Breaking Ground: The Architectural Projects Beginning Construction

The point that construction breaks ground is a seminal moment in a project’s lifecycle, marking the point when ideas that have been years in development begin to take form in reality. We look at some of the latest projects to begin construction

Sydney Modern

Sydney, Australia

Architects: SANAA / Architectus / McGregor Coxall

The $334m expansion to The Art Gallery of New South Wales began construction in November, creating a striking extension to the original structure, built in 1897. Housing eight interconnected exhibition spaces, the expansion includes a step down to the harbour that houses a decommissioned World War II-era oil tank. Once completed, it will double the gallery’s existing exhibition space, enabling more of the collection to be showcased while also hosting exhibitions from across the world.

Image courtesy of AGNSW

Apple Campus

Austin, Texas, USA

The groundbreaking ceremony for tech giant Apple’s latest campus was conducted in November, signalling the start of construction of the 133 acre project. Set to cost $1bn, the site will house 5,000 employees initially, with the ability to expand to house 15,000. It will run entirely on renewable energy, primarily through solar power, and includes extensive landscaping. It is set to be completed in 2022, and will make Apple Austin’s single largest private employer.

Image courtesy of Apple

City Hall

Sunderland, UK

Architects: Faulkner Brown

In November, construction began on the new City Hall for Sunderland, a key project in the £500m regeneration of the city centre. Spanning 190,000 sq ft, the building will house a host of council facilities and public services, and is expected to be used by up to 7,000 people a week. Located on the former Vaux brewery site, it is set for completion in autumn 2021.

Image courtesy of Faulkner Brown

Enoc Pavilion

Dubai, UAE

Architects: SRP

Enoc Pavilion, one of the key pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai, has begun construction ahead of its opening in July 2020. The pavilion, which focuses on the future of energy, consists of four ‘houses’ and a fifth building named The Hive, which will serve as a space for collaboration. Each of the four houses will focus on different aspects of future energy plans, and are named Discover, Harness, Collaborate and Reimagine. The structure will also feature recycled rubber floors.

Image courtesy of Enoc Group

Diriyah Gate Project

Diriyah, Saudi Arabia

November saw the foundation stone laid for the Diriyah Gate Project, a $17.1bn project that will see the exhaustive restoration of the city of Diriyah, first established in 1446, to its 18th century splendour. The sprawling project is designed to turn the city into a cultural and lifestyle destination, and will include a 15,000-seat arena, a Formula-E racetrack, five squares and 20 luxury hospitality brands.

Image courtesy of Diriyah Gate Project