Architecture in 2011, World Buildings of the Year, Architects, Architectural Design Images

Buildings of 2011 – Architectural Designs

e-architect Selection of Architecture of the Year: Besy Contemporary Properties Globally

Major Buildings from 2011

e-architect have selected some key Buildings of 2011.

Our parameters? Architecture that stimulates, buildings that question, designs that show innovation.

We aren’t saying these are the ‘best’ buildings of 2011, merely a selection of ones that have moved us.

Next year we’ll ask a panel of judges to pick out the key buildings of the year but we’re deliberately not considering the complex task of selecting ‘winners’.

Having served on many architectural juries I am not shy of doing this, but over the last 12 years I’ve consciously steered our websites away from that aspect of architecture, we don’t run awards, of course we have to report architectural news and that means reporting on architecture awards. In terms of ‘moving global architecture on’ it is obvious our readers will have a myriad of takes on this.

We haven’t picked a fixed number of projects, like a top ten, we’ve picked what we feel is right.

(Adrian Welch, e-architect editor)

We’ve divided up completed buildings and designs.

Buildings / designs are listed in order of ‘largest impression’:

Major Buildings completed in 2011

Buildings of 2011 – selection by e-architect

Busan Cinema Centre, South Korea – News
Busan Cinema Center
photo © Woochang Choi Korea
This austrian practice has always shocked and surprised, this is one of their major works so far.

Museo Soumaya, Mexico – new photos
Design: FREE | Fernando Romero EnterprisE
Soumaya Museum
photograph : Adam Wiseman
Breathtakingly bold, challenging in terms of scale and relationship to people and the city around.

Sarpi Border Checkpoint, Georgia
Design: J. MAYER H. Architects
Sarpi Border Checkpoint
photograph : Jesko Malkolm Johnsson-Zahn
This German architectural practice has risen rapidly in the last few years, rather like the Danish architecture studio BIG, and continues to create original designs, mostly connected by a futuristic curvilinear style.

Ring Around a Tree, Japan
Design: Tezuka Architects
Fuji Kindergarten
photograph : Katsuhisa Kida
For the last few decades Japan has arguably been the most innovative country in the world architecturally, with a wide range of practices consistently creating genuinely innovative buildings. This poetic design continues the dialogue from their earlier ‘Roof House’.

Martin Luther Kirche Hainburg, Austria
Martin Luther Kirche
photo © Duccio Malagamba
Another confident and unusual design by this austrian studio, fluid form on a small site.

Universiade in Shenzhen, China
Design: von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp)
Universiade in Shenzhen
photo © Christan Gahl
Intriguing pair of buildings by major german practice with expertise in massive scale projects, such as their 2010 World Cup stadiums

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Design: BenthemCrouwel Architects
Stedelijk Museum Facade
photo from architects
Difficult to comprehend this getting through planning, but this massive ‘bathtub’ design is structurally complete so sneaks into the 2011 selection, compared to their earlier Anne Frank House Museum this represents a wild change of direction for this dutch studio.

Media-ICT, Barcelona, Spain
Design: Cloud 9
Media TIC
photograph from architect
World Building of the Year 2011 as voted at WAF in November – interesting form, programme and materials.

Nebuta-no-ie Warasse, Aomori City, Japan
Design: molo + d/dt Arch + Frank la Rivière Architects
Nebuta-no-ie Warasse
photo : Shigeo Ogawa
What a facade, the sort of fluiditiy and form you might find in an installation but fantastic to find an architect that could push this concept to completion.

Decameron, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Design: studio mk27, marcio kogan + mariana simas
picture : Pedro Vannucchi
This Brazilian design studio has unleashed a superb series of buildings, mostly luxury houses using a strong paletter of concrete, stone and wood. This is a little different, using maritime transport containers and big splashes of colour.

House in Yamanashi, Japan
Design: Takeshi Hosaka architects
House in Yamanashi
photograph : Koji Fujii / Nacasa&Pertners Inc.
Again, Japanese innovation, a humble house divided into 4 1/2 ‘segments’ with each whole segment being lit by a strip of rooflight, refreshing.

Living Foz, Porto, Portugal
dEMM arquitectura
Living Foz
photograph : Fernando Guerra of FG + SG – Fotografia de Arquitectura
Gorgeous crystalline rhythmic facades, boldly sculptural and reduced to pure form.

Guangzhou Opera House, China
Design: Zaha Hadid Architects
Guangzhou Opera House - Buildings of 2011
photograph : Virgile Simon Bertrand
Arguably the building of the year in terms of architectural dexterity, Zaha Hadid‘s most important design to date, the twin-boulder design contain 1,800-seat and 400-seat spaces, with shimmering, fluid interiors.

New York by Gehry
New York City skyscraper
Rippling Building
photo : Gehry Photos
Frank Gehry is often cited as the world’s most famous architect, or its best architect, he’s won the Pritzker Prize and even appeared in The Simpsons, and since his Blibao Guggenheim he has occupied the world of starchitects. Much of his recent work has involved public buildings such as art galleries and museums, so it is interesting to see him tackle the skyscraper programme. This 76 storey tower grabbed the headlines in early 2011 with its rippling facade. Gehry continues to innovate, and this captivating design shows an ability to keep reinventing his oeuvre.

Key Buildings completed in 2011

These designs also took our attention in 2011:

Jeongok Prehistory Museum, Korea
Jeongok Prehistory Museum South Korea
photo from architect

Novancia business school, Paris, France
Novancia business school building
photograph : Georges Fessy

Porta Fira Hotel, Barcelona, Spain
Toyo Ito
Porta Fira Hotel
photo from FCC

Cité de l’Océan et du Surf, Biarritz, France
Steven Holl + Solange Fabiao
Cité de l’Océan et du Surf Building Biarritz France
image © Iwan Baan

Metropol Parasol, Seville, Spain
J. MAYER H. Architects
Seville Parasol - Buildings of 2011
photo : Gonzalo Navarro

Cais das Artes Project, Brazil
Paulo Mendes da Rocha + Metro Arquitetos
Cais das Artes Project
picture : Metro Arquitetos

ArtScience Museum, Singapore
Safdie Architects
ArtScience Museum - Buildings of 2011
photo : Timothy Hursley

Torre Diagonal Zero Zero, Barcelona
EMBA – Enric Massip-Bosch
Torre Diagonal Zero Zero
photo : EMBA

The Orange Cube, Lyon, France
Jakob + Macfarlane
The Orange Cube
photo : Nicolas Borel

Natural History Museum of Utah, USA
Ennead Architects, LLP with GSBS
Natural History Museum of Utah Building
photograph © Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Treehugger Pavilion, Germany
FH Trier and one fine day
image : Roland Borgmann, Münster

Harpa, Reykjavik, Iceland – new photos
Henning Larsen Architects + Olafur Eliasson
Harpa - Buildings of 2011
picture Courtesy of Harpa © Hörður Sveinsson

Centro Niemeyer, Avilés, Spain
Oscar Niemeyer architect
Centro Niemeyer
photo : Ángel Navarrete

Sunset Chapel, Acapulco, Mexico
Bunker Arquitectura
Sunset Chapel - Buildings of 2011
picture : Esteban Suárez

City of Culture of Galicia, Spain
Eisenman Architects
City of Culture of Galicia Santiago de Compostela
photo : Pasajes Espanoles

Luxembourg Apartment Building
Metaform architecture
Luxembourg Apartment Building
photograph : steve troes fotodesign

Fragile Shelter, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Hidemi Nishida
Fragile Shelter
photo : Anna Nagai

Evelyn Grace Academy Winner
Zaha Hadid Architects
Evelyn Grace Academy
picture : Luke Hayes

Hotel nhow Berlin, Germany
nps tchoban voss
Hotel nhow - Buildings of 2011
photo : Roland Halbe

Yucca Crater, Mojave Desert, CA, USA
Ball Nogues Studio, Architects
Yucca Crater
picture : Courtesy Ball-Nogues Studio

Actelion Business Center Building, Switz.
Herzog & de Meuron
Actelion Business Center - Buildings of 2011
photo from ABC

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, Tokyo
Tange Associates Architects
Cocoon Tower Tokyo
photo : Koji Horiuchi

EDF archives centre, Bure, France
LAN Architecture
EDF archives centre
photograph © Julien Lanoo

New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion, NYC, USA
Ben van Berkel / UNStudio
New Amsterdam Plein
image : UNStudio

London Aquatics Centre, UK
Zaha Hadid Architects
London Olympics Pool
photograph © Hufton + Crow

Hotel Lone, Rovinj, Croatia
3LHD architects
Rovinj Hotel Croatia
photo : 3LHD

Tori-Tori Restaurant, Mexico City
Rojkind Arquitectos
Tori-Tori Mexico - Buildings of 2011
photograph : Paul Rivera © rojkind arquitectos

London 2012 Velodrome, England
Hopkins Architects
London Olympic Velodrome
photo from fd

La Fabrique, Nantes, France
Tetrarc architectes
La Fabrique Nantes - Buildings of 2011
photo : Stéphane Chalmeau

Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, China
gmp von Gerkan, Marg and Partners
Shanghai Oriental Sports Center
photograph from architect

M.N.ROY Club, Mexico City
Chic By Accident
M.N.ROY Club
photograph : Ramiro Chaves

Museum ABC, Madrid, Spain
Aranguren & Gallegos Arquitectos
Museum ABC
photo : Jesus Granada

Felix Nussbaum Haus Extension, Germany
Studio Daniel Libeskind
Felix Nussbaum Haus Extension
picture from architect

House in Moriyama, Nagoya, south Japan
Suppose design office architects
Home in Moriyama
photograph : Toshiyuki Yano

CTTI Offices, Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
ACXT Architects
CTTI Offices - Buildings of 2011
photo : Eugeni Pons

Ruta del Peregrino Designs, Mexico
Design: various architects
Ruta del Peregrino - Buildings of 2011
image : Iwan Baan

Congress Center Hangzhou, China
Peter Ruge Architekten
Congress Center Hangzhou - Buildings of 2011
photo : Jan Siefke

Law Courts in Gouveia, Portugal
Barbosa & Guimaraes
Palácio de Justiça de Gouveia
photo : FG + SG – Fotografia de Arquitectura

House in Otake, Hiroshima, Japan
Suppose design office, architects
House in Otake
photograph : Toshiyuki Yano

Museum of Liverpool, England
3XN Architects
Museum of Liverpool Building
photo © Philip Handforth

House Wright, Durban, South Africa
House Wright - Buildings of 2011
picture from architects

Riverside Museum, Glasgow, Scotland
Zaha Hadid Architects
Riverside Museum Glasgow
photograph © Tom Manley Photography

Little one-room house with a curve, Japan
studio velocity architects
Little one-room house with a curve - Buildings of 2011
photograph from architect

RATP Formation Center, Paris, France
Stephane Maupin Architectes
Porte de la Villette Building
image : Cécile Septet

Placebo Pharmacy, Athens, Greece
Klab Architecture / K. Labrinopoulos
Placebo Pharmacy - Buildings of 2011
photograph : P. Kokkinias

Carlos Ramos Pavilion, Porto, Portugal
Álvaro Siza Vieira
Carlos Ramos Pavilion
photo : Nelson Garrido

Nanjing Museum of Art & Architecture, China
Design: Steven Holl Architects
Nanjing Museum
picture : Shu He

House in Saijo, Shikoku, Japan
Suppose design office, architects
Saijo House
photo : Toshiyuki Yano

Roomroom, Tokyo, Japan
Takeshi Hosaka Architects
RoomRoom - Buildings of 2011
photograph : Koji Fujii / Nacasa&Pertners Inc.

Moon Bay Park, Jinhua, China
Moon Bay Park - Buildings of 2011
picture from RTA-Office

La Ville Intelligente, Paris, France
La Ville Intelligente
© Jakob+MacFarlane – Nicolas Borel photographer

Casa dos Ipês, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
studio mk27 – marcio kogan + lair reis
Casa dos Ipês - Buildings of 2011
photograph : Reinaldo Cóser

Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
Preston Scott Cohen
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
photo © Amit Geron Courtesy Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Florida Beach House, Western Australia
Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects
Florida Beach Home
photo © Peter Bennetts

Sainsbury Laboratory Building, England
Stanton Williams
Sainsbury Laboratory Building
photograph © Hufton+Crow

Bitexco Financial Tower, Vietnam
AREP Architects
Bitexco Financial Tower
image : AREP Architects

ThyssenKrupp Quarter, Essen, Germany
JSWD Architects / Chaix & Morel et Associés
ThyssenKrupp Quarter Essen - Buildings of 2011
photo from architects

Salvador Dali Museum Florida, USA
HOK Architects
Salvador Dali Museum St. Petersburg - Buildings of 2011
image : Moris Moreno

Gallery House, Vale dos Cristais, Brazil
MACh Arquitetos
Gallery House
photo : Fabio del Rey

Josephine Baker group of schools, Paris
D. Coulon et Associes
Josephine Baker group of schools - Buildings of 2011
photograph : Eugeni Pons

Las Arenas Barcelona, Spain
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Las Arenas Barcelona
picture : Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

National Automobile Museum Turin, Italy
Cino Zucchi Architetti
National Automobile Museum Turin - Buildings of 2011
photo : Cino Zucchi

The Crystal, Copenhagen, Denmark
Schmidt Hammer Lassen
The Crystal
picture : Adam Mørk

Pod Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Studio Nicoletti Associati
POD Exhibition Hall
photo © H. Lim Ho

Arc En Ciel Bordeaux, France
Agence Bernard Bühler
Arc En Ciel Bordeaux
photo from Agence Bernard Bühler

Unbuilt Designs from 2011

Vejle Harbour development, Denmark
Studio Olafur Eliasson + others
KIRK KAPITAL - Buildings of 2011
image © Olafur Eliasson

Wadi Rum Lodges, Jordan
Oppenheim Architecture + Design
Wadi Rum Jordan - Buildings of 2011
image from architect

Cathedral Fold, Strasbourg, France
Axis Mundi Design
Strasbourg Cathedral design - Buildings of 2011
picture from Axis Mundi Design

Dalian International Conference Center, Chn.
Dalian Conference Center Building

The Broad Art Foundation, Los Angeles, USA
Diller Scofidio + Renfro
The Broad Art Foundation
image from architects

The Leadenhall Building, London
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
122 Leadenhall Street - Buildings of 2011
image : Cityscape

Bishan Central, Singapore
Safdie Architects
Bishan Central
image from CapitaLand

Angkasa Raya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ole Scheeren
Angkasa Raya Tower - Buildings of 2011
image © Buro-OS

Bogotá International Convention Center
Saucier + Perrotte architectes
Bogotá Convention Center
image from Saucier + Perrotte architectes

Cultural Complex Longgang District, China
Mecanoo architecten
Cultural Complex Longgang
image : Doug and Wolf

The Cube in Beirut, Lebanon
Orange Architects
The Cube Beirut - Buildings of 2011
render from architects

NAMOC, Beijing, China
NAMOC Beijing National Art Museum of China
picture : Mir

Glasgow School of Art Extension, Scotland
Design: Steven Holl Architects
Glasgow School of Art Building
picture : Steven Holl Architects

Albania Parliament Tirana, Albania
Parliament Albania - Buildings of 2011

Civic Sports Center, Shenyang, China
EMERGENT Tom Wiscombe
Civic Sports Center Shenyang - Buildings of 2011
image from architects

Z15 Tower – tallest building in Beijing, China
TFP Farrells, BIAD, ARUP and MVA
Z15 Tower - Buildings of 2011
picture from architect

Galaxy Soho Beijing, China
Zaha Hadid Architects
Galaxy Soho Beijing - Buildings of 2011
image from architects

Cubus Building, Hong Kong
Woods Bagot
Cubus building
image from architect

Key Buildings to be completed in 2012/13

Elbphilharmonie concert hall, Hamburg, Germany
Herzog and de Meuron
Elbe Philharmonic - Buildings of 2011
© José Campos josecamposmoreira(at)

Sliced Porosity, Chengdu, China
Design: Steven Holl Architects
Sliced Porosity Building
photo from architects

The Shard, London : exclusive photos
Design: Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW)
The Shard
photo © Nick Weall

London Olympic Stadium, UK
Populous with Peter Cook
London Olympic Stadium - Buildings of 2011
image from ODA

Birmingham Library, England
Birmingham Library
image courtesy BCC

Kingdom Tower, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Kingdom Tower
image © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Comments on the Buildings of 2011 page welcome

Best Buildings of the Decade

To celebrate the end of a decade, The Mark published their contributors’ picks of the best architecture from the 2000s.

Best Buildings of the Decade

Buildings Selection below:

International Port Terminal, Yokohama, Japan
Design: Foreign Office Architects
Yokohama Ferry Terminal - Buildings of 2011
photo : Saturo Mashima

Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria
Design: Spacelab Cook-Fournier
Kunsthaus Graz - Buildings of 2011
photo from RIAS – no larger image

21st Century Museum, Kanazawa, Japan
Design: SANAA
Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa - Buildings of 2011
photo © 2008 Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA

Seattle Public Library, Seattle, USA
Office for Metropolitan Architecture
Seattle Library building
photo : Philippe Ruault

Mercedes-Benz Museum, Stuttgart, Germany
Mercedes Museum Stuttgart - Buildings of 2011
photo : Christian Richters

Tate Modern, London, UK
Herzog & de Meuron
Tate Modern - Buildings of 2011
image © Adrian Welch

Prada New York, New York City, USA
Office for Metropolitan Architecture
Prada Shop New Yor - Buildings of 2011k
photo Armin Linke

Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montréal, Canada
Saucier + Perotte
New Music Building
photograpph : Marc Cramer

Comments on the Best Buildings of the Decade page welcome

Possible Contenders for Best Buildings of the Decade

Caixa Forum, Madrid
Herzog de Meuron
Caixa Forum Madrid
photograph © Mark Bentley

New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY
SANAA architects
Manhattan Art Gallery
image from SANAA

Neues Museum, Berlin
David Chipperfield Architects
Neues Museum - Buildings of 2011
photograph : Ute Zscharnt

Phaeno Science Centre, Wolfsburg
Zaha Hadid Architects
Wolfsburg architecture
image © Zaha Hadid Architects

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Herzog & de Meuron with HGA, Inc.
Walker Art Center
photo : Paul Warchol

BMW Welt, Munich
Coop Himmelb(l)au
BMW building Germany - Buildings of 2011
picture from Ketchum

Museum of Modern Literature, Marbach
David Chipperfield Architects
Literaturmuseum der Moderne - Buildings of 2011
photograph © Christian Richters

GRAM Michigan, USA
Design: wHY architecture
GRAM - Buildings of 2011
photo : Chris Barrett@Hedrich Blessing

Hoki Museum, Chiba, Japan
Architects: Nikken Sekkei
Hoki Museum Japan - Buildings of 2011
image : Harunori Noda

Architectural Designs

Architectural Walking Tours by e-architect

Buildings of 2012

Cinemas building designs

Civic building designs

Comments / photos for the Architects: Nikken SekkeiBest Architecture of 2011 – page welcome