, which was discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.
2018 will also see the completion of the first phase of Istanbul’s third airport, a massive four-phase aviation project. The S$15 billion mega building is designed by London-based Grimshaw Architects in partnership with the Nordic Office of Architecture. The first phase will feature three runways, one main terminal, two satellite terminals, 88 aircraft bridges, hospitals, hotels and convention centers.
Built on the River Tay, the V&A Museum of Design Dundee is set to become Scotland’s first design museum upon completion. The building is designed by internationally renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, boasting an angular body and a facade of horizontal concrete striations — aimed to mimic the beauty of Scotland’s cliffs. It also has a pointed corner that projects out over the water like the prow of a boat.
Yet another project by Zaha Hadid Architects is the Morpheus Hotel, located in the heart of Cotai in Macau. Described by its developers as the world’s first “free-form exoskeleton high rise,” the sculptural hotel in the Vegas of the East features large voids carved into its monolithic form, as well as an exoskeleton mesh which embraces a reinforced-concrete core to provide lateral stability.