Ready to Open: Recently completed Architectural Projects

Be it a fraught scheme or a breeze to finish, the completion of a project marks the moment years of hard work are finally realised. With this in mind, we look at the projects that have been completed in the last few months

Marina One


Architects: Ingenhoven Architects

Officially opened this January, the mixed-use complex Marina One is designed to be an innovative blueprint for living and working in cities, combining high-density housing with retail and office spaces, alongside an outdoor space that is now the largest public landscaped area in the building’s district. The building also contributes to the wider trend of green architecture, with terraces that accommodate over 350 types of trees and plants across 37,000 square metres. "Inspired by Asian paddy field terraces, the green centre formed by the four towers – with its multi-storey three-dimensional gardens – reflects the diversity of tropical flora and creates a new habitat," said the architects.

Image courtesy of Ingenhoven Architects

Dubai Frame


Architect: Fernando Donis

January also saw the opening of the Dubai Frame, a statement structure and observation tower designed to resemble a picture frame. Featuring two 150m-tall towers connected by a 93m wide bridge with a glass floor, the building is set to be a key tourist attraction for the city. However, it has been marred by significant controversy. Although Fernando Donis’ design was originally selected via a competition, the architect has said that he has not received a contract or compensation beyond a $100,000 prize. “They took my project, changed the design and built it without me,” Donis told The Guardian. "The Dubai legal system makes it impossible to sue the municipality unless the municipality gives you authority to sue them. They give themselves sovereign immunity against any lawsuit." 

Image courtesy of Katiekk /

Fora Boco

Boca del Rio, Mexico

Architects: Rojkind Arquitectos

Developed as a new home for the Boca del Rio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Fora Boco concert hall has been completed as part of a wider rejuvenation project for the area. Featuring a board-marked concrete exterior, the rugged structure is designed to echo the adjacent coastline. “The Foro Boca's location is intended to articulate the dynamics of the central part of the city with the coastal avenue, and has the goal of functioning as an urban detonator capable of inciting modernity in the area,” said the architects. “The forum itself is a tool that has permitted the reconstruction and renovation of the infrastructure and urban image of this part of the city.”

Image courtesy of Rojkind Arquitectos

US Embassy in London

London, UK

Architects: Kieran Timberlake

The end of 2017 saw the completion of the new US Embassy in London, a glass cube enveloped on two sides by sail-like ethylene tetrafluoroethylene. The structure is designed to give the appearance of openness while providing world-class security, and, according to the architects, adheres to environmental standards beyond LEED Platinum. “In the form and expression of the new embassy, we envisioned a holistic fusion of urbanism with site, of building and urban form with landscape,” said partner James Timberlake. “We wanted to create a new embassy that is both evocative and that performs, one that represents our democracy and our relationship with the United Kingdom beautifully but at the same time conserves and produces energy.”

Image courtesy of Kieran Timberlake

ICA Miami

Miami, USA

Architects: Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos 

Designed as the permanent home for Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art, the ICA Miami is a bold and vibrant structure that is designed to compete with other statement structures in the neighbourhood while fitting in with the surrounding area. However, while the exterior is vibrant, the interior is subdued and highly adaptable, to suit the changing exhibitions it will house. “There was a demand that the spaces for exhibitions had to be big and really flexible, and with a very neutral character,” the architects told Dezeen. “The building had to have a strong personality and character, and the materials are the ones that give the personality to the building. The magnetic idea – the mirror, the metal – it had to be elegant and unique.”

Image courtesy of ICA Miami