We’ve collected the most exciting architecture projects of the year, which we’ve covered in a series of articles, because they deserve to be seen by as many as possible.
The tallest building in the EU—Warsaw
Designed by British architectural studio Foster + Partners, the Varso Tower is currently the tallest building in the European Union at 310 meters. The skyscraper, which houses offices, restaurants, retail facilities and a sky garden, has overtaken 259-meter-tall Commerzbank Tower built in Frankfurt in 1997. The building is located in the center of the Polish capital, next to the railway station, and its 53 floors provide 70,000 square meters of office space for local, international, and start-up companies.
The House of Music Hungary opened its doors—Budapest
The new Budapest public building was inaugurated earlier this year, and since then it has been the recipient of many of the architectural world’s most prestigious professional awards. Sou Fujimoto challenges the artificially created boundaries in architecture, the distinction between walls and windows, and the sharp separation between inside and outside. In the House of Music Hungary, this sense is most strikingly evoked by the glass façade and completed by the design of the undulating roof structure that extends over beyond the building. The ceilings, both indoors and outdoors, are covered with leaf-like elements; this unified visual effect reinforces the dissolution of the boundary between inside and outside, sometimes creating an optical illusion.
Robust concrete surfaces—A home in Lithuania
Most people would say that concrete is robust and cold, but in the case of this Lithuanian building, it’s sofetened by vertical elements, large glass surfaces and huge, round-shaped openings. The concrete building is in spectacular contrast with the surrounding houses, and this is exactly what makes it stand out from the urban environment and nature. Although at first glance, one might associate the house with inaccessible, possibly uncomfortable and oppressive bunkers, the floor-to-ceiling windows and open terraces are intended to mitigate this.
3D printed tram stop—Prague
An interdisciplinary team at So Concrete in Prague has created the first tram stop in the Czechia using robotic 3D printing technology. The new Výstaviště tram stop in Prague is the first of its kind in the country. The ABB robot took 36 hours to print out the stop, which was designed with the help of artificial intelligence.
Holy Trinity Church—Derekegyház
We wrote about the building when it had just won a Hungarian architectural award. The chapel from the Árpád-dynasty was destroyed in the Tatar invasion of 1241, so the settlement received its own place of worship again after 777 years, with the help of the Váncza Művek. The shape of the church is perfectly in harmony with its thousand-year history, yet undeniably contemporary.
Passive house in Czechia—Malé Kyšice
The architect duo Stempel & Tesar Architekti have transformed a holiday home into a spectacular passive house. The rounded walls and the ceilings are made of wood, while the rest of the masonry was done with the use of concrete blocks for durability and longevity. The fully glazed façade features anthracite window frames, creating a sense of openness and proximity to nature.
Museum in memory of a war hero—Ostrów Mazowiecká
The story of World War II hero Witold Pilecki is a gripping one, but one that ended badly, with him being executed on trumped-up charges by the communists despite his brave actions. The Poles are now seeking to commemorate their hero by opening a museum dedicated to him, designed by BDR Architekci. The design brings together three components, Pilecki’s old home, the new pavilion, and the garden.
Lookout to the void—Rokytnice
The ridge of the Stráž mountain—where guard posts used to be located, and warning fires lit if enemy approached—towers over the Czech town of Rokytnice. The architects of Mjölk architekti designed four wooden-clad, light-steel-framed lookout points for the former guard posts, inspired by the symbols of the city’s coat of arms.