Architects around the world are really going at it this year, enriching cities with some amazing and sometimes ludicrous new constructions. Here are the five most jaw-dropping buildings opening in 2018.
1. Golden Bridge, Da Nang, Vietnam
The Golden Bridge in the hills near Vietnamese city of Da Nang has some serious Game of Thrones vibes about it. The golden colour of the bridge and the purple flowers lining it would make for an impressive bridge on their own, but to top it off, the architects decided to construct two giant hands holding the bridge. You’d expect them to be stone hands, but instead they are made of steel and fiberglass.
2. Liebian International Building, Guiyang, China
A 121-metre tall office building normally wouldn’t raise eyebrows. This one in Southwestern China however does. The reason is a man-made waterfall that cascades from 108 metres. The waterfall has only been turned on six times so far, as it costs 800 yuan (£90) per hour to pump the water all the way up the tower, probably much to the neighbours’ relief.
3. Amazon Spheres, Seattle, USA
The new headquarters of Amazon in Seattle are designed to resemble a crossover between an observatory and a greenhouse. The three spheres share a large inside forest with plants from all over the world, which are supposed to inspire Amazon employees. To help with that, they can brainstorm in one of the tree houses. Parts of the building are also accessible to the public.
4. Dubai Frame, Dubai, UAE
This building, unsurprisingly, is an observation tower, literally designed to put Dubai in a frame. The lower floors house an exhibition about the city’s past and its future. Then visitors are brought to the 105-metre observation deck on top of the 150-metre building. The Frame is placed in such a way that it offers a view of modern Dubai on one side and old Dubai on the other.
5. Amager Bakke, Copenhagen, Denmark
This power plant in the Copenhagen is the poster child of Copenhagen’s efforts to become a zero-carbon city by 2025. The plant is in operation since 2017, but in order to get the people on board with the project, it will feature a ski slope on its roof. And the chimney won’t emit a constant cloud of smoke, but will blow smoke rings instead.