It’s a mind-blowing year for boundary-pushing architecture. 2015 is set to see the arrival of Europe and China’s tallest buildings. A New York housing block that towers over the Empire State or Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental in Shanghai are the architectural projects you cannot miss.
432 Park Avenue, New York
Towering 50 meters above the Empire State Building, the tallest residential tower in the western hemisphere will open its doors this year. Already topped out, the 426-meter tower 432 Park Avenue will feature just 104 apartments, with residences staring at $17 million and full floor penthouses reaching $82 million.
The man behind 432 Park Avenue is Rafael Viñoly, the Uruguayan architect who designed London’s recently opened “Walkie Talkie”; skyscraper, which unintentionally focused the sun’s rays to melt objects- including a car – on the street below. After the unflattering reception that building received, he will hope the response to this tower is warmer.
Vietnam Pavilion, Milan
Vietnam Pavilion is a sustainable inspiration from Vietnam’s bamboo architect Vo Trong Nghia. The designer has created gigantic halls from lightweight, natural bamboo in the past, but this lotus flower-inspired pavilion will be his most visible to date.
It will provide Vietnam’s pavilion for the 2015 World Expo in Milan, where the focus is on sustainability, with the official theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for life.” 25 bamboo structures and a ring of water will surround a 2-storey exhibition space at the heart of the pavilion.
Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental, Shanghai
The transformation of a former quarry outside Shanghai into a 19-storey resort is almost complete. On completion the Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental will have a giant waterfall cascading from the roof, an extreme sports center hanging from the rock-face, and an underwater restaurant.
Engineering and architecture firm Atkins won an international design competition for the five-star hotel in August 2006, which is built to take advantage of eco-friendly geothermal and solar energy supplies.
Mexico City International Airport, Mexico City
This year will see construction begin on the New Mexico City International Airport, boasting to be the “most sustainable airport in the world.” The airport will have just one terminal, measuring 470,000-square-meters, which will eventually serve six runways. The design marks collaboration between legendary British architect Norman Foster’s Foster + Partners and Mexican Fernando Romero’s FR-EE. The pair claims their design sets a new template for airports, featuring cavernous open spaces that merge terminals to use less building material.
Dr Chau Chak wing, UTS Business School, Sydney
Legendary architect Frank Gehry condemned 98% of modern architecture as “pure shit” this October. So, all eyes are now turned to his latest creation: a “paper bag” business school at the University of Technology Sydney.
The 85-year-old Canadian-American has applied his trademark curvy-fronted style to the Dr Chau Chak wing building, but eschewed shiny surfaces in favor of 320,000 custom-designed bricks. It opens in February and so far critics are giving tentative thumbs up.
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