World's coolest futuristic buildings
Zooming around with jet packs and living in rocket-shaped buildings seemed our destiny during the space-age-obsessed 1950s and '60s. With civilian space travel now nearly a reality, how do today's starry-eyed architects see the future?
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These futuristic buildings are not only visually arresting, they offer novel solutions to the challenges that lie ahead, such as harvesting water from clouds and creating high-rise rooftop forests. They also give us a glimpse of what our future holds—for the moment, at least. If only someone could get to work on those jet packs.
Tjuvholmen Icon Building, Oslo
(Photo: Nic Lehoux)
Renzo Piano designed this arts and culture center, which debuted in 2012 along a disused harbor southwest of Oslo’s city center. Bridges link three buildings—a museum, office space, and culture center—across canals formed from reclaimed land, and a sculpture park gently slopes toward the sea.
The entire project is developed along a new promenade that starts at Aker Brygge and ends on the sea at a floating dock, providing unbroken visual contact with the water. It looks, from above, like a docked spaceship, with a curved roof that dips down to meet the parklands.
Palazzo Lombardia, Milan
(Photo: Fernando Guerra I FG + SG)
Milan's Garibaldi-Repubblica district got an infusion of 21st-century cool when this ecofriendly curvilinear office tower was completed in 2011. Designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the 525-foot-high building connects light-filled office space with outdoor areas.
The largest of the public spaces, Piazza Città di Lombardia, is covered by a roof composed of transparent “pillows” made from ETFE film (a fluorine based plastic), while other high tech/environmentally sensitive features include green roofs, active climate walls—two layers of separated glass containing rotating vertical blades to provide shade while maximizing transparency—and a geothermal heating system.