Although it has been giving us shelter and inventing solutions for the needs of people and cities for thousands of years, the fact is that architecture is a field that never fails to impress and where innovation always has room to surprise us, discovering new ways to provide the usual: a roof and four walls to shelter us. Here we offer a review of seven very different examples of recent architectural innovation, structures that amaze us with their complexity, their peculiar shapes and the simplicity with which they provide answers to our most basic needs.
1 – The invisible tower
Created by GDS Architects, this skyscraper being raised in Seoul plans to go unnoticed despite its 453 meters of height. Simply, this is because the Infinity Tower will have a system of cameras and LED screens to render its structure invisible. In theory, the cameras will pick up what is seen from one side of the tower and project it onto the opposite side, creating the feeling that we can see through its glass and steel structures.
2 – The donut
Skyscrapers, as a rule, tend to stylize their shape in order to reach great heights. However, the architect Joseph di Pasquale has built in Guangzhou, along the Zhujiang River, a donut-shaped building with 33 floors and a 47-meter hole in the center of the structure.
3 – Citadel of the sea
The Dutch have spent decades wrestling land from the sea for their buildings. But in the case of this project from Waterstudio, the idea is to seal an alliance with the waters, creating a residential complex with 60 luxury residences on the sea, the first exercise of this type to be carried out in Europe.
4 – The tree house
A sustainable building that can live amongst the trees and yet remain almost indistinguishable from them. From a childhood dream of raising a wonderful home in the branches, the Mithun Studio has built this green building, a tree house that accommodates the Boy Scouts of America.
5 – A bar or a bridge?
Here we have innovation applied to the world of urban infrastructure. This movable bridge, designed by McDowell+Benedetti, offers pedestrians and cyclists a new experience in the case that they cannot cross to the other side when boats are plying the Hull River. While waiting to cross, they can take a walk on the bridge itself, which does not become a dead end but rather a café-viewpoint at which to hang out awhile until the structure recovers its primary function.
6 – The most basic
These cubicles, made of paper and cotton, are an innovative idea from the architect Shigeru Ban, the latest recipient of the Pritzker Prize for his great contributions both in the field of the most stylish architecture as well as for his generosity in designing simple and inexpensive buildings to meet the basic needs of people in emergency or disaster situations. These small cells are designed to give some privacy to evacuees after the Fukushima accident.
7 – The most accessible
What is considered to be the world’s most accessible building has just been inaugurated in Denmark. Designed to house organizations in defense of disabled people, its facilities have been thought out in detail, like no other building before, so that no one will feel uncomfortable walking its hallways or making use of its spaces. There are no physical, sensory or social barriers within its walls, which also consume 40 % less energy.