Best 10 architecture projects of 2020

A selection buildings and interventions published this year: from the challenges of density to the experiments in materiality, from reclaiming space for the public realm to building as a tool for inclusion.

2020 has been a year we will probably never forget, even if we are all looking forward for it to end. In the architecture sector, which deals with the production of something that is inevitably physical, working in building sites in a year of pandemic has been a challenge in many countries. Along with that, the design of buildings, which is always a collective effort, has been often carried out in an unprecedented way, due to social distancing measures and remote working.
As we know, architecture requires a certain amount of time to be transferred from the first sketch to the final result. For some of the buildings we chose to represent this year, it took more than ten years to be completed. Most (and probably all) of these buildings have been conceived much before the pandemic took place.
While we remain curious to see if and how the pandemic will affect architecture, we rounded up this selection starting from the perspective of what we wish to see more of in the coming years: buildings as tool for inclusion, material expressions interpreting the memory of a place, or aspects of particular cultures, and interventions reclaiming an urban presence for the public realm.

A crafted tower in Beirut by Lina Ghotmeh

Paris-based and Beirut-born architect Lina Ghotmeh, introduced us to the Stone Garden mixed-used tower back in 2019, when the building was about to be delivered. In the afternoon of 4 August 2020, when a disastrous explosion broke at the port of the city of Beirut, caused major damages in the area and left an estimated 300,000 people homeless. The tower, a few kilometers away from the site, was damaged too. As Lina Ghotmeh told Domus, “Stone Garden is a constant reminder of what Beirut lived during the Civil War of the 1990s, it is an invitation not to repeat history but to cherish life and cohesion”. This important message has been even more valid after the tragic event.
Read the full article here.
 

Steven Holl’s Kinder Building in Houston

The expansion of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, one of the most important and large institutions of this kind in the States, has been inaugurated on November 21st. The Kinder Building, along with the Glassell School of Art, has brought a new dimension to the historical campus. In the occasion of the opening, we discussed the project with Steven Holl and Chris McVoy, the office’s senior partner, that told us about the genesis and challenges of a building that represents 20 years of experimentation on the typology of the museum.
Read the full article here.

Álvaro Siza and the urban dimension of the collective housing