Best of 2012 #architecture

From a DIY world expo set up in the abandoned airfield of Tempelhof to the second lives of past Serpentine Pavilions, here are our best architecture stories from this year.

Looking back through the past year, 2012 took us to Chile, where architects Pezo von Ellrichshausen displayed their amazing ability to synthesise and express themselves in the Arco House, a work of modest size. In Los Angeles, Space International's renovation of Rudolph Schindler's Mackey Apartments honours the existing architecture through contrast, with a cantilevered, 75 square-metre counterpoint to the original building. In Shantou, China, Lafayette 148's building by Mehrdad Hadighi of Studio for Architecture and Tsz Yan Ng features an impressive façade composed of a series of free flowing concrete fins, flirting with the viewer offering a peek here and there, while in Norway, Todd Saunders creates a surrealist stairway in the midst of a remote forest.

This was also the year of Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei's Serpentine Pavilion, which we feature in a video by Pedro Kok. In New York, the Via Verde apartment complex prompts a renewed dedication to the unglamorous field of affordable housing, and in Berlin, raumlaborberlin and the Hebbel am Ufer theater organized a DIY world expo in the abandoned fields of Tempelhof. In Brussels, Elii's Jane Fonda Kit House rendered a possible future in which citizens use their own muscles to produce the energy required for their domestic space; and in Tokyo, Hiroshi Nakamura creates a building with a dual identity, featuring a garden rooftop in an ultra-urban setting. Finally, we explore the second lives of past Serpentine Pavilions, observing how real estate and cultural development collide through the symbolic capital of architecture.

Below are our top ten architecture stories of the year.

Best of 2012 #architecture
The Arco House: where economy dictates concise design
Concrete Twist
From Freewayland to the Garage
Todd Saunders: Forest Stair
The 2012 Serpentine Pavilion
Via Verde
The World is Not Fair
Elii: JF Kit House
Fragments of green in the city
Tales from beyond the grave

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