- We all started 2020 with nicely planned agendas without knowing what we would go through for the rest of the year. Towards the end of February, all of the major gatherings were announced to be either canceled, suspended, or taken place online.
- With the rapid spread of the coronavirus, our spatial routines have been changed fundamentally. We all got away from the public scene. Companies started working remotely as much as they could. This situation made every remote worker a self-taught designer as we revised our home layout to create a corner for working. Different facilities such as convention centers and sports fields were converted into hospitals because of a major need for healthcare services. We, as architects, found ourselves questioning the fate of public space, and the adaptability and the flexibility of spaces.
- The internet has become the only common ground for all. @CovidArtMuseum is an Instagram account created during the confinement, which is a meeting point between artists and other professionals to express the collective feeling.
- Museums and cultural centers closed their doors due to coronavirus concerns. The physical constraints led the world’s first virtual museum VOMA to be established. The first entirely online art museum allows anyone with an internet connection to access a museum without the limitations of a physical location.
- The undisputed fashion of this year was face masks – some of them are practical and some of them are really stylish. Let’s have a look!
- Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara won the 2020 Pritzker Architecture Prize. The duo met during their collegiate studies at the School of Architecture at University College Dublin. The jury stated: “Farrell and McNamara have practiced architecture together for forty years in a way that clearly reflects the objectives of the Pritzker Prize: to recognize the art of architecture and consistent service to humanity as evidenced through a body of built work.”
- David Adjaye received the 2021 RIBA Gold Medal for an exceptional body of work over 25 years. He also won the 1990 RIBA Bronze Medal when he was a student. Adjaye founded his architectural studio, Adjaye Associates, in 2000.
- Europe’s largest green facade, designed by Ingenhoven architects with Werner Sobek, was completed in Düsseldorf.
- London decided to move out of the City Hall designed by Foster + Partners for The Crystal designed by WilkinsonEyre.
- In Australia, Australia 108, the tallest residential building in the Southern Hemisphere, and Crown Sydney, the tallest building in Sydney, completed.
- In Canada, Vancouver House designed by Bjarke Ingels Group was completed.
- In Italy, Genoa-Saint George Bridge by Renzo Piano, over the Polcevera River in Genoa, replacing the Ponte Morandi which collapsed in 2018, was completed and opened to traffic on 3 August.
- In Taiwan, Tainan Spring, designed by MVRDV, completed.
- In the United Arab Emirates, The Opus designed by Zaha Hadid was opened.
- In New York City, Central Park Tower is the second tallest skyscraper in the United States and the tallest residential building in the world projected for completion.
- In New York City, 111 West 57th Street which is the supertall residential building and the thinnest skyscraper in the world projected for completion.
- Pantone announced the Color of the Year 2021 PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, expressing as “two independent colors that highlight how different elements come together to support one another”. After a bumpy year, Pantone believes the combination of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating will be aspirational and give us hope.
This was the summary of 2020 with catchy headlines. What makes us wonder is what awaits us in the post-pandemic architecture, possible changes in the perception of space and needs. Because as weeks of isolation turned into months, hundreds of millions of people realized the inadequacies of their own domestic spaces. The pandemic taught us again that architecture is about air, nature, connections, interactions, equal rights, equal access to the necessities of life. Architecture is living, developing, and constantly changing. We look forward to witnessing the next transformation.
We wish 2021 brings happiness and gives us hope just as the Colors of the Year!