Best Cultural Space
National Opera House
Oslo, Norway. Designed by Snøhetta
With its sloping white-marble roof and delicate glass façade, Oslo’s National Opera House is a grand architectural statement—planting a flag for high culture on the Oslo waterfront—but more essentially it also creates a dramatic new public space in the heart of the city. The stone terraces run from the shore to the building, where they’re integrated into the roof of much of the complex, a series of steep, angled planes for adventurous pedestrians and pre-theater crowds.
New York City. Designed by Anurag Nema of Nema Worshop, in collaboration with Mark Thomas Amadeii
Built into the lower floors of a SoHo tenement, Delicatessen embraces New York City’s early-20th-century brick-and-mortar solidity, while imposing its own glamorous atmospherics. High-gloss materials and seductive lighting amplify dramatic skylight views of an interior courtyard; the urban landscape is incorporated into the restaurant—and transformed. Dinner for two $70.
From the Jury:
“Delicatessen is young and alive; it has wonderful style in an unpretentious way.” —Calvin Klein
Alberto Paredes/ Alamy
Madrid, Spain. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron
The self-confident wit—or is it the sheer brilliance?—of architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron is subtly yet unmistakably on display at CaixaForum Madrid, a building that seems to hover just above the street. This bit of architectural magic creates a natural entrance to the museum from the adjacent plaza and preserves the original façade of the 1901 electrical plant in the heart of Madrid. On top, a two- story addition in oxidized steel makes space for galleries and a café overlooking the Paseo del Prado.
Best Public Space
New York City. Designed by Perkins Eastman; concept by Choi Ropiha
In the heart of Times Square, amid the thronging crowds, neon lights, urgent billboards, and animated video screens—the cacophony of capitalism—the TKTS Booth has become a remarkable pedestrian destination, a small island of relative calm. Glowing red steps form the roof of the discount Broadway ticket outlet, an elevated grandstand from which to watch the world go by.
From the Jury:
“The TKTS booth invents public space where there was none before.” —Michael Bierut
Courtesy of Hotel Aire de Bardenas
Best Small Hotel
Hotel Aire de Bardenas
Tudela, Navarre, Spain. Designed by Emiliano López & Mónica Rivera Arquitectos
Single-story cubical structures set against an austere, windswept landscape in northeastern Spain: the Hotel Aire de Bardenas has the feel at first glance of a lunar encampment. But there is a familiar elegance here, a kind of recycled, modular minimalism that recalls the traditional buildings of this rural area, a semidesert environment next to a nature preserve. The serene, white-walled rooms are oriented to the outside—large windows offer spectacular views. Doubles from $175.
From the Jury:
“What is memorable about the Hotel Aire de Bardenas is the magical relationship between the building and its location.” —Edwina Von Gal