Breaking Ground: The Architectural Projects Beginning Construction

The groundbreaking ceremony of any new building is a significant moment in its development, marking the start of the phase where years of work begin to translate into reality. Here we look at some of the latest high-profile projects to begin construction

CapitalMED Medical City

Cairo, Egypt

Architects: HKS Architects

Late January saw construction start of CapitalMED Medical City, a vast “medical destination” designed to position Egypt as a leader in the medical tourism space as well as providing specialist facilities for region-specific healthcare issues. Set to be constructed in three phases across the next decade, it will house high-quality general and specialist healthcare facilities alongside a teaching hospital, mixed-use retail, housing, a hotel, offices and a spa in a space designed to maximise wellness. Once completed, the 636,000 square metre campus will house 2,000 beds for in-patients.

Image courtesy of HKS Architects

Arc of Memory

Ottawa, Canada

Architects: Paul Raff Studio

In late December, construction finally began on Arc of Memory, a national monument being built in Canada’s capital to commemorate the victims of communist authoritarianism. The unique structure consists of more than 4,000 bronze rods, which are arranged along hundreds of posts so that each points at a different and unique angle of the sun, one for each time of the day for the entire year. The start of construction represents a significant step for the project, which was first proposed in 2007 and approved in 2009.

Image courtesy of Paul Raff Studio

Center for Computing and Data Sciences

Boston, USA

Architects: KPMB Architects

The Boston University Center for Computing and Data Sciences began construction by building firm Suffolk in mid-January. The striking structure, which will form a new focal point for the university’s central campus, will be the largest carbon-neutral building in the city of Boston once it is completed in 2022. This will be achieved in part by the use of custom shading and triple-glazed windows, but the building will also be powered by a geothermal well-field that will eliminate the need for fossil fuels. The building, which houses event spaces, terraces and a café alongside classrooms, is also designed to be resistant to flooding.

Image courtesy of KPMB Architects


Dubai, UAE

Architects: NORR

Construction has started on what will become the world’s tallest hotel once it is completed in 2023. Rising to a height of 360m, the building will house 1,042 luxury hotel suites, and will feature an interior design inspired by the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, which focuses on the beauty of imperfection. The tower is predominantly glass, in a move to emphasise the vertical nature of the structure. Developed by The First Group, has already been honoured in a number of award ceremonies, including winning in three categories at the 2019 International Property Awards.

Image courtesy of The First Group

82 West India Dock Road

London, UK

Architects: SimpsonHaugh

Construction has begun on 82 West India Dock Road, a mixed-use development in London’s Docklands area developed by Rockwell Property. Designed to reinvigorate a site that has remained vacant for a decade, the project consists of 48 private residential units, 18 affordable homes and a 400-bed hotel, which will be the tallest Premier Inn in the UK. It will also house a communal garden, restaurant, café and gym. The project, which is designed to function as a gateway for the Canary Wharf cluster, is set for completion in 2022.

Image courtesy of SimpsonHaugh