The Best Buildings From Around the World in 2019

Every year, architects surprise us with their increasingly daring ideas, and 2019 has been no exception. The past year has given us an incredible array of astonishing buildings.
The Best Buildings From Around the World in 2019

Last update: 17 February, 2020

It’s not been easy to decide which were the best buildings from 2019, but we’ve managed to whittle it down to three of our favorites. All of these buildings feature strange, innovative and unusual characteristics – which is exactly what sets them apart from the rest.

These designs embody the ingenuity, logic, and perseverance of their creators, setting a high standard for modern architecture. Needless to say, skyscrapers deserve a special mention. They continue to dominate skylines – both old and new – all around the world.

The past year has been no exception, and leading architects continue to break boundaries with their designs. These stunning examples of contemporary architecture have more than earned their place on this list. As you’ll soon see, we have included projects from around the globe.

One of the projects that attracted most attention in 2019 was the Under restaurant, developed by the Norwegian studio Snøhetta. A concrete block with walls 20 inches thick, this incredible building allows diners to eat underwater.

Next, we’ll show you a selection of the most awe-inspiring buildings that have emerged over the last year.

The best buildings in 2019 – The National Museum of Qatar, Jean Nouvel

The National Museum of Qatar.

The National Museum of Qatar was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and opened in March 2019 in Doha. It has more than 85,000 sq ft of exhibition space, making it the largest local history museum in the world.

The exterior of the building presents a slightly avant-garde aesthetic while paying homage to the country’s rich history, and a past that Qatar is striving to recover and preserve for generations to come. For this design, Jean Nouvel took inspiration from the desert rose, a mineral formation typical of the Gulf region.

The museum interior features richly detailed scenography, referencing the nomadic culture of pearl divers who have since become oil and gas tycoons.

In the words of Jean Nouvel himself, the project is the crystallization of what Qatar is, “a meeting place between desert and sea.” Doha, the capital of Qatar, has changed almost beyond recognition over the last decade, more than any other city in the world.

Despite being supported by tons of reinforced steel, Nouvel’s desert rose retains an air of lightness. 

“I believe that architecture has to be a gift.”

– Jean Nouvel

Under, Snøhetta

The best buildings from 2019: Under.

This restaurant is located on the southernmost point on the Norwegian coastline, where the sea storms from the north and south meet. As such, the Norwegian project finds itself at a unique junction.

This interesting location is home to a wide array of marine species. Recognizing this, Snøhetta’s restaurant also serves as a marine life research center. In doing so, they pay tribute to the rich variety of sea life, and Norway’s natural coastline.

Lindesnes, the area where the restaurant is located, is known for its extreme weather conditions, with seemingly calm days often turning into raging storms. This ever-changing climate is tempered as you enter the near-silent restaurant.

The restaurant’s interior is designed to be as natural as possible, with rough wood finishes and the sweet aroma of tinder. Wood also features in the elegant oak staircase, which guests must descend upon entering the restaurant.

The best buildings of 2019 – The Shed, Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The Shed, New York.

The Shed is a new cultural center in New York. It will be the home of music, dance, art, theater, visual arts, technology and new, innovative projects. The grand opening took place in April 2019, and it’s now the star attraction for the residents of Hudson Yards, a neighborhood undergoing a huge redevelopment project.

The building’s most noticeable feature is its silver shell. It sits on 8 huge metal wheels, which allow it to open and close, moving a distance of 250 ft.

With its high-tech industrial style, this structure uses a mechanism similar to those found in cranes and railway tracks. As you can see, the project takes inspiration from the neighborhood’s industrial past.

The New York neighborhood where the cultural center is located in a real estate complex that combines office buildings and luxury apartments. It also contains several leisure areas, as well as a school.

The Shed serves as a meeting place for the entire neighborhood, housing not only a museum, but also a gallery, theater, concert hall, and nightclub.

So, there you have it. These are just a few examples of the outstanding architectural work from 2019. Fortunately, 2020 looks set to be yet another year where architects will once again astonish us with their high-quality, avant-garde designs.