designboom 2012 top ten: conceptual architecture
designboom 2012 top ten: conceptual architecture designboom 2012 top ten: conceptual architecture
dec 21, 2012

designboom 2012 top ten: conceptual architecture


in the world of conceptual architecture, almost anything goes. concepts allow us to explore new frontiers, infrastructures, master plans, individual spaces and details without the real-world constraints that tend to limit these radical ideas. it is a necessary exercise, to take ideas into the realm of the unreal, later to be refined to produce new tangible results. ranging from all scopes and scales, the following ten projects represent the top viewedconceptual designs of 2012: some of them have already made their way into the real world, others are on their way, and the rest will most likely remainas important documentations of bold ideas.







1. ‘huangshan mountain village’ by MAD architects


the residential complex aims to give the user a quiet peaceful place where they view the landscape and reflect upon it and introspect in the recently declared world heritage site. the form consists of a series of stacked planes molded with rounded edges that mirror the surrounding topography to become an almost indiscernible mesh between the natural and the man-made.



‘huangshan mountain village’ by MAD architects, anhui, china







2. ‘beko master plan’ by zaha hadid


the new complex will include a residential component, retail and commercial spaces, a large convention facility and a five-star boutique hotelsituated next to the historical kalemegdan castle wall. the language connects the individual elements of the masterplan in a way which maintains their uniqueness and creates the feel of a free-flowing urban layer that integrates into the architecture.



‘beko masterplan’ by zaha hadid, belgrade, serbia







3. ‘beton hala waterfront centre’ by sou fujimoto


with its particular location at the edge of medieval beton hala, kalemegden park, sava river and adjacent to the fortress wall, the project seamlessly grabs each cultural facet and entwines them into a literally spiraling structure of ramping ribbons in what fujimoto calls a ‘floating cloud.’



‘beton hala waterfront centre’ by sou fujimoto, belgrade, serbia







4. ‘FREE city’ by FREE (fernando romero)


‘FREE city’ is an urban prototype with a utopian vision designed by mexico city-based practice FREE. the scheme is envisioned to utilize the benefits of radial, hexagonal and rectilinear grids to maintain radial organization, hierarchical zoning and logical growth.



‘FREE city’ by FREE







5. ‘bicycle club’ by NL architects


a rooftop cycling arena is supported by a glass-enclosed cafe at ground level. the oval-footprint structure’s protruding canopy is essential, due to the tropical climate, to shade the perimeter seating, expressed with an elegant upward curvature of the eaves that evokes the form of the traditional and functional pagoda.



‘bicycle club’ by NL architects, hainan, china







6. ‘natural history museum proposal’ by BIG architects


the proposal for the new natural history museum in denmark is a man-made mineral landscape which adapts to the organic forms of the botanical garden situated in the centre of copenhagen where the institution is located – their extension is a formation of rocks which intersect with the surrounding green park landscape.



‘new natural history museum’ proposal by BIG architects, copenhagen, denmark







7. architecture for dogs curated by kenya hara


hara has commissioned structures from 11 renowned architects and designers for the venture including konstantin grcic, atelier bow-wow, shigeru ban and kazuyo sejima. the heavy-weight designers having conceived custom-built homes for their canine clients – each tailored specific to a particular breed of dog.



‘architecture for dogs’ project by kenya hara







8. ‘capital hill residence’ for naomi campbell by zaha hadid


the overall design of the 2650m2 residence features two spatial components: the main program materializes from its hill-side location, housing themore communal living and dining spaces, while an approximately 22-meter high tower structure reminiscent of a periscope, emerges upwards from the central volume offering dynamic views of the surrounding wooded landscape.



capital hill residence for naomi campbell by zaha hadid, moscow, russia







9. kofun japan national stadium proposal by dorell ghotmeh tane


shortlisted for the 2012 japan national stadium international competition, paris-based dorell ghotmeh tane‘s ‘kofun stadium’ proposal takes the concept of the green roof to its most extreme definition. considering the venue’s large scale, intervention and particular location in the middle of tokyo, the design set out to create an earthen monument that would be hollistically integrated into the site, rather than a technologically foreignvessel that could be located on any arbitrary site



‘kofun stadium’ by dorell ghotmeh tane, tokyo, japan







10. ‘express rail link west kowloon terminus’ by aedas


centrally positioned within urban hong kong, the ‘express rail link west kowloon terminus’ by international practice aedas is a transit hub for a high speed railway which travels between hong kong and beijing. the 430,000 square meter facility will host 15 tracks creating the largest underground terminal in the world, accommodating regional lines as well as long distance services.



‘express rail link west kowloon terminus’ by aedas, west kowloon district, hong kong

  • 6 and 9 are the only 2 proposals on this list I would endorse. Number one for me is the proposal for an Afghanistan National Museum in Kabul. This is a beautiful understated building infused with emotion and gravitas. My hope is that Matteo-Cainer Architects win this competition.

    Kenneth Smythe says:
  • No.2 and number 9 are the Most amazing artchectures to me. Because No.2 displays artistic, atractive design, far mant accomodation within each connected buldings, bulit on fairly saller area.

    No. 10 represents perfect mountainview recreated by a modern Arctect seen allowing giving a new imagination seenery and creative vision of a high mountain view coupled with lower park stylr seen and a modern feel of seeng and walking over a moutain. Very deep tthougjt expressed in a small view and archtectural work.

    muluberhan Abate says:
  • No.9 ‘…rather than a technologically foreign vessel that could be located on any arbitrary site’

    …. cough *Zaha* cough


    lewis says:
  • no. 10 is the best

    mario says:

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