The 10 most controversial architecture projects of 2021

Up coming in our assessment of 2021, we round up 10 of the most controversial strategies that manufactured headlines this 12 months, which includes the Sky Pool and The Tulip.

Photograph is by Simon Kennedy

Sky Pool, British isles, by HAL

A clear swimming pool suspended amongst two buildings at the Embassy Gardens advancement in London received large notice this summertime as aerial footage of inhabitants enjoying the facility on a sizzling day went viral.

But the HAL-designed pool arrived in for large criticism immediately after the Guardian’s Olly Wainwright pointed out that the very affordable housing citizens of Nine Elms are not allowed to use it.

The Economic Times’ architecture critic branded the Sky Pool “the visual cipher for every thing that is incorrect with London’s property increase, its nearby politics, its architecture and its optics”, though the New Statesman also covered it in scathing conditions.

Residents of the making have due to the fact spoken to Dezeen about how the pool runs up heating costs of £450 per working day, in spite of getting as well cold to use in the winter season. They are calling for it to be shut all through the winter months.

Find out a lot more about Sky Pool ›

Foster and Partners' tower The Tulip
Render is by DBOX for Foster + Companions

The Tulip, United kingdom, by Foster + Associates

Next a lengthy scheduling fight, Foster + Partners’ proposed 305-metre substantial vacationer attraction in the Town of London was turned down by the United kingdom government thanks to problems about embodied carbon, its affect on historic buildings and the high-quality of its design and style.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan experienced previously dismissed the undertaking as becoming “inadequately intended” and having “pretty limited community advantage”.

Norman Foster himself had acknowledged that the Tulip was “inevitably controversial”, but argued it experienced the prospective to grow to be “a image over and above its host city”.

Locate out a lot more about the Tulip ›

Telosa city
Render courtesy of Significant

Telosa, United states of america, by Significant

Telosa is a prepared metropolis for an unconfirmed locale in the western United States, presently becoming created by Danish architecture studio Large on behalf of billionaire Marc Lore.

It has been billed as a sustainable utopia for 5 million inhabitants that “sets a international typical for city residing, expands human prospective, and turns into a blueprint for long term generations”, according to the Telosa web page.

But sceptics pointed to the reality that Lore manufactured his fortune from Walmart, a corporation with a track record for extremely reduced pay out, whilst eyebrows ended up raised when the entrepreneur revealed to United states Today that the 1st Telosans will be subject to a range process.

Discover out extra about Telosa ›

Luma Arles arts tower by Frank Gehry
Picture is by Adrian Deweerdt

The Tower, France, by Frank Gehry

Pritzker Prize-profitable architect Frank Gehry intended the steel-clad The Tower for the Luma Arles arts centre in southern France to evoke Van Gogh’s Starry Night time portray.

But the venture came in for criticism, including thoughts about its environmental effect and its location amongst the historic Roman metropolis of Arles.

In an unique job interview with Dezeen, Gehry applied vibrant language to protect his perform.

Uncover out additional about Luma Arles ›

Little Island by Thomas Heatherwick
Picture is by Adrian Gaut for WSJ Journal

Little Island, United states of america, by Thomas Heatherwick

Thomas Heatherwick’s Minimal Island, an elevated park perched on 132 concrete columns in the Hudson River, opened to New Yorkers in May well.

The framework was praised by Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic of The New York Times, but it was almost under no circumstances accomplished.

Construction on the $260 million undertaking halted in 2017 when the United States District Courtroom vacated its allow amid lobbying from advocacy team The City Club of New York.

Locate out far more about Minimal Island ›

Aaron Betsky calls Tadao Ando's redesign of the Bourse de Commerce a disaster
Photo is by Maxime Tétard

Bourse de Commerce, France, by Tadao Ando

Japanese architect Tadao Ando was tasked with redesigning the historic Bourse de Commerce constructing in Paris.

The centrepiece of the transformation was a 9-metre-tall cylindrical concrete wall positioned inside of the rotunda of 18th-century inventory trade.

Architecture critic Aaron Betsky was outraged by the revamp, and in a piece for Dezeen wrote that it was the “equal of what a doggy does to a lamppost”.

Obtain out far more about the Bourse de Commerce ›

Tensegrity structures at Antepavilion
Image is courtesy of Antepavilion

All Alongside the Watchtower, Uk, by Project Bunny Rabbit

All Alongside the Watchtower was a steel rooftop tensegrity composition designed by architecture collective Undertaking Bunny Rabbit as part of an yearly levels of competition organised by charity Antepavilion.

The venture was associated in one particular of the most shocking architecture-relevant stories of the year, immediately after dozens of law enforcement stormed Antepavilion’s places of work and arrested employees, apparently partly concentrating on the sculpture.

It is thought law enforcement considered the constructing was being employed by environmental force team Extinction Rebellion to put together for protests, whilst All Along the Watchtower is very similar to buildings employed by demonstrators to variety roadblocks.

Antepavilion insisted there was no link among the set up and Extinction Rise up.

Independently, the Antepavilion opposition had already flirted with controversy this yr when the Architecture Basis withdrew more than a scheduling dispute with Hackney Council.

Come across out more about All Together the Watchtower ›

Exterior of the UC Santa Barbara Munger Hall dormitory
Render is courtesy of University of California Santa Barbara

Munger Hall, Usa, by Charles Munger

Munger Corridor, a proposed scholar dormitory for the College of California Santa Barbara, acquired media consideration in November just after 1 of the school’s consulting architects resigned above the task, indicating he was “disturbed” by its design and style.

If developed, 94 for each cent of the substantial building’s 4,500 occupants would stay in a space with no a window.

Billionaire investor Charles Munger, who dreamed up the dormitory and donated $200 million to the project, later on claimed in an job interview that it would stand “as prolonged as the pyramids”.

Much more than 13,000 individuals have signed a petition contacting for the college to reject the proposal.

Uncover out additional about Munger Corridor ›

Red Sea Project hotel by Foster + Partners
Render is courtesy of the Red Sea Project

Ummahat AlShaykh Hotel 12, Saudi Arabia, by Foster + Associates

This luxurious lodge is getting built by Foster + Companions as component of The Pink Sea Undertaking, which will see an archipelago of 90 untouched islands reworked into what the builders have named the “world’s most formidable tourism improvement”.

The British studio said it aims to make use of a “light-weight contact, non-damaging method”, but the principle has remained controversial.

Foster + Partners’ function on The Red Sea Venture is designed much more contentious by the simple fact it is also making an worldwide airport for the improvement, owning had a community spat with local weather network Architects Declare in late 2020 more than its aviation initiatives.

Come across out a lot more about Ummahat AlShayk Hotel 12 ›

Controversial glass building

La Samaritaine, France, by SANAA

SANAA’s overhaul of the popular La Samaritaine department retail store in Paris was lastly unveiled in June this year, 8 decades later than initially planned.

The comprehensive renovation led by the Pritzker Architecture Prize-profitable studio incorporated the addition of a new undulating glass facade, which critics slammed as resembling a shower curtain.

Construction was halted several occasions due to several court docket circumstances and strategies opposing the new facade.

Come across out additional about La Samaritaine ›