This Year's Best

TWA Hotel, Snøhetta projects, The Shed top TIME's World's 100 Greatest Places

Under by Snøhetta is one of TIME's World's 100 Greatest Places 2019. (Ivar Kvaal)

TIME Magazine’s second annual list of the World’s 100 Greatest Places is here and several major, recently-opened cultural marvels secured top spots—two of which were just completed by Norweigan-firm Snøhetta. Put together by the editors and correspondents at TIME, as well as a handful of industry experts, the following parks, hotels, restaurant, and museums were voted highest because they exhibited four key factors: quality, originality, sustainability, innovation, and influence. 

It’s interesting to note that only two principals of big-name firms that designed the projects below have made the TIME 100: The Most Influential People list in recent years: Liz Diller (2018) and David Adjaye (2017). The only architect to make the list this year, Jeanne Gang, didn’t have a new piece of architecture up for consideration among the World’s Greatest Places 2019. Not a single Bjarke Ingels Group project made the cut either. 

Though it’s not clear why they weren’t chosen, it is possible to guestimate which soon-to-be-finished works across the globe might catch an editor’s eye in 2020 based on this year’s finalists. See the TIME’s full list here and AN’s shorter, what-you-must-know version below to learn more: 

The Shed
New York City
By Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Rockwell Group

Image of Shed exterior

The doors are embedded within The Shed’s movable ETFE shell. (Iwan Baan)

New York’s newest 200,000-square-foot art center only opened in April but it’s been one of the most talked-about building in Hudson Yards. Situated on West 30th Street and surrounded by new glass towers, the kinetic structure features a 120-foot-tall retractable outer shell covered in ETFE panels. It boasts eight different levels for rehearsals, large-scale exhibitions, and events, as well as live music, dance, and theater performances. According to DS+R, The Shed embodies the architecture of infrastructure. 

All Square
Minneapolis, Minnesota
By Architecture Office

The storefront of All Square

All Square’s ambitious business model helps the formerly incarcerated regain their footing. (Caylon Hackwith)

Austin-based firm Architecture Office created a stand-out space in Minneapolis for the nonprofit/restaurant All Square. Unveiled in September 2018, the 900-square-foot, neon-lit eatery provides the formerly incarcerated with a place of employment and continuing education. The civil rights social enterprise was started by lawyer Emily Turner and has bragging rights to the best craft grilled cheese sandwiches in town.

The Gathering Place
Tulsa, Oklahoma
By Michael Van Valkenburg Associates 

Photo of a playground with fake turf and wooden towers

The landscape architects designed the Adventure Playground with large-scale climbable creatures, towers, and suspended bridges. (Shane Bevel)

Imagined by billionaire philanthropist George B. Kaiser, The Gathering Place is a 66.5-acre riverside park situated two miles from downtown Tulsa. It opened to the public last September and has since welcomed over 2 million people. New York-based landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh and his team transformed a slate of land next to the Arkansas River into a veritable green theme park of activities for adults and children. It’s the largest public “gift park” in U.S. history; 80 philanthropic donors funded the construction of the park and created an endowment to secure its future. 



Ruby City
San Antonio, Texas
By
David Adjaye Associates

Rendering of red colored museum in park

Ruby City will open this fall to the public. (Courtesy Adjaye Associates)

Officially set to open this October, the 14,000-square-foot Ruby City holds the 800-piece art collection of the late Linda Pace, artist, philanthropist, and heiress to the Pace Foods salsa fortune. Constructed with a sparkling, rose-tinted concrete exterior made in Mexico, the museum complex includes a series of open galleries with sculptural skylights that bring the sun into the interior spaces. The project was created in collaboration with local firm Alamo Architects. 

TWA Hotel
Queens, New York
By Lubrano Ciavarra Architects

View of TWA Hotel next to Flight Center with Connie airplane on tarmac

The TWA Hotel inner tarmac with the old Connie Lockheed Constellation airliner serves as one of the venue’s many bars. (David Mitchell/Courtesy TWA Hotel)

Flanking the backside of Eero Saarinen’s historic midcentury modern TWA Flight Center, the new TWA Hotel is a glass-clad, dual-structure composed of 512 sound-proof rooms, a rooftop infinity pool, and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck that looks out over incoming international flights. Guests started arriving at the Jet-Blue adjacent site in May to enjoy the recently-renovated terminal, completed by Beyer Blinder Belle, and its newly-opened dining options. The ultra-energy-efficient hotel also houses 50,000 square feet of underground events space. 

Central Library
Calgary, Canada
By Snøhetta and DIALOG

The vertical slats wrapping each floor are meant to help orient patrons.

The vertical slats wrapping each floor of the library are meant to help orient patrons. (Michael Grimm)

Snøhetta’s Central Library takes up 240,000 square feet of space in downtown Calgary and stands six stories tall. One of the many design elements that make the public building so attractive is its gleaming facade made of white aluminum and fritted glass, as well as the way it straddles an active rail line. On the inside, a massive oculus and sinuous wooden stair system give the 85-foot-tall atrium a light and airy, yet dramatic feel. The public project opened last November

The National Museum of Qatar
Doha, Qatar
By Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Aerial view of sprawing museum with interlocking discs against skyline

The museum now stands as a symbol of national pride in Qatar. (Iwan Baan)

Qatar’s highly-anticipated National Museum came online in March and is part of a recent construction boom in the country as it prepares for the 2022 World Cup. Designed to mimic Qatar’s desert rose sand formations, the 430,000-square-foot institution stretches in a series of interlocking discs across a portside site in downtown Doha. The galleries inside tell both the story of the desert’s natural history as well as the country’s evolution, cultural heritage, and future.

Xiqu Centre
Hong Kong, China
By Revery Architecture 

Corner detail of the Xiqu Cultural Center

The four corners of the project are lifted to flood the principal atrium with natural light. (Ema Peter)

Hong Kong’s new opera house is covered in 13,000 curved aluminum fins arranged in a wave-like fashion—a design move inspired by the delicacy of theater curtains. Though the architecture itself is shaped like a box, the cladding gives it a texturized appearance that’s almost psychedelic to see up close. The cultural space, which opened in April, includes a 1,073-seat theater that floats above an interior plaza used for exhibitions and performances. 

V&A Dundee
Dundee, Scotland
By Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma's Victoria and Albert Design Museum in Dundee, Scotland

The striking exterior is made up of concrete vertical slabs, adding texture that resembles a wooden ship. (Courtesy Hufton + Crow)

As the second outpost of London’s Victoria and Albert Design Museum, the staggered, concrete facade of the V&A Dundee is a stark contrast to its historic sister site and makes it stand out amongst the industrial waterfront near downtown Dundee. Kengo Kuma inverted two pyramids for the outline of the structure, some of which juts out into the River Tay, to both evoke Scotland’s craggy, cliff-edged coastline and the shape of a ship on the sea. It opened its doors last September with a set of permanent exhibitions on Scottish design. 

Statue of Unity
Gujarat, India
By Michael Graves Architecture & Design and sculptor Ram V. Sutar

Photo of a massive statue in a river

The Statue of Unity sits on its own artificial island in the Narmada River. (Courtesy the Prime Minister’s Office of Narendra Modi)

Standing 597 feet tall on an island in the Narmada River, this bronze statue is a larger-than-life replica of India’s first deputy prime minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It was completed last November and since then, visitors have flocked to the western India state to climb the statue for unparalleled views of the nearby mountain range. Soon, its base is slated to become a resort. 

Under
Lindesnes, Norway
By Snøhetta

A concrete volume on the shore

Half of Under lies on Norway’s rocky coast, while the dining area is submerged. (Inger Marie Grini/Bo Bedre Norge)

Finished in March, Under doubles as a partially-underwater marine biology research station and an ultra-exclusive restaurant. Snøhetta’s sunken “periscope” design dives 16 feet below the North Sea and features a 36-foot-long, 11-foot-tall window wall in the dining room. The exterior is clad in concrete, but the interior boasts other materials such as oak and terrazzo. 

Related Stories