There was a ‘Weird Architecture’ ban in China and affordable homes in the UK were headline news as the country continues to grapple with a housing crisis. Big name architects continued to roll out a host of landmark projects with BIG and Santiago Calatrava both featuring in our run down. Here are the stories that were most popular on the WAN web site during 2016.
1. At the start of 2016 the Santiago Calatrava designed World Trade Center Transportation Hub completed in New York. Santiago Calatrava has created one of the most emblematic projects in Lower Manhattan’s restoration as part of Daniel Libeskind's masterplan. Calatrava conceived of the Hub as a free standing structure at grade (which would come to be called the “Oculus”) and situated it along the southern edge of Libeskind’s “Wedge of Light” plaza.
2. Affordable and sustainable housing projects gained a lot of coverage during 2016. A ZEDpod is an affordable starter home, which clusters to create a pop up village - providing homes that require no land (just air rights over existing parking lots) and have the potential for no net annual energy bills.
3. Skyscrapers continued to be as popular as ever during 2016 as height becomes the new frontier for the world's tallest buildings and the era of the megatall skyscraper begins
4. In February the Chinese government demanded an end to ‘weird architecture’ after leaders met for the Central Urban Work Conference
5. In May Gensler's Shanghai Tower was recognised by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and Shanghai Tower officials as China’s tallest and World’s second-tallest
6. VIA by BIG is a hybrid between the European perimeter block and a traditional Manhattan high-rise, combining the advantages of both: the compactness and efficiency of a courtyard building with the airiness and the expansive views of a skyscraper.
7. In April the glass doors of the Crystal Houses in Amsterdam opened, a visionary exploration into reimagining the possible uses of glass in construction by MVRDV.
8. The glass viewing pod for British Airways i360, conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects was topped out on Brighton beach in the UK on January 13, making way for the last phase of construction before the world’s tallest moving observation attraction opened this summer.
9. Stéphane Malka architecture created ‘3box’, housing units that are suspended and raised in between two buildings on a corner plot. The modular structures are rectangular in shape and subtly highlight the contrast between old and new.
10. The global count of Supertall Skyscrapers reaches 100 with completion of 432 Park Avenue in New York
That’s it for 2016 - here’s to many more exciting architecture projects and ground breaking stories in 2017.