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Architecture highlights 2020: new buildings to watch out for this year

Just when we think that architects have done it all, they surprise us once again with yet another new angle on their craft: Creating new shapes and extraordinary designs and bringing to life yet more amazing buildings that look virtually impossible on paper. A number of fascinating new buildings are set to be completed and opened in 2020. Here are our top-three architectural highlights for the coming year.

BIG Museum for Audemars Piguet: Contemporary yet timeless

In their designs for the Twist Museum in Norway, the team of architects at Danish firm Bjarke Ingels (BIG) have already proven that they’ve mastered the art of creating flowing, contoured architecture. This year, the firm will celebrate the opening of its dynamic museum for Swiss

watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet, adding a timeless new architectural masterpiece to the company’s headquarters in Le Brassus.

The distinctive new building – which will provide just under 2400 square metres of exhibition space – features a spiral-shaped pavilion that is partially sunk into the ground. Nestled at the heart of the manufacturer’s historic complex of workshops, the winding construction is embedded into the landscape and connects to the existing museum building. The full-length glass panes allow visitors outside to glimpse into the galleries and event spaces beneath the brass-clad steel roof.

The BIG Museum is impressive with its spiral Pavilion. Source: YouTube /

Datong Art Museum: Sunken art in the “Museum of the 21st century”

Set to open later this year, the Datong Art Museum by architects Foster + Partners is the fourth new building in Datong New City’s cultural plaza and will become China’s “Museum of the 21st century”. At the heart of the 32,000-square-metre building lies the Grand Gallery, a 37-metre tall and almost 80-metre wide exhibition space.

The entire building is sunk into the ground. The four visible, pyramid-like peaks above floor level are layered at different heights; their earthy steel cladding makes the whole ensemble look like a mountain range. Visitors access the sunken Grand Gallery via a ramp and staircase, which is designed to be flexible so that the venue can free up space for large-scale artworks and sculptures, or stages and lighting equipment, as and when needed. Further exhibition spaces and a children’s gallery, as well as a café, restaurant and seating area, are arranged around underground courtyards. Large skylights flood the galleries with natural light.

Powerhouse Telemark: Sustainable architecture by Snøhetta

Snøhetta is behind the third of our architectural highlights set to open its doors in 2020. In Powerhouse Telemark, the famous firm has created a building with global resonance in the Norwegian industrial and port city of Porsgrunn. On completion, the “green diamond” will be one of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly office buildings in the world.

Large solar panels on the facade and roof will generate far more energy than the Powerhouse needs to run. Surplus energy will be fed into the public grid. Thanks to its outstanding energy performance, the new building on the banks of the Telemark Canal has already been awarded certification under Breeam, the world's leading sustainability assessment method. The small-town Powerhouse is punching above its weight in terms of comfort and functionality, too. Across eleven floors and more than 8300 square metres of space, the office building will also be kitted out with modern conveniences including a gym, lobby and an exclusive roof terrace.

Architecture Highlights 2020

Our three examples prove that there are plenty of exciting new innovations awaiting fans of architecture in 2020. From these exciting

creations, there’s no telling what the next year could bring. Who knows what kind of beautiful creations could be filling our cities in 2021 and beyond!

Which architectural highlights are you most looking forward to in 2020? Let us know in the comments!

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