Year in Architecture 2021

John Hill
13. December 2021
Image: World-Architects

As 2021 — year two of the coronavirus pandemic — draws to a close, World-Architects takes a month-by-month look back at some of the stories that transpired over the last twelve months: awards, competitions, buildings, exhibitions, and passings. 


Moynihan Train Hall (Photo: Lucas Blair Simpson © SOM)
In January 2021:


Selected Found: Věčná loviště (Hunting Grounds), a pet crematorium inserted into an old military bunker near Prague, designed by architect Petr Hájek.

Selected Insight: Formgiving, the latest monograph by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and the third in a trilogy produced by Taschen in the context of major exhibitions on BIG.


The Helix (Image courtesy of Amazon)
In February 2021:


Selected Found: A manga biography on architect Denise Scott Brown, by artist Hiroki Otsuka for the Vilcek Foundation.

Selected Insights: Two book reviews: Japan: Nation Building Nature by Joachim Nijs; and the Atlas of Digital Architecture: Terminology, Concepts, Methods, Tools, Examples, Phenomena.


Louis Vuitton Ginza Naminki (Photo: Neoplus Sixten Inc.)
In March 2021:


Selected Found: Architect Junya Ishigami's Restaurant Noel, a series of cave-like spaces seemingly carved into the earth.

Selected Insight: Richard Saul Wurman on Louis I. Kahn and the return of The Notebooks and Drawings of Louis I. Kahn after nearly 60 years.


Olafur Eliasson, Life, 2021 (Photo: Pati Grabowicz. Courtesy of the artist; neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles © 2021 Olafur Eliasson)
In April 2021:

Selected Found: At Home: Projects for Contemporary Housing at Garagem Sul / Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon.

Selected Insight: An interview with architect Saikal Zhunushova, "the young woman with the low-tech approach."


American Framing, US Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale (Photo © Flavia Rossi)
In May 2021:


Selected Found: Scenes from the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, which opened to the public on May 22.

Selected Insight: Susanna Koeberle's review of the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, How will we live together?, curated by Hashim Sarkis.


LUMA Arles Tower by Frank Gehry (Photo © Adrian Deweerdt)
In June 2021:


Selected Found: "Vitra in Bloom," the perennial garden added by Piet Oudolf to the campus of Vitra in Weil am Rhein, Germany.

Selected Insight: The five-part D-A-CH series: "Between Emergency and Opportunity," "Planning Means Asking What Kind of Society We Want to Live In," "Emotional Buildings Are Needed," "Explaining, Mediating, Selling," and "The Return of the Inventors."


The Vessel (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)
In July 2021:


Selected Found: A list of ten "Summer Reads."

Selected Insight: "Alone among Men: Astra Zarina in Berlin" by Eduard Kögel.


Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre (Image: Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot)
In August 2021:


Selected Found: NEBULOSUS, an installation of vapor clouds created by and Stella Speziali for the third iteration of Design Biennale Zurich.

Selected Insight: Dietmar Feichtinger Architectes' pedestrian promenade in Bastia, a "masterpiece of urban design and engineering."


Christo and Jeanne-Claude: L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021. (Photo: Wolfgang Volz © 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation)
In September 2021:


Selected Found: The Fourth Chamber, Hiroshi Sambuichi's expansion of the Cisternerne in Copenhagen.

Selected Insight: Draw love build, a large exhibition on Sauerbruch Hutton at the M9 Museum outside Venice.


Japan Pavilion at Expo 2020 (Photo © Japan Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai)
In October 2021:


Selected Found: Momentum of Light, an inspiring illustrated book documenting the travels of Iwan Baan and Francis Kéré in Burkina Faso.

Selected Insight: Annie Coggan's The Book of Errors, a "playful exploration of preservation."


The proposed Munger Hall at UC Santa Barbara (Image via "Scoping Hearing on Munger Hall" presentation document)
In November 2021:


Selected Found: "A building that's also a book," the recently completed Babyn Yar Synagogue in Kyiv, Ukraine, designed by Manuel Herz.

Selected Insight: Engineer Mike Schlaich on the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe.


House of Hungarian Music (Photo © Liget Budapest Project)
In December 2021:


Selected Found: Photos of Sou Fujimoto's completed House of Hungarian Music in Budapest.

Selected Insight: An interview with timber construction entrepreneur Katharina Lehmann.

Wishing wonderful holidays and joyous New Years to everyone — see you in 2022!

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