2016 Architectural News – Year In Review

brady_new years

Unlike the rest of the internet, this post is 4 weeks late. But 2016 was a BIG year. Like 1980’s gold hoop earrings big.

But hoop earrings and neon graphics on Bjarke Ingels Group’s website weren’t the only things similar to the 1980’s. The United Kingdom and the United States both voted to send their respective countries back to the nostalgic times of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

Large egos and hot air seemed to have ruled in 2016, leading me to heavily invest in balloons as my predominant mode of transportation.

But since we are being nostalgic, let us go back to a simpler time.
The year is 2016. The month is…

January –

… Alejandro Aravena wins the Pritzker Prize. Aravena, the architect of many social housing projects including the half-house creates hope for the world. Where architecture can empower and lift people out of poverty. Where housing crises no longer exist. Where architecture creates sustainable and affordable communities. Boy, 2016 is turning out to be an optimistic year!

February –

French graduate Étienne Duval became a YouTube sensation after his cover letter of an animated rap to Bjarke Ingels went viral. Duval’s 2-minute long film, Yo Is More, claimed he wanted to meet Bjarke and his hip hop ego. Upon seeing the film Bjarke claimed his head expanded a full two inches, and immediately hired Duval.

Bjarke Ingels Group also released conceptual designs for a 65-story New York skyscraper dubbed “The Spiral” – as part of the monumental mixed-use development at Hudson Yards.

Even though February is the shortest month, Bjarke Ingels was also selected to design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. When asked what his Serpentine Pavilion will be used for, Bjarke responded that “hair gel alone can no longer contain his massively swelling ego, and he needs to construct a pavilion to contain it.”

March –

In tragic news, British architect Zaha Hadid died at age 65, following a sudden heart attack.

Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor acquired exclusive rights to the Vantablack pigment. The revolutionary pigment claims to be the blackest shade of black ever created. While many artists outcried the exclusionary rights to the black pigment – it is probably for the best; because everyone would’ve just created personal black holes to jump into upon hearing the devastating news of Zaha’s passing.

In other confrontational news…

April –

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics committee unveiled shortlisted logo designs after the original logo by Kenjiro Sano was renounced following accusations of plagiarism. However, if Sano would’ve listened to my 9th grade math teacher, he wouldn’t have been in that predicament – “always show your work.”

Breaking news: Kenjiro Sano has just stolen the Vantablack pigment and jumped into a black hole.

May –

Rafael Viñoly apologised for describing Christian de Portzamparc’s One57 skyscraper as “horrendous.”
“What is the name of that building by that French guy? It would have been better without all that glass. I think it is an absolutely horrendous building,” he previously said.

Apologizing for making critical statements is hardly newsworthy, but the architect behind the most reviled building in London (the Walkie Talkie – that actually melted cars!) should never backtrack on his profound knowledge of horrendous architecture.

June –


Choosing to isolate itself from the rest of Europe – Britain shockingly voted to leave the European Union. I have no clue what consequences will ensue due to this ruling, but I do know that in June Bjarke Ingels also unveiled his Serpentine Gallery Pavilion – a curving wall of semi-transparent blocks stacked together with unused hair gel and pieces of English architect’s broken hearts.

July –

If Brexit was truly bad for Britain there should be foreboding signs for Humanity.

Oh no! Architecture for Humanity was sued for $3 million.
The lawsuit accused the group of using millions of dollars earmarked for humanitarian projects to pay for overhead costs before the company ultimately filed for bankruptcy.

August –

In retaliation for Anish Kapoor having exclusive rights to the blackest shade of black, artist Stuart Semple is allowing anyone to buy his “World’s Pinkest Pigment” – everyone except, of course, Anish Kapoor.

In 1980’s throwback history month…

September –

Bjarke Ingel’s Group transforms the (already retro) graphics on its website into the classic 1980s arcade game Arkanoid.1

October –

Bjarke Ingel’s Group releases a sneak preview of their Hyperloop plans for Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Hyperloop is the creative vision of Elon Musk in collaboration with Bjarke Ingels, AECOM and Arup. Leading everyone to finally deduce, yes, Elon Musk and Bjarke Ingels are the same person.

November –

Nothing happened in November. No notable elections. No glass ceilings broken. No fearful rhetoric. No need to be concerned for women’s rights. No sitting at my desk completely stunned and wondering if the numb feeling in my toes is due to an aneurism or because I’ve been sitting motionless for 4 hours with my legs crossed.

December –

Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, Patrik Schumacher, mapped out a solution to London’s housing crisis. And by “mapping out” I mean he is clearly harkening back to the 1980’s economic theory of trickle-down economics; where if the wealthy become even wealthier and are allowed to buy public space – they might be benevolent enough to pay for landscapers to trim the hedges in their privatized gardens.

In opposition to the direction of her director, Zaha Hadid attempts to climb out of a Vantablack black hole created by Anish Kapoor.

However, on the last day of 2016, Anish Kapoor dips his middle finger in the “world’s pinkest pink” (despite his personal ban) and flaunts his fluorescent appendage to all of social media – putting a shiny pink exclamation point on the year.

Have a Happy 2017




Click the purple numerals to transport between hyperlinks

1 Arkanoid is an arcade game developed by Taito in 1986. It expanded upon Atari’s Breakout games of the 1970’s.

One Comment

  1. jimluk

    Thanks for making me spend 20 min trying to “breakout” BIG projects from their tiny colorful prisons. Oh well, just lost ARE study time, at least I’m not at work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *