Breaking Ground: The Architectural Projects Beginning Construction

When a project begins construction, it marks the end of sometimes years of design and planning work, signalling the point where the finished building is in sight. Here we look at some of the more notable projects to break ground in recent months. 

TBC Forum

Tbilisi, Georgia

Architects: UNStudio

A dramatic take on what is often a stuffy form of architecture, UNStudio’s dramatic design for the headquarters of TBC Bank broke ground in December. Housing the headquarters above an Innovation Lab and a Culture Hub, the project includes double and triple-height communal spaces, alongside co-working and breakout spaces to facilitate different forms of working. "The design for the new TBC Forum proposes a transition from the traditional closed and introverted working model previously favoured in the banking industry, to­ward a flexible, open and responsive system," said the architects.

Image courtesy of UNStudio

ING Pavilion

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Architects: Powerhouse Company

Located at the heart of ING’s campus, the ING Pavilion began construction in January. Designed to serve as a multifunctional space and dining area, it is intended to serve as a dramatic focus for the campus. With a glass façade, organic forms and a timber interior, the design is intended to evoke the surrounding natural landscape, providing a calming yet dramatic focus for the wider site. “We designed the pavilion to be seamlessly integrated with its surroundings, creating a dynamic relationship between the interior and exterior,” explained Stijn Kemper, project principal, Powerhouse Company.

Images courtesy of Powerhouse Company

Monroe Blocks

Detroit, Michigan, USA

Architects: Schmidt Hammer Lassen

The first US project for Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Monroe Blocks broke ground in December. A mixed-use project in the heart of Detroit, it is designed to serve as a core for the evolving city. Combining office spaces, residential units, restaurants and retail alongside 4,800 square meters of outdoor space, the design is intended to echo the historic buildings of the surrounding area. “During the design process, we were heavily inspired by Detroit’s strong architectural gems and original masterplan by Augustus Woodruff,” said Kristian Ahlmark, partner and design director, Schmidt Hammer Lassen.

Image courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen

Tower Ten

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Architects: PLP Architecture

An expansion to the World Trade Center Amsterdam, construction began on Tower Ten at the start of December. Bringing an additional 32,000 square meters of office space to the site, the structure has a wholly different design to the rest of the building. Made up of a trio of linked pavilion buildings and a 22-storey tower, the design places a strong focus on natural light, and features an extension to a curved glass roof added in an earlier round of extensions to the site by PLP.

Image courtesy of PLP Architecture

Glorya Kaufman Performing Arts Center

Los Angeles, California, USA

Architects: AUX Architecture

An addition to the Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services campus, the Glorya Kaufman Performing Arts Center began construction in January. A partial remodel of a former Synagogue built in 1965, the project will include a 300-seat theatre alongside a rehearsal studio, box office, dressing rooms and lobbies, as well as supporting office spaces and storage. While the exterior makes extensive use of glass to provide a light box-like appearance, the theatre is lined with timber panels for acoustic and aesthetic purposes.

Image courtesy of AUX Architecture