Ready to Open: Recently Completed Architectural Projects

When a project is finally completed, it provides a moment of relief for all involved, and the chance for the architectural community at large to give their thoughts. Here we look at some of the most striking and celebrated projects to be completed in recent months


Helgelandskysten, Norway

Architects: Haugen / Zohar Arkitekter AS

Commissioned by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration for the Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten, Ureddplassen is a striking approach to public facilities. Combining toilet facilities, seating and a viewing terrace that looks out to the sea beyond, the facility provides a dramatic yet highly contextual addition to an area that is popular with tourists seeking to view the Northern Lights. Constructed from prefabricated concrete steps, the terrace forms an amphitheatre that steps down onto the natural beach, creating tiers of seats to view the surrounding landscape. "The view from the steps is unique and there is ample seating well protected from traffic noise," said Steinar Skaar, route manager of Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten.

Image courtesy of Haugen / Zohar Arkitekter AS


New York, USA

Architects: Adjaye Associates

A unique project among museum design, David Adjaye’s museum of espionage opened in February to considerable interest. Designed in consultation with former high-profile hackers, station chiefs and directors of intelligence, the museum captures the mysterious world of spying with a combination of polished steel, smoked glass, fibre cement and acoustic panelling, and is lit with a combination of dim lighting and dramatic digital displays. A highly interactive experience, the museum tasks visitors with playing the role of one of 11 types of spy, with activities including a surveillance mission and a laser-evasion task. “It has been exciting to work with a client as truly innovative as Spyscape,” said Lucy Tilley, associate director for Adjaye Associates. “Thanks to their forward-thinking vision, we have been able to challenge the traditional museum typology with a design that creates a new model of visitor experience which straddles the physical and digital worlds.”

Image courtesy of Spyscape

Centre Point

London, UK

Architects: Conran and Partners

The hotly anticipated overhaul of Richard Seifert’s iconic Centre Point Tower in London has been shown off ahead of a final opening later this year. The project saw the transformation the Grade II-listed structure from an office building to a highly central apartment block. As part of the redevelopment, Pell Frischmann, the engineering firm responsible for the pioneering precast honeycomb façade that drew acclaim when the building first opened in 1966, returned to the project, restoring the building to its original white. The building also saw all glazing replaced to bring the building up to current sustainability standards and the addition of a glass envelope to the ground floor to change the street access focus from vehicles to pedestrians. "[Centre Point] stands outside most brutalist architecture. Seifert didn’t fall into the trap that people, other than architects, would enjoy grey and concrete. It’s one of his most sensitive buildings," said Tim Bowder-Ridger, senior partner at Conran and Partners, in an interview with Dezeen.

Image courtesy of Conran and Partners

Headland House

New South Wales, Australia

Architects: Atelier Andy Carson

A residential property recently completed in Australia for Beau Neilson, Headland House has drawn considerable acclaim for its striking cantilevered design. Positioned atop a hill on the 150-acre site, the building is designed to provide spectacular views of the nearby Werri Beach and Geering Bay.  The building also makes excellent use of contrasting materials, combining heavy metal cladding with natural wood and stone. "The 180-degree views and breathtaking backdrop called for a respectful celebration of the location," said Atelier Andy Carson. "Instead of providing the same view throughout the house, the design creates considered framed glimpses of what lies outside."

Image courtesy of Atelier Andy Carson

Hoover Building

London, UK

Architects: Interrobang

Transforming an iconic former art-deco factory into a 66-apartment residential building, Interrobang’s Hoover Building project is a sympathetic approach to residential repurposing. Retaining the art deco aesthetic, the studio introduced additional levels into the structure through the creation of a new timber-framed mezzanine housing 14 maisonettes. 12 of the additional apartments have been housed in a new loft that was installed in replacement of the old steel and fibre-cement roof. "The comprehensive renovation focused on a careful conservation of the historic fabric and insertion of a new timber structure designed to minimise the increase in weight while maximising the number of new homes that could be created," said Interrobang.

Image courtesy of Interrobang