Breaking Ground: The Architectural Projects Beginning Construction

A project’s groundbreaking ceremony is a key moment in its process, representing a significant step is its transition from concept to reality. Here we look at some of the most notable projects to break ground in the last few months

Richard Gilder Center

New York, USA

Architects: Studio Gang

A distinctly modern addition to the American Museum of Natural History, the Richard Gilder Center broke ground in June, marking the start of the realisation of an idea first proposed seven years ago.

The $383m project is designed to link the museum’s various buildings, in order to improve circulation while providing additional gallery and library space alongside a new theatre and classroom facilities. Made of reinforced concrete, the project pairs natural daylight for vast rooflights with an aesthetic designed to provide a nature-inspired, cave-like space.

Image courtesy of Studio Gang

Kö-Bogen II

Dusseldorf, Germany

Architects: Ingenhoven

Intended to provide an urban mountain that serves as a “green heart” to the city of Dusselfdorf, this mixed-use development broke ground in June. Set to house retail, offices and recreational facilities, the project is angled to provide views to the theatre beyond.

Featuring stepped facades planted with hornbeam hedges, the structure will provide natural cooling to the surrounding area while cleaning and humidifying the air in a bid to reduce the inner-city heat effect. This space also serves as a recreational area for residents and visitors to the city.

Image courtesy of CADMAN

Burwell Center for Career Achievement

Denver, USA

Architects: Lake | Flato / Shears Adkins Rockmore

A new campus hub for the University of Denver, the Burwell Center for Career Achievement broke ground in June. Intended to provide a gathering for the wider university community, the centre will house facilities for both alumni engagement and student career development. At the heart of the design is a focus on “sticky spaces”, which are designed to encourage encounters, lingering and interaction to encourage community development.

This is a particular focus on the ground floor, while upper floors house spaces for careers advice, coaching and interviews. The building is being constructed to achieve LEED Platinum status, using sustainable forestry practices for the building’s exposed structural system, while solar panels will generate energy from the building’s roof.

Image courtesy of Lake | Flato / Shears Adkins Rockmore


Philadelphia, USA

Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)

Set to provide a new addition to the city’s Avenue of the Arts, Arthaus broke ground in July. Spanning 47 storeys, the residential tower will house 101 condominiums for the city’s luxury market. It consists of four rectangular structures that rise to different heights to produce a distinctive silhouette, while interlocking boxes provide outdoor terraces for each residence.

The ground floor will house retail space, while the project also includes a number of facilities for residents, including a 75ft indoor lap pool and a fitness centre. There is also a rooftop greenhouse, located alongside a reflecting pool, sundeck and lawn.

Image courtesy of KPF

Modular Research Centre

Czech Republic

Architects: CHYBIK + KRISTOF

Developed in partnership with KOMA MODULAR, this project broke ground in July as a means to introduce a new modular construction design. While most modular buildings use simple rectangular shapes, this structure features a highly organic form, with custom angles meeting to provide a space that dissects the open-plan interior into defined regions.

The Research Centre is designed to serve as a prototype for adaptable, flexible structures built using modular methods, and houses 12 working stations for researchers working in KOMA MODULAR’s think tank.

Image courtesy of LAN