Best architecture projects of 2023

A selection of this year’s most important buildings and published interventions, expressions of the high collective value of architecture, from housing to services to cultural spaces.

As the world is facing increasing risks of closure, fragmentation and exclusion, “to include” has been one of the challenge-words that this year has placed on the path of architecture, in its constant effort to interpret complex questions. The collective value of architectures, in this scenario, can be represented as powerfully by a public toilet as by CERN visitors’ center, by a sports facility conceived as an urban building as by the Serpentine Pavilion, or by various “friendly parasites” with the most diverse scales and materials possible.

We have selected the projects published in 2023 that, from Africa to Australia via Europe and China, have most clearly embodied this facet of contemporaneity for architecture.

Plasticity and inclusiveness: an experiment for a public restroom in Beijing

Even a functional service architecture can be born out of experimentation and become a landmark. That is the case of the Amoeba public restroom project in Beijing. Designed by People’s Architecture Office, the architecture takes the shape of a small mono-material pavilion with sinuous shapes where the space becomes highly dynamic in a succession of concave and convex curves. Read more

Oma’s highly anticipated project in Manchester, completed this year

The new MIF venue acknowledges Manchester’s industrial and creative past: its facades of concrete and corrugated metal stand out among the brick warehouses and new residential buildings with glass facades, offices, and television studios that make up the new St. John’s neighborhood. The building rises above Water Street, and the arches of the 19th-century railway line, now part of its foyer, open up to a much-needed portion of public space towards the River Irwell. Read more

In Melbourne, a zero-emission, community-centered building “represents the sun”

“The Nightingale Village” is Australia’s first zero-emission residential development, located in Melbourne’s vibrant Brunswick suburb. The complex includes six buildings designed by various architects (Clare Cousins Architects; Kennedy Nolan; Hayball; Architecture; Breathe), characterized by different languages but with a common goal: offering affordable quality housing under the banner of environmental sustainability, social equity, and community connections. Read more

New natural histories: Jeanne Gang’s Gilder Center is a radical manifesto

Studio Gang’s extension for the AMNH, the new five-story high Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation, is a piece of architecture that seeks to repair our relationship to nature by restoring a sense of wonder towards it. A large skylight fills the main atrium with sunrays; visitors lift their heads and discover a series of cave like forms that lead to passageways, bridges, and classrooms. Read more

The new entrance of Holzmarkt25 in Berlin, a “friendly parasite” that won the Holcim Award Bronze prize

With concert halls, recording studios, restaurants, kiosks, and different types of ludic spaces, among which a club, Holzmarkt 25 is a vivid cultural site managed by local cooperatives. Overlooking the waters of the Spree, it was once a lumber port until the division of Germany. Abandoned place until the reunification, it became one of Berlin’s nightlife hotspots with the arrival of Bar25, one of the most famous clubs on the techno scene, made famous by the movie Berling Calling. Read more

An art pavilion blurring the boundaries between museum and city

The latest extension of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery strengthens the attractiveness of the cultural institution, offering the community a space for socializing and gathering. Read more

A community art center in Kampala born from circular economy

A new centre for artists in the capital of Uganda aims to draft a manifesto of faith in the future, based on values of radically local, sustainable and community-based architecture. Read more

Andrés Jaque’s Reggio School: “We build with the leftovers of history”