Architecture trends come and go. Around the globe, architects strive to push the envelope of form and function. Good architecture adds something new to the conversation, whether it’s sustainability or stretching the bounds of the imagination. What’s new for architecture in 2017? Check out the buildings that are shaping the industry:
Yves Saint Laurent Musee, Marrakech
The famed designer will have two museums celebrating his work this year, one in Paris and one in Marrakech. The Marrakech branch celebrates the designer’s love affair with Morocco. The museum’s structure pays homage to YSL’s storied career – the brick latticework looks like thread, and the curvature is not unlike a woman’s body.
The Napoli-Afragola High-Speed Train Station, Naples
This station connecting Naples and Rome promises to revolutionize rail travel. Connecting shopping promenades and other public spaces, the train station is both modern and chic, letting in lots of natural light. It broke ground in 2003, so it has taken a team of architects and engineers more than a decade to complete.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi
You might not think of the world’s most famous museum as the type to franchise, but the Louvre’s Abu Dhabi branch is one of the most anticipated openings of 2017. The futuristic building hangs over one of the city’s waterscapes and looks a lot like a $653 million spaceship. The metal dome features perforations that bathe visitors in soft, calming light.
The Lego House, Billund
Your children’s favorite toys aren’t just for show anymore. The renowned Bjarke Ingals Group took its inspiration from the colorful interlocking blocks to create an ultra-modern foundation of varying levels. The experiential space is a community center for visitors to enjoy cafes, family-friendly spaces, and – what else – a Lego store.
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town
This ambitious project is one of the largest museums to open in Africa. Architects used the historic Grain Silo Complex on the city’s waterfront to create the complex. The leading architects salvaged materials from the city to create the museum’s huge atrium, paying homage to its rich cultural history.
Guardian Art Center, Beijing
The Forbidden City is about to get a streak of modern. Nestled in the middle of Beijing’s famous old-world architecture, the Guardian Art Center is revamping one of the city’s oldest auction houses. The firm in charge of the project wanted to create an “old-meets-new” look, so oversized glass bricks complement the surrounding cityscape, not detract from it. Despite its name, the Guardian Art Center is about more than just art – it will also incorporate a hotel, restaurants, and educational rooms.
Huangshan Mountain Village, Anhui
Looking at the Huangshang Mountain Village, you might be reminded of an ancient Chinese painting. Look closer at this complex over Taiping Lake, however, and you’ll see that the village houses look like pill capsules, and the “mountains” are actually metal. The complex is one architect’s attempt to bring the region into the contemporary art conversation.
The Silo, Copenhagen
The Silo is an old grain complex situated in the city’s bustling city center. A Danish architecture firm is working to reinvent industrial living with this experiential neighborhood, opening in 2017. The complex keeps its industrial vibe with exposed cement and minimal trimmings, and will include apartments, exhibition spaces, and a restaurant on the top floor.
Blavand Bunker Museum, Blavand
The Bunker Museum is aptly named, because it’s a reimagined military bunker in the heart of Denmark. The unobtrusive embankment sits nestled in the landscape’s rolling hills. To keep the facility from feeling too mole-like, the designers built an open-air courtyard for visitors to enjoy.
Centro Botin, Cantabria
The Betro Botin will be a multi-use complex for entertainment, leisure, and education, but that’s not what makes this building so special. As an attempt to rebuild the industrial docklands and reconnect citizens with the city’s waterscape, the complex is half suspended over the sea.
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Pedestrian Bridge, Zhangjiajie
We saved this architectural marvel for last for a reason. Constructed by the famous architecture firm Haim Dotan, this pedestrian walkway features a glass bottom over a 1,000-foot drop. It’s inspired by the movie Avatar and its fictional landscape. At a stunning 1,250 feet long, it is the longest and highest glass pedestrian walkway in the world. For safety reasons, it can only hold 800 visitors at a time.
As the years pass, the world’s best architects reimagine how we live, work, and play. Many of these structures are on historic sites, highlighting the need to preserve and celebrate our culture. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future of architecture.
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