Main Content

The 2024 WOW List: Today’s Most Extraordinary New Works of Architecture

All around the world, today’s boldest feats of architecture and design don’t just dazzle the eye, they defy expectations—blurring genres and reinventing traditions. Get to know 18 spectacular Works of Wonder….

Galería de las Colecciones Reales

Galería de las Colecciones RealesGalería de las Colecciones Reales Photo: Germán Saiz

More than two decades in the making, this ambitious showcase for Spain’s royal collections is literally embedded in the city’s foundations. To make way for the building, architects Emilio Tuñón and the late Luis M. Mansilla dug into the rock that separates the Royal Palace of Madrid from the Campo del Moro. Wrapped in concrete pillars, their design is a sublime tribute to 500 years of history.

Gran Acuario Mazatlán

Gran Acuario MazatlnGran Acuario Mazatlán Photo: Juan Manuel McGrath
Mazatlán, Mexico

Rejecting aquarium conventions, Tatiana Bilbao Estudio envisioned this oceanic research center overlooking the Sea of Cortez as a ruin of both past and future. (She cites a structure ravaged by rising and receding tides.) Maze-like and irregularly shaped, the project calls to mind an archaeological site, with marine-life tanks and other aquatic displays interspersed among staggered pigmented-concrete walls.

Istanbul Modern

Istanbul ModernIstanbul Modern Photo: Cemal Emden.

Having outgrown its former digs in a renovated warehouse, Turkey’s first contemporary and modern art museum has settled into an industrial-sleek stunner by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The Pritzker Prize winner took inspiration from the Bosphorus, devising an elongated structure reminiscent of ships and wrapping it in rippling aluminum panels.

John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History

John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and HistoryJohn Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History Photo: Ademola Olaniran
Lagos, Nigeria

Long abandoned but much beloved, a public pool has been revived as the centerpiece to this community and cultural complex. Local architecture firm SI.SA based the buildings on Yoruba design, cladding the exterior in fractal powder-coated screens. Visitors can take a dip in the original pool or picnic on the sloping green roof.

LAMA Pavilion

Lama PavilionLama Pavilion Photo: Courtesy Pezo von Ellrichshausen
Yungay, Chile

This experimental triumph by Pezo von Ellrichshausen doubles as marker and lookout, presiding over the terrain while gazing toward the Andes Mountains. Inside, a winding staircase ascends to a viewing platform, and above it, accessible only by ladder, a camera obscura and rooftop hearth.

Maroquinerie de Louviers

Hermès Maroquinerie de LouviersHermès Maroquinerie de Louviers Photo: © Iwan Baan.

For its first saddle workshop outside Paris, Hermès tapped the AD100 architect Lina Ghotmeh, who in turn commissioned local artisans to hand-make the half-million bricks that now enrobe the arched atelier. Thanks to that and other eco-friendly innovations, the project became the first industrial building in France to earn the E4C2 designation for low-carbon, energy- positive construction.

National Archives of Publications and Culture

China National Archives of Publications and Culture of Hangzhou by AmateurChina National Archives of Publications and Culture of Hangzhou by Amateur Photo: Tsing Lim
Hangzhou, China

Part library, part museum, and part-time capsule, this is one of a network of new archives conceived to honor Chinese culture through the preservation of ancient and modern ephemera. Amateur Architecture Studio (founded by Pritzker Prize winner Wang Shu and his wife, Lu Wenyu) devised the Zhejiang Province branch as a cluster of modern and traditional forms, coaxing light and shadow into exquisite choreography.

New Temple Complex

New Temple ComplexNew Temple Complex Photo: Rory Gardiner
Hampshire, England

Set within a national park, this multi-faith mecca by James Gorst Architects distills secular and ritual spaces into a sequence of poetic pavilions, all minimally detailed and sustainably built to induce contemplation.

Nisarga Art Hub

Nisarga Art HubNisarga Art Hub Photo: Syam Sreesylam.
Ernakulam, India

This inventive venue was founded by a family of musicians as a space for artistic expression and exchange. Vinu Daniel of the architecture studio Wallmakers adapted its traditional pitched Kerala roof into a flexible amphitheater, the pool below serving as a stage when covered by wooden planks. @nisarga.arthub

Parimal Garden

Parimal GardenParimal Garden Stavan Bhagora.
Ahmedabad, India

Dating back to the 1940s, this verdant park has been revitalized by landscape architecture firm Prabhakar B Bhagwat as part of a new network of public green spaces. Their design retains original elements such as the bougainvillea arbor and fountains while adding features such as the meditation pavilion. All masterfully emphasize a deeper bond with nature.

Perelman Performing Arts Center

Perelman Performing Arts CenterPerelman Performing Arts Center Photo: Iwan Baan
New York City

Designed by AD100 architecture firm REX, this cubic beacon has boldly redefined conventions of the stage, with three primary theaters that can be combined and transformed into more than 60 permutations. Outside, 4,896 slabs of translucent marble glow from within, while inside additional public spaces by AD100 Hall of Fame member Rockwell Group keep the crowds coming back for more.

The Pyramid of Tirana

The Pyramid of TiranaThe Pyramid of Tirana Photo: ©Ossip van Duivenbode
Tirana, Albania

Originally a museum dedicated to dictator Enver Hoxha, this concrete icon has been reimagined as a cultural hub and innovation incubator. MVRDV architects punctuated the structure inside and out with colorful boxlike volumes, replacing sloped façades with exterior stairs so that admirers can make the climb.


RockbundRockbund Photo: © Fangfang Tian

Over the course of 17 years, David Chipperfield Architects has updated and restored a string of 11 buildings in the city’s former European concession, among them the late-19th-century ZA·Andrews & George Building (with its new 11-story tower) and the Rockbund Art Museum, a 1932 Art Deco gem. Taken together, the mix offers an impressive crash course in the city’s colonial architecture.

Shanghai Library East

Shanghai Library EastShanghai Library East Photo: RAWVISION Studio.

A sprawling monument to learning, by Schmidt Hammer Lassen architects, China’s largest library riffs on the faceted form of Taihu stones, or ancient Chinese scholars’ rocks. More than 80 percent of the project’s 1.2 million square feet is dedicated to communal spaces, including a grand central atrium, a 1,200-seat theater, exhibition halls, and light-filled reading rooms.

Simose Art Museum

Simose Art MuseumSimose Art Museum Photo: Hiroyuki Hirai.
Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan

Overlooking the Seto Inland Sea from a plot outside the city of Hiroshima, eight colorful glass boxes appear to float atop a man-made pond. The beguiling glass volumes are in fact movable exhibition spaces by the architect Shigeru Ban, who placed galleries on platform barges as displays for one family’s eclectic collection of artworks. Aficionados can also spend the night at any of the 10 villas by the Pritzker Prize winner.

The Sphere

The SphereThe Sphere Photo: Sphere Entertainment co.
Las Vegas

At 516 feet wide and 366 feet tall, this otherworldly performance space is now the planet’s largest dome structure. A remarkable 580,000 square feet of high-definition LED panels wrap the exterior, stealing the spotlight from the nearby Las Vegas Strip. Inside, 17,600 seats and standing room for an additional 20,000 people have welcomed awed audiences for immersive concerts by U2.

The Tiffany & Co. Landmark

The Tiffany amp Co. LandmarkThe Tiffany & Co. Landmark Photo: Courtesy of Tiffany & Co.
New York City

Last year, the Fifth Avenue boutique emerged from its first top-to-bottom transformation since its opening in 1940. Interiors by AD100 Hall of Famer Peter Marino invoke brand lore through a series of artist commissions. Crowning it all is a rooftop addition by OMA, whose New York partner Shohei Shigematsu devised a three-story jewel in the sky.

Toranomon Hills Station Tower

Toranomon Hills Station TowerToranomon Hills Station Tower Photo: Tomoyuki Kusunose

OMA’s first ground-up building in Japan (and largest project to date) also marks the arrival of a bustling business district, spanning a metro station, a retail concourse, hotel rooms, offices, and a cultural space. A pedestrian bridge extends Shintora-dori Avenue into and around the 49-story building, integrating the structure into the cityscape.

Via Architectural Digest

Joyce Rey
Joyce Rey
Joyce Rey

Joyce Rey is one of the most respected names in luxury real estate worldwide, having represented some of the most significant properties in the world.



Subscribe to Newsletter

    Follow Us