Written by Stella Ko, CNN
Last year was a remarkable one for architecture -- China built more skyscrapers
than the rest of the world combined, an Indian architect won the Pritzker Prize
for the first time and a housing complex for the elderly was named
"World Building of the Year."
But 2019 is also set to impress, with a number of groundbreaking designs and engineering feats due to complete around the world this year. Beijing will open its new Zaha Hadid-designed airport, Johannesburg will welcome Africa's new tallest tower and the world's largest underwater restaurant will finally open its doors to diners.
From New York to Beijing, these are the most anticipated structures set to complete or open in 2019.
30 Hudson Yards, New York
Credit: Courtesy of Related-Oxford
At 1,296 feet tall, 30 Hudson Yards will become the second-tallest office building in New York when it completes later this year. It is also set to open the city's highest outdoor observation deck, which will stand taller than the Empire State Building. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, the angular, glass-covered tower will serve as a new home for WarnerMedia and its subsidiaries HBO, CNN, Turner Broadcasting and Warner Bros.
Under, Lidnesnes, Norway
Sitting 16 feet beneath the surface of the North Sea, Under
is set to become Europe's first -- and the world's largest -- underwater restaurant. Designed by Norwegian firm Snøhetta, the 110-foot-long structure will be able to accommodate around 100 guests across three floors, offering panoramic views of the surrounding waters. The architects have used reinforced concrete and acrylic windows to withstand water pressure and the harsh conditions of Norway's coastline. Its doors will open in the spring.
The Leonardo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Upon completion, at 745 feet the Leonardo will become the tallest building in Africa (although not for long, with the 1,050-foot-tall Pinnacle Tower set to open in Kenya in 2020). Designed by Co-Arc International Architects, the stacked mixed-use tower will be topped off with a public viewing platform overlooking Johannesburg.
Beijing Daxing International Airport, Beijing, China
Credit: Methanolia / Zaha Hadid Architects
Beijing's new airport looks like it's from another world. Set to open in October, the 7.5 million-square-foot terminal will serve 72 million passengers a year by 2025. Its radial, six-pier design
was inspired by traditional Chinese architecture, which often features interconnected spaces around a central courtyard. The undulating folds in the vaulted roof are designed to fill the space with natural light.
Bauhaus Museum Weimar, Weimar, Germany
A new Bauhaus museum is opening in Weimar, Germany, to mark the influential German design school's centenary. Designed by Berlin-based architect Heike Hanada in collaboration with Benedict Tonon, the minimalist, cube-shaped design nods to the school's modernist traditions. Expected to open in April, the museum will house its predecessor's 13,000-item collection.
Wuxi Taihu Show Theatre, Wuxi, China
Credit: Steven Chilton Architects
Steven Chilton Architects' striking theater in the Chinese city of Wuxi was inspired by the country's largest bamboo forest nearby. Its shade canopy represents the forest's natural awning of leaves, while slender white columns, resembling bamboo, wrap around the building's perimeter. Shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival's Future Project Award last month, the theater will house a permanent water show by Belgian director Franco Dragone. The building is expected to open towards the end of the year.
Norra Tornen, Stockholm, Sweden
Credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu
Designed by architect Reinier de Graaf of the renowned architecture firm OMA, Norra Tornen comprises two surreal, pixelated towers in the Swedish capital. The first, the 410-foot-tall Innovationen Tower, was finished at the end of last year, and the project is set to complete in 2019 with the opening of the neighboring Helix Tower. Both are made from prefabricated concrete units which have been stacked neatly -- if asymmetrically -- on top of one another.
National Museum of Qatar, Doha, Qatar
Credit: Courtesy Iwan Baan
This new 430,000-square-foot museum in Qatar's capital will feature artworks and precious objects, including the famous Pearl Carpet of Baroda, which is embroidered with more than 1.5 million Gulf pearls. According to architect Jean Nouvel, the Pritzker Prize-winner behind the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the new museum's overlapping discs "symbolize the mysteries of the desert's concretions and crystallizations, suggesting the interlocking pattern of the blade-like petals of the desert rose." The museum is expected to open to the public toward the end of March.
Humboldt Forum, Berlin, Germany
The long-awaited rebuilding of Berlin Palace, which was destroyed in World War II and subsequently demolished, is nearing completion -- and its centerpiece museum, the Humboldt Forum, is set to be finished at the end of 2019. It has been more than 15 years since Germany's parliament green-lighted the controversial project, and more than a decade since architect Franco Stella won a competition to lead the reconstruction. Some of the original palace's facades and domes have been rebuilt, alongside more contemporary design elements.
Leeza SOHO, Beijing, China
Credit: Image: Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects Renders by MIR
Zaha Hadid's twisting glass tower is set to feature a 623-foot-high atrium that will become, according to the late architect's studio, the world's tallest when it completes later in the year. This central space curls up through the building's interior, allowing natural light to enter from a variety of angles. To accommodate Beijing's well-known love of bicycles, the design boasts 2,680 bike parking spaces with lockers.