Surveying the last 12 issues, RECORD editors present a dozen “class favorites”—the best projects of the year, split among a smattering of superlatives. Flip through our top picks, including office, retail, lighting, humanitarian, and mixed-use projects, and read more about each one by clicking the building name.
Most Likely to Succeed (Offices)
3XN Offices | 3XN Architects | Copenhagen, Denmark
Architects' offices demonstrate a sensitivity to the historic setting in which they are located.
Facebook Building 20 | Gehry Partners | Menlo Park, California
Channeling Facebook's startup culture, Frank Gehry creates a mammoth, vibrant warehouse for the social-media company.
Best Dressed (Retail)
Taschen | Taschen Design Team | Milan
A renowned publisher curates the design of his imprint's first Milanese bookshop, creating an intimate salon that celebrates style.
Valentino | David Chipperfield Architects | New York City
An Italian sense of craft and detail is brought to New York City's major shopping street by David Chipperfield's design for Valentino.
Brightest Bulb (Lighting)
Fondation Vincent van Gogh | Fluor Architecture | Arles, France
Fluor Architecture's renovation of a 15th century building for the Fondation Vincent van Gogh d'Arles exploits the city's brilliant sunlight.
Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz | Max Dudler Architect, Licht Kunst Licht | Leipzig
Sixty feet under the inner city of Leipzig, the architect created the impression that this public space is flooded with daylight.
Most Likely to Save the World (Humanitarian)
THREAD: Artists' Residence & Cultural Center | Sinthian, Senegal | Toshiko Mori Architect
A light-filled artists' residence in a remote Senegalese village encourages dialogue while serving its community.
GHESKIO Cholera Treatment Center | MASS Design Group | Port-au-Prince, Haiti
A small project with a big program sets a holistic design standard for health care in Haiti.
Konokono Vaccination Center | SelgasCano | Turkana, Kenya
A desert clinic shifts notions about traditional materials and becomes a gathering place for a nomadic population.
Biggest Overachiever (Mixed-Use and Community Centers)
One Central Park | Ateliers Jean Nouvel | Sydney
With a dramatic cantilever and carefully coordinated sets of mirrors, a design team brings sunlight into a new development in Sydney.
Muckleshoot Smokehouse | Mahlum | Auburn, Washington
A communal space celebrates a Native American tribe's identity and helps keep age-old rituals alive.
Head in the Clouds (Tallest)
Shanghai Tower | Gensler | Shanghai
China's tallest building puts a new spin on high-rise design and asserts itself in a cluster of giants.