Buildings of 2011 – Architecture of the Year

Architecture in 2011, Buildings of the Year, Architects, Designs, Images

Buildings of 2011

e-architect Selection of Architecture of the Year

Major Buildings from 2011

e-architect have selected some key buildings and designs from 2011.

Our parameters? Architecture that stimulates, buildings that question, designs that show innovation.

We aren’t saying these are the ‘best’ buildings of 2011, merely a selection of ones that have moved us.

Next year we’ll ask a panel of judges to pick out the key buildings of the year but we’re deliberately not considering the complex task of selecting ‘winners’.

Having served on many architectural juries I am not shy of doing this, but over the last 12 years I’ve consciously steered our websites away from that aspect of architecture, we don’t run awards, of course we have to report architectural news and that means reporting on architecture awards. In terms of ‘moving global architecture on’ it is obvious our readers will have a myriad of takes on this.

We haven’t picked a fixed number of projects, like a top ten, we’ve picked what we feel is right.

[Adrian Welch, e-architect editor]

We’ve divided up completed buildings and designs.

Buildings / designs are listed in order of ‘largest impression’:

Major Buildings completed in 2011

Busan Cinema Centre, South Korea – News
Busan Cinema Center
photo © Woochang Choi Korea

This austrian practice has always shocked and surprised, this is one of their major works so far.

Museo Soumaya, Mexico – new photos
FREE | Fernando Romero EnterprisE
Soumaya Museum
photograph : Adam Wiseman

Breathtakingly bold, challenging in terms of scale and relationship to people and the city around.

Sarpi Border Checkpoint, Georgia
J. MAYER H. Architects
Sarpi Border Checkpoint
photograph : Jesko Malkolm Johnsson-Zahn

This german practice has risen rapidly in the last few years, rather like the danish studio BIG, and continues to create original designs, mostly connected by a futuristic curvilinear style.

Ring Around a Tree, Japan
Tezuka Architects
Fuji Kindergarten
photograph : Katsuhisa Kida

For the last few decades Japan has arguably been the most innovative country in the world architecturally, with a wide range of practices consistently creating genuinely innovative buildings. This poetic design continues the dialogue from their earlier ‘Roof House’.

Martin Luther Kirche Hainburg, Austria
Martin Luther Kirche
photo © Duccio Malagamba

Another confident and unusual design by this austrian studio, fluid form on a small site.

Universiade in Shenzhen, China
von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp)
Universiade in Shenzhen
photo © Christan Gahl

Intriguing pair of buildings by major german practice with expertise in massive scale projects, such as their 2010 World Cup stadiums

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
BenthemCrouwel Architects
Stedelijk Museum Facade
photo from architects

Difficult to comprehend this getting through planning, but this massive ‘bathtub’ design is structurally complete so sneaks into the 2011 selection, compared to their earlier Anne Frank House Museum this represents a wild change of direction for this dutch studio.

Media-ICT, Barcelona, Spain
Cloud 9
Media TIC
photograph from architect

World Building of the Year 2011 as voted at WAF in November – interesting form, programme and materials.

Nebuta-no-ie Warasse, Aomori City, Japan
molo + d/dt Arch + Frank la Rivière Architects
Nebuta-no-ie Warasse
photo : Shigeo Ogawa

What a facade, the sort of fluiditiy and form you might find in an installation but fantastic to find an architect that could push this concept to completion.

Decameron, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
studio mk27, marcio kogan + mariana simas
picture : Pedro Vannucchi

This Brazilian design studio has unleashed a superb series of buildings, mostly luxury houses using a strong paletter of concrete, stone and wood. This is a little different, using maritime transport containers and big splashes of colour.

House in Yamanashi, Japan
Takeshi Hosaka architects
House in Yamanashi
photograph : Koji Fujii / Nacasa&Pertners Inc.

Again, Japanese innovation, a humble house divided into 4 1/2 ‘segments’ with each whole segment being lit by a strip of rooflight, refreshing.

Living Foz, Porto, Portugal
dEMM arquitectura
Living Foz
photograph : Fernando Guerra of FG + SG – Fotografia de Arquitectura

Gorgeous crystalline rhythmic facades, boldly sculptural and reduced to pure form.

Guangzhou Opera House, China
Zaha Hadid Architects
Guangzhou Opera House
photograph : Virgile Simon Bertrand

Arguably the building of the year in terms of architectural dexterity, Zaha Hadid’s most important design to date, the twin-boulder design contain 1,800-seat and 400-seat spaces, with shimmering, fluid interiors.

New York by Gehry
New York City skyscraper
Rippling Building
photo : Gehry Photos
Frank Gehry is often cited as the world’s most famous architect, or its best architect, he’s won the Pritzker Prize and even appeared in The Simpsons, and since his Blibao Guggenheim he has occupied the world of starchitects. Much of his recent work has involved public buildings such as art galleries and museums, so it is interesting to see him tackle the skyscraper programme. This 76 storey tower grabbed the headlines in early 2011 with its rippling facade. Gehry continues to innovate, and this captivating design shows an ability to keep reinventing his ouevre.

Key Buildings completed in 2011

These designs also took our attention in 2011:

Jeongok Prehistory Museum, Korea
Jeongok Prehistory Museum South Korea
photo from architect
Novancia business school, Paris, France
Novancia business school building
photograph : Georges Fessy
Porta Fira Hotel, Barcelona, Spain
Toyo Ito
Porta Fira Hotel
photo from FCC
Cité de l’Océan et du Surf, Biarritz, France
Steven Holl + Solange Fabiao
Cité de l’Océan et du Surf Building Biarritz France
image © Iwan Baan
Metropol Parasol, Seville, Spain
J. MAYER H. Architects
Seville Parasol
photo : Gonzalo Navarro
Cais das Artes Project, Brazil
Paulo Mendes da Rocha + Metro Arquitetos
Cais das Artes Project
picture : Metro Arquitetos
ArtScience Museum, Singapore
Safdie Architects
ArtScience Museum
photo : Timothy Hursley
Torre Diagonal Zero Zero, Barcelona
EMBA – Enric Massip-Bosch
Torre Diagonal Zero Zero
photo : EMBA
The Orange Cube, Lyon, France
Jakob + Macfarlane
The Orange Cube
photo : Nicolas Borel
Natural History Museum of Utah, USA
Ennead Architects, LLP with GSBS
Natural History Museum of Utah Building
photograph © Jeff Goldberg/Esto
Treehugger Pavilion, Germany
FH Trier and one fine day
image : Roland Borgmann, Münster
Harpa, Reykjavik, Iceland – new photos
Henning Larsen Architects + Olafur Eliasson
picture Courtesy of Harpa © Hörður Sveinsson
Centro Niemeyer, Avilés, Spain
Oscar Niemeyer architect
Centro Niemeyer
photo : Ángel Navarrete
Sunset Chapel, Acapulco, Mexico
Bunker Arquitectura
Sunset Chapel
picture : Esteban Suárez
City of Culture of Galicia, Spain
Eisenman Architects
City of Culture of Galicia Santiago de Compostela
photo : Pasajes Espanoles
Luxembourg Apartment Building
Metaform architecture
Luxembourg Apartment Building
photograph : steve troes fotodesign
Fragile Shelter, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Hidemi Nishida
Fragile Shelter
photo : Anna Nagai
Evelyn Grace Academy Winner
Zaha Hadid Architects
Evelyn Grace Academy
picture : Luke Hayes
Hotel nhow Berlin, Germany
nps tchoban voss
Hotel nhow
photo : Roland Halbe
Yucca Crater, Mojave Desert, CA, USA
Ball Nogues Studio, Architects
Yucca Crater
picture : Courtesy Ball-Nogues Studio
Actelion Business Center Building, Switz.
Herzog & de Meuron
Actelion Business Center
photo from ABC
Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, Tokyo
Tange Associates Architects
Cocoon Tower Tokyo
photo : Koji Horiuchi
EDF archives centre, Bure, France
LAN Architecture
EDF archives centre
photograph © Julien Lanoo
New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion, NYC, USA
Ben van Berkel / UNStudio
New Amsterdam Plein
image : UNStudio
London Olympics Aquatics Centre, UK
Zaha Hadid Architects
London Olympics Pool
photograph © Hufton + Crow
Hotel Lone, Rovinj, Croatia
3LHD architects
Rovinj Hotel Croatia
photo : 3LHD
Tori-Tori Restaurant, Mexico City
Rojkind Arquitectos
Tori-Tori Mexico
photograph : Paul Rivera © rojkind arquitectos
London 2012 Velodrome, England
Hopkins Architects
London Olympic Velodrome
photo from fd
La Fabrique, Nantes, France
Tetrarc architectes
La Fabrique Nantes
photo : Stéphane Chalmeau
Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, China
gmp von Gerkan, Marg and Partners
Shanghai Oriental Sports Center
photograph from architect
M.N.ROY Club, Mexico City
Chic By Accident
M.N.ROY Club
photograph : Ramiro Chaves
Museum ABC, Madrid, Spain
Aranguren & Gallegos Arquitectos
Museum ABC
photo : Jesus Granada
Felix Nussbaum Haus Extension, Germany
Studio Daniel Libeskind
Felix Nussbaum Haus Extension
picture from architect
House in Moriyama, Nagoya, south Japan
Suppose design office architects
Home in Moriyama
photograph : Toshiyuki Yano
CTTI Offices, Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
ACXT Architects
CTTI Offices
photo : Eugeni Pons
Ruta del Peregrino Designs, Mexico
various architects
Ruta del Peregrino
image : Iwan Baan
Congress Center Hangzhou, China
Peter Ruge Architekten
Congress Center Hangzhou
photo : Jan Siefke
Law Courts in Gouveia, Portugal
Barbosa & Guimaraes
Palácio de Justiça de Gouveia
photo : FG + SG – Fotografia de Arquitectura
House in Otake, Hiroshima, Japan
Suppose design office, architects
House in Otake
photograph : Toshiyuki Yano
Museum of Liverpool, England
3XN Architects
Museum of Liverpool Building
photo © Philip Handforth
House Wright, Durban, South Africa
House Wright
picture from architects
Riverside Museum, Glasgow, Scotland
Zaha Hadid Architects
Riverside Museum Glasgow
photograph © Tom Manley Photography
Little one-room house with a curve, Japan
studio velocity, architects
Little one-room house with a curve
photograph from architect
RATP Formation Center, Paris, France
Stephane Maupin Architectes
Porte de la Villette Building
image : Cécile Septet
Placebo Pharmacy, Athens, Greece
Klab Architecture / K. Labrinopoulos
Placebo Pharmacy
photograph : P. Kokkinias
Carlos Ramos Pavilion, Porto, Portugal
Álvaro Siza Vieira
Carlos Ramos Pavilion
photo : Nelson Garrido
Nanjing Museum of Art & Architecture, China
Steven Holl Architects
Nanjing Museum
picture : Shu He
House in Saijo, Shikoku, Japan
Suppose design office, architects
Saijo House
photo : Toshiyuki Yano
Roomroom, Tokyo, Japan
Takeshi Hosaka Architects
photograph : Koji Fujii / Nacasa&Pertners Inc.
Moon Bay Park, Jinhua, China
Moon Bay Park
picture from RTA-Office
La Ville Intelligente, Paris, France
La Ville Intelligente
© Jakob+MacFarlane – Nicolas Borel photographer
Casa dos Ipês, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
studio mk27 – marcio kogan + lair reis
Casa dos Ipês
photograph : Reinaldo Cóser
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
Preston Scott Cohen
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
photo © Amit Geron Courtesy Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Florida Beach House, Western Australia
Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects
Florida Beach Home
photo © Peter Bennetts
Sainsbury Laboratory Building, England
Stanton Williams
Sainsbury Laboratory Building
photograph © Hufton+Crow
Bitexco Financial Tower, Vietnam
AREP Architects
Bitexco Financial Tower
image : AREP Architects
ThyssenKrupp Quarter, Essen, Germany
JSWD Architects / Chaix & Morel et Associés
ThyssenKrupp Quarter Essen
photo from architects
Salvador Dali Museum Florida, USA
HOK Architects
Salvador Dali Museum St. Petersburg
image : Moris Moreno
Gallery House, Vale dos Cristais, Brazil
MACh Arquitetos
Gallery House
photo : Fabio del Rey
Josephine Baker group of schools, Paris
D. Coulon et Associes
Josephine Baker group of schools
photograph : Eugeni Pons
Las Arenas Barcelona, Spain
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Las Arenas Barcelona
picture : Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
National Automobile Museum Turin, Italy
Cino Zucchi Architetti
National Automobile Museum Turin
photo : Cino Zucchi
The Crystal, Copenhagen, Denmark
Schmidt Hammer Lassen
The Crystal
picture : Adam Mørk
Pod Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Studio Nicoletti Associati
POD Exhibition Hall
photo © H. Lim Ho
Arc En Ciel Bordeaux, France
Agence Bernard Bühler
Arc En Ciel Bordeaux
photo from Agence Bernard Bühler

Unbuilt Designs from 2011

Vejle Harbour development, Denmark
Studio Olafur Eliasson + others
image © Olafur Eliasson
Wadi Rum Lodges, Jordan
Oppenheim Architecture + Design
Wadi Rum Jordan
image from architect
Cathedral Fold, Strasbourg, France
Axis Mundi Design
Strasbourg Cathedral design
picture from Axis Mundi Design
Dalian International Conference Center, Chn.
Dalian Conference Center Building
The Broad Art Foundation, Los Angeles, USA
Diller Scofidio + Renfro
The Broad Art Foundation
image from architects
The Leadenhall Building, London
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
122 Leadenhall Street
image : Cityscape
Bishan Central, Singapore
Safdie Architects
Bishan Central
image from CapitaLand
Angkasa Raya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ole Scheeren
Angkasa Raya Tower
image © Buro-OS
Bogotá International Convention Center
Saucier + Perrotte architectes
Bogotá Convention Center
image from Saucier + Perrotte architectes
Cultural Complex Longgang District, China
Mecanoo architecten
Cultural Complex Longgang
image : Doug and Wolf
The Cube in Beirut, Lebanon
Orange Architects
The Cube Beirut
render from architects
NAMOC, Beijing, China
NAMOC Beijing National Art Museum of China
picture : Mir
Glasgow School of Art Extension, Scotland
Steven Holl Architects
Glasgow School of Art Building
picture : Steven Holl Architects
Albania Parliament Tirana, Albania
Parliament Albania
Civic Sports Center, Shenyang, China
EMERGENT Tom Wiscombe
Civic Sports Center Shenyang
image from architects
Z15 Tower – tallest building in Beijing, China
TFP Farrells, BIAD, ARUP and MVA
Z15 Tower
picture from architect
Galaxy Soho Beijing, China
Zaha Hadid Architects
Galaxy Soho Beijing
image from architects
Cubus Building, Hong Kong
Woods Bagot
Cubus building
image from architect

Key Buildings to be completed in 2012/13

Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany
Herzog and de Meuron
Elbe Philharmonic
© José Campos josecamposmoreira(at)
Sliced Porosity, Chengdu, China
Steven Holl Architects
Sliced Porosity Building
photo from architects
The Shard, London : exclusive photos
Renzo Piano Building Workshop
The Shard
photo © Nick Weall
London Olympic Stadium, UK
Populous with Peter Cook
London Olympic Stadium
image from ODA
Library of Birmingham, England
Birmingham Library
image courtesy BCC
Kingdom Tower, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Kingdom Tower
image © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Comments on the Buildings of 2011 page welcome

Best Buildings of the Decade

To celebrate the end of a decade, The Mark published their contributors’ picks of the best architecture from the 2000s.

Best Buildings of the Decade

Selection below:

International Port Terminal, Yokohama, Japan
Foreign Office Architects
Yokohama Ferry Terminal
photo : Saturo Mashima

Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria
Spacelab Cook-Fournier
Kunsthaus Graz
photo from RIAS – no larger image

21st Century Museum, Kanazawa, Japan
Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa
photo © 2008 Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA

Seattle Public Library, Seattle, USA
Office for Metropolitan Architecture
Seattle Library building
photo : Philippe Ruault

Mercedes-Benz Museum, Stuttgart, Germany
Mercedes Museum Stuttgart
photo : Christian Richters

Tate Modern, London, UK
Herzog & de Meuron
Tate Modern
image © Adrian Welch

Prada New York, New York City, USA
Office for Metropolitan Architecture
Prada Shop New York
photo Armin Linke

Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montréal, Canada
Saucier + Perotte
New Music Building
photograpph : Marc Cramer

Comments on the Best Buildings of the Decade page welcome

Possible Contenders for Best Buildings of the Decade

Caixa Forum, Madrid
Herzog de Meuron
Caixa Forum Madrid
photograph © Mark Bentley
New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY
SANAA architects
Manhattan Art Gallery
image from SANAA
Neues Museum, Berlin
David Chipperfield Architects
Neues Museum
photograph : Ute Zscharnt
Phaeno Science Centre, Wolfsburg
Zaha Hadid Architects
Wolfsburg architecture
image © Zaha Hadid Architects
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Herzog & de Meuron with HGA, Inc.
Walker Art Center
photo : Paul Warchol
BMW Welt, Munich
Coop Himmelb(l)au
BMW building Germany
picture from Ketchum
Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach
David Chipperfield Architects
Literaturmuseum der Moderne
photograph © Christian Richters
GRAM Michigan, USA
wHY architecture
photo : Chris Barrett@Hedrich Blessing
Hoki Museum, Chiba, Japan
Nikken Sekkei
Hoki Museum Japan
image : Harunori Noda

Buildings of 2012

Comments / photos for the Architecture of 2011 page welcome

Buildings of 2011 : page