As the year closes, we reflect on projects that excited us the most and whose completion we eagerly await—construction permits and good weather allowing. Even though hundreds of projects, from concept proposals to realized environments, pop up on our monitors, it's ultimately the readers that let us know what's worth savoring. Here are the projects, which vary from chimney-like towers made of organic bricks to 300-year-old houses encased in glass, that you all clicked on the most.
Back in February, MoMa chose the The Living’s David Benjamin for the 15th edition of its Young Architects Program competition, which showcases temporary projects built by emerging architects in the field. Hy-Fi, sited in the outdoor courtyard of the museum’s P.S.1 satellite in Queens, featured three conjoined, hollowed towers built out of organic bricks made from locally grown corn stalks and living root structures. As part of the summer outdoor music series Warm Up, held by MoMa every Saturday, New Yorkers enjoyed the live entertainment and the structure From June until Sept. 7, when it was dismantled.
Zaha Hadid Architects released designs for the Sleuk Rith Institute, a genocide memorial dedicated to the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime, in October to be built in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Serving as both a facility for research on the causes and prevention of genocide, and a place of reflection, the renderings of the site show five interweaving wood structures inspired by Cambodia’s Angkorian architecture. The entire 731,946-square-foot memorial park will house a research center, a library, an archive, a museum, and a graduate school, and is located at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers. Construction is slated to begin in 2015.
The Canadian government held an international competition to design the National Holocaust Monument to be built in Ottawa, and announced the winning team in May. Led by Lord Cultural Resources co-president Gail Dexter-Lord, the design team consists of Daniel Libeskind, AIA; artist Edward Burtynsky; landscape architect Claude Cormier; and subject-matter advisor Doris Bergin. Dubbed “Landscape of Loss: Memory and Survival,” the site features a large gathering space in the middle, enclosed in six points to represent the Star of David. Inauguration of the monument is slated for fall 2015.
Foster + Partners has already started construction on the skyscraper, but the announcement made back in January caused a stir both for the structure's sheer size and for the potential economic impact citywide. Expected to be the tallest skyscraper in the country, besides those already built in New York and Chicago, the 1,121-foot, 59-story project will cost about $1.2 billion to build the largest private development project in Pennsylvania’s history. Additionally, the project is expected to generate at least $2.75 billion in economic activity by housing local broadcast television stations and technology startups. The tower should be completed by the fall of 2017.
Just breaking ground on Dec. 5, Zaha Hadid Architects and developer Patrick Schumacher joined 400 guests to celebrate the construction of One-Thousand Museum, the starchitect’s first tower in the Western hemisphere—although construction was supposed to start in June. The luxury condominium tower on Miami's Biscayne Boulevard consists of 66 stories (four have been added since the announcement), filled with 83 residential units, an aquatic center, a leisure area, an event space, and several pools that surround the base of the structure at ground level.
The Boston-based firm released renderings in November proposing how they would renovate the home of Francis Lightfoot Lee, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, in Warsaw, Va., with the support of the Menokin Foundation. Built around 1769 for Lee and his wife, Rebecca Tayloe, the neo-Palladian brick and stone house fell into abandonment in 1935, and further damaged when a tree fell through it in 1968. The plans include incorporating an exterior support system and interior connections made out of steel and glass, protecting the original structure and providing visitors a comprehensive view of the home. The house has already been stabilized, and the restoration project will begin in January 2015.
Making their United Kingdom debut, "Malaysia Square" by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) will be the new public square for the master redesign of the Battersea Power Station, a decommissioned power plant in South London originally designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, who hails from a line of architects and is responsible for designing the iconic red telephone box. Featuring several bridges over a cavernous walkway, the square will link the proposed high street, Electric Boulevard by Foster + Partners and Gehry Partners, and the southern entrance of Scott’s Grade II. The entire redevelopment, led by Rafael Viñoly, FAIA, is estimated at approximately $9.9 million. The developers, SP Setia, have not released the construction date yet.
Perhaps ambiguity is the key to excitement. Coming in at the top of our list are unnamed, unattributed, twin skyscrapers slated to be the tallest in the world. On Oct. 27, Dubai Holding and Emaar Properties unveiled a model for a 1,482-acre site, “Dubai Creek Harbour at The Lagoons,” featuring a slew of parks, transportation systems, condominium towers, and proposed pair of towers, which take the form of golden pillars rising up admist the rest of the city. The only information released so far are design concepts and layout, but there's been no word yet on who the architect will be. Or when construction will start.