Spatial design has reached new heights in the past 20 years and has inevitably left a mark on the events sector. Richard Dodgson of events company Timebased lists his top 10 architectural designs of the past two decades.
1. Oscar Niemeyer – The Niteroi Arts Centre (1996)
Oscar Niemeyer, the famed Brazilian architect, is a modernist concrete poet, known for his futuristic visions and bold, monumental curves. For me, perhaps his most powerful architectural design was The Niteroi Arts Centre, built in 1996. With its iconic futuristic saucer-shaped structure which beautifully frames the panoramic views of Rio De Janeiro, the building really is an inspiration. Other works of note that have stood out over the last 20 years from Niemeyer would also include The Complexo Cultural da Republica (2006) and Brasilia Digital TV Tower (2012).
2. Conrad Shawcross – The Optic Cloak (2016)
Shawcross collaborated with Knight Dragon earlier this year to create The Optic Cloak, a dynamic new structure that now highlights the Greenwich Peninsula skyline in South East London. It’s beautiful and innovative cloak, which covers the chimney of the Energy Centre is a perfect manifestation of function meeting form. The tower forms part of the new low carbon energy centre, which will provide a sustainable source of heat to the site, which houses more than 15,000 homes.
3. Zara Hadid – London Aquatics Centre, Stratford (2012)
One of the most iconic and successful buildings to have been created in the last 20 years as a cultural establishment. With a huge undulating, wave-like roof over the pools and two large wings on the side which provide additional seating, the building echoes the outstanding swimming that takes place in the centre each day. Big and beautiful, the building is highly sculptural, highly fluid – a modern masterpiece.
4. Richard Rogers – Neo Bankside (2012)
Undoubtedly a brilliant architect, Rogers has made a huge impact on the London skyline and street-scape. Neo Bankside offers something raw and authentic to the scene. The framework and ‘skeletons’ of the building are the hero of the building and it has been designed to complement the surrounding buildings whilst reflecting the area’s ever-changing style.
5. Shigeru Ban – Cardboard Cathedral (2013)
Championing the use of cardboard as a versatile material to use following natural disasters, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban built a cathedral for the community from his iconic recycled tubes. The building was designed as a temporary replacement for the former Anglican cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand after it was destroyed in the 2011 earthquake. With a lifespan of nearly 50 years, the cardboard building will serve the community until a new cathedral can be built.
6. Christo and Jeanne-Claude – The Floating Piers (2016)
In a fantastical spectacle, 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric wrapping a floating dock connects various points on Italy’s Lake Iseo. Undulating with the movement of the lake, visitors can take to the water as an extension of the street, completely free, at any time of the day to explore the wonderful sights the lake has to offer.
7. The High Line – New York (2014)
An impressive urban transformation project, The High Line has created a public walkway and park built on a disused railway. Running from north to south along the former railway track, the outdoor path offers a peaceful and alternative perspective to the bustling bright lights of New York City.
8. Herzog, de Meuron and Ai Weiwei – Serpentine Gallery Pavilion (2012)
The design team that created the magnificent Beijing National Stadium came together again in London in 2012 for a unique creation for the Serpentine’s acclaimed annual commission. The annual Pavilion featured a roof comprising of a pool of water which appeared to spectators as though it had been ‘lifted’ to excavate revelations under the lawn. A dramatic feature of architecture, the Pavilion represented the pavilions of past and present.
9. Spencer Tunick – Saatchi Gallery (2003)
Tunick’s brave and stylised naked people installation outside County Hall for the launch of the Saatchi Gallery in 2003, an event produced by Timebased, created iconic images still fondly remembered by Londoners. Whilst not all in the capital would have readily joined in with the installation, in sight of the Houses of Parliament the 160 volunteers stripped to create a piece of living art.
10. David Adjaye – Dirty House, Shoreditch (2002)
Designed and location in Hackney, Dirty House is a distinctive black-painted art studio and apartment building in Shoreditch with a brightly illuminated roof. Simple and highly relevant, it is a perfect complement to the surrounding environment, and as an old building made modern, with additions such as mirrored windows, it is symbolic of the swiftly developing creative focus on Hackney over the last 15 to 20 years.