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10 Modern Building Designs and the Architects That Made Them a Reality

September 10, 2019 | Flexible Design

Modern building design is changing to reflect cultural demand. In fact, most modern building designs today combine technology right from the drawing phase. Striking facades offer visual appeal and can make a name for the designer, but architects today know that modern building design needs to do so much more than that. The world is changing — you either keep or fall behind.

From sustainability to energy efficiency; to flexibility and future-proofing, modern building design incorporates new responsibilities that need to meet today’s needs — and tomorrow’s as well.

Let’s take a look at 10 modern building designs and the architects that made them a reality.

1. The Shed – New York City

Modern Building Designs: The Shed- New York City The Building:
The largest private real estate development in U.S. history, the Hudson Yards Project, features the riveting Shed. The 200,000 square-foot edifice is designed to house every manner of performance, but its facade is far from a concert hall. The outer shell of the Shed rests on wheels on a track, and separates from the building to extend over the plaza forming a 17,000-square-foot event hall. Utilizing gantry crane technology, the amorphous shell deploys in under five minutes. The steel frame is covered in translucent ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, which insulates and protects against hurricane-force winds.

The Architect:
Lead architect Diller Scofidio +Renfro is an interdisciplinary design studio that incorporates visual and performing arts in their renowned work, like the Lincoln Center redesign, and The High Line in New York. They were first to receive acceptance into the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Their collaborator, The Rockwell Group, is a cross-disciplinary design firm with expertise in a wide realm ranging from hospitals, to airport terminals, to stage design.

2. Le Monde Headquarters – Paris

Modern Building Designs: Le Monde Headquarters- Paris

The Building:
One of the most highly read newspapers in the world, LeMonde has been captivating audiences since 1944. But now their own headquarters are garnering headlines. The multi-million dollar building looks like a bridge — a gesture noting the connection between readers and writers. Sheathed in pixelated glass embedded with LEDs to display data, this building is a literal depiction of news transmission.

The Architect:
Based in Oslo, Norway, Snohetta is an international firm employing architects from 32 nations. They seek to enhance human connection to external surroundings- how people relate to each other and their environment. Specializing in everything from reindeer observatories, to dollhouses, to museums, this firm is one to watch.

3. 40 Tenth Avenue – New York City

Modern Building Designs: 40 Tenth Avenue- New York City

The Building:
Inspired by solar energy, this structure’s design is angled toward the rays of the sun. Engineered to allow ample sunlight to touch the inhabitants, as well as adjacent High Line Park, this building is one for the people. 40 Tenth Avenue features roof space, outdoor space, and outdoor views from each angle, connecting tenants to nature. Creating job space, while enhancing green space, the design is both conscious and green.

The Architect:
Studio Gang is an architecture and urban design firm in Chicago with offices in New York, San Francisco, and Paris. Their mission includes connecting people with each other and with their environment with the use of sun-angling and sun-sculpting, to let the outside in.

4. TWA Hotel – New York City

Modern Building Designs: TWA Hotel- New York City

The Building:
In 1962, Eero Saarinen unveiled the revolutionary TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport. Today, the space has been renovated into a stunning 392,000 square-foot hotel. With a refurbished terminal and tunnels, the renovation also includes two new hotel wings with 512 guest rooms. The mid-century modern design aesthetic calls up childhood images of The Jetsons- indicating the future has indeed arrived.

The Architect:
Beyer Blinder Belle originated in 1968, with a focus on architecture that empowers people. An interest in historic, cultural, and civic exploration guides their work, which includes many historical renovations, including the original TWA terminal. Partners Lubrano Ciavarra Architects are master collaborators who focused on conceptual clarity in designing the two new wings complete with rooftop pool and observation deck.

5. One Thousand Museum – Miami

Modern Building Designs: One Thousand Museum

The Building:
The energy of 1000 Museum is synergistic with that of Miami This 62-story skyscraper is as elegant as it is dynamic, with unexpected curves and lines. Featured in the PBS profile Impossible Builds, it is one of the most ambitious projects to date. Unlike many groundbreaking builds, and contrary to its name, this building was created to live in. Condominiums stack this impressive edifice, if you are lucky enough to score one.

The Architect:
This building is the final bow of the famed Zaha Hadid, who stated, “I believe in the idea of the future.” The Iraqi-British designer was the first woman to receive the Pritzger Architecture Prize, followed by the Stirling Prize among others. Her firm continues on in her incredible legacy, with a focus on synchronicity.

6. Statue of Liberty Museum – New York City

Modern Building Designs: Statue of Liberty Museum- New York City

The Building:
This $70 million structure’s exterior is clad in copper, to match Lady Liberty over time. The 26,000 feet will house artifacts like the original 3,600-pound torch and architectural blueprints. The museum also features a green roof with clear visibility of the statue.

The Architect:
FXCollaborative is a firm with many missions, including diversity, social responsibility, and sustainability. They implement design that will endure, express character and respect the planet’s resources.

7. Pace Gallery Headquarters – New York City

Pace Gallery Headquarters- New York City

The Building:
The Pace Gallery’s new building will be double in size. The architects omitted columns to make art viewing possible from all distances and angles. The lighting design fits the hue and mood of each piece, for an optimal exhibit experience. It features both indoor and outdoor galleries and a massive research library. The view from outside is magnificent as well, with oversized windows and a volcanic stone facade.

The Architect:
The team of Bonetti Kozerski takes a calm and reflective approach in designing spaces with understated luxury and warm modernism. Thinking holistically, they use European influence to include an element of surprise.

8. Academy Museum of Motion Pictures – Los Angeles

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures- Los Angeles

The Building:
The world’s most comprehensive movie museum will soon open, fittingly, in L.A. Housed in the Saban Building on Miracle Mile, the open spherical structure will include a theater and terrace, as well as a unique perspective. Designed for reverent and reflective discussion, this is a movie-lover’s dream.

The Architect:
Enthusiasts know Renzo Piano for the Shard in London and the Whitney Museum in N.Y. The award-winning architect is also a philanthropist, building emergency children’s centers internationally and hosting educational workshops.

9. Ruby City – San Antonio

Ruby City- San Antonio

The Building:
Ruby City is aptly named for its brilliant hue and contours. Envisioned by late artist Linda Pace, the museum showcases 900 works of art from her foundation. The exterior might catch as many eyes as the art, as it seeks to kick-start the area’s art scene. As part of Pace’s philanthropic mission, the museum is free and open to the public. The Architect:
David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates is nothing if not bold. His award winning designs don’t skimp on color or scale, as they lean, quite literally, into the imagination. Bold in element and tone, Adjaye is making a mark in design.

10. Grand Egyptian Museum – Giza

Grand Egyptian Museum- Giza

The Building:
Over 1,500 entries poured in to design a museum for the pyramids. The winner designed this $5.2-million structure composed of triangle patterns, mirroring the structures it honors. Touted as the largest archaeological museum in the world, it will house artifacts and historical documents- most anticipated is King Tutankhamun’s possessions.

The Architect:
Heneghan Peng Architects delivers architecture, landscape, and urban design from NYC and Dublin. With an award list that reads longer than an entire resume, the firm masterfully crafts museums, gardens, bridges, and libraries, so well that they won the project.

Modern Building Designs Rely On Technology

There is always more that meets the eye when it comes to these modern building designs. The reality is technology is the centerpiece and future-proofing commercial buildings to allow for changing technology is something that begins in the design phase.

What’s often overlooked is the importance of commercial flooring in building design. The collaborative, open-design spaces that are popular today are mostly made possible through raised floors and/or low profile access flooring systems.

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