AD LIST Work Of Wonders 2023: Discover the Best Projects of The Year

2023•02•21

Wow! It will be your reaction when discovering the 20 best projects of the year, elected by the AD List Work of Wonders.

Every year, many incredible projects help to adorn the design world and share a unique vision that helps to inspire people worldwide. Along with outstanding projects, Architectural Digest Magazine, a vital reference for the design industry, has come up with the AD List Work of Wonders, highlighting the 20 best new projects of the year. Prepare yourself because each one is worthy of a WOW reaction.

work of wonders list - tree house hotel

What is the AD List Work of Wonders (WoW)?

AD List Work of Wonders is a curated selection of the most impressive new projects and celebrates the best of art, architecture, and design. The list is a moment to recognize the projects that are shaping the world – from creative engineering to sustainable innovation or originality.

The projects featured in the AD List Work of Wonders were chosen by a global editors team, who looked for impressive new structures with a cultural impact – more than just being stunning, each project in the list shows a way to rethink architecture and design.

The 20 top projects of 2023 show the best of architecture, art, and design and represent a powerful tool to create a community sense and preserve cultural diversity.

The 20 Top Projects by AD List Work of Wonders (WoW)

1- BATTERSEA POWER STATION – London, England

Originally constructed from 1929 to 1955, in the last eight-year the area was under restoration by WilkinsonEyre. The landmark and surroundings are among the world’s most exciting and innovative neighborhoods. The Battersea power station is now an encounter point for the city and has many facilities – from restaurants, offices, and even apartments.

2- HOUSE OF MUSIC HUNGARY – Budapest, Hungary

The House of Music is the first building from a massive project developed by the Hungarian government to transform the historic city park into a museum area. The Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto designed this eye-catching building with an organic shape that perfectly blends with the landscape.

work of wonders list - incredible landscape

3-30 AVENUE MONTAIGNE – Paris, France

Redesign by the AD100 architect Peter Marino, the original headquarters of Christion Dior – now features the best of haute couture. Marino has created textures-playing walls everywhere, including a patchwork of leather and feathers, floating white rectangles on hardwood paneling, and mirrors. The AD100 architect turns this store into a completely new experience.

work of wonders - dior

4- RICHARD GILDER CENTER FOR SCIENCE, EDUCATION, AND INNOVATION – New York City, United States

The Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and innovation is an addition to the American Museum of Natural History and was designed by Studio Gang. This masterpiece design aims to be the physical heart of the museum while creating a connection between the existing galleries.

work of wonders list - architecture building

5- THE CITY – Garden Valley, United States

From stunning buildings to incredible artwork, the AD Work of Wonders also features The City, one of the largest artworks of the world created by the artist  Artist Michael Heizer, who has been working on this masterpiece since the 70s. The eye-catching work aims to reassemble the prehistoric urban complex and is composed of sand, cement, and other materials from the Nevada desert.

work of wonders list - artwork

6- BIOSPHERE AT TREEHOTEL – Harads, Sweden

Design by the Danish architecture studio BIG, this hotel is a beautiful example of integrating nature and architecture; it reveals a building surrounded by birdhouses. The hotel was developed in association with Swedish ornithologist Ulf Hman and is close to the village of Harads. It was created to completely immerse visitors in the forest setting.

work of wonders list - tree house hotel

7- TAIPEI PERFORMING ARTS CENTER – Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei Performing Arts Center is an outstanding building developed by the Dutch Studio OMA. The structure design was led by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten, who intended to stand out from the “standardized” contemporary theaters constructed in major cities worldwide.

8- KAMWOKY COMMUNITY CENTRE – Kampala, Uganda

The Kamwoky Community Centre shows is an example of community building. Architect Frances Kéré transformed a playground into a multifunctional complex with classrooms, a gym, an internet café, and other facilities -and everything was created in coloration with the residents.

9- ROSEWOOD SÃO PAULO – São Paulo, Brazil

Rosewood Hotel perfectly shows the integration between architecture, design, and art. On the site of a former maternity hospital, a green tower by Jean Nouvel coexists here with Philippe Starck’s interior design, Louis Benech’s gardens, and site-specific installations by artists including Vik Muniz and Sandra Cinto from Brazil.

10 – ELLEN DEGENERES CAMPUS OF THE DIAN FOSSEY GORILLA FUND -Kinigi, Rwanda

Ellen Degeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund pays homage to the celebrity who inspired the construction – the building was a gift for Ellen Degeneres from his wife. The campus is a masterpiece in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda and is a global model for ecologically responsible design and construction.

11- THE DEPOT – Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Even situated in a city full of outstanding buildings, The Depot impresses everyone that looks at it. This bowl-shaped tower by MVRDV, which is entirely reflecting and located in the center of a city park, boldly reinvents art storage by showcasing more than 150,000 art and design items.

12- SIXTH STREET VIADUCT- Los Angeles, United States

In charge of creating a replacement for a deteriorated 1932 bridge, architect Michael Maltzan created a stunning “ribbon of light” with multiple concrete arches lit from below. The new structure is more than a replacement for the previous one – but also incorporates a new vision for the city accommodating cars and incorporating significant new bicycle connections.

13- ANAHUACALLI MUSEUM EXTENSION – Mexico City, Mexico

The history of the Anahuacalli Museum remained in the 40s when Diego Rivera and Juan O’Gorman created the repository of the artist’s vast holdings of pre-Columbian artifacts. Recently, the place that is situated in an ecological reserve has been carefully expanded by Taller Mauricio Rocha, who created a dialogue between the landscape, topography, and architecture.

14 – SMRITI VAN EARTHQUAKE MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM – Bhuj, India

Smriti Van Earthquake memorial and museum honors the victims of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake by celebrating resiliency, regeneration, and optimism. Designed by Rajeev Kathpalia, partner of Vastu Shilpa Consultants, the monument displays the names of the deceased while fostering biodiversity. The Memorial envisaged a renewal of the landscape and a tribute to the people.

15- SYDNEY MODERN PROJECT- Sydney, Australia

Studio SANAA’s expansion of the Art Gallery of New South Wales almost doubled the museum exposition space; the modern building contrasts with the existing art gallery’s 19th-century neo-classical architecture.

16- QUZHOU STADIUM- Quzhou, China

Ma Yansong from MAD Architects created an impressive stadium building in Quzhou, China. Unlike the typical stadium buildings, this one aims to be a continuation of the surrounding landscape and a piece of art to integrate the city. The exterior of the building reflects the mountain ridge and can be seen in the distance, evoking an Imaginarium scenario.

17 – MAP MUSEUM OF ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY – Bengaluru, India

Another incredible museum on the Work of Wonders list is the MAP – Museum of Art and Photography. Designed by Indian architects Soumitro Ghosh and Nisha Mathew, the building is spread across five floors and 4,089 sq m. The architects aimed to ensure an architectural structure robust enough to protect the artworks on display while remaining unobtrusive sufficient to give them a place of honor.

18- FONDAZIONE LUIGI ROVATI – Milan, Italy

The architectural firm Mario Cucinella redesigned a historical palazzo that is now an incredible showcase for the collection of Etruscan ceramics, bronzes, and gold works collected by the foundation Luigi Rovati.

19 – MUNCH – Oslo, Norway

Another incredible masterpiece to make this list worthy of a WOW reaction! The Munch Museum is one of the largest museums dedicated to a single artist, but it is not the only attribute that makes this museum stand out; its building is also impressive. Designed by the Spanish architectural firm Estudio Herreros, the tower-shaped museum has its exterior covered in recycled aluminum panels, shaping the landscape with its stunning futuristic aesthetic.

20 – MAISON OWL – Ube, Japan

Finishing the Work of Wonders list, we have the Maison Owl, an incredible cave restaurant envisioned by chef Motonori Hirata and architect Junya Ishigami. This outstanding construction wasn’t constructed but excavated out of the ground.

The Work of Wonders AD List brings different projects, but they all have something in common: the aim for a better world, highlighted in its choices and legacy. Each of these 20 fabulous projects can inspire to shape a beautiful world.

After discovering these Work of Wonders masterpieces, no other reaction is better to describe them than WOW! And now, you can keep this inspiration journey by exploring incredible top interior designs on our projects page.

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