With two weeks of nominations and voting now complete, we are happy to present the winners of the 2017 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards. As a peer-based, crowdsourced architecture award, these winners were chosen by the collective intelligence of over 75,000 votes from ArchDaily readers around the world, filtering over 3,000 projects down to the 16 best works featured on ArchDaily in 2016.
In being published on ArchDaily, these 16 exemplary buildings have helped us to continue our mission, bringing inspiration, knowledge, and tools to architects around the world. This award wouldn’t be possible without the hundreds of firms that choose to publish their projects with ArchDaily every year, or without those who take part in the voting process to become part of our thousands-strong awards jury. To everyone who took part—either by submitting a project in the past year, or by nominating and voting for candidates in the past weeks—thank you for giving strength to this award. And of course, congratulations to all the winners!
Foster + Partners’ designs for the latest tower to be located within New York’s Hudson Yards megaproject have been revealed. Named 50 Hudson Yards, the building will rise 985 feet (300 meters) into the sky in becoming New York City’s fourth largest commercial office tower with 2.9 million gross square feet and the new home of leading investment firm BlackRock.
The 58-story building will be located at the northwest corner of 33rd Street and 10th Avenue, with entry points will be accessible on all four sides of the building. Directly adjacent to Hudson Yards’ new subway concourse, the building will also provide onsite bike storage, allowing for an easy commute via multiple modes of transportation.
The LEED-Gold rated tower will take the form of three stacked blocks of commercial space offering private sky lobbies, outdoor terraces and valet and drop off through a private porte-cochère. Clad in white stone, each block will be separated by the dark band of fully glazed floors offering access to the roof terraces. On the east and west elevations, the facades are broken into four-story glass boxes framed by white stone, while on the north and south elevations, the building’s verticality is accentuated. At the tower’s peak, a “halo” will glow at night, giving the building a distinguishable presence of the city skyline.
The building interiors will feature large, column-free floorplates spanning a minimum of 50,000 square feet, becoming one of just a few West Manhattan buildings to accommodate 500-plus people per floor. This freedom of space will allow for a variety of arrangements capable of meeting the needs of both large enterprise tenants and smaller companies and organizations.
“50 Hudson Yards is a key part of a larger vision that integrates places to live and work within a dense, walkable urban neighborhood,” said Norman Foster. “Covering a full city block, the building is highly permeable at ground level, allowing it to engage fully with its urban location. Designed for a sustainable future, the building makes an important contribution to the regeneration of the far west side of Manhattan.”
“50 Hudson Yards is envisaged as a vertical campus in the heart of Manhattan that is eminently readable at city scale with three distinct blocks stacked one above the other,” added Nigel Dancey, Head of Studio for Foster + Partners. “Crafted from a simple palette of white stone and glass, the building’s primary structure has been pushed to the edges to create large-span flexible floorplates. It aspires to define the workplace of the future, bringing to the fore the practice’s values of innovation and creativity by producing a positive work environment that seeks to fulfill the needs and expectations of a demanding workforce.”
The project is being developed by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group. Construction of 50 Hudson Yards will begin in 2017, with an expected opening date in 2022.
From the architect. The re-imagining of Apple Regent Street in London marks the continuing evolution of Apple, going beyond retail to create richer, more dynamic experiences for visitors. Its innovative design creates a relaxed environment, while incorporating Apple’s new features and services. The design is the result of a close collaboration between Apple’s teams led by Jonathan Ive, chief design officer and Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of Retail and Foster + Partners.
Regent Street is one of the most famous shopping streets in the world, and the site where Apple opened its first retail store in Europe in 2004. The new store occupies the same building, with the Grade II listed historic façade now restored and preserved. Built in 1898, the building was the studio of Victorian mosaicist Antonio Salviati of Venice, who was responsible for the exquisite mosaics at the Albert Memorial Chapel in Windsor and St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Stefan Behling, Architect at Foster + Partners said, “The new Apple Regent Street is about a respectful dialogue between old and new – carrying forward a heritage of craftsmanship in a contemporary way. Contained within its historic fabric, is a new grand ‘town square’ with trees that bring nature into the interior spaces. Everything from the vast luminous ceiling to the sculptural stone handrails create an experience that is warm and inviting, providing a calm backdrop for everyone to experience Apple’s incredible products, in addition to a diverse and vibrant programme of events. It is a place for people to meet and collaborate, and most of all, it will be an exciting experience that goes beyond retail.”
Characteristic of the new Apple Flagships, the interior space is a 7.2-metre double-height grand hall – forming a ‘town square’ like space that is flexible and welcoming. The design enhances transparency from the street and floods the store with natural light, dramatically improving the visual connection between the two levels. The interior front facade, with its full height arches clad in Portland stone, can be appreciated in its full extent. The store also features the longest Luminous Ceiling Panels in the world that cover the entire ceiling. The custom-made lighting panels emit a pure, even, white light, and have the capability to absorb ambient noise.
Using a warm palette of materials including stone, wood and terrazzo that is sympathetic to the historic nature of the building, the store has a calm setting, with the increased height allowing for the addition of twelve Ficus Ali trees on the ground level, bringing nature to the interior spaces. The grove of trees have planters – designed by Apple’s ID Studio and Foster + Partners – that double as a comfortable place to sit and rest. The signature Apple display tables are set against the backdrop of the new Avenue – the completely redesigned wall display that allows people to touch, feel and try out the Apple products and accessories in an engaging and hands-on way. Located in the middle of the space, The Forum is a new learning environment, where experts from various fields can come to entertain, inspire and teach. It occupies a prime position in the store with a vast video wall that acts as an animated backdrop for the entire store.
Along the side walls, a staircase on either side of the screen draws one up to the new mezzanine level set amongst the treetops. The walls and staircases are made from sandblasted stone, while the balustrade – seemingly carved in to the wall – has a smooth, curved, and honed finish that is pleasant to touch. The stone walls and balustrade were created by a combination of handcraftsmanship and CNC robotics, and were dry assembled at the manufacturing site to make sure each piece fit perfectly before installation.
Overlooking the grand hall, the mezzanine hosts the Apple’s Geniuses, where visitors can get assistance to setup their device or answers any product related queries, and the Boardroom – a place for meetings, conversations and partnerships that can be used by app developers, digital entrepreneurs and other small start-ups to become part of the Apple family.
Hainan Airlines Group has announced an international competition between 10 top architecture firms to design the master plan and central buildings of the South Sea Pearl Eco-Island, an island located in Haikou Bay, on the island of Hainan, China. Featuring teams from China, Europe and the United States, the competition calls for the creation of an 250 hectare eco-tourism hub, which will contain housing, hotels, tourist attractions and a port with capacity for two large cruise ships.
Competition organizers China Building Center selected Vicente Guallart, former chief architect of Barcelona and director of Guallart Architects, to develop the strategic vision for the island, aiming to “achieve a new urban development based on ecological principles, the best available technologies and an excellent design, creating in this way a landmark for the new urbanism in China.”
Following a detailed selection process, submissions will be presented by the following 10 firms:
A winner will be selected in the last week of August by a jury comprised of leading architectural figures including Aaron Betsky (USA), Benedetta Tagliabue (IT), Donald Bates (Australia), Sergey Kuznetsov (Moscow Chief Architect), Peter Poulet (New South Wales State Architect, AU)), Horacio Werner (Cisco) y Margarita Jover.
Construction on the island is expected to begin in 2017, with a tentative completion date of 2027. Additional studies are currently underway to determine the design potential of other islands in the Haikou Bay. Hainan, an island in the South China with a population of 9 million people, was declared as an independent province in 1988 to become a tourism-oriented state and has seen many tourist-driven developments since.
Foster + Partners, BIG and Grimshaw Architects have won a competition to design pavilions for Expo 2020Dubai. Under the Expo’s 2020 theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, the teams were selected from 13 invited practices to design three themed pavilions within the Expo’s HOK-designed masterplan: Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability.
“A key criterion for the competition was ensuring that the designs not only embodied one of Expo’s core themes, but also had the flexibility and longevity to live on as landmarks and functional structures after the Expo is complete in 2021,” said the organizers in a press release.
“Expo 2020 will be a festival of human ingenuity. We hope that the nations and organizations that take part in Expo, and the millions who visit, will explore the power of connections across the spheres of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. “Our theme pavilions will play a central role in bringing this to life.”
More than 25 million is expected to attend during the Expo’s short, six month duration. This will be the first time a Middle Eastern city to host this international exhibition in its 160-year history.
It is surprising then to find the man or his eponymous firm Foster + Partners absent from a list like Fast Company’s “The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Architecture,” organized into superlatives: MMA Architects, “for thinking outside the big box,” Heatherwick Studio, “for reimagining green space,” or C.F. Møller Architects, “for rethinking high-rise living.” This is not to say that Foster or his firm should be substituted for any of these deserved accolades, but rather that for five decades Foster and his firm have ceaselessly worked to enhance and expand on the human experience with architectural solutions that are both inventive and practical – a fact that is perhaps lost as a result of his position within the architectural establishment.
With that in mind, we thought it was worth highlighting the many occasions over the decades where Foster + Partners has shown themselves to be among the world’s most innovative practices. Read on for more.
1971-1975, Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters, Ipswich, United Kingdom
Our France Avenue project provides some key features relating to a new generation of inner city office buildings: an easily accessible central location in an attractive urban environment, an energy efficient building with modern and flexible office space combined with attractive social spaces for meeting and relaxation: Continue reading “France Avenue Paris, France 2000 – 2004/Foster+Partners”→