A+Finalist Spotlight: Black Is the New Black

Architects are notoriously unafraid of the dark, at least when it comes to personal style. Black-rimmed glasses, black shawl-collar jumpers, black coffee… we have forever been associated with the timelessness of obsidian hues, and even the odd splash of vibrant color won’t deter us: Black will never go out of fashion, and many of this year’s A+Award finalists have utilized it in dynamic and dramatic ways.

The Angry Architect The Angry Architect

Public voting for the 2015 A+Awards is now open, which means that YOU have the power to select the very best architecture in the world. With the A+Awards, recognizing the best projects is no longer domain of a small group of judges — everyone gets a say in who will be crowned victorious in over 90 categories, and your opinion counts! There are only two days left to vote, so check out all of the finalists and make your voice heard!

Architects are notoriously unafraid of the dark, at least when it comes to personal style. Black-rimmed glasses, black shawl-collar jumpers, black coffee… we have forever been associated with the timelessness of obsidian hues, and even the odd splash of vibrant color won’t deter us: Black will never go out of fashion, and many of this year’s A+Award finalists have utilized it in dynamic and dramatic ways.

Here are seven projects that employ magnificent midnight shades — peruse the collection, and don’t forget to back your favorites with a vote!

Wild Turkey Bourbon Visitor Center by De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop
Category: Retail

This extension to the Wild Turkey Bourbon Distillery complex is a modern take on the traditional forms of Kentucky tobacco barns in the area. The building is clad with a chevron pattern of black stained wood planks, creating a louvered skin that shifts from solid to permeable as you move around it.

837 Washington by MORRIS ADJMI ARCHITECTS
Category: Office – Mid Rise (5–15 Floors)

The bold, black steel frame of this office block in Manhattan has been manipulated to create an unexpected landmark adjacent to New York’s classic post-industrial park, the High Line. The I-Beams are designed to reference the area’s industrial heritage, but with a modern twist… quite literally.

MODERNest House 3by MODERNest
Category: Architecture +Self Initiated Projects

This contemporary residence in Toronto is wrapped in black stained timber, which provides a modern aesthetic while respecting the local vernacular. The orientation of the boards is varied across the exterior, creating a textured patchwork surface that breaks up the building volume.

Guthrie Transportation Museum & Welcome Center by De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop
Category: Architecture +Preservation

This pair of historic brick storefronts was carefully renovated to house a new transport museum in Kentucky. The textured patina of the old buildings is offset with dark steel beams and black timber walls internally, contrasting with exhibition spaces illuminated with colored lighting.

Office in Forest / Aquaplanet headquarters building by SUGAWARADAISUKE
Office – Low Rise (1–4 Floors)

This office space in Matsusaka, Japan, appears as a black box into which bright white voids have been carved. The volume forms a bold silhouette in the evening, framing brightly lit internal spaces like a luxury display case.

Scott and Scott Studio by Scott & Scott Architects
Category: Architecture +Self Initiated Projects

This historic former butcher shop and grocery store in Vancouver was renovated to form a new architecture studio. Practice founders Susan and David Scott created a simple volume clad with black stained fir plywood, in contrast with the warm, natural hues of Douglas fir on the interior.

Veil at The Glass House by Fujiko Nakaya
Category: Architecture +Art

How do you lend a new atmosphere to a black classic? Fujiko Nakaya did it with mist, producing an ethereal setting in which Philip Johnson’s iconic Glass House appears to levitate upon a cloud in the twilight.


Other colors are available: Check out all of the 2015 A+Awards finalists and vote for your favorites!

© MarkSobczak

The Nomadic Museum // Simon Velez : GIGAGRASS

Cuauhtémoc, Mexico City, Mexico

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Two projects, unveiled on the same day last week, shed light on some of the issues that contemporary architects face, from the beginning of a project to the end. They couldn’t be more high-profile yet they also couldn’t be more different in their origins and public reception. But something tells us that both projects are…

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