Breaking Ground: The Architectural Projects Beginning Construction

The moment a project begins construction marks the end of a key chapter in its development and the beginning of its transition to reality. Here we look at some of the key projects from around the world to break ground in the last few months

Kaserne Cultural Center

Basel, Switzerland

Architects: Focketyn Del Rio

May saw construction begin on Kaserne Cultural Center, a $44.7m project designed to create a new cultural hub for the city of Basel. Largely a renovation project, it will transform and join two currently disconnected – and largely dilapidated – spaces in the city into a 9,000 sqm highly versatile space incorporating a large selection of configurable public spaces. The project, which will retain much of the fabric of the original site, including its façade, is set to be completed by 2021.

Image courtesy of Focketyn Del Rio

Loop of Wisdom

Chengdu, China

Architects: Powerhouse Company

Construction has begun on the Loop of Wisdom, a dramatic structure designed to host the exhibition and reception centres for the Unis Chip City masterplan in Chengdu, China. The unorthodox space is designed to link the two structures in a single ribbon-like construction, providing an undulating rooftop walkway offering views of the planned city. Once the city is complete, the Loop will be transformed into a sports facility for a nearby school, with the encircled ground becoming an Olympic-sized running track. The structure is set for completion later this year.

Image courtesy of MIR

Belmont High School

Boston, the US

Architects: Perkins + Will

At the end of May Perkins + Will broke ground on what is being touted as the school of the future: a new middle and high school in Boston’s Belmont suburb that is designed to provide a flexible space for learning. Intended to train students for the jobs of tomorrow, it places a key focus on hands-on learning, with moveable furniture and whiteboards to enable classrooms to be reshaped to meet the needs of the curriculum. The building is also designed to be highly sustainable, with geothermal energy and photovoltaic panels incorporated into the scheme. The first phase is set to be completed in 2021, with the second ready in 2023.

Image courtesy of Perkins + Will

Lahofer Winery

Dobšice, Czech Republic

Architects: CHYBIK + KRISTOF Architects

April saw construction begin on Lahofer Winery, a bold winemaking facility, visitor centre and rooftop amphitheatre. Designed to fuse nature, modern techniques and tradition, the project is made up of three interconnected structures that will allow not only for the manufacture of wine, but a host of cultural events at the rooftop theatre. The structure is also designed to echo the surrounding landscape. It is set for completion in 2020.

Image courtesy of CHYBIK + KRISTOF Architects

Fulbright University Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Architects: SHoP Architects

The start of June saw SHoP break ground on the 15-hectare campus of Fulbright University Vietnam, the first independent non-profit higher education institution in the country. Set to be developed over several phases, it will include a central hub, key lecture facilities, a library and a student centre. Phase 1 will be completed by 2022.

Image courtesy of SHoP Architects