Slovenian chapel and Abu Dhabi hotel find common ground

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The Independent Online

Leading architecture site ArchDaily has released its Buildings of the Year 2009, which feature prominent works such as the Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi, but also more surprising projects such as a 'farewell chapel' in Slovenia.

The buildings - all featured on the site last year - were nominated from thousands of submissions by readers of the blog, before ArchDaily chose the final winners.

Housing: Mountain Dwellings / Copenhagen, Denmark

Designed by BIG & JDS (

Copenhagen-based BIG architects' apartments have living space, including roof gardens, built on top of parking lots. "Rather than doing two separate buildings next to each other - a parking and a housing block - we decided to merge the two functions into a symbiotic relationship."

Educational: Yapi Kredi Bank Academy / Istanbul, Turkey

Designed by TEGET (

The Academy Building, an addition to an existing complex designed by British architect John McAslan, was honored for introducing "a focal point to an otherwise non-hierarchical organization via a pair of scaleless copper beams extending out to the landscape."

Houses: House of Ruins (Drupas) / Saka, Latvia

Designed by NRJA (

This house, which used existing ruins to house a new habitat, already won the Grand Prix for the Latvian Architecture Prize (2005), the Best Technology Award at the Interior Digest Magazine (outstanding implementation of a project using contemporary construction, constructive and electronic technologies, 2006) and was nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award (2007).

Institutional: Huanacu Warehouse & Office / Santiago, Chile

Designed by tFPS (

Local architecture students didn't let a limited budget and a warehouse brief keep them from designing stunning architecture.

Offices: Manitoba Hydro / Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Designed by KPMB Architects (

This new headquarters of one of Canada's biggest electricity utilities is the "first of the next generation of sustainable buildings integrating time-tested environmental concepts in conjunction with advanced technologies to achieve a "living building" that dynamically responds to the local climate," says ArchDaily.

Public Facilities: National Tourist Route Trollstigen / Romsdalen - Geiranger Fjord, Norway

Designed by RRA (

Designed to enhance the experience of one of Norway's most prominent tourist attractions, this site is reflecting the characteristics of the surrounding landscape.

Refurbishment: 55 Blair Road / Singapore

Designed by Ong & Ong (

According to the jury, "this residence brings a balance between nature and contemporary living in a renovation of an Art Deco style terrace."

Religious: Farewell Chapel / Krasnja, Slovenia

Designed by OFIS Arhitekti (

This chapel near Ljubljana cuts into the landscape, following the existing lines of the surrounding graveyard.

Sports: Zamet Centre / B. Vidas Street, Zamet, Rijeka, Croatia

Designed by 3LHD (

The sports center connects its facilities to public spaces such as the nearby park.

Museums & Libraries: Safe Haven Library / Ban Tha Song Yang, Thailand

Designed by TYIN Tegnestue (

Norwegian architecture students designed this library for a Thai orphanage using rocks and other material found on-site.

Cultural: BTEK - Technology Inspiration Center / Derio, Bizkaia, Spain

Designed by ACXT (

The exhibition space on one of the highest points of the Vizcaya Technology Park and close to the Bilbao airport helps making the building a landmark in its landscape.

Interiors: Bastard Store /Milan, Italy

Designed by studiometrico (

The architects converted an old cinema into the new flagship store of the skater brand, including a ramp.

Hotels & Restaurants: The Yas Hotel / Abu Dhabi, UAE

Designed by Asymptote (

One of the main architectural features of the multi-billion-dollar Yas Marina project in Abu Dhabi, the Yas Hotel is maybe the most prominent building included in the ranking.