The new buildings set to shape the world in 2023

written by Oscar Holland, CNN

The last year in the field of architecture will be remembered as a first, from the world’s first “recycled” skyscraper winning World Building of the Year to Burkina Faso-born Francis Kerry who became the first African architect to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize.
It was also a year in which we lost industry giants like Ricardo Bofill and Meinhard von Gerkan, while gaining new and long-awaited landmarks like the Taipei Performing Arts Center and New York’s Steinway Tower.

As construction projects often take years to complete, there are still delays caused by Covid-19. However, 2023 promises to be a year of impressive new openings, be it the second tallest tower in the world or an interfaith religious complex in Abu Dhabi.

Here are 10 of the architectural projects that are set to shape the world in 2023:

National Library of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel

National Library of Israel

National Library of Israel credit: Herzog and de Meuron

Having outgrown the National Library of Israel – and its huge archive of books, manuscripts and photographs – it is moving to a new building next to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

The distinctive upper volume of the building is like a huge block of carved rock, with the local limestone mixed with cement as a nod to the historic color palette of Jerusalem. Inside, facilities including an auditorium, youth center, and various exhibition spaces are configured around the 50,500-square-foot reading hall.

Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron’s design aims to reflect the institution’s values ​​of openness and accessibility, from the towering circular skylight to the ground-level display cases that make items from the library’s collection visible to passers-by.

Nordau, Copenhagen, Denmark


nordo credit: Rasmus Hjortshoj

Copenhagen has been named the UNESCO World Capital of Architecture for 2023, and the Danish capital is brimming with examples of sustainable design.

Chief among these is the ongoing redevelopment of the industrial city of Nordhavn (or Northern Harbour) into a pedestrian-friendly ‘smart’ district complete with green energy supplies and a ‘superbike’ link to the city centre. Recent years have seen abandoned grain and cement silos converted into offices and apartment complexes, while a sprawling United Nations campus, UN City, opened there in 2013.

Danish architecture firm Henning Larsen’s latest addition to the neighborhood, Nordø, is emblematic of the transformation taking place. With a red brick facade that pays homage to the site’s industrial past, large communal gardens and a rooftop terrace, the 115-home development promises residents an ‘island oasis’ with easy access to the area’s growing array of restaurants and public spaces.

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Lola Mora Cultural Center, San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina

Lola Mora Cultural Centre

Lola Mora Cultural Centre credit: Billy Clark and Company

The late Argentine architect Cesar Pelli may be known for iconic skyscrapers like the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the World Financial Center in New York, but his firm’s first new project in South America since 2018 is an entirely humbling endeavor.

Located in a forest overlooking the city of San Salvador de Jujuy, northwest Argentina, the Lola Mora Cultural Center is dedicated to the sculptor of the same name, one of the leading female artists of the early 20th century. In addition to a selection of her work, the foundation will house an interpretation center, restaurant, library and atelier for visiting artists.

Architects Pelli Clarke & Partners have described the building, whose shape was inspired by a sculptor’s chisel, as “net zero energy,” though it could go further than that: With the help of on-site wind turbines and solar energy production, the center is expected to generate more energy. 20% of what he consumes.

Abrahamic Family House, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (pictured above)

Abrahamic family home

Abrahamic family home credit: Adjaye Associates

Almost 80% of the population of the United Arab Emirates is Muslim, but in the new complex of religions in Abu Dhabi, the three Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) are equal in status. The project occupies three identically sized cubic shapes in a “secular” visitor wing, where the mosque, synagogue and church stand in aesthetic harmony.

Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye’s firm, Adjaye Associates, said it considered interfaith commonalities in its designs, although each of the three main buildings has a different orientation on the site.

In addition to offering houses of worship, the complex aims to encourage dialogue and cultural exchange. To that end, the fourth space—an educational center—will be somewhere “for all people of good will to come together as one,” the architects said.

Merdeka 118, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Mrdaka 118

Mrdaka 118 credit: PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn. Phd.

Merdeka 118 stands 2,227 feet above the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, and is now the second tallest building in the world after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. It is also one of four skyscrapers known as “megaskyscrapers”—a term used to describe towers over 600 meters, or 1,969 feet—in the world.
When he topped the building last year, then-Prime Minister Ismail Sabri compared the design to the image of former leader Tunku Abdul Rahman raising his hand in the air at the country’s declaration of independence at the nearby Merdeka Stadium in 1957. Meanwhile, the project, Fender Katsalidis, says, the triangular glass planes The facade of the building is inspired by the patterns found in Malaysian arts and crafts.

Scheduled for completion in the second half of 2023, the building (and the sprawling mall at its base) promises nearly 1 million square feet of retail space, as well as a 1,000-seat theatre, offices, a hotel, and the highest observation deck in Southeast Asia.

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Destination Crenshaw, Los Angeles, USA

Destination Crenshaw

Destination Crenshaw credit: Perkins and Will

When a new segment of the LA Metro’s K Line threatened to cut Crenshaw Boulevard in two, locals in the historic black neighborhood saw an opportunity to push for new infrastructure in an area that has long suffered from underinvestment. The $100 million public-private initiative, Destination Crenshaw, hopes to do exactly what its name suggests: make Crenshaw a destination in its own right, rather than just a public thoroughfare.

The 1.3-mile Cultural Corridor will feature pedestrian walkways, ten new public parks and street furniture, and more than 100 artworks highlighting black art and culture. Among the murals, statues, and permanent installations will stand African American artist Kehinde Wiley’s re-imagining of the Confederate Statue.

Not all of them will be completed by the end of 2023, but several major components—including the largest landscaped areas, Sankofa Park, and the four “pocket” gardens—are expected to open by fall.

AMRF First Building, Sydney, Australia

AMRF First Building

AMRF First Building credit: hustle

A major urban transformation is underway in Sydney, as a huge area is being built to service – and make use of – the city’s new international airport. Dubbed Western Sydney Aerotropolis, officials hope the area will become an economic hub for science, technology and the creative industries, creating more than 100,000 new jobs over the next three decades.

With the airport not opening until 2026, there is still a long way to go. But every new city starts with one building.

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Aerotropolis’ first structure – appropriately named the Advanced Manufacturing Research Facility (AMRF) Building 1 – is scheduled for completion in late 2023, serving as a visitor center and hub for broader development. Constructed of prefabricated timber units and inspired by the movement of water, the light-filled design was overseen by architecture firm Hassell in collaboration with Western Parkland City Authority and original designer Daniel Hiromek of Djingama, a First Nations cultural design and research practice.

Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, India

Kempegowda International Airport

Kempegowda International Airport credit: som / achin

Bengaluru, India’s third most populous city, is set to welcome its much-anticipated airport expansion, with Kampegoda International’s 2.7-million-square-foot Terminal 2 entering operation early next year. The project will increase the annual capacity of the airport by about 25 million visitors, and eventually rise to 40 million visitors after the completion of its second phase.

Green airports such as Singapore’s Changi Airport have raised expectations about how terminal buildings can look and feel. And architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has taken a similar approach inspired by nature, calling it a “Station in a Garden”—a series of interconnected buildings joined by landscaped, plant-filled spaces, wicker-clad pavilions, indoor waterfalls, and thatched furnishings.

The Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza, Egypt

The Grand Egyptian Museum

The Grand Egyptian Museum credit: MOHAMED AL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images

Costing over a billion dollars and housing some of the most expensive objects in human history, the long-awaited Grand Egyptian Museum has faced delays since a design competition was announced in 2002. It was included on this list by up to five. years ago.
Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has not responded to CNN’s repeated request to confirm that 2023 will, finally, be the year the museum will open its doors, though there have been plenty of promising signs (not least the announcement of a major concert there in January).

Designed by Dublin-based Heneghan Peng Architects, the 5.2-million-square-foot structure features exhibition spaces, a conservation center, and an atrium tall enough to house a colossal statue of Ramesses II (with attic space to spare). Triangular shapes dominate the glass façade and flow throughout the building, a shape that recalls the nearby pyramids of Giza.

Top photo: Abrahamic Family House, Abu Dhabi.


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