The 11 Most Influential Buildings of 2018

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By Michele Koh Morollo
From a sleek A-frame cabin to a futuristic apartment building at New York’s High Line, these buildings are the year’s most thrilling works of architecture according to ArchDaily.

Architecture news website ArchDaily has compiled The Most Influential Buildings of 2018—a list ranking the 11 most visited architecture projects in its worldwide catalog. The list includes cultural and civic spaces, multi-residential developments, as well as single residences in remote landscapes. Brilliant and innovative, these works are some of the year’s most impressive success stories, whether the goal was to create a family hideaway in a pristine forest, or advance a city’s reputation as a burgeoning center for the arts.

Presented in order from January to November, here’s a look at the top 11 buildings that caught the world’s attention last year. Click on each project to learn more. 

1. Rode House by Pezo von Ellrichshausen

Location: Chiloé Island, Chile

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Set on an expansive meadow and overlooking the sea, Rode House is a semicircular residence on Chiloé Island featuring a dramatic, sloping roof that extends over an interior courtyard. Pezo von Ellrichshausen is a Chilean firm known for their arresting, geometric architecture. In true form, the striking, semicircular residence boasts a roof that drops steeply to form two sharp peaks at either end.

Set on an expansive meadow and overlooking the sea, Rode House is a semicircular residence on Chiloé Island featuring a dramatic, sloping roof that extends over an interior courtyard. Pezo von Ellrichshausen is a Chilean firm known for their arresting, geometric architecture. In true form, the striking, semicircular residence boasts a roof that drops steeply to form two sharp peaks at either end.

2. House in Formentera Island by Marià Castelló Martínez

Location: Martínez, Platja de Migjorn, Spain

Embraced by a rocky terrain, the three rectilinear volumes of this house spreads interior spaces vertically over three levels, and horizontally over three enclosures. The residence, built from natural materials—some of which was excavated from the site itself—resembles a cavity within a monolithic stone quarry.

Embraced by a rocky terrain, the three rectilinear volumes of this house spreads interior spaces vertically over three levels, and horizontally over three enclosures. The residence, built from natural materials—some of which was excavated from the site itself—resembles a cavity within a monolithic stone quarry.

3. 520 West 28th by Zaha Hadid Architects

Location: New York, NY

520 West 28th abuts the High Line, further expressing the city's relationship with this reinvented urban and civic space in Chelsea. Designed with split levels expressed within a handcrafted, steel facade of interlocking chevrons, this 11-story residential apartment building carries with it the spirit of Chelsea’s industrial past.

520 West 28th abuts the High Line, further expressing the city's relationship with this reinvented urban and civic space in Chelsea. Designed with split levels expressed within a handcrafted, steel facade of interlocking chevrons, this 11-story residential apartment building carries with it the spirit of Chelsea’s industrial past.

4. Qatar National Library by OMA

Location: Doha, Qatar

This majestic and modern library building has sides that lift at the edges to form a diamond-shaped profile, and an interior that’s arranged around three aisles of book shelves that enclose a central, triangular space. "The idea was to make reading as accessible and as stimulating as possible to the population of Qatar," says architect Rem Koolhaas. "We thought we could achieve that by creating a building that was almost a single room."

This majestic and modern library building has sides that lift at the edges to form a diamond-shaped profile, and an interior that’s arranged around three aisles of book shelves that enclose a central, triangular space. "The idea was to make reading as accessible and as stimulating as possible to the population of Qatar," says architect Rem Koolhaas. "We thought we could achieve that by creating a building that was almost a single room."

5. A45 by BIG

Location: Lanesville, NY

Measuring only 180 square feet, this sleek, prefabricated, off-grid tiny home rotates the classic A-frame cabin structure by 45 degrees to create more usable floor space. Sited in Hudson Valley, the sleek, black cabin by BIG and prefab housing startup Klein is the first model in a series of tiny homes that Klein plans to sell directly to consumers.

Measuring only 180 square feet, this sleek, prefabricated, off-grid tiny home rotates the classic A-frame cabin structure by 45 degrees to create more usable floor space. Sited in Hudson Valley, the sleek, black cabin by BIG and prefab housing startup Klein is the first model in a series of tiny homes that Klein plans to sell directly to consumers.

6. Little House by MW|Works Architecture+Design

Location: Seabeck, Washington

Set on a a repurposed foundation just over 20 square feet, this boxy residence clad in oxidized black cedar makes up for its small footprint by embracing the expansive outdoors with large, glazed openings. The two-story cabin houses the bedrooms in the upper level while an open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen occupy the ground floor. The home also opens up to an outdoor ipe deck and patio. 

Set on a a repurposed foundation just over 20 square feet, this boxy residence clad in oxidized black cedar makes up for its small footprint by embracing the expansive outdoors with large, glazed openings. The two-story cabin houses the bedrooms in the upper level while an open-plan living room, dining area, and kitchen occupy the ground floor. The home also opens up to an outdoor ipe deck and patio. 

7. Chameleon Villa by Word of Mouth Architecture

Location: Kediri, Indonesia

Sited on a steep hill overlooking lush tropical jungle and a river, this private villa is set on different levels that appear as if they are part of the natural landscape. The architecture follows the contours of the land, allowing for in-between spaces and gardens that would otherwise be difficult to enjoy.

Sited on a steep hill overlooking lush tropical jungle and a river, this private villa is set on different levels that appear as if they are part of the natural landscape. The architecture follows the contours of the land, allowing for in-between spaces and gardens that would otherwise be difficult to enjoy.

8. Restaurant of Shade by NISHIZAWAARCHITECTS

Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

To shield the interiors from strong sunlight, this restaurant in central Ho Chi Minh City is clad in an agricultural net made from polyethylene that was initially developed for agricultural purposes, but quickly found its way into vernacular buildings because of its cost-effectiveness. NISHIZAWAARCHITECTS experimented with the netting, using shadow and light to help compose space.

To shield the interiors from strong sunlight, this restaurant in central Ho Chi Minh City is clad in an agricultural net made from polyethylene that was initially developed for agricultural purposes, but quickly found its way into vernacular buildings because of its cost-effectiveness. NISHIZAWAARCHITECTS experimented with the netting, using shadow and light to help compose space.

9. V&A Dundee by Kengo Kuma and Associates

Location: Dundee, Scotland

The façade of the Scotland branch of London’s renowned Victoria & Albert Museum was created with multiple horizontal, precast concrete layers in homage to the country’s stunning cliffs. A horizontal opening in the center allows the street to stay connected with the River Tay, helping the building integrate with its environment. 

The façade of the Scotland branch of London’s renowned Victoria & Albert Museum was created with multiple horizontal, precast concrete layers in homage to the country’s stunning cliffs. A horizontal opening in the center allows the street to stay connected with the River Tay, helping the building integrate with its environment. 

10. National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts by Mecanoo

Location: Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

Inspired by the undulating canopy of the region’s banyan trees, the five venues of this performing arts center are located underneath a single, sweeping roof and connected to its parkland site. The National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts rests on a site that formerly hosted a military training base, and represents the city's changing identity.

Inspired by the undulating canopy of the region’s banyan trees, the five venues of this performing arts center are located underneath a single, sweeping roof and connected to its parkland site. The National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts rests on a site that formerly hosted a military training base, and represents the city's changing identity.

The first building that’s part of a new tech campus being developed, the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology University’s East Wing Building is designed in the form of a massive, partially filled ring with a 919-foot diameter, and jigsaw-like roofline. 

The first building that’s part of a new tech campus being developed, the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology University’s East Wing Building is designed in the form of a massive, partially filled ring with a 919-foot diameter, and jigsaw-like roofline.