Undersea restaurants, tree towers and hanging skyscrapers: The top architecture concepts of 2017
Conceptual architecture can be a lot of things. It can be a realistic, yet novel, skyscraper or it can be an extremely unreal imagining seemingly straight out of a science fiction movie. We've seen a lot of strange boundary-pushing architecture concepts in 2017 and this gallery celebrates those exciting dreamers.
This selection of concepts from the past year includes a variety of insane proposals that obviously will never be actually constructed, but the value in a good piece of conceptual architecture is less in it being a practical proposition and more in the ideas it raises. Good conceptual architecture asks questions about where we are heading as a society and what kinds of design principles we should be exploring.
From an imaginative, yet unrealizable, skyscraper that hangs over the Earth's surface from an artificial orbiting asteroid, to a bizarre bending tower that resembles a giant paper clip, it has been a fascinating year for conceptual architecture.
A continuing trend throughout 2017 has been green plant covered buildings and high timber towers. Stefano Boeri's iconic plant-covered vertical forest towers continued to impress this year with several new concepts proposed, and what seemed like an out-there dream a few years ago actually started becoming reality in several parts of the world. The Italian architect's Forest City design for Liuzhou in China got underway, and is amazingly set to be completed by 2020.
While a spectacular 712 ft high timber structure proposed for New York City is unlikely to be built, work actually started on an exciting staircase/art installation called Vessel from Heatherwick Studio. This was one we never thought would actually see the light of day, but you never truly know whether these crazy concepts will get over the line.
Paris-based firm Vincent Callebaut Architectures again delivered a series of stunning futuristic concepts in 2017. The Nautilus Eco-Resort especially stood out from the pack with its unique perspective on sustainable architecture that envisioned rotating buildings arranged into a shape inspired by the Fibonacci sequence.
Take a look through our gallery for a mind-bending look at some more of the best architectural concepts of 2017 including an inspired shipping container house, a skyscraper inside the trunk of a mammoth tree and a giant simulation of a city on Mars proposed for the desert outside of Dubai.