Striking Concepts: The Architectural Projects Unveiled This Month

Even during a pandemic, the constant flow of new building designs and concepts doesn’t stop. From high-concept ideas to schemes that will soon become a reality, we look at some of most notable new projects to be unveiled this month


Stockholm, Sweden

Architects: 3XN

The winner of a competition to design an innovation centre for companies in the health and life sciences industries, Forskaren is designed with the highest possible sustainability standards in mind. Pursuing LEED Platinum certification, the 24,000m2 building makes considerable use of natural light and materials, with a dynamic façade of wooden slats to provide natural shading. It also uses features rooftop solar panels. ”Forskaren is a very ambitious project,” said Jan Ammundsen, partner in charge and senior partner at 3XN. ”The building will serve as a landmark of its central location, where it will interact with the city and create new collaborative environments. In addition, sustainability is front and center and the building will provide optimal daylight, social zones and green settings for those working within.”

Image courtesy of 3XN

Desert Resort

Rub’ Al Khali, Saudi Arabia

Architects: X-Architects

An entry for the Desert Resort Competition, this design by X-Architects takes on the challenging desert environment to create a luxury resort amidst the Rub’ Al Khali, a sand sea dotted with salt flats. A series of villas, like the one pictured, take inspiration from the native desert rose, while other structures are designed to blend into the surrounding dunes, providing shading and protection from the harsh environment. A white spa ‘carpet’ carved out of salt also provides a healing environment, with a series of walls offering shading and delineation. The result is what X-Architects describes as “a constellation of architecture strategically placed on the vast terrain”, providing an ethereal and varying project across the 240,000 sqm site.

Image courtesy of Vyonyx

North West Museum and Art Gallery

Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

Architects: Terroir

Set to be the new home of Burnie’s Regional Art Gallery and Museum, this project is designed to reflect the natural environment, communities, heritage and history. The structure itself is intended to attract visitors as much as the exhibits it contains, with a form inspired by the rugged coastline of North West Tasmania. It features gallery space, back-of-house facilities and storage set over four stories, with an urban room on the ground floor to invite visitors in. Sliced through the structure are landscaped keyhole spaces that provide views from within the gallery while reflecting the rainforests found in the area. The project is currently on hold due to Covid-19, but is set to resume at some point in the future.

Image courtesy of Terroir

Pernod Ricard Malt Whisky Distillery

Emeishan, Sichuan, China

Architects: Neri&Hu

Set to become the home for China’s first whisky, the Pernod Ricard Malt Whisky Distillery draws inspiration from both the whisky making process and the surrounding landscape. Positioned in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Emeishan, the scheme draws from the spirituality and tranquility of the surrounding area. Surrounded on three sides by Liu Creek, and offering a direct vista of the Emei mountain, the scheme incorporates this relationship with the landscape into the design contrasting it with the industry of the production. Neri&Hu describes it as embodying “the essentially Chinese concept of the dichotomy of two elements that exist in opposition yet complement each other”.

Image courtesy of Neri&Hu

Copenhagen Islands

Copenhagen, Denmark

Architects: Marshall Blecher & Studio Fokstrot

Designed to inject “wilderness and whimsy” into the city of Copenhagen, this series of floating islands is intended to add a new aspect to the urban space. Designed for use by fishermen, stargazers, swimmers and boaters, the islands form a “parkipelago” that will be constructed using traditional wooden boat building techniques in the nearby boatbuilding yards. It will also provide an additional environment for wildlife, with grasses, plants and trees providing habitats for insects and birds, while anchor points below the water level will support seaweed, mollusks and fish.

Image courtesy of MIR