The best buildings of 2021

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Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, we’ve seen a slew of stunning architecture projects come to an end this year, ranging from innovative social housing to creative performance spaces, 3D printed homes, and even a museum from another. world inspired by the cosmos. So as the end of the year approaches, here’s our pick of the most remarkable buildings we’ve seen in 2021.

Our pick of the 10 best buildings of 2021 (one of which we covered in the final days of 2020) includes projects of different sizes, styles and purposes from around the world. Taking a closer look at how each region is represented, Europe is the big winner here with five buildings, China has two, while the United States, Qatar, and Vietnam each have one project.

Read on for our roundup of the best buildings of 2021, and you can also head to the gallery to see more photos and information on each.

The Sara Cultural Center – White Arkitekter

Sara Cultural Center, by White Arkitekter, reaches a maximum height of 75 m (246 ft)

ke Eson Lindman

Representing one of the tallest wooden towers in the world at 75 m (246 ft) tall, the Sara Cultural Center of Sweden by White Arkitekter is a very impressive example of sustainable design.

The building consists of a hotel tower and an adjoining cultural center, both constructed from locally sourced prefabricated timber. Its exterior features solar screens and a heat pump based system provides energy efficient heating and cooling. In addition, solar panels reduce its consumption on the grid.

Mausoleum of the martyr of the Polish villages – Nizio Design International

The Mausoleum of Martyrdom of Polish Villages in Michniów was designed by Nizio Design International and commemorates the atrocities suffered by the occupants of rural villages in Poland during the Nazi occupation
The Mausoleum of Martyrdom of Polish Villages in Michniów was designed by Nizio Design International and commemorates the atrocities suffered by the occupants of rural villages in Poland during the Nazi occupation

Marcin Czechowicz

Commissioned to commemorate the atrocities suffered by those who lived in the rural villages of Poland during the Nazi occupation, Nizio Design International balanced the need to respect the dead and produce a stunning design with its haunting mausoleum of the martyrdom of Polish villages at Michniów .

The museum takes the form of 11 concrete sections resembling connected houses, which range from the fully formed frame to the skeletal frame, describing without a word the destruction of the houses and inhabitants of Michniów. The company has installed a series of photos, documents and videos illustrating the events of the war, and actual charred ruins are also on display.

Casamia Community House – VTN Architects

The complex ceiling of Casamia Community House reaches a maximum height of 9 m (2
Casamia Community House, by VTN Architects, features an intricate ceiling that reaches a maximum height of almost 9m (approximately 29ft)

Hiroyuki oki

VTN Architects’ Casamia Community House in Vietnam is a shining example of the company’s skill in using bamboo as a building material. It houses a community center, sports center, etc., is almost entirely made of bamboo and has a beautiful vaulted ceiling.

The building consists of 22 frames of bamboo columns, trusses and bracing. It is surrounded by glazing and topped with a traditional Vietnamese thatched roof. VTN Architects claims that it was designed to be durable, even in inclement weather, as long as it is properly maintained.

World Headquarters – Snøhetta

The World Headquarters, by Snøhetta, features a pixelated glass facade made up of 20,000 pieces of glass
The World Headquarters, by Snøhetta, features a pixelated glass facade made up of 20,000 pieces of glass

Marwan Harmouche

This entry in our list is technically outside of a list of the best of 2021, as we actually covered it in the last days of 2020, but it would be a shame to fail to highlight this fine example of architectural design. smart. Responsible for designing a new headquarters for French media giant Le Monde Group on a site that could not support a heavy structure at its center due to underground railway lines, Snøhetta produced a building defined by a large arch which straddles the railroad tracks, ensuring the weight each side can support it.

The building sports an eye-catching pixelated facade comprising more than 20,000 pieces of glass arranged in a series of 772 patterns, the idea being that its appearance changes with changing time and light.

Shanghai Astronomical Museum – Ennead Architects

The sphere of the Shanghai Astronomical Museum is designed in such a way that it has minimal structural supports and appears to be floating
The sphere of the Shanghai Astronomical Museum is designed in such a way that it has minimal structural supports and appears to be floating

Arch-Exist, courtesy of Ennead Architects

The Shanghai Astronomical Museum by Ennead Architects is a magnificent astronomy museum in China which is also the largest in the world. The building’s curved design is actually inspired by the cosmos, and parts of it function much like an oversized sundial, marking the passage of time.

Its massive 420,000 square foot (approximately 40,000 m²) interior houses a mix of temporary and permanent exhibits, a solar telescope, an observatory, as well as viewpoints and a planetarium theater housed in a large sphere that appears to float. .

Chapel of Sound – OPEN Architects

OPEN Architects used specialized software and worked with acoustic engineers to ensure that the Chapel of Sound would be a superb space for live music
OPEN Architects used specialized software and worked with acoustic engineers to ensure that the Chapel of Sound would be a superb space for live music

Jonathan leijonhufvud

At a glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that OPEN Architecture’s Chapel of Sound is part of the rugged mountainous landscape it is located on, which is near some ruined areas of the Great Wall of China. of the Ming dynasty.

The concrete building has been carefully designed with the help of specialist software and sound engineers to provide optimum acoustic properties for performance, and is also very open to the elements, with wide openings allowing water to enter. enter, which is harmlessly channeled.

Le Dôme Winery – Foster + Partners

Le Dôme vineyard reaches a modest height of only 10 m (32 ft)
Le Dôme vineyard reaches a modest height of only 10 m (32 ft)

Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

Credit is due, when given the mandate to design a wine estate that blends into the landscape, leading UK firm Foster + Partners put all egos aside and did just that, creating a circular building bordered by wood which seems to belong to the vineyards of Bordeaux, France.

The Dome Winery reaches a height of only 10m (32ft) and consists of two floors above ground, plus a basement level. Visitors navigate the building using two ramps: one wrapped around the outside and another inside. The upper floor is glazed to show the choice of the 360 ​​degree view, and it is topped by an impressive wooden roof which has a large oculus at its center.

Trudo Tower – Stefano Boeri Architetti

Trudo Tower, by Stefano Boeri Architetti, rises to a modest height of 70m (around 230ft) in Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Trudo Tower, by Stefano Boeri Architetti, rises to a modest height of 70m (around 230ft) in Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Paul Rosselli

The Trudo Tower by Stefano Boeri Architetti draws on the company’s experience in the production of its “Vertical Forest” towers covered in greenery to create a tree-covered residential skyscraper in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, which provides social housing to low-income residents.

The building rises to a height of 70 m (approximately 230 ft) and consists of 19 floors. Its overall design is reminiscent of similar company projects and is defined by its protruding balconies and greenery, which includes 135 trees, as well as 8,500 bushes and 1,500 plants, providing a taste of the countryside in the city center. city.

Development of 3D printed homes East 17th St – Icon

Icon's East 17th St 3D printed home development homes consist of a 3D printed lower story and a wooden upper story
Icon’s East 17th St 3D printed home development homes consist of a 3D printed lower story and a wooden upper story

Regan Morton Photography

3D printing construction technology offers the possibility to mass-produce comfortable and safe low-cost houses. With its 3D printed East 17th St residential development, Icon offers a giant leap towards this goal.

The project consists of four relatively luxurious homes costing around US $ 450,000. The lower part of the houses is 3D printed but the upper parts are actually made of wood. They feature porch areas, master bedrooms with high ceilings, and well-proportioned living areas. More important than the houses themselves is the fact that this is a huge time for booming technology and in a year or two, these kinds of projects may well be commonplace.

Stage 974 – Fenwick Iribarren Architects

Stadium 974, by Fenwick Iribarren Architects, consists of a steel structure and roof, with containers inserted and used to accommodate seats, concession stands and toilets
Stadium 974, by Fenwick Iribarren Architects, consists of a steel structure and roof, with containers inserted and used to accommodate seats, concession stands and toilets

Fenwick Iribarren Architects

Hailed as the first use of shipping containers in a major sporting tournament, the 974 Stadium by Fenwick Iribarren Architects is made up of a total of 974 shipping containers.

The building is designed in such a way that once the 2022 Qatar World Cup soccer tournament is over, it can be dismantled with relative ease and recycled or even rebuilt elsewhere. There are serious concerns about the performance of metal cans in hot weather, but if they prove to be effective, they could potentially revolutionize stadium design for major events such as the World Cup and the Olympics, reducing the need to build huge and expensive – both in money and CO2 – buildings that are sometimes left abandoned afterwards.

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