Has no-one told these guys that there’s a financial crisis on? These amazing feats of architecture have cropped up this year, and we think it’s time to celebrate them. Here are some of our favourites from across the globe:
DNB Headquarters in Oslo
The Dutch firm, MVRDV, must really like Tetris. This block building creates an optical illusion that the central segment of the building is hovering. The strange design is said to allow more natural light into the offices. Walkways often emerge outside of the building, leading to a pretty fantastic and complex structure.
Azerbaijan Central Centre in Baku
This white building has got curves in all the right places. The structure creates an exceptional sense of fluidity and is made out of glass-reinforced concrete. Azerbaijan Central Centre is a great example of architecture that works well with its surroundings – the building seems to emerge naturally out of the local topography!
Phoenix International Media Centre in Beijing
Phoenix International Media Centre is architecture’s bundt cake. This building of sci-fi proportions is a scrunchie of undulating steel. Inside, you’ll find offices and TV-broadcasting areas. China has really begun cultivating some of the most daring architects since the turn of the century.
London Bridge Tower
Not to be confused with London Tower, London Bridge Tower is a 21st century phenomenon. It looks like a mythical ice giant has stuck a shard right through the south bank of the Thames. London Bridge is a massive 72 stories high and the tapered glass looks sharp enough to cut yourself on. Visitors can take the elevator to absorb the scenery of London city from the viewing gallery.
Queen Alia International Airport in Amman
Get this: Queen Alia Airport is made out of photovoltaic canopies that not only provide shelter for weary travellers but they are built to store sunlight for eco-friendly energy. The open airport allows for ventilation and is a wonder to explore. Low to the ground, it offers a stark juxtaposition to the aeroplanes circling above.
Dalian International Conference Centre in Dalian
You’d be forgiven for thinking that a huge spaceship had landed in China, but it’s just the Dalian Conference Centre, in all its shining glory. The building’s exterior moulds into rippling surfaces that move like the sea.
Kamppi Chapel of Silence in Helsinki
This beautiful building, with its curved, wooden construction, envelopes visitors in a cozy sanctuary of wood. Kamppi Chapel is a great place to escape from your busy life and sit quietly with your thoughts. Aside from the religious theme, this rounded exterior is similar to the innovative designs of McCormick Architecture. We need to see more spaces like this.
Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu
Made out of five towers, this building has residential and work areas. Looking more like a sculpture than a building, the exoskeletal construction is another building that does its best get as much natural light as possible.