Breaking Ground: The Architectural Projects Beginning Construction

A building’s groundbreaking ceremony is a key moment in its road to becoming a reality. Here we look at some of the projects that have begun construction in the last few months

30 Grosvenor Square

London, UK

Architects: David Chipperfield Architects

Late July saw work begin on the refurbishment of the former US Embassy in London, which will see the Grade II listed building converted into the second Rosewood Hotel property in the UK capital. When completed, the 157-room hotel will include five restaurants, six retail units, a spa and a ballroom. “By reimagining the site of the former US Embassy, we hope to provide a coveted experience within the prestigious neighbourhood of Mayfair that truly embodies Rosewood’s Sense of Place philosophy,” said Radha Arora, president of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

Image courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects

China Entrepreneur Forum Conference Centre

Yabuli, China

Architects: MAD Architects

The new permanent home for the China Entrepreneur Forum’s annual summits has broken ground in a mountainous area of northeastern China. Designed to embody the entrepreneurial spirit of the country, the building features a tent-like structure with a large central skylight and is home to two auditoriums, a museum and several conference rooms. “Cited along the axis of a mountain, MAD’s design of the Yabuli Conference Centre is a tent-like structure that is defined by soft, sloping line,” said MAD of the design. “While humble in its presence, it does not lose the dynamic atmosphere of northern China – integrated with the sky, the ground, the snow, the forest, and the mountains.”

Image courtesy of MAD Architects


Dallas, USA

Architects: Stantec

Developer ZOM Living has begun construction on Atelier, a 41-storey high-rise in the Arts District of Dallas. Designed to support local artists, residents and the wider community, the mixed-use development will include an amenity deck featuring a co-working space, fitness centre, dog salon, lounge and pool. Above this deck will be 364 luxury units, while below are set to be 52 artists lofts, 43 of which are affordable units provided to artists through a local residency programme. “We are proud to be part of the transformation of this evolving neighborhood” said Greg West, ZOM chief executive officer. “The Arts District, Downtown and Uptown are merging into a vibrant, highly desirable, 24-hour urban area and Atelier sits at the heart of this very important intersection.”

Image courtesy of ZOM Living

The Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre

Winnipeg, Canada

Architects: Michael Maltzan Architecture, Cibinel Architecture

June saw work begin on The Winnipeg Art Gallery’s new Inuit Art Centre, which at 40,000 square feet will become the largest gallery in the world dedicated to Inuit art, history and culture. An addition to the 1971 museum, the centre is arranged over four stories, and includes an interactive theatre, conservation facility, classrooms, art studios and a reading room. “The design draws on the ephemeral qualities of northern environments and includes a wide range of art viewing and educational spaces that celebrate historic and contemporary Inuit art and culture,” wrote Michael Maltzan Architecture of the project.

Image courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architecture

Powerhouse Science Center

Sacramento, USA

Architects: Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture

An historic redevelopment project for the city of Sacramento, the Powerhouse Science Center broke ground in June. A conversion of the former Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Power Station B, the renovation is designed to highlight the original building, while housing a STEM centre. The project includes classrooms, offices and a café, alongside a 120-seat planetarium. “In 1912, the PG&E Power Station B brought a backup source of electricity – something very new and technologically advanced – to the Sacramento region,” said Dreyfuss + Blackford design principal Jason A Silva. “This concept of advanced technology is what inspires the placement and concept of the Powerhouse Science Center.”

Image courtesy of Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture