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We Heart’s 12 Days of Christmas — 07

running through our 12 architectural highlights of 2013...

We Heart’s 12 Days of Christmas — 07
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Repurposed Victorian relics to space-age innovations and construction marvels, art installations twisting perceptions and temporary pavilions charged with creating wonder...

From repurposed Victorian relics to space-age innovations and construction marvels, art installations twisting perceptions and temporary pavilions charged with creating wonder – 2013 was a good year for roofs and walls and all in between. Our 12 Days of Christmas are over the hill and rolling towards the big day, and on our seventh day it’s time to celebrate our favourite architectural picks of the year.

Modern astonishment, classical aesthetics, wry interventions – one thing’s for sure, our favourite buildings and structures of 2013 are anything but conventional…

#wh12days

We Heart's 12 Days of Christmas — 07

Photo © Luke Hayes

The lighting inside is impressive and acts as a focal point thanks to glass walls and that shapely ceiling. Casual café-style by day and glamour puss by night, the space is wholly unique. If you can tear yourself away from gazing above and around you, there are some interesting culinary offerings to feast upon too…

Magazine Restaurant

We Heart's 12 Days of Christmas — 07

Photo, Stephen O’Flaherty

28-year-old Chinneck’s project takes the description “in need of a facelift” quite literally. The façade of this old timer looks like it has succumbed to gravity, whereas in reality the slippage is a deceptive piece of construction that took 12 months and £100,000 to realise…

Alex Chinneck, Margate House

We Heart's 12 Days of Christmas — 07

The Albert Hall,
Photo © Sebastian Matthes

Gritty, moody, melancholic; this year MIF have found two dilapidated venues that personify their host city. There’s a tense sense of mild menace, juxtaposed with Victorian grandeur and echoes of the city’s heyday – anybody who knows Manchester will recognise the characteristics of these majestic venues the moment they step inside…

Manchester International Festival Venues

We Heart's 12 Days of Christmas — 07

Internally, the flowing curves reference the carving of the River Cane. The stone sections incorporate elements from bousillage – a Louisiana building material of horse hair, clay and moss dating back to the 17th Century…

The Louisiana State Museum

We Heart's 12 Days of Christmas — 07

Photo, Gavin Smith

Mark’s House is the imagined home of a fictional Flint resident which falls victim to foreclosure. The mirrored cladding on the Tudor-style house creates the illusion that it is floating, and that’s just one of the clever aspects at play here…

Mark’s House

We Heart's 12 Days of Christmas — 07

Photo © Iwan Baan

Often maligned for a disregard of scale and context (see the studio’s recent troubles in Tokyo), here the Heydar Aliyev Center represents a new-thinking, a triumph of imagination over function. This is arguably Zaha Hadid’s finest work to date…

Heydar Aliyev Center

We Heart's 12 Days of Christmas — 07

Photo, Philip Vile

It’s a big brute, succeeding not only in holding its own with the permanent concrete, brutalist beauty of the surrounding theatre buildings; but adding a wallop of much needed colour to an otherwise dour grey environment…

The Shed

We Heart's 12 Days of Christmas — 07

Photo, John Gollings

ARM Architects opened up the view with a sweeping geometric glass-rich extension – the pentagonal aperture comes flying out from the main building trailing its ribbed tail in a way that reminds me of the shooting star from Hanna Barbera’s animated logo of yesteryear…

National Museum of Australia

We Heart's 12 Days of Christmas — 07

Brick, wood and cement have been cleverly used to form the contemporary accommodation while leaving the characterful façade as the dominant feature on approach to the moated manor…

Astley Castle

We Heart's 12 Days of Christmas — 07


Photography © Médiathèque Lafarge,
Charles Plumey-Faye, Rudy Ricciotti

The building sits in the commercial port of the city on the J4 pier, which is credited with bringing jazz to the city in the 1920s, and the central area of the structure has been left empty at the top, giving visitors a chance to promenade on the wooden roof…

MuCEM Marseille

We Heart's 12 Days of Christmas — 07

Photo © We Heart

Woodgrain concrete echoes London’s brutalist cultural icons, the Southbank Centre and Barbican, whilst a golden spire sets the tone for modern accents that are sympathetic to the Victorian splendour of both the gallery’s building itself and the well-preserved seaside resort that it calls home…

Oriel Mostyn

We Heart's 12 Days of Christmas — 07

© Persbureau van Eijndhoven

It takes a bit of brainpower to put your finger on exactly what makes this structure so unusual; the glass shell clicks straight away, but a closer look reveals the key element – what looks like the building underneath is actually a collage of many different buildings and street scenes printed on the glass…

MVRDV Glass Farm

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