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BBC Culture

Nine new buildings to look out for in 2014

About the author

Jonathan Glancey is a journalist and broadcaster. Formerly Architecture and Design correspondent of the Guardian and Architecture and Design Editor of the Independent, he writes for the Daily Telegraph and works with the BBC on radio and television documentaries. His books include The Story of Architecture, Lost Buildings, Spitfire: the biography, Nagaland and Giants of Steam.

  • 122 Leadenhall Street, London

    The best, perhaps, of a pin-cushion of new skyscrapers nearing completion in the historic square mile of the City of London, the ‘Cheesegrater’ – which is what this 225m office tower resembles, albeit on a titanic scale – has been designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. It soars above the Bladerunner-style Lloyd’s Building also by Richard Rogers, and completed in 1986. The skeletal, all-steel “Cheesegrater” boasts a 30m-high public atrium, while glass lifts will soar up the sloping facade to the 48 floors above. (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners)

  • The Citadel, Naaldwijk, Netherlands

    Anyone interested in climate change, flooding and where and how we might live in future should follow the emergence of the Citadel, the world’s first floating apartment block that starts on site this year. Designed by Waterstudio architects, led by Koen Olthuis, also known as ‘the Floating Dutchman’ for his research into waterborne architecture, the Citadel will form part of New Water, a development ten miles south-west of The Hague. Its buildings will be flood proof as well as elegantly modern. (Waterstudio)

  • Sky City Tower, Changsha

    Will Sky City be the world’s tallest building this year? This astonishing, and brutal looking, 220-storey, 838m-high skyscraper was meant to have been built in just 90 days and completed last year. Various delays have held up construction of this pre-fabricated behemoth in Hunan Province, central China, but it does seem as if it will be rushed up this year. A product of the Broad Sustainable Building Company, the tower is meant to offer apartments for 17,000 people along with a giant hotel, offices, schools, a hospital and numerous sports facilities. If it is completed in 2014, this Meccano-style skyscraper will be higher than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – currently the world’s tallest building – although, soon enough, skyscrapers elsewhere in China and the Middle East will reach a mile, and even more, into the sky. (Sky City)

  • One World Trade Center, New York

    The international architectural year is due to begin with the opening of World Trade Center One – formerly Freedom Tower – centrepiece of the new WTC development in south Manhattan. This replaces the famous ‘Twin Towers’ by the Japanese-American architect Minoru Yamasaki that were destroyed in the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Controversy over the initial replacement design by the Polish-American architect, Daniel Libeskind, and hard-fought commercial concerns have meant a long delay in the completion of this big, bold and pugnacious skyscraper. Designed by a team led by David Childs of Skidmore Owings Merrill, the long-awaited 104-storey office tower – a symbol of New York very much back in global business – is 541m high to the top of its rooftop antennae, and will be the tallest building in the US. (Getty Images)

  • Fogg Art Museum, Harvard

    A subtle upgrading, restoration, remodelling and marriage of three important museums on the campus of Harvard University, the revamped Fogg Art Museum will be one of the cultural highlights of 2014. The work, planned and designed by Renzo Piano’s Building Workshop, will re-establish the Ivy League university’s global position as one of the great laboratories of art. Under impressive new glass roofs and in pavilions and conservation studios, research will be conducted by the three Harvard museums: Fogg, Busch-Reisinger and Sackler. (Harvard University)

  • Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro

    Brought up to date with a bright new tensioned fibreglass membrane roof, and with many other modifications including multi-coloured seating, Rio’s world-famous Maracanã stadium will host the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final in July. Originally opened in 1950 for that year’s World Cup, the stadium hosted 200,000 football fans; this year, there will be room for no more than 78,800, although this will still make Maracanã this football-crazy nation’s biggest venue. Throughout the reconstruction process, thousands of Carrioccas and tourists from Brazil and the world have watched the architects, engineers and builders at work from a glass observation tower. (Wikimedia Commons)

  • Spaceport America, New Mexico

    Commercial space flights – courtesy of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic – are due to begin, possibly, this year. Even if they don’t, the world’s first commercial spaceport, designed by an international team of architects and engineers led by Britain’s Norman Foster, will be ready and waiting for the first launch. Made of local materials, the spaceport broods in New Mexico’s disturbingly named desert basin, Jornado del Muerto (Route of the Dead Man). Seen from the windows of a spaceship, the spaceport will resemble a giant eye staring up from the sands. The hi-tech space-agedesign of Spaceport America will be a thrilling addition to the architecture of flight. (Foster + Partners)

  • Yacht Club de Monaco, Monaco

    Norman Foster has also designed this glamorous and glistening new boathouse facing the Mediterranean along Monaco’s Quai des Etats-Unis. Although an exclusive development for the global rich who will congregate here this summer, the Yacht Club de Monaco is a fine example of how the architecture and aesthetic of great and beautiful ships can animate seaport cities and their buildings. (Foster + Partners)

  • Rockbund Project, Shanghai

    Britain’s David Chipperfield is a lead architect on this encouraging project in Shanghai, begun in 2006 and due for completion this year. The Rockbund Project witnesses the retention and reconstruction of a large number of historic 20th-Century buildings in Shanghai that until recently would have been demolished to make room for the next generation of ‘world’s tallest buildings’. Instead, these handsome structures, rising in a variety of styles along the northern section of the city’s Bund – Shanghai’s memorable waterfront boulevard – will form a new cultural and commercial quarter of the great seaport city. Chipperfield has been charge with the careful redevelopment of no fewer than eleven buildings dating from between 1927 and 1986, evidence that Shanghai, at least, has been learning to look after its past while it rushes at breakneck speed into the future. (Rockbund Project)