Building blocks: striking structures around the globe for 2018

Building blocks: striking structures around the globe for 2018

Some architects just love making a statement. From monumental monoliths to soaring skyscrapers, here we highlight the bold buildings disrupting skylines and shaking up our perspective of the urban environment

Córdoba, Spain

Moorish influence and Córdoba’s historic architecture are reflected in the design of this new courthouse. The plan of the Palace of Justice is inspired by the urban plan of the old city and the design employs the use of lower and upper courtyards landscaped with palm trees, as seen in traditional architecture in old Córdoba. Housing 26 courtrooms, a forensic institute and public services, the Palace of Justice is located in a largely residential area of ‘anonymous housing blocks’ in an area that was a product of rapid urbanisation. Its facade of perforated glass and reinforced concrete which overlooks a broad public square developed as part of the design (a credit to the compact and efficient design of the building) provides the community with a new civic lynchpin.

Photography: Fernando Alda 

Palace of Justice
Edmonton Funicular

Edmonton, Canada

Canada’s first funicular, the ‘100 Street Funicular’ with the Frederick G. Todd Lookout – a viewing platform opening up views across Edmonton’s picturesque valley – provides the community with a new leisure activity located within the city’s largest green space. Designed to improve access to the river and valley, the funicular promotes outdoor activity and appreciation of nature. Dialog Design’s funicular features an accompanying stairway of 170 steps and built-in concrete seating, as well as a pathway for runners alongside one for different types of users. The stairs, cladding and boardwalk are constructed with Kebony wood, selected for its durable nature – its silver grey patina has the same properties of tropical hardwood, developed with an environmentally friendly bio-based liquid.

Photography: Brock Kryton

The 100 Street Funicular and Frederick G. Todd Lookout
Dialog Design
Snohetta Oman Fish market


In Muttrah, Oman’s largest harbour located on the coast of the Gulf, a new fish market designed by Snohetta offers new facilities for the thriving fishing industry and a vibrant public space that connects the city to the waterfront. In proximity to the market's old facilities, originally built in 1960, the Muttrah Fish Market continues the long-standing fishery traditions of the city, and the development is a response to new demand from Oman’s growing tourism industry. Hosting over 100 fish sellers and cutters, as well as new stalls for vegetables and fruit, space for refrigeration, packaging, storage, offices, coffee shops, and a rooftop restaurant across 4000 sq m, this project is more than a place for commerce, but a community hub and a visitor attraction. The architecture reflects its cultural role. The radial shape of the structure follows the curve of the bay and the patterned canopy of aluminium fins, which shades a public walkway, is inspired by the flow of Arabic calligraphy.

Photography: Firas Al Raisi, Luminosity Productions

Muttrah Fish Market

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