Year in Architecture 2016

 John Hill
16. December 2016
A few of the people, buildings and stories we covered in 2016
For our last Insight feature of 2016, World-Architects looks back – month-by-month and week-by-week – at the most important headlines, projects, competitions, features and products we featured in the last twelve months. At the end we glance ahead to some projects slated for completion in 2017.


Alejandro Aravena (Photo: Screenshot from 2016 Pritzker announcement video)
Week 1: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for the overhaul of the long-derided Penn Station.
Week 2: Alejandro Aravena was named the 2016 recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Week 3: The American Institute of Architects named its 2016 AIA Institute Honor Awards.
Week 4: The winner of the World War I Memorial competition in Washington, DC, was announced.

Selected Insight: Highlights from 'Global Citizen,' an exhibition on Moshe Safdie
Selected Product: EPFL's Zigzags, a building by Dominique Perrault


Christ and Gantenbein's expansion to the Swiss National Museum (Photo: Roman Keller)
Week 5: HOK + TAC won the competition for the New FC Barcelona Palau; Mexico City's Escobedo Solíz Studio won the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program.
Week 6: Indian architect Bijoy Jain was selected for the third MPavilion in Melbourne; Bjarke Ingels was selected to design the 2016 Serpentine Pavilion in London.
Week 7: The AIANY Medal of Honor was given to Annabelle Selldorf.
Week 8: China made its move away from "weird" architecture official.

Selected Insight: With Reverence and Healthy Self-Assurance, a peek inside the Swiss National Museum
Selected Product: Creative EIFS, a renovation with a bold, faceted red facade made from Exterior Insulation and Finishing System


Zaha Hadid, 1950-2016 (Photo: Davide Pizzigoni)
Week 9: The New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced its 2016 Design Awards.
Week 10: Santiago Calatrava's PATH Terminal quietly opened in Lower Manhattan; FC Barcelona selected Nikken Sekkei + Pascual i Ausió Arquitectes for the new Camp Nou.
Week 11: Dubai's Expo 2020 selected BIG, Foster, and Grimshaw to design three themed pavilions; the MIPIM Awards were held in France.
Week 12: The Australian Embassy, designed by Denton Corker Marshall, opened in Jakarta
Week 13: Zaha Hadid died unexpectedly of a heart attack on March 31st.

Selected Insight: Finding the Muse, on the inspirations of leading landscape architects
Selected Product: A Bit of Drama for Bolon, a tiny yet striking lighting installation in an eyewear store in China


Productora's Pavilion on the Zocalo in Mexico City (Photo: Luis Gallardo)
Week 14: Productora won the second MCHAP.emerge Award.
Week 15: Some female architects "spoke out" after Dame Zaha Hadid's death.
Week 16: Zaha Hadid Architects issued a note of thanks and statement regarding how the firm would move forward without its namesake founder. 
Week 17: World-Architects attended the Vectorworks Design Summit in Chicago to learn about the software company's "technology roadmap."

Selected Insight: Outside Your Comfort Zone: Eva Franch i Gilabert at the (Vectorworks) Summit, an interview with the Storefront for Art and Architecture's director
Selected Product: From Brick to Crystal, MVRDV's recreation of a historic Amsterdam rowhouse in glass bricks


Paulo Mendes da Rocha with his Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)
Week 18: ARM Architecture won the Gold Medal of the Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards; the Cooper Hewitt announced the 2016 National Design Awards winners.
Week 19: Louis Kahn's Yale Center for British Art reopened.
Week 20: Agence Ter won Pershing Square competition in Los Angeles; architect Romaldo Giurguola died in Canberra, Australia.
Week 21: Paulo Mendes da Rocha received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale.

Selected Insight: Reporting on 'Reporting from the Front,' our coverage of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, directed by Alejandro Aravena
Selected Product: For the Birds, a building at Vassar College whose glass facade protects birds


Serpentine Pavilion 2016 designed by BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group (Photo © Iwan Baan)
Week 22: Vitra opened the Herzog & de Meuron-designed Schaudepot, the latest building on its campus studded with architectural icons.
Week 23: BIG's "Unzipped Wall" opened at the Serpentine Gallery in London.
Week 24: David Adjaye won a competition to design the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art.
Week 25: Christo's "Floating Piers" opened to the public at Lake Iseo in northern Italy; the Lucas Museum ditched Chicago for the West Coast.
Week 26: Lucas may have left, but Obama stayed: the Obama Foundation selected Tod Williams and Billie Tsien to design the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.

Selected Insight: Studio (Re)Visit: OMA NY, three years after our first talk with Shohei Shigematsu
Selected Product: Green Glazed Tiles Adorn Ringling Museum of Art, designed by Boston's Machado Silvetti


Denise Scott Brown's contribution to 'Time-Space-Existence' (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)
Week 27: Winners of the European Prize for Urban Public Space were announced.
Week 28: Recipients of the 2016 International Architecture Awards were announced.
Week 29: Works by Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer were added to UNESCO's World Heritage List.
Week 30: The Obama Foundation selected (finally) a Chicago site for the Obama Presidential Center.

Selected Insight: 'Time Space Existence' and Other Collateral Events at the Biennale, our last bit of coverage from Venice
Selected Product: An Icy Vista, on below-grade Silesian Museum in Katowice, Poland


One of the numerous unexceptional renderings LACMA released the second week of August (Image courtesy of LACMA / Atelier Peter Zumthor)
Week 31: The Daily News was on summer holiday.
Week 32: LACMA released new renderings of Peter Zumthor's design – we weren't impressed; Diller Scofidio + Renfro's sectional Vagelos Center opened in New York.
Week 33: Harvard's Bauhaus digital archive went online.
Week 34: Winners of the American Architecture Awards were announced.
Week 35: Architects Advocate Action on Climate Change launched.

Selected Insight: The Pro-Brexit Architect, or foreshadowing to Patrik Schumacher's remarks at WAF in November
Selected Product: Tin House in London, a project with roofs and walls clad in standing seam metal panels


Sharon Johnston & Mark Lee (Photo courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial)
Week 36: 'After Belonging,' the Oslo Architecture Triennale, opened in Oslo; REX unveiled their design for the WTC Performing Arts Center in New York.
Week 37: Paulo Mendes da Rocha was named a recipient of the 2016 Praemium Imperiale; Peter Zumthor selected to expand Renzo Piano's Fondation Beyeler; Thomas Heatherwick unveiled his 'Vessel' installation for New York's Hudson Yards development.
Week 38: Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee named artistic directors for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Week 39: Another Paulo Mendes da Rocha win: the Brazilian architect was named the 2017 RIBA Royal Gold Medal recipient.

Selected Insight: WTC at 15, a look at 15 pieces of the World Trade Center site 15 years after 9/11
Selected Product: Shading the Strip, a new park in Las Vegas with real and artificial trees


Winners of the inaugural Young Talent Architecture Award were announced in late October (Image: World-Architects)
Week 40: A busy week!: Winner of Rosa Barba International Landscape Prize announced; six projects named 2016 Aga Khan Award winners; Bijoy Jain's MPavilion opened in Melbourne; Bing Thom died at the age of 75; Caruso St. John gallery won the RIBA Stirling Prize.
Week 41: Winners of the inaugural American Architecture Prize were announced.
Week 42: SANAA's Grace Farms was named MCHAP 2014-15 winner.
Week 43: Inaugural YTAA (Young Talent Architecture Award) winners were announced.

Selected Insight: An Inside View of Hotels, our interview with IDA14's Karsten Schmidt
Selected Product: Lighting a 'Dark Park' at King's Cross, the illumination of a historic gasholder in London


KWK Promes's National Museum in Szczecin – Dialogue Centre Przelomy was named 2016 World Building of the Year at WAF (Photo: Courtesy of WAF)
Week 44: BIG's VIA 57 WEST won a high-rise award.
Week 45: A social housing project in the Netherlands won the 2016 WMF/Knoll Modernism Prize.
Week 46: World-Architects attended WAF in Berlin, where National Museum in Szczecin – Dialogue Centre Przelomy was named Building of the Year.
Week 47: RIBA's inaugural International Prize given to building in Peru.
Week 48: Helsinki rejected Guggenheim's proposed waterfront museum.

Selected Insight: WAF 2016 Highlights, our coverage of the ninth annual festival, including Schumacher's call for "the privatization of all public spaces"
Selected Product: A Hardwood 'Smile,' on Alison Brooks' installation at the London Design Festival


LAX Theme Building in Los Angeles, designed by Paul R. Williams, the 2017 AIA Gold Medal recipient (Photo: "monkeytime | brachiator"/Flickr)
Week 49: Paul Revere Williams named the 2017 AIA Gold Medal recipient, the first African-American architect to win the honor, albeit posthumously.
Week 50: Kengo Kuma's stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics broke ground; I.M. Pei's iconic pyramid at the Louvre named the 2017 Twenty-five Year Award winner

Selected Insight: 2016 Monograph Roundup, a baker's dozen of books on W-A member firms
Selected Product: Protecting La Cité du Vin, a new museum in Bordeaux, France

A Look Ahead to 2017

Here are renderings of some notable projects that are expected to be completed and open next year. Of course, things have a way of changing in architecture and construction, so please don't be upset with us if these buildings aren't finished by the end of 2017!
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture: Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan (Image: Courtesy of AS+GG). Expo 2017 in Astana is scheduled to take place from 10 June to 10 September 2017.
Ateliers Jean Nouvel: Louvre Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (Image: Courtesy of Louvre Abu Dhabi). Although we included this building in the 2015 year in review, completion of the Louvre outpost has been beset by delays, and now the museum's website indicates a 2017 inauguration (exact date unknown).
BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group: Amager Resource Center in Copenhagen, Denmark (Image: Courtesy of BIG). Numerous reports indicate this power plant topped by – of all things – a ski slope will open in 2017.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro: MIS Museum of Image and Sound in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Image: Courtesy of MIS). Although no specific inauguration date is available, according to an FAQ on MIS's website, "The inauguration is expected to take place in 2017."
Foster + Partners: Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino, California (Image: Foster + Partners). One of the most anticipated buildings by architects and laypersons alike, Apple's employees are expected to move into the "spaceship" as early as January 2017.
Herzog & de Meuron: 56 Leonard in New York City (Image: Courtesy of This tower is one of the few that was proposed before 2008 and bounced back after the recession. The building, and artist Anish Kapoor's sculpture at its base, should be done in 2017 per numerous reports.
Ingenhoven Architects: Marina One in Singapore (Image: Courtesy of Ingenhoven Architects). Per Marina One's website, the huge mixed-use development's TOP (Temporary Occupation Permit) is expected in the first quarter of 2017.
Kieran Timberlake: Embassy of the United States in London, England (Image: Courtesy of Kieran Timberlake). Work was scheduled to be completed in late 2016, but now the embassy's website indicates a completion date of spring 2017.
NBBJ: Amazon Headquarters in Seattle, Washington (Image: NBBJ). Though not as high-profile as the Apple Campus, Amazon's HQ in downtown Seattle will get its fair share of attention, thanks to the bubble-like domes that are expected to be done in 2017.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures: Tao Zhu Yin Yuan, Agora Garden Tower in Taipei, Taiwan (Image Vincent Callebaut Architectures). According to numerous reports, this twisting eco-tower is expected to be complete in September 2017.
Zaha Hadid Architects: 520 West 28th Street in New York City (Image: ZHA). Hadid's first New York project will see its first residents move in – one to a $50 million penthouse – about one year after the architect's death.

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