Technogym
Technogym
Technogym

CLAD Review of 2016: The best cultural buildings of the year

We wrap up our CLAD review of 2016 with a look at some of the most significant new cultural buildings that have opened this year. We have compiled a separate list for museums – of which there have been many spectacular examples in the last 12 months – so this one focuses on other typologies, from concert halls to theatres and arts centres.

No such list can ever be truly comprehensive of course, especially when the design standard is increasingly so high, so please let us know your own favourite leisure buildings of the year in the comments section below, or on our social media pages.

CLAD Review of 2016: The best cultural buildings of the year

Hamburg Elbphilharmonie by Herzog and de Meuron

“Culture"

This truly spectacular building, over a decade in the making, had its soft opening in November. The project was oft-delayed and came in far over the original budget, but the end result is a new landmark for Hamburg. A 7,000sq m (75,347sq ft) roof – added on top of an existing warehouse – consists of eight spherical, concavely bent sections that form an elegantly curving silhouette. Inside, stylistic flourishes and attention-to-detail wow throughout. Restaurants, cafés, bars, a hotel, a huge public plaza and an elevated outdoor terrace all feature, but it is the main concert hall that leaves the biggest impression. Rising 50m (164 ft) and seating 2,100 spectators in interwoven tiers, the 12,500-tonne hall rests on 362 giant spring assemblies to decouple it from the rest of the building and features sound-modulating textured ‘white skin’ conceived with acclaimed acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens by Renzo Piano Building Workshop

“Culture"

Opening in June with a four day festival of cultural events, this elegant building is a multi-functional and environmentally sustainable education, arts, and recreation complex for both the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera. Features include a sloping grass roof that visitors can climb to access a glass-walled Reading Room and a 360 degree viewpoint over the city and coast. This links at the bottom to the 210,000sq m (2,260sq ft) Stavros Niarchos Park, created by landscape architects Deborah Nevins and Associates. Alongside the centre, a wide canal has been built as a figurative extension of the adjacent sea, and an anti-flooding window for the whole site. The building is a gift by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to the Greek state – one of the largest donations in Greece’s history.

Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects

“Culture"

This striking, sinuous opera house has been designed as a response to the region’s untamed wilderness and chilly climate. The building’s smooth white aluminium walls twist and turn as if sculpted by the water and wind, blending into the surrounding environment and transfusing the local identity with art and culture. Hidden pathways carved into the facade allow visitors to ascend the structure as if climbing a mountain. Inside, large transparent glass walls span the lobby, visually connecting the curvilinear interior with the sweeping exterior. Above, a supported crystalline ceiling comprises of smooth and angular glass pyramids, referencing the snow and ice that covers the region in winter and allowing natural light to enter the lobby. A swooping wooden staircase takes visitors from the lobby to the 1,600-capacity grand theatre. MAD founder Ma Yansong has built a reputation for his nature-inspired designs, and the Harbin Opera House is one of the finest examples of his philosophy in action.

Dubai Opera House by Atkins

“Culture"

Architecture studio Atkins were inspired by Dubai’s maritime history – specifically Arabian sailing vessels – for their design if this major new cultural landmark for the emirate. The ‘bow’ of the structure contains Dubai Opera’s main stage, orchestra and seating areas, as well as a sky garden and rooftop restaurant. The elongated ‘hull’ area features the waiting areas for spectators, a taxi-drop off area, and parking amenities. “We looked into Dubai's heritage and traditions for inspiration to find an architectural language which would celebrate the city's past, as well as supporting its future,” explained design director Janus Rostock. The opera house had its soft opening in August, with Spanish tenor Placido Domingo headlining the opening performance.

Writers Theatre by Studio Gang

“Culture"

It has been a good year for Chicago’s Studio Gang – who have a number of exciting projects in the pipeline and whose founder Jeanne Gang was named Architect of the Year at the Women in Architecture awards in March. One of the highlights was the opening of this performing arts centre in Glencoe, Chicago, designed as a new cultural landmark for the city. Built for the Writers Theatre group, which produces inventive interpretations of classic plays, the theatre features an elevated glass box lobby which glows in the dark at night to beckon people in.The theatre is spread across a village-like cluster of distinct volumes around a central hub. The 36,000sq ft (3,345sq m) complex includes rehearsal rooms, a second-floor gallery and two performance spaces – a main stage and a smaller 99-seat black box venue – designed to be intimate and easily configurable. “The building engages its context through transparent visual connections and ivy-covered backdrops to the surrounding parks,” explained the architects.

Serpentine Pavilion by Bjarke Ingels Group

“Culture"

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) continue to grow at quite a pace – and opened several impressive buildings across the world in 2016. We particularly liked this temporary contribution to the famous Serpentine Pavilion series, which marked BIG’s first project in the UK and celebrated the foundation of their new London office. Conceived as an “unzipped wall pulled apart to form a cavity within it,” the structure was made from hollow fibreglass blocks stacked on top of one another. Viewed from the front, it appeared almost solid, while from the side the hollow blocks allowed views right through the pavilion to the park beyond. Studio founder Bjarke Ingels said designing the pavilion had allowed the practice to demonstrate their values in a way that their more traditional building work cannot. “As architects, we almost always work in situations that are so saturated with existing constraints that the project becomes very much about the place we're working in, and maybe less about the pure manifestation of our ideas about architecture,” he explained.

National Music Center by Allied Works Architecture

“Culture"

A giant international hub for music and sound technology, nicknamed Studio Bell, opened in Calgary this summer to house Canada’s National Music Centre. A vast street-crossing construction, the 160,000sq ft (15,000sq m) building rises in nine interlocking towers clad in glazed terra cotta. It includes five floors of exhibition space showcasing over 2,000 artefacts and musical instruments intended to educate and inspire visitors about Canadian music. To the west of the structure, a skybridge spans like a gateway over Calgary’s 4th Avenue and connects the building with the existing King Edward Hotel – one of the birthplaces of jazz in the city. Each of Studio Bell’s exhibition spaces is designed to produce an experience more aligned with a music festival than a traditional museum. Galleries are envisioned as spaces for performance, where music is heard and experienced, and each can be customised to suit the needs of its specific collection. Both inside and out, the centre is certainly a striking new landmark for the city.

Museo Atlantico by Jason deCaires Taylor

“Culture"

This last entry to the list not a building, but is included here for its design excellence and thoughtful conception. Billed as an underwater attraction, visitors can snorkel or board glass-bottomed boats to view crowds of motionless human figures fixed 12 metres below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean in Lanzarote. The sculptures, created by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor using a specialised marine cement, are portrayed taking selfies, using tablets and phones and striding across the ocean floor. The centrepiece, The Raft of Lampedusa, depicts a boat carrying 13 refugees to Europe. “The project, designed with a conservation goal, traces the dialogue between art and nature through the creation of an artificial reef and large-scale sculptures to help increase marine biomass and species of local fish,” explained Taylor. The result is sometimes humorous, sometimes haunting, and always compelling.

Related stories
23 Dec 2016

CLAD Review of 2016: The best spas of the year

23 Dec 2016

CLAD Review of 2016: The best health and fitness designs of the year

22 Dec 2016

CLAD Review of 2016: The best stadiums of the year

21 Dec 2016

CLAD Review of 2016: The best museums of the year

We wrap up our CLAD review of 2016 with a look at some of the most significant new cultural buildings that have opened this year. We have compiled a separate list for museums – of which there have been many spectacular examples in the last 12 months – so this one focuses on other typologies, from concert halls to theatres and arts centres. No such list can ever be truly
CLD,ARC,DES,DEV,INV
Hamburg Elbphilharmonie by Herzog and de Meuron
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7773     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7773     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Polin Waterparks
Design, engineering, manufacturing, installation of waterslides, waterparks and waterplay attractions. Polin has perfected hundreds of exclusive and successful projects all around the world: outdoor parks, indoor parks and hotel/resort packages, regardless of the project’s size.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
The crowdfunding proceeds will pay to replace the stadium’s seats, the first step in its transformation to a concert and events venue
"It empowers citizens to change their community with a bottom up approach - Harriet Gridley, Spacehive"

Crowdfunding can empower architects, but knowledge of the challenges is vital, finds Kath Hudson

Large windows and folding doors provide views of the terraces and forest outside
"The difference between a hotel and a ryokan is that a hotel is more public and a ryokan is less intense and more intimate"

Across Japan, architects are giving traditional ryokans a modern makeover with surprising results. We take a look

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
The ninth floor features a wall dedicated to the late artist Tony Hart, with new artworks by contemporary artists
Linda Boronkay grew up in Budapest. Her father was an architect and her mother was an antiques dealer and collector
"Nick Jones and I are both passionate about design. When we see the same thing twice, it bores us. It’s risky but interesting creatively"

At the end of a very busy year for Soho House, the group’s design director talks us through her plans

Martha Schwartz: The landscape architect on bagels, climate change and upsetting the status quo
Martha Schwartz
"No one is taking the issue of climate change seriously. Some bad things will have to happen before there is a change"

The outspoken landscape architect on climate change, bagels and being controversial

AL_A’s design concept for the project was to ‘make visible the invisible through large moves and small details alike’
AL_A’s design concept for the project was to ‘make visible the invisible through large moves and small details alike’
"There is no other institution that would be quite so audacious in its commission"

Pulls off the V&A's new £55m courtyard

BIG’s design for Google’s Charleston East Campus aims to foster a sense of community
Daniel Sundlin
"What defines BIG’s style of visual communication is that our diagrams clearly capture the essence of our projects, meaning that it’s very easy for people who don’t know our projects well to understand them."

The vision for Google's UK and US HQs

cladkit product news
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
Jaffe Holden helps bring Academy Museum of Motion Pictures alive
Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics for the Academy Museum
Magali Robathan
Acoustical consulting firm Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics and audio/video design services for the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion ...
cladkit product news
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
cladkit product news
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates
Technogym
Technogym