Top 21 Projects Completing in 2021
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FROM vertical forests and island parks - to huge stadiums, iconic museums, Grand Prix tracks and Gigafactories - 2021 will see some incredible construction projects reach completion, despite the challenges of the past year.
While many schemes have been delayed, most sites managed to continue with social distancing and as we begin to emerge from the pandemic in the year ahead, so too will these impressive feats of construction.
These are the 21 projects to keep your eyes on in 2021.
DJI HEADQUARTERS, SHENZHEN
Spread across two interconnected towers in China’s tech-capital, DJI’s new headquarters features a series of cantilevers that appear as floating volumes emerging from a central core.
Above: DJI's new headquarters in Shenzhen (image courtesy of Foster + Partners / DJI).
Containing office space, research and testing facilities and a dedicated theatre for product launches; the project exemplifies China’s push for more natural space within cities, featuring a series of sky-gardens and a landscaped public square at street level.
LITTLE ISLAND, NEW YORK CITY
Rising from the Hudson River on a series of concrete columns and intended to mimic a floating leaf, visitors to New York City’s newest park will feel like they’re walking on water when Little Island, formerly known as Pier 55, opens in the spring of 2021.
Above: New York's newest public park rises from the Hudson River (image courtesy of the Dronalist).
Constructed from 132 concrete “flower pots” between the remnants of piers 54 and 56, the elevated park is connected to Manhattan via two dock-like walkways and will feature landscaped walking tracks, viewing platforms, outdoor performing spaces and an 800-seat amphitheatre.
LUSAIL ICONIC STADIUM, QATAR
Set to play a major role in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Iconic Stadium in Lusail City will host more matches than any other venue, including the all-important final.
Above: The largest stadium of the 2022 FIFA World Cup under construction (image courtesy of the Qatari Supreme Committee of Delivery + Legacy).
Designed with a capacity of more than 80,000 spectators the venue is expected to be reconfigured to host around 40,000 people following the tournament. The reclaimed space within the building’s shell will be reconfigured for community space and athletic facilities.
FOUR SEASONS, NEW ORLEANS
Remaining largely vacant since Hurricane Katrina, one of New Orleans’ most recognisable landmarks is now being transformed into a premier residential and hotel development.
Above: One of New Orlean's most iconic landmarks will transform in 2021 (image courtesy of Binyan Studios).
2014 saw the cruciform building added to the National Register of Historic Places and - with economic growth driving demand for high-end property in the city - 2018 saw the start of restoration works, due to complete in 2021.
HUANGGANG VERTICAL FOREST, CHINA
Following in the footsteps of Milan’s Bosco Verticale, China's Hubei province will complete its own vertical forest in 2021.
Above: The first greenery being added to Huanggang's Vertical Forest scheme (image courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti).
With more than 30,000 plants across the facades of its two residential towers, the scheme is one of many similar projects underway in cities across China and is set to be joined by the Nanjing Vertical Forest in the latter half of the year.
ELIZABETH TOWER, LONDON
Disappearing from view in 2017 to undergo a four-year restoration, one of Britain’s most iconic buildings is about to re-emerge onto the skyline as scaffolding around the Elizabeth Tower at London’s Palace of Westminster comes down.
Above: The Elizabeth Tower will begin to re-emerge onto London's skyline after a four-year restoration programme (image courtesy of David Holt).
While extensive works have modernised the structure internally, the building’s exterior has been fully restored to its original condition, appearing now as it did when it was first completed during the reign of Queen Victoria.
WEST SIDE PLACE, MELBOURNE
With the completion of its 81-storey, 268-metre flagship tower, the first phase of the AUD $1BN West Side Place scheme will see a once-neglected part of Melbourne transformed into a new dining, retail and residential precinct.
Above: Melbourne will see its first Ritz-Carlton Hotel open within the first phase of West Side Place (image courtesy of Gizmo Drones).
Eventually set to feature 2,600 apartments across four towers, the scheme will also include a Ritz-Carton Hotel, new laneways, shops, restaurants and landscaped terraces.
ROSE HILL, NEW YORK CITY
Nodding to the early skyscrapers of the 1920s and 30s, Rose Hill in New York’s NoMad district brings art deco design into the 21st century.
Above: Rose Hill under construction (image courtesy of Max Touhey).
With 123 residences over 45 floors the development is set to become one of the most exclusive addresses in the city with a health and wellness centre, pet salon, library and exclusive bar just some of the amenities available to residents.
HOTEL GSH, DENMARK
Following its completion in 2015, the Hotel Green Solution House (Hotel GSH) is set to complete a 24 room extension in 2021 that will not only be carbon neutral, but climate positive.
Above: The climate positive extension to the Hotel GSH (image courtesy of 3XN).
Built and insulated using wooden materials that naturally absorb CO2, the extension will include a conference room and a rooftop spa.
GRAND EGYPTIAN MUSEUM, CAIRO
After nearly two decades of design and construction, the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is set to finally open its doors to the public in 2021.
Above: After a nearly two-decade long design and construction phase, the Grand Egyptian Museum will open in 2021.
Becoming the world’s largest museum dedicated to a single civilisation, the GEM will house 50,000 artefacts and become the new home of Tutankhamun and his treasures.
MANDALIKA STREET CIRCUIT, INDONESIA
After an absence of more than two decades, the MotoGP returns to Indonesia in 2021 with the newly constructed urban circuit on the island of Lombok.
Above: The Moto Grand Prix returns to Indonesia in 2021 (image courtesy of MotoGP)
Built within the confines of a new resort complex, the 4.32-kilometre circuit will accommodate over 150,000 spectators during the event and operate as a public roadway for the hotels when races aren’t taking place.
GIGAFACTORY BERLIN, GERMANY
Described as the most advanced high-volume electric vehicle production plant in the world, Gigafactory Berlin will begin operations in 2021, producing the Tesla Model Y.
Above: Gigafactory will be Tesla's first in Europe and fourth globally (image courtesy of Tobias Lindh).
The fourth of Tesla’s mega plants globally, Gigafactory Berlin will be joined in 2021 by the completion of Gigafactory Texas, the firm’s third facility in the United States.
130 WILLIAM, NEW YORK CITY
Nearing completion in the heart of the financial district, 130 William is a dramatic departure from the steel and glass skyscrapers found elsewhere in Manhattan, and is architect Sir David Adjaye’s first high-rise scheme in New York.
Above: 130 William under construction in the Finacial District (image courtesy of Max Touhey).
Designed with a modern take on the stonework that characterised the city’s early architecture, the building’s concrete facade was hand-cast in Canada - its rough exterior giving way to a smooth finish around the balconies and windows of the building.
Rising 170-metres above the shore of the Mediterranean, One will offer 37 floors of luxury apartments in the heart of Cyprus’ second largest city.
Above: One rises 37 floors and will become the tallest building in Cyprus (image courtesy of Matthew Vickery).
Not only making its mark as the tallest building in the country, One will also become the tallest waterfront residential building in Europe.
ANDES RENOVABLES, CHILE
The first phase in Chile’s USD $1.7BN Andres Renovables scheme will see the completion of three onshore wind farms and a solar farm providing 571MW of renewable energy for the country.
Above: The Condor phase of Andes Renovables will come online in 2021.
Producing enough energy to power 680,000 households, the “Condor Phase” as it is known, will save 656,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
AIN DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Rising to a height of 250 metres, the latest addition to Dubai's skyline will add another world record to the city’s growing list of achievements as the Ain Dubai takes the title of the tallest observation wheel ever built.
Above: Ain Dubai is now the tallest observation wheel in the world.
Standing 83 metres taller than the current record holder, Las Vegas’ High Roller, the wheel was set to complete in time to be part of Expo 2020, however ongoing delays have shifted its opening until 2021 when 1,400 passengers at a time will be able to take flight in one of its 48 capsules.
UNIVERSAL BEIJING RESORT, CHINA
Fuelled by a growing demand for world-class attractions and entertainment across China, Universal will open their first theme park in the country with the completion of the Universal Beijing Resort in 2021.
Above: Universal Beijing Resort will be the most expensive theme park ever built (image courtesy of Universal Parks + Resorts).
The USD $6.5BN resort will become the most expensive theme park ever built and feature seven themed lands - with rides and attractions based around the Harry Potter, Transformers and Jurassic World franchises.
Consisting of 58 gates across the three inlets to the Venice Lagoon, 2021 will see the controversial MOSE project begin to protect the historic city in its ongoing war against the sea.
Above: Venice's MOSE project will officially begin protecting the city in 2021 (image courtesy of the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport).
When not in operation, the barriers will lay hidden on the seafloor allowing boats and natural tidal flows to enter and leave the lagoon, reducing the project's impact on the local ecosystem and economy.
TANZANITE BRIDGE, DAR ES SALAAM
Part of the Tanzanian government's ongoing efforts to upgrade transport infrastructure the Tanzanite Bridge will become the latest project trying to reduce congestion in the country’s largest city in 2021.
Above: Tanzania's longest bridge under construction (image courtesy of Indaressalaam).
Spanning more than a kilometre across the Msimbazi Delta, the bridge will become the longest in Tanzania and is expected to carry 55,000 vehicles each day.
HONOLULU RAIL TRANSIT, UNITED STATES
Relieving congestion in and around Hawaii’s largest city, the first phase of Honolulu’s light rail will complete and begin services in 2021, linking the state capital to the suburbs and surrounding satellite cities.
Above: The Honolulu system will be almost entirely elevated (image courtesy of Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation).
Set to continue opening in phases up to 2026, the near fully elevated system will be the first large scale public metro in the United States to feature platform screens at all of its stations and the first to operate driverless trains.
BANG SUE GRAND STATION, BANGKOK
Replacing the existing Bangkok Railway Station, Bang Sue Grand will become the terminus for all long-distance rail services arriving into Thailand’s capital.
Above: Bang Sue Grand will open to services in 2021.
With 12 platforms measuring up to 600-metres long, the building will be the largest railway station in Southeast Asia and will integrate with the Bang Sue MTR, allowing for seamless passenger transfers to the metro network.
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Narrated by Fred Mills. Additional footage and images courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti, Max Touhey, Qatari Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Mandalika Grand Prix Association, Tesla, Foster + Partners, DJI, Gizmo Drones, UK Parliament, Jessica Taylor, Matthew Vickery, Meraas, Binyan Studios, Little Island, The Dronalist, David Holt, Dan Cortese, Cottee Parker Architects, Far East Consortium, Sydney Sturwig, Rockefeller Group, Recent Spaces, Tim Salisbury, Pandisco Green, 3XN, Hotel GSH, Adam Mørk, Archimation, MotoGP, Google Earth, Andy, Mandalika Riski, Tobias Lindh, Texas Terafactory, David Adjaye Associates, WKK Architects, Pafilia, Mainstream Renewable Power, Universal Parks + Resorts, JK Rowling, Warners Bros, Universal Studios, Amblin, Hasbro, Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Tanroads, Indaressalaam, GS Engineering + Construction Corp, NiccoMedia, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, Bharat Vohra and James Clark.
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