Breaking Ground: The Architectural Projects Beginning Construction

The start of construction is always a significant point in a project’s progression. Here we look at some of the most notable projects to break ground in recent months

Radio Tower & Hotel

Manhattan, New York, USA

Architects: MVRDV

November saw the first US project for legendary Dutch architects MVRDV break ground in New York, in the form of a 21,800-square-meter mixed-used scheme. Combining a hotel, retail units and office spaces, the design is characteristic of the architects’ quirky aesthetic. It brings together multiple boxes of different bright colours, creating space for both cut-throughs and roof terraces to maximise outside space. It is set for completion in 2021.

Image courtesy of MVRDV

Bank of Africa Tower

Johannesburg, South Africa

Architects: Rafael De La-Hoz / CHB Cabinet Hakim Benjelloun

Set to be the tallest skyscraper in the continent when completed, the Bank of Africa Tower began construction at the start of November. Designed to achieved LEED Gold and HQE ratings, the 820ft tall skyscraper will house apartments, a luxury hotel and office facilities across 55 floors. The project is being sponsored by the Moroccan BCME Bank of Africa, and it set to cost around £250m. It will be completed by May 2022.

Image courtesy of Rafael De La-Hoz

Miami Underline

Miami, Florida, USA

Architects: James Corner Field Operations

Work has begun on the Underline, a 10 mile-long park and trail that will sit below the city’s elevated Metrorail. The project has been described as Miami’s answer to New York’s High Line, and is by the same landscape architect. When completed, it will feature cycle and pedestrian paths flanked by extensive landscaping. It has been achieved through several years of campaigning and support from activists, governments and businesses and will cost up to $120m. It set to be completed by the summer of 2020.

Image courtesy of James Corner Field Operations and Friends of the Underline

Grand Avenue Towers

Los Angeles, California, USA

Architect: Frank Gehry

Over a decade after it was originally proposed, the Grand Avenue Towers project has begun construction. Located opposite the Walt Disney Concert Hall, also designed by Gehry, the towers will combine retail and entertainment, topped by private residences. The housing will consist of 113 condos and 323 apartments, 20% of which will be low-income. The site will also house a 314-room hotel. Grand Avenue Towers is designed to turn the area into a central entertainment district, and will cost an estimated $1bn. It is set for completion in 2021.

Image courtesy of Gehry Partners

Audrey Irmas Pavilion

Los Angeles, California, USA

Architects: OMA

Designed by OMA partners Rem Koolhaas and Shohei Shigematsu, the Audrey Irmas Pavilion is set to expand the existing Wiltshire Boulevard Temple with a striking standalone structure. Consisting of three-storeys, the pavilion will include space for supportive services and the temple congregation. It will also house a main event space, sunken garden and a smaller, multi-purpose area. Set to cost $75m, it will be completed in 2020.

Image courtesy of OMA