Though we've reported on many amazing buildings over the past 12 months, some of the most exciting designs are still to come. With this in mind, we highlight our five most anticipated architecture projects – either under construction, or expected to begin soon. From the world's tallest skyscraper to a cutting-edge office for a tech giant, each one promises to be outstanding.
You could be forgiven for thinking that skyscrapers couldn't really get much taller than the 828 m (2,716 ft)-tall Burj Khalifa, but the Burj's architect Adrian Smith has designed a successor called the Jeddah Tower that will surpass it by far, rising to a kilometer high – or 1,007 m (3,303 ft).
To put that big into perspective, try and imagine two Empire State Buildings, or three Eiffel Towers, stacked atop each other if you can and you'll be in the general ballpark. Rising over the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, it will comprise 5.7 million sq ft (530,000 sq m) of floorspace, with an innovative triangular design that's inspired by the folded leaves of a desert plant helping it to withstand the punishing wind stresses at that height.
The Jeddah Tower is slated for completion in 2020.
Designed by Sir Norman Foster of Foster + Partners, Apple's futuristic new campus, recently named Apple Park, boasts some truly impressive green design and technology.
Looking something like a skinny doughnut, Apple Park's main building is clad in the world's largest panels of curved glass and hailed as the world's largest naturally-ventilated building. It will get all required electricity from a huge 17-megawatt solar panel array and will house some 12,000 employees in its 2.8 million sq ft (260,128 sq m) of floorspace.
The landscaped grounds are of note too and feature 9,000 native drought-resistant trees and grass, and walking and running paths for staff.
Apple Park is due to open in April this year.
Rarely have we seen a high-profile project endure so many ups and downs before ground is even broken, but the Lucas Museum is finally back on track. All the delays have resulted in an updated (and in our opinion vastly-improved) design by MAD Architects that somewhat resembles the Harbin Opera House.
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be located in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, and funded by George Lucas himself to the tune of at least US$1 billion. It'll comprise around 275,000 sq ft (25,548 sq m) of floorspace and include the director's own collection of paintings, artworks and memorabilia, with daily screenings, exhibitions, public lectures, and workshops planned for visitors.
A restaurant, multiple high-end theaters, a cafe, lecture halls, library and a museum store will also be installed.
We've no word yet on the expected date of completion for the Lucas Museum.
Agora Garden Tower
We've long enjoyed Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut's thought-provoking sustainable renders, but with the Agora Garden Tower in Taipei, Taiwan, we'll finally see him put his ideas into use.
The greenery-clad skyscraper takes design cues from the double helix shape of DNA and twists 4.5 degrees at each floor, to a total of 90 degrees over its 20 stories. It will feature 23,000 trees, located both in the grounds and the balconies, and will include a rainwater capture and recycling system and a large 1,000 sq m (10,763 sq ft) roof-based solar panel array.
The Agora Garden Tower is due for completion in September 2017.
China's megacities are chocked full of interesting buildings of all shapes and sizes, but Zaha Hadid's Leeza Soho tower in Beijing, must rate among one of the more interesting skyscrapers we've seen in a while. Designed by the late starchitect before her death, the project shows subtlety and restraint and is all the better for it.
Rising to a height of 207 m (679 ft), the Leeza Soho tower's interior will be split into two equal halves and joined by the world's tallest atrium, which twists dramatically. The project will also include an energy-efficient curtain wall with natural ventilation, in addition to rainwater collection and a grey water system.