Ready to Open: Recently Completed Architectural Projects

The completion of a project is a time for celebration, with some of the most notable buildings inspiring other schemes across the world. Here we look at some of the most interesting and thought-provoking projects to be completed in recent months

Tree-Ness House

Tokyo, Japan

Architects: Akihisa Hirata Architecture Office

Completed in May to provide a home for a multigenerational family, the Tree-Ness House uses stacked concrete boxes to create an intricate structure with a multitude of inside and outside spaces. Outside the façade openings are lined with white frames that host planting, window benches, tables and staircases to blend the interior and exterior. Inside, the raw concrete remains throughout, with some spaces defined by leather or wood. “Rather than focusing only the internal space of the building, the entire space including the external space like the garden and the street is three-dimensionalised,” said the architect, Akihisa Hirata. “I intended to create a futuristic and savage architecture that awakens human animal instincts in which the inside and outside are reversed multiple times.”

Image courtesy of Vincent Hecht

Guelmim Airport

Guelmim, Morocco

Architects: Groupe3 Architectes

Located in an area described as Morocco’s “gateway to the desert”, Guelmim airport recently saw the completion of its second phase. The main terminal building, pictured, consists of two double-height halls that host check-in areas, departure lounges, customs facilities and baggage reclaim. Most notable is the project’s striking façade, which is made up of multiple different coloured metal panels, which have a mesh finish to filter light. “The main issue of the project was providing the maximum amount of natural light and ventilation to avoid expensive technical equipments, while optimising the view of the surrounding landscape, which facilitates movement and flow of the building’s users,” said the architect.

Image courtesy of Fernando Guerra

81-87 Weston Street

London, the UK

Architects: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Built in the shadow on Renzo Piano’s Shard, 81-87 Weston Street is a mixed-used development housing eight multi-level apartments and ground floor office space. The exterior features a brick outer wall and wood-lined windows, while the interior features board-marked concrete contrasted with extensive joinery. The building’s intriguing shape also helps to create a sense of differentiation for each residential unit. “Weston Street is a sectional tale of a spatial idea finding a site, a form and a façade. Cast in concrete and faced in clay it is brutally simple,” said Simon Allford, director of AHMM. “Eight apartments interlock around two stairs and an office below to create a 21st-century mansion block. One where each apartment is a 'house' differentiated by its place within the spatial puzzle and the city.”

Image courtesy of Rory Gardiner

Emily Carr University of Art & Design

Vancouver, Canada

Architects: Diamond Schmitt Architects

Created as a new home for the 93-year-old art school, the building includes studios, a gallery and a 400-seat lecture theatre alongside offices and other administrative and social spaces. The white façade is designed to reference a blank canvas, while inside wood, unfinished concrete and white walls combine to create a space that is welcoming but subtle. The building is also designed to important significant natural light, combining multi-storey windows alongside rooflights. "The character and materiality of detailing are willfully designed to be robust and resilient to support sustained creative production, while being raw and unpretentious to encourage innovation and experimentation," said the architects.

Image courtesy of Tom Arban

Qatar National Library

Doha, Qatar

Architects: OMA

OMA’s striking Qatar National Library has opened, housing some of the country’s most important texts and manuscripts in a vast open-plan space. Featuring a diamond-shaped exterior profile, inside the space features a central bank of marble bookcases, rising to house further shelves and reading spaces across stepped levels. “We designed the space so you can see all the books in a panorama,” said OMA co-founder Rem Koolhaas. “You emerge immediately surrounded by literally every book – all physically present, visible, and accessible, without any particular effort. The interior is so large it's on an almost urban scale: it could contain an entire population, and also an entire population of books.”

Image courtesy of Delfino Sisto Legnani / Marco Cappelletti / OMA