From projects just breaking ground to ones recently opened, these are the buildings and developments demanding attention
Walk down the streets of any city in the world and you’re likely to pass vacant lots surrounded by chain link fences, offering nothing more than the view of a crane or two peeking up in the distance. While sometimes the construction site is simply the future home of bland condos, other times there are fascinating plans in store.
Looking ahead to 2019, there a several notable construction projects underway — from infrastructure to residential housing, recreation areas, museums, and more. Below are some of the endeavors that really piqued the interest of the staff at BOSS.
Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Acclaimed architect Ma Yansoong’s Beijing-based MAD Architects is known around the world for its surreal, futuristic designs and it has two impressive developments underway on opposite sides of the Pacific. One of these, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, recently broke ground at its Los Angeles construction site adjacent to USC.
Featuring film screenings, original art, and displays of cutting-edge technology, the $1 billion non-profit museum will feature Star Wars exhibits and examples of narrative art throughout history, but it’s the building’s design that is most intriguing.
Spread out over 300,000 square feet and vaguely reminiscent of a slicker version of the Star Destroyers in George Lucas’ films, the museum’s roof features a sprawling park filled with benches, grass, and trees. Additionally, the parking lot — capable of holding 2,400 cars — is hidden under a grassy 11-acre park. Visitors to Los Angeles will surely be trying to catch a glimpse of this massive project already underway by Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company.
Quzhou Sports Complex
Another MAD Architects design that broke ground in late 2018, the Quzhou Sports Complex in Zheijiang, China, is just as other-worldly as its western counterpart. Equally inspired by traditional Chinese Shan Sui paintings and the rugged, volcanic surface of Mars, the Quzhou Sports Complex will be a sight to behold.
The complex will cover 7.5 million square feet of rolling grass hills topped with sports facilities including a 30,000-seat stadium, a gymnasium, an indoor swimming pool, a youth sports center, and more. Serving as a tribute to Quzhou’s history as a “forest city,” the complex is surrounded by a forest of trees and features a lake in the center, allowing guests to escape from the city and get back in touch with nature.
Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel
The massive construction site in Seattle first broke ground in 2011 with the demolition of part of the old Viaduct. Part of State Route 99, the tunnel will be a two-mile bypass that allows commuters to avoid the traffic of downtown Seattle while staying on SR 99.
Four years of boring the tunnel and additional time suffering traffic delays due to construction should prove worth the wait in 2019 for locals able to take advantage of the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel.
Comcast Technology Center
Opened in late October with a grand opening of its lobby to the public, followed by a broadcast from local news channel — and tenant — NBC10, the Comcast Technology Center is the tallest building in Philadelphia. The 60-story tower is home to the local NBC affiliate, a cafeteria, several floors of Comcast offices, a high-end restaurant, and a Four Seasons hotel.
The hotel takes up the top floors, along with a new restaurant from celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The 219-room hotel and restaurant are slated to open in spring 2019, but the tower, whose construction was originally announced in January 2013, has been garnering attention for years.
One Thousand Museum
A true standout in the Miami skyline, One Thousand Museum was designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, and features her signature curved designs that have made the London Aquatics Center and the Guangzhou Opera House such notable landmarks. One Thousand Museum is not only striking from the outside, it takes luxury condos to a new level.
A spacious, futuristic lobby, a lap pool with a panoramic view of downtown Miami, and private extended balconies are just a few of the perks of owning a condo in One Thousand Museum. The elite crowd to whom the residence is catered will also appreciate the helipad on the roof — as well as the exclusivity of the tower which, despite its size, features fewer than 100 spacious residences.
The Packard Plant
More than just the biggest renovation project in all of North America, the renaissance of the Packard Plant is also significant in that it is transforming one of the biggest symbols of Detroit’s decline into a regional attraction. The construction site at the abandoned Packard Motor Company plant is now the center of a multi-phase project, with Phase One — the opening of a $16 million Administration Building — set for completion by the end of 2018.
Heading the renovation is Fernando Palazuelo’s Arte Express, which is world-renowned for previous renovations including projects in Peru that created an estimated 15,000 jobs. While preserving the history of the building and the surrounding lower east side neighborhood, future phases plan to provide the current construction site with a recreational area, work/live spaces, and potentially a new hotel.
Known to locals as “the Jenga Tower,” when completed, the Independent will stand at 58 stories, making it the tallest building in downtown Austin and the highest residential tower west of the Mississippi. The unique off-set structure is being developed by Aspen Heights Partners and has already garnered so much interest that 80 percent of its units have been sold.
The $300 million project features a theater room, a dog lounge, a boardroom, a yoga and barre patio, and a heated infinity pool. The floor-to-ceiling windows that are marveled at from the street are even more impressive inside the building, offering views of the downtown skyline, the Capitol, Shoal Creek, Lady Bird Lake, and more.