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The Best Buildings of 2017

Last year saw the opening of some awe-inspiring buildings from all around the world. We took a look at our top ten favourites from 2017.

LEGO House

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The LEGO House is an activity and educational centre located in Billund, Denmark, the birthplace of the LEGO brick. The building acts as a tourist attraction and exhibition, designed to give LEGO fans of all ages the ultimate experience.

Modern architecture is often described as “looking like LEGO” which works to the LEGO House’s advantage. The building is able to stay true to its roots and history by incorporating the LEGO brick-stacked look, while at the same time catering to the new modernist look that is in demand.

Hastings Pier

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After being destroyed by a fire in 2010, the historic Hastings pier in East Sussex underwent a multi-million-pound redevelopment to restore it. The pier was redesigned with a stark, modern minimalist look, which as acts as a blank canvas to the attractions which are set up on pier.

The redevelopment of the pier won the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Sterling Prize. Ben Derbyshire, the president of RIBA, described the pier as “a masterpiece of regeneration”.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

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The Louvre Abi Dhabi is an art museum, part of a 30-year agreement between the city of Abu Dhabi and the French government. The museum will feature over 30,000 collections, with particular focus on bridging the gap between Eastern and Western art.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s architecture features a dome that appears to be “floating”, with no obvious means of support from the rest of the structure. The dome acts as a shield from the sun but allows sunlight to filter through. Jean Nouvel, the creator, designed the dome in such a way to give the impression of light “filtering through the roof of a souk or the leaves of a palm tree.”

Tianjin Binhai Library

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Since its opening, this library in Tianjin, China has been making appearances on social media, grabbing attention with its all-white and futuristic design. This photogenic architecture is more that 36,000 square feet with floor to ceiling bookshelves.

The library was designed to attract the locals and encourage more people into the world of books and since its opening, check outs of books have quadrupled.

The City of Glasgow College

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The City of Glasgow College is one of Scotland’s large colleges, after being created from the merger of three separate colleges. Two new campuses where built for the college at a cost of £228 million, which the City Campus being shortlisted for the RIBA Sterling Prize.

We are proud to say that COBA were able to be a part of the project by providing our made-to-order Plan.a aluminium entrance matting. Plan.a is our high-quality aluminium system for heavy-duty use, making it ideal for the large amount of pedestrian traffic that goes through the campus each day.

The City of Glasgow College also took advantage of COBA’s ability to incorporate any custom text or image into our Logomat and chose to request their logo as part of the design.

Barretts Grove

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Barretts Grove, which was shortlisted for the RIBA Sterling Prize, is designed with a mixture of brick, wood and straw, making the construction both economical and cost-effective, as well as unique and a contrast to the more traditional neighbouring houses.
Inside the building is a number of large apartments, each with its own wicker basket balcony. The interiors are constructed with exposed timber, making Barretts Grove a refreshing change from the smaller, concrete apartment blocks that are more commonly found around London.

Apple Park

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Apple Inc. finally opened its new $5 billion-dollar headquarters in April 2017, just a mile away from its former headquarters in Cupertino, California. The new campus was dubbed the “spaceship” due it its flying saucer-like design, but the campus was actually designed with nature in mind.

Steve Jobs wanted Apple’s headquarters to look less like an office building and more like a nature retreat which is why around 80% of the land consists of greenery and the centre of Apple Park is a courtyard featuring an artificial pond, surrounded by fruit trees.

Lascaux IV

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Lascaux IV is the new International Centre for Cave Art. It offers visitors an immersive and educational experience of the prehistoric Lascaux cave paints.
The buildings unique architecture, with its jagged roof and monolithic walls, are a stark contrast to the woodland and nature surrounding it. Its style has gained attention and attracted visitors, who once inside, get to experience the building’s mixture of immersive art and technology.

skinnySCAR House

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The skinnySCAR house is a demonstration of how old buildings can be renovated and restored to life in Rotterdam.

While the house isn’t a stark contrast to its neighbours, the black brick-work gives the house a more modern look and allows it to stand out among the other neighbouring houses, without being too dramatic and clashing with the rest of the buildings in the old Rotterdam neighbourhood.

Inside, the house features large windows and skylights, even hidden windows in the brick-work of the front of the house, which hive the house a large amount of sunlight compared to older and more traditional houses in the Netherlands.