Construction provides a perfect blank canvas for innovation and pioneering aesthetics and in this part of the world we’re lucky to have some fine examples of complex and cool design. These are just a few of the most innovatively designed commercial buildings in Europe.
Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain
Frank Gehry’s epic metallic masterpiece has been hailed as “signal moment in the architectural culture” and is constantly named as one of architecture’s most important modern works. It is made up of 32,500 m2 of interconnecting shapes of stone, glass and titanium that reflect back the sky and the sun and has inspired many copies across the world.
Arnhem Central Railway station, Netherlands
Some buildings are so curved and fluid they’d be at home in a piece of Dali surrealism – like the interior of the Arnhem Central Railway with its twisted steel columns that seem to flow as they stand.
Scandic Victoria Tower, Stockholm Sweden
Architect Gert Wingårdh created the Scandic to be the tallest building in Stockholm. The 117m façade is covered in mirrors which reflect back the sky causing the building to appear almost transparent.
Markthal , Rotterdam, Netherlands
The Markthal was completed in 2014, a giant horseshoe shaped structure that seems to defy gravity in its construction. The inside of the arch is adorned with artwork by Arno Coenen. It was made using digital 3D techniques and then printed on 4,000 perforated aluminum panels, earning the Martktal the nickname The Sistine Chapel of Rotterdam.
City Hall, London, UK
This riverside building was designed in line with the principles of transparency and accessibility, both practically and ideologically. Its bulbous shape was chosen to minimise surface area to improve energy efficiency and it has a distinctive 500m helical walkway that climbs up the full ten stories. Does Britain host the most innovatively designed commercial buildings?
Ponte Vecchio bridge, Florence, Italy
Not a modern innovation but fairly ahead of its time, the Ponte Vecchio was designed to enable traders to occupy it, changing the purpose of the traditional bridge to something much more efficient. When first built it was filled with butchers shops.
M by Montcalm, London UK
An 18-storey hotel building in East London, the M by Montcalm was inspired by modern artist Bridget Riley’s diagonal stripe-based abstract painting Nataraja (1993). Its design creates an optical illusion of transparency that often leaves people standing in the street open mouthed.
Ordrupgaard Museum extension, Copenhagen, Denmark
Zaha Hadid’s incredible extension to the Ordrupgaard Museum is not only an innovative, curved shape but is also covered in black lava concrete, which changes colour depending on the weather.
Do you agree these are the most innovatively designed commercial buildings? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Tweet us @nimbusmaps.