Architecture

Five exciting architecture projects to look forward to in 2021

Five exciting architecture pro...
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is one of five exciting projects we're looking forward to in 2021
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is one of five exciting projects we're looking forward to in 2021
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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is one of five exciting projects we're looking forward to in 2021
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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is one of five exciting projects we're looking forward to in 2021
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is expected to be completed in late 2021
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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is expected to be completed in late 2021
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art wouldn't look out of place in one of George Lucas' movies and its sleek futuristic form is topped by a large green roof
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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art wouldn't look out of place in one of George Lucas' movies and its sleek futuristic form is topped by a large green roof
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is located in Exposition Park in Los Angeles
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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is located in Exposition Park in Los Angeles
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has been in the works since the early 2010 began construction in 2018
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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art began construction in 2018
Tao Zhu Yin Yuan features
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Tao Zhu Yin Yuan features significant sustainable technology, including solar panels to reduce its electricity draw on the grid
Tao Zhu Yin Yuan's unusual design is inspired by a DNA double helix
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Tao Zhu Yin Yuan's unusual design is inspired by a DNA double helix
Tao Zhu Yin Yuan is slated for completion in late 2021
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Tao Zhu Yin Yuan is slated for completion in late 2021
Tao Zhu Yin Yuan's overall form twists a total of 90 degrees from bottom to top
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Tao Zhu Yin Yuan's overall form twists a total of 90 degrees from bottom to top
Tao Zhu Yin Yuan rises to a height of 93.2 m (305 ft) and includes 21 floors (plus four basement levels)
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Tao Zhu Yin Yuan rises to a height of 93.2 m (305 ft) and includes 21 floors (plus four basement levels)
The Plus is due for completion sometime in 2021
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The Plus is due for completion sometime in 2021
The central hub of The Plus will feature a circular courtyard filled with trees in which Vestre's latest outdoor furniture collections will be exhibited
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The central hub of The Plus will feature a circular courtyard filled with trees in which Vestre's latest outdoor furniture collections will be exhibited
The Plus will be located in the village of Magnor, a forested area in Norway
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The Plus will be located in the village of Magnor, a forested area in Norway
The Plus will feature four main production areas – a warehouse, color factory, wood factory and assembly point – that connect at the center
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The Plus will feature four main production areas – a warehouse, color factory, wood factory and assembly point – that connect at the center
The Plus will measure 6,500 sq m (roughly 70,000 sq ft)
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The Plus will measure 6,500 sq m (roughly 70,000 sq ft)
Little Island was partly inspired by the old wooden pilings from a previous pier that were already on the site
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Little Island was partly inspired by the old wooden pilings from a previous pier that were already on the site
Little Island will feature a lush landscaped park filled with local species of plants and trees
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Little Island will feature a lush landscaped park filled with local species of plants and trees
Little Island will contain
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Little Island will contain over a hundred different species of indigenous trees and plants suited to the local climate
Little Island is the product of an architecture competition held by Hudson River Park Trust and business tycoon and philanthropist Barry Diller
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Little Island is the product of an architecture competition held by Hudson River Park Trust and business tycoon and philanthropist Barry Diller
Little Island is expected to be completed in 2021
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Little Island is expected to be completed in 2021
111 West 57th Street rises to a height of 1,428 ft (435 m) in New York City
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111 West 57th Street rises to a height of 1,428 ft (435 m) in New York City
111 West 57th Street is reported to incorporate the highest strength concrete in the world
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111 West 57th Street is reported to incorporate the highest strength concrete in the world
111 West 57th Street is expected to be completed in 2021
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111 West 57th Street is expected to be completed in 2021
111 West 57th Street's facade is made up of terracotta panels with 22 different sets of contours contrasting with bronze detailing and a glass curtain wall
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111 West 57th Street's facade is made up of terracotta panels with 22 different sets of contours contrasting with bronze detailing and a glass curtain wall
111 West 57th Street's residences are available from $16 million, rising to over $57 million
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111 West 57th Street's residences are available from $16 million, rising to over $57 million
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Despite the challenges and delays caused by COVID-19, 2021 looks set to be an outstanding year for architecture, with many high-profile projects planned for completion. With this in mind, we've chosen five exciting projects we're looking forward to this year.

Things are looking a lot more solid when it comes to construction schedules lately but projects regularly run into major delays at the best of times. So, with the proviso that any of these could well end up being delayed into 2022 and beyond, here's our pick of five great projects slated for completion in 2021.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art - MAD Architects

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art wouldn't look out of place in one of George Lucas' movies and its sleek futuristic form is topped by a large green roof
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art wouldn't look out of place in one of George Lucas' movies and its sleek futuristic form is topped by a large green roof

Designed by MAD Architects, the Los Angeles Lucas Museum of Narrative Art follows the recent completion of Renzo Piano's high-profile Academy Museum renovation, also in the city.

The building has had a terribly convoluted development – starting out as a volcano-like form envisioned for Chicago and ending up as a sleek and futuristic spaceship-like museum in LA that wouldn't look out of place in one of George Lucas' movies. It will be topped by a huge green roof and host a series of exhibitions dedicated to celebrating narrative art – from Jar Jar Binks to an ancient jar, plus a lot more besides. Its huge US$1.5 billion budget is being funded by George Lucas himself.

Update April 8, 2021: A representative from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has been in touch to let us know that the completion date for this project has now been pushed back to 2022.

Tao Zhu Yin - Vincent Callebaut Architectures

VCA calculates that Tao Zhu Yin Yuan's greenery will all remove 130 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year
VCA calculates that Tao Zhu Yin Yuan's greenery will all remove 130 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year

We've been anticipating this one for some time, but with work recently finishing on the exterior and only some of the interior left to do, Vincent Callebaut's Tao Zhu Yin is finally near completion.

The residential tower's design is very striking and features a DNA-inspired overall form that twists a total of 90 degrees from bottom to top. It's also covered in 23,000 trees, shrubs, and plants, and offers each occupant a balcony. The building is slated for the LEED Gold green building standard and will include both solar and wind power to reduce its draw on the grid, as well as rainwater capture for irrigation.

The Plus – Bjarke Ingels Group

The Plus is due for completion sometime in 2021
The Plus is due for completion sometime in 2021

The Plus, by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is another example of the playful firm's penchant for combining two disparate things. So, while its CopenHill project is a power plant and a ski slope, The Plus mixes together a furniture factory and a hiking and camping destination.

As you might guess from its name, the project takes the form of a plus shape, while its interior layout will be arranged into four main production areas that connect to a central hub with a logistics office and exhibition center. Visitors will be able to hike over the roof, watch the furniture building process, and enjoy a series of walkways and woodland paths that surround it. Additionally, it will get power from solar panels and include energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.

Little Island - Heatherwick Studio

Little Island was partly inspired by the old wooden pilings from a previous pier that were already on the site
Little Island was partly inspired by the old wooden pilings from a previous pier that were already on the site

Heatherwick Studio is on fantastic form as of late, turning out superb work like it's Maggie's Leeds and Eden projects. Its aptly-named Little Island looks to be another high point. Currently being finished in New York City, it consists of an artificial island that will serve as a public park in the Hudson River.

Little Island replaces a ruined pier on the site and its unusual design draws inspiration from the old wooden supports that remain. The structure comprises a repeating pattern of 280 concrete piles which support large planters. These are joined together at varying heights to create an undulating landscape. In addition to all its greenery, the park will offer multiple pathways and viewing areas, an outdoor theater, and a smaller performance space.

111 West 57th Street - SHoP Architects

111 West 57th Street is reported to incorporate the highest strength concrete in the world
111 West 57th Street is reported to incorporate the highest strength concrete in the world

111 West 57th Street is another one of those incredibly expensive luxury residential skyscrapers for the ultra rich. With apartments starting at $16 million and rising to over $57 million, the project is both an example of the ridiculousness of the housing market and of how far tall building engineering has come in recent years.

Also known as Steinway Tower, the skyscraper is designed by SHoP Architects and is considered the thinnest skyscraper in the world (architectural thinness is rated by measuring width and height together). It reaches a height of 1,428 ft (435 m) but has a width of just 60 ft (18 m) and consists of a reinforced concrete structure that's finished in eye-catching terracotta panels with bronze detailing and a glass curtain wall. The interiors are as opulent as you'd expect and will offer lots of high-end materials and posh appliances, as well as superb views of Central Park.

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4 comments
BlueOak
Why this need to put grass on roofs - seems like it is simply checking off a virtue-signaling “green” box whilst increasing the construction cost of the building, potentially the long term maintenance cost, whilst offering no material environmental benefit? But it does make the building feel like it is underground, so there’s that. Not a good thing.
Kiffit
There is dear BlueOak, a lot of good to be had out of virtue. While hypocrisy inevitably comes with the turf, as it were, that is no argument against it. The greening of cities may not be enough to save them, but we won't know for sure until we get there. In the meantime that sort of virtue signaling is better than than the Soviet era version, which were pictures of smoking chimneys.
alexD
IF they have to build it, then at least adding some grass around or on top may make it look a little more organic... I all against these sheer tall buildings but the others are quite cool.
BlueOak
@Kiffit, it appears you don’t understand what “virtue-signaling is. Especially with that nonsensical attempt at a Soviet analogy.