New home and condominium development projects are popping up at record pace within urban centres throughout North America. Working at BuzzBuzzHome, we get to see a lot of these projects as they launch. While some are your typical rectangular-shaped four-walled boxes, others feature innovative designs and stunning architectural elements that make them stand out from the crowd. Here we list our favourite developments and architectural masterpieces that are already under construction. Don’t see your favourite on the list? Let us know in the comments below!
Located on the northern end of the Granville Street Bridge, Vancouver House sits at the gateway into Vancouver’s downtown core. The 59-storey mixed-use condominium designed by Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels adopts the “gesamtkunstwerk” philosophy — or total work of art — to create a stunning tower that twists upwards towards the sky. The development rises from a triangular base due to nearby bridges on- and off-ramps and gradually transitions into a rectangle form at the top. Its visual presence is enhanced by a patterned facade consisting of protruding balconies and punched-in windows giving it a honeycomb-like look.
Named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2017, Sir David Adjaye has been lauded as one of the leading architects of his generation. The Ghanaian-British architect was behind the award-winning Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. His latest project brings him to New York City’s Lower Manhattan where he has embarked on his first high-rise residential condominium.
Designed to be “different but with a purpose.” 130 William Street pushes against the conventions of tall glass towers and instead uses hand-cast concrete in its facade to create a striking contrast against the New York cityscape. His use of curves and arches reflect the neighbourhood’s architectural heritage, while intricate design elements like the bronze-accented window frames add a touch of luxe and match the many interior fixtures finished in burnished bronze.
Located north of Madison Square Park, New York City’s NoMad District is home to historically significant buildings including the classical-revival Morgan Library and Museum, the Flatiron building and various structures designed in the neo-gothic and art deco style. It was the area’s architectural history and essence that inspired renowned New York architect Morris Adjmi when designing his visionary tower at 30 East 31st Street. The 40-storey luxury residence by Ekstein Development and Pinnacle Realty of New York will rise 470 (143 meters) into the Manhattan skyline and is topped with an elegant and distinctive, diamond lattice crown.
Inside, the tower will house only 42 suites, most of which will span entire floors and feature expansive windows, Taj Mahal quartzite countertops and imported walnut cabinetry from Italy.
A list covering the top architectural residential developments wouldn’t be complete without a project by the renowned Zaha Hadid. The Pritzker Prize-winning architect sadly passed away in 2016 but has left a lasting impression in the world of architecture. One of her final projects is One Thousand Museum Tower which is now nearing completion in Miami. The 62-storey tower boasts Hadid’s signature curved form with a structural exterior exoskeleton that wraps its way up the building’s glass facade. The futuristic and visually-stunning design wasn’t created just for aesthetic purposes but also enables the building’s floor plates to remain open and free of internal columns.
5. The Well
Estimated completion: 2023
Builders: Tridel, Rhapsody Property Management Services, RioCan Living, Diamondcorp and Allied Properties
Architect: Hariri Pontarini Architects
New development projects often use the words “mixed-use” in their marketing vernacular, however in many cases this only refers to a handful of dental offices or corner stores situated at podium level. In contrast, The Well, in downtown Toronto is a master-planned community poised to become a true mixed-use community where residents can eat, shop, work, live and play. The ambitious project is now under construction on the corner of Spadina Avenue and Front Street West and is being developed by a mix of the city’s top developers and architectural firms.
When complete, The Well will house a diverse array of shops, restaurants, fresh food markets, workspaces and residences. Within the complex, The Well adopts design cues from nearby King Street West, which was once the centre of Toronto’s textile industry and is dotted with former industrial buildings that now house boutique shops and retailers. Residents can expect to see brick and beam design elements blend with glass, steel and touches of terracotta.
Estimated completion: Winter/Spring 2021
Builder: China Oceanwide
Architects: Foster + Partners and Heller Manus Architects
When the Oceanwide Center broke ground in December 2016, it marked the start of what many believe is the most pivotal urban project in San Francisco’s recent history. The mixed-use development consists of two buildings including a 54-storey, 625 foot (190.5 meter) residential and hotel tower along with a 61-storey, 910 foot (277 meter) residential and office tower that will become the city’s second tallest skyscraper when completed.
However, it’s not the project’s overall height that makes it special. It’s the 26,000 square feet of public space that it will add to the city’s downtown core including a five-storey, open air ‘urban plaza’. The publicly accessible private space will feature a restaurant, viewing platforms and space for events like concerts, art exhibitions and farmer’s markets.
Estimated completion: 2020
Builders: Wanda Group and Magellan Development Group
Architects: Studio Gang Architects, bKL Architecture and Hirsch Bedner Associates
Home to the Willis Tower, Aon Center and 875 North Michigan Avenue (formerly called the John Hancock Tower), Chicago is known for its supertall skyscrapers. And it’s about to get another one. At 93-storeys and 1,191 feet (363 meters) high, Vista Towers will eventually become the city’s third-tallest tower, surpassing the iconic Aon Center. Designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang, Vista Towers will also hold the title of the tallest skyscraper in the world built by a woman.
Header Photo: James Bombales