1. The Leadenhall Building, London: RHSP
If 2013 belonged to The Shard, Renzo Piano’s glass spectacle that soars a record-breaking, for London, 306 metres, then 2014’s skyscraper of the year is a slightly smaller affair at 224 metres. The Leadenhall Building – better known as the Cheesegrater thanks to its triangular form – is the ultimate realization of Richard Rogers’ high-tech principles, here applied to a truly contemporary building. Part of its lofty entrance space offers a new public plaza to the City, while its parking provision –22 cars, 400 bicycles,130 motorbikes – is its view on sustainability writ large.
The LVMH Foundation opened in Paris’s Bois de Boulogne in October with the sort of fanfare we’ve come to expect from both a Louis Vuitton project and a Frank Gehry building. But there’s no denying that this is architecture as an event, or an explosion: a cluster of pearly white volumes submersed beneath a flurry of 12 massive glass sails. The terraces beneath these transparent shelters feel like an adult playground, ripe for exploration, and from which splendid views of Paris are revealed.
A couple of arrondisement towards the middle of town, Renzo Piano’s Jerome Seydoux Pathé Foundation opened in September – a stunning curve of glass inserted between two historic buildings, with the hushed charm of the silent films that will be shown in its new cinema space.
3. Aspen Art Museum, Aspen. Shigeru Ban