Arquipelago Contemporary Arts Centre
Formerly an 1890s sweet potato distillery, the Arquipelago Contemporary Arts Centre in The Azores is a stunning example of adaptive reuse that goes beyond the average restoration project. Menos é Mais and Arquitectos Associados with João Mendes Ribeiro Arquitecto renovated the structure but preserved elements of the building’s history, including its eye-catching black Basalt exterior. The old cloisters and cells unearthed from the old distillery basement have been brought back to life and provide ancient backdrops for contemporary programs.
Heydar Aliyev Centre
Zaha Hadid Architects’ Heydar Aliyev Centre is a curvaceous beauty created to celebrate Azerbaijan’s independence and first president Heyday Aliyev. Located in the capital of Baku, the contemporary building is a powerful symbol of the break from the Soviet era both in its diverse and arts-oriented program and in its stunning wave-like design. The Heydar Aliyev Centre, built in 2013, also received the 2014 Design of the Year Award.
The beautiful travertine-clad Museo Jumex by David Chipperfield Architects houses the world’s largest private collection of Latin American contemporary art in the heart of Mexico City. Despite its modern design and program, the building is topped with a sawtooth roof with original factory roof lights in homage to the site’s industrial heritage. The luxurious and light-filled contemporary arts museum is a calming oasis in a bustling and overcrowded city.
Stormen Concert Hall, Theatre and Public Library
The Norwegian town of Bodø, located 100 kilometers inside the Arctic Circle, may be small but it’s also home to the impressive Stormen Concert Hall that’s considered comparable to the New York’s Carnegie Hall for symphonic music. Designed by DRDH Architects, the project comprises two extremely popular and beloved civic buildings: the larger theater building and a smaller library building. The walls are made from engineered stone with 70% marble aggregate that glisten, glow, and change colors in the presence of the Arctic sunshine.
The Ring of Remembrance
The Ring of Remembrance is a war memorial in Northern France engraved with names of the thousands who died in the region during World War I. Agence d’architecture Philippe Prost (AAPP) designed the memorial, which is set on the Hill of Lorette in Notre-Dame-de-Lorette with panoramic views over the battlefields of the plain of Artois. Made from black fiber-reinforced high strength concrete, the elegant elliptical structure cantilevers out into the landscape and symbolizes unity in the form of a human chain.
UTEC – Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología
Grafton Architects designed Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC), a new academic building for a 50-year-old engineering university in Lima that provides more than just an education. Crafted in the likeness of a modern-day Machu Picchu, this geometric concrete building is draped in greenery and symbolizes a bold and positive future for Peru. A variety of meeting spaces punctuate the building both in the interior and exterior.
Images via RIBA