An Architectural Tour of What’s New in 2019

One thing that you can always say about planet earth is that it is constantly changing. Ne construction projects, new developments change cities and change travel experiences. So we thought it would be interesting to look at taking an architectural tour of what’s new this year.

Hong Kong

This is a city which truly never sleeps or never stops building. But this year will be a big year for Hong Kong. The rejuvenation of Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront and its iconic harbourside walkway, Avenue of Stars, has just received a much-awaited makeover. It sees the addition of design-driven rest areas, kiosks featuring homegrown brands, hand prints from Asian film stars and interactive digital elements.

Victoria Dockside is a new art and design district which will fully open in the third quarter of this year that has been transformed from a rundown terminal which is being transformed into a retail, work, residence and museum district. It will also feature a new hotel. The Rosewood Hong Kong will provide a mix of short-stay rooms and suites along with long-stay residences, eight F&B outlets and a wellness offering. A little further afield, the long-awaited Herzog & de Meuron-designed M+ building in West Kowloon Cultural District is set to open its doors with a new museum for modern and contemporary art.

Copenhagen

The Danish capital has become a mecca for foodies, but there’s lots happening in Copenhagen this year that isn’t related to gastronomy (unless you have a taste for bamboo). The Copenhagen Zoo will this year welcome a duo of pandas to its custom-built Panda House, a yin-yang shaped enclosure that’s being designed by starchitect Bjarke Ingels, who worked on the newly reopened Noma. He’s also involved in another big-ticket opening across town, an ambitious green project called Copenhill that will be a sustainable waste-to-energy plant, but also include a rooftop artificial ski slope and the world’s tallest climbing wall. Reinvention is truly the name of the game in Copenhagen, where Enigma, a “museum of communication”, will be fully unveiled since its move into a shared post-office space. Originally an archive featuring artefacts like old telephones, it’s now an institution that explores the meaning of digital communication through formats ranging from intellectual debates to robot rentals for kids. Of course, don’t forget to put Noma 2.0 on your list, too.

Sharjah

The emirate just 20 minutes from Dubai is hosting the inaugural Sharjah Architecture Triennial come November through February of 2020, with claims to be “first major platform for architecture and urbanism in the Middle East, North and East Africa, and South and Southeast Asia”. If you can’t wait that long, from 7 March till 10 June the Sharjah Biennial is exploring the theme of producing art in an era of fake news. This month, Sharjah is hosting the IWAS World Games, one of the most important qualifier events in the run-up to the Paralympics. The hospitality scene is also ramping up – recent launches include the stunning luxury conservation project Al Bait and the safari-style eco-lodge Kingfisher Lodge, with two more major new builds set for completion this year: Al Badayer Oasis, situated some 40 minutes from the city centre, is described as a luxury desert adventure, while Fossil Rock Lodge is set in an archaeologically significant area for adventure and exploration.

Berlin

The city is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall on November 9, and there will be a plethora of events in the run-up to that date, from historical exhibitions to artistic interpretations and of course, parties that celebrate nothing more than the spirit of freedom since the symbolic structure fell. While the opening Bauhaus Festival was last month, there are plenty of other happenings throughout the year that will celebrate the German university that had such an enduring global influence on art and architecture. The Humboldt Forum is also opening in the reconstructed Berlin Palace right in the heart of the city, and will house the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and the Museum of Asian Art. Touted as the German equivalent of the British Museum, it will be an important addition to Berlin’s already thriving cultural scene, and will focus on showcasing Berlin’s role in the world arena.

Los Angeles

The museum on the tip of everyone’s lips this year in L.A will be the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, paying homage to the industry this city is best known for: filmmaking. Pritzker Prize winner Renzo Piano has the honour of designing the structure, which will be unveiled in late 2019, and debut exhibitions will include a retrospective of the work of Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese filmmaker behind Totoro and Spirited Away. The hotel scene is also hot – the Park Hyatt is landing in DTLA, while Palihotel opened a hotel in Culver City last month and will add a boutique property in hipster Silverlake later this spring. On the food front, mod-Mex maestro and Final Table judge Enrique Olvera, whose restaurant Pujol is number 20 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, is introducing his first West coast restaurant this summer in the Arts District.

This architectural tour of the world in 2019 shows the diversity and scope of new developments.

Writer: Christina Ko

Hong Kong-based writer and editor Christina has covered the luxury scene for over a decade. She writes on topics ranging from beauty and wellness to arts and culture. Formerly the editorial director of Prestige Hong Kong, she now contributes to various publications including Hong Kong Tatler, SCMP, Discovery and Silverkris, as well as working with clients such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Estee Lauder and Lane Crawford.

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