The top buildings that shaped culture in 2017

The top buildings that shaped culture in 2017

The year of 2017 brought many new architectural offerings. Here, we celebrate the best examples of the smartest new builds, canniest restorations and smoothest extensions that are upgrading the experience of life in our cities and communities across the globe.

Toronto, Canada

Albion Library in Toronto’s Rexdale neighbourhood has been upgraded into an attractive social space with a colourful terra cotta façade. Located between a residential area and a busy four-lane road, the geometrically playful block was a welcome addition to the largely concrete streetscape. Providing visibility and protection at once, the terra cotta layer covers an inner façade of glazing, which allows plenty of light into the heart of the plan where internal courtyards and interior pavilions structure the design.

Photography: Doublespace

Albion Library
Perkins + Will

St Ives, UK

The new 600 sq ft Jamie Fobert Architects-designed extension of Tate St Ives is sunk deep into the cliffs of Porthmeor Beach cliffs. The Cornish wildflower-covered rooftop doubles as both public garden and look-out point. Below, ceramic cladding mirrors the hues of the sea, complementing the shell-white walls of the existing rotunda, which was completed in 1993 by London firm Evans and Shalev. Inside, a 500 sq m volume gallery sits beneath six monumental skylights, that filter light atmospherically through 1.5m deep ceiling beams. The column-free space can be split into six smaller venues, dependent on the scope of each exhibition.

Tate St Ives
Jamie Fobert Architects

Dubai, UAE

Located on Alserkal Avenue, Concrete is a 1,250 sq m multipurpose venue designed by OMA. The practice transformed an existing warehouse, while maintaining the industrial spirit of the surrounding architecture. A translucent double polycarbonate was used for the facade, which features four enormous pivoting walls that double as entryways. The three other exterior walls consist of a sprayed concrete with integrated mirrors for a sparkly finish. The interiors feature sweeping 8m high ceilings, walls composed of concrete cladding and skylights that bring natural light into the space.  

Photography: Mohamed Somji


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