In February, Beijing Capital International Airport (en.bcia.com.cn) unveiled its new state-of-the-art Terminal 3, designed by Foster & Partners. It’s a building of superlatives: the world’s largest passenger terminal—covering more than 3.73 million square feet. It is also passenger-friendly, with a double-Y-shaped structure designed to minimize walking distances, and illuminated skylights that help travelers navigate the massive structure, phasing from yellow at the gates to red in the central terminal building.
On March 27, the long-awaited Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport (heathrowairport.com) opens, consolidating all British Airways operations. Designed by Richard Rogers, the $8 billion terminal is one of Europe’s biggest building projects, and completing it involved diverting two rivers, tunneling beneath active runways, and extending the Piccadilly and Heathrow Express tube and rail lines. The airy structure—inspired by London’s great railway stations—rises under a vaulted 130-foot-tall roof with towering glass walls.
Legendary Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer turned 100 in December, but hitting the century mark hasn’t slowed him down. His newest design, the 400-seat Teatro Popular, in Niterói, is part of an eight-building cultural complex overlooking Guanabara Bay and Rio that will include a new ferry terminal, the Museum of Brazilian Cinema, and—fittingly—the Oscar Niemeyer Foundation.
Robert A.M. Stern Architects led a speedy eight-month renovation of the Kaufman Center (kaufman-center.org) music school and its star attraction, Merkin Concert Hall, which reopened in January. Stern tweaked architect Ashok Bhavnani’s original 1978 design, brightening up a grim Brutalist façade by replacing rusty metal panels with translucent glass. Behind-the-scenes improvements include a quieter ventilation system that enhances the intimate hall’s fine acoustics.
In February, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) director Michael Govan presided over the opening of the first phase of an ambitious 10-year renovation and expansion of lacma’s 20-acre campus on Wilshire Boulevard. The Broad Contemporary Art Museum, a $56 million building funded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad and designed by Renzo Piano, adds 60,000 square feet for postwar art. The three-story pavilion, clad in Italian travertine with a bright-red open-air escalator, holds six loftlike galleries. The inaugural exhibition showcases roughly 200 works from the Broad’s collection (lacma.org). —Raul Barreneche