Five Buildings to Look Forward to This Year

As engineers and architects continue to break convention with evermore radical designs that push boundaries in terms of aesthetics, materials and sustainability, there are a number of groundbreaking structures due for completion this year. From an underground art museum to a spacecraft-like structure in the desert, CCL takes a look at the five projects we're most looking forward to seeing in 2020...

Datong Art Museum, China

Image courtesy of: Foster+Partners

Nine years since its inception, the much-anticipated Datong Art Museum is expected to finally open its doors to art lovers later this year. Foster + Partners are behind the striking pyramid design formed by four interconnected shards that are really the tip of an architectural iceberg. Once inside, visitors can marvel at the main gallery’s cavernous interior, which at 37 metres high and almost 80 metres wide is spacious enough to house the larger-than-life sculptures and ambitious art collections the museum plans to commission. Above ground, the structure is one of four major new buildings drawing crowds at Datong New City’s cultural plaza.


Poem Pavilion, UAE

Image courtesy of: ES Devlin

Inspired by a project of the late Stephen Hawkins, Es Devlin’s Poem Pavilion playfully explores one of humanities’ biggest quandaries: how should we express ourselves to extra-terrestrial lifeforms? The building engages with this interstellar issue by merging language and form. The exterior is inscribed with contributions from the building’s earthly visitors, using AI to create a wall of mutable poetry that has something new to say with every visit. The pavilion is the UK’s first World Expo structure designed by a female designer and will star alongside other incredible designs from the likes of Santiago Calatrava, Foster + Partners, BIG and Grimshaw. The pavilion is open to visitors later this year at the Dubai Expo 2020.


Bee’ah Headquarters, UAE

Image courtesy of: Zaha Hadid Architects

Heading into the UAE desert, Bee’ah’s new Headquarters are also nearing completion. Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the building’s futuristic façade slopes among the dunes, blending into the surrounding desert landscape. Built to withstand severe sandstorms and powered entirely by renewable energy, the climate inside the new HQ's will be an oasis for workers at the integrated environmental and waste management company. Thanks to shimmering, heat-reflective exterior cladding, daytimes spent inside the building are cool and light, while after sunset the interior is lit by impressive patterned light displays that make the most of the structure’s sweeping ceilings.


Musée Atelier Audemars Piguet, Switzerland

Image courtesy of: BIG

The team at Bjarke Ingel's firm BIG are known for their ground-breaking designs and have several such innovations due to complete later this year, but perhaps one of the most daring is their museum for Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet at its headquarters in Switzerland. Nestled amongst the historic workshops and factories, the museum appears spun out of the landscape with a design that pays homage to the craft of watchmaking, while breaking convention with its spiral form. Visitors will have uninterrupted views as they wander through the ever-curving gallery, with windowed expanses and equally well-designed event spaces.


Maggie’s Southampton, England

Image courtesy of: AL_A

Designed by the RIBA Stirling prize-winning architect Amanda Levete, Maggie’s Southampton is a much-needed sanctuary for cancer patients and their relatives. Neighbouring the oncology unit at Southampton General Hospital, the modest building has no reception area and the walls are to be kept free from clocks and signage that you might expect to find at a medical facility. It’s hoped the day-lit interior and serene flower garden outside will help lift the guests' spirits, providing a space to relax, reflect and to receive holistic support away from the usual hospital environment.