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Sixteen of the biggest CLAD stories of 2016

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London South Bank University
£31,396 to £34,557, inclusive of £4,952 London Weighting
location: Southwark Campus, United Kingdom
Bolton Arena
£Competitive + pension + benefits
location: Bolton, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
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£56,107.80 - £63,165.86pa + benefits
location: Dunfermline, Scotland, United Kingdom
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Before looking ahead at some of the most exciting projects and exhibitions of 2017 we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on some of the CLAD stories that particularly caught the imagination of our readers 2016.

Our brief – to cover all aspects of leisure architecture, design, investment and development, from sport to spa, hospitality to museums and urban regeneration to health and fitness – were mirrored in the range of the most popular stories over the year, sixteen of which are listed below.

Moby says ‘comfort isn’t always photogenic’

“2016

Musician and restaurateur Moby caused a stir in September when he told CLAD that "literally sleeping in a dumpster would have been more comfortable” than a stay in the minimalist Madrid hotel room designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. His wider point – that too many designers consider how their space will look on photographs rather than the comfort it provides users – split people down the middle, and the debate is still raging online. Moby’s vegan restaurant Little Pine was profiled in the Q3 issue of CLADmag.

A unique tribute to David Bowie

“2016

The world mourned in January following the death of music icon David Bowie. Of the millions of tributes that flowed in from around the world, one seemed particularly fitting for the man who created Ziggy Stardust and penned Life on Mars and Starman. Belgian radio station Studio Brussels and astronomers from the MIRA public observatory teamed up to grant Bowie his own constellation. They registered seven stars that shine in the shape of Ziggy's iconic lightning bolt.

Peter Zumthor reveals his vision for LACMA

“2016

In October, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor told CLAD about how his new home for the LA County Museum of Art (LACMA) will provide visitors with a “sacred, sublime kind of experience.” As well as explaining his vision for the high-profile project, Zumthor also revealed that he didn’t like the "commercial-looking" visualisations released to showcase the project.

Big Lebowski house to become a museum

“2016

LACMA featured again in this popular story about how James Goldstein, the owner of the US$40m luxury house famous for its role in 1998 comedy The Big Lebowski, has donated the property to the museum with the intention of turning it into a museum and example of creativity within architecture. "Los Angeles should represent a city that's contemporary and moving into the future," he said. "I want people to build houses in a way that hasn't been done before; moving into the future instead of the past. I hope my house is an inspiration for that."

Ma Yansong hits out at architectural conservatism

“2016

Conservatism should not be allowed to stifle the creation of beautiful and boundary-pushing buildings, the boundary-pushing principal of MAD Architects, Ma Yansong, told CLAD in an exclusive interview. Ma’s rallying cry for “the buildings around us to be more elegant,” struck a chord with readers, and this was one of CLAD's biggest stories of 2016.

Work begins on Seoul’s garden in the sky

“2016

A busy overpass next to Seoul's central train station has been closed as construction takes shape on a new city skygarden designed by Dutch architects MVRDV – a project that received a lot of interest in 2016. The 938m long (3,077ft) public park – featuring cafés, flower shops, street markets, libraries and greenhouses – will follow the overpass across the city and takes inspiration from New York’s High Line.

The world’s first biophilic gym opens

“2016

Biophilic architecture is a fast-growing trend, and a number of CLAD stories exploring innovative projects inspired by the model have been popular. Chief among these was our recent story about Biofit, a new pop-up concept whose creators claim it is the “the world’s first biophilic gym”. Landscape architect Lily Jencks was given a brief to “bring the outside world indoors” for the site, where gym-goers can work out amid natural vegetation, colours, materials, shapes, scents and sounds.

Graphene to be used as ‘smart wallpaper’

“2016

A number of our product and technology stories were particularly popular in 2016. Chief among them was this story about the British scientists who have discovered how graphene – the nanometre-thin material with remarkable electrical conductivity and mechanical strength – could be applied in buildings as ‘smart wallpaper’ to generate electricity from waste light or heat. Remarkably, the technology is inspired by the light-sensitive eyes of moths.

Philippe Starck and Lenny Kravitz join forces for hotel design

“2016

Designer Philippe Starck, music icon Lenny Kravitz and architecture studio Gensler have come together to design a stylish new hotel in Las Vegas; a project that caught the imagination of design and music-lovers alike. The starry team have reimagined the 289 guest rooms of the SLS Las Vegas tower, creating a “cheekily luxurious” design.

Bjarke Ingels designs first stadium

“2016

After months of speculation, in March National Football League (NFL) franchise the Washington Redskins finally confirmed architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) will design its new home, and unveiled the first details of the project. Described by the Redskins as “a new stadium concept”, BIG’s creation – a transparent wave-like structure wrapped in a golden metal mesh – is designed with a particular focus on how it will be used on non-match days throughout the year for cultural events. The design is particularly noteworthy for its moat, which is crossed by bridges and can be used by kayakers and ice skaters.

Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay gets postmodern museum complex

“2016

A vast collection of historical artefacts telling the story of northern Vietnam through the ages has been put on public display in a bold new museum in the country’s famous Ha Long Bay. Finally completed after years in development, the museum is formed by three enormous black-clad blocks, whose reflective walls mirror the famous limestone karsts located in the bay behind.

Is Parasitic architecture the future of placemaking?

“2016

A simple yet radical scheme to introduce low-cost housing to dense cities provoked a conversation about how to create placemaking in our urban environments. French studio Stéphane Malka Architecture have created prefabricated living spaces which lean on and extend from existing buildings in Paris, cantilevering over streets at unusual angles. The concept – nicknamed ‘parasitic architecture’ – is proposed as an environmentally-friendly and economical solution to creating living space in urban areas short of space for new developments.

Santiago Calatrava designs world’s new tallest building

“2016

In April, Santiago Calatrava’s futuristic Tower design for Dubai was unveiled, with developer Emaar Properties confirming it will be “a notch taller’ than the Burj Khalifa. According to reports in Dubai, the structure will be built at a cost of US$1bn, exceed 828m (2,700ft) in height and form a spire supported by an intricate network of cables.

Emre Arolat reimagines the art gallery

“Spa"

Turkish studio EAA-Emre Arolat Architecture caused a stir with their imaginative new home for some of Turkey's most important art works inside a renovated warehouse which has been stripped of its floors and walls. The design team have retained the concrete structure of an abandoned dockland building, which will become a structural grid supporting large overhanging containers within which 15,000 art works will be displayed.

Buddy Holly inspires Canadian concert hall

“2016

Canadian practice Diamond Schmitt Architects have released design details for a new arts complex in Texas inspired by the legendary 1950s pop star Buddy Holly. The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences will be located in the city of Lubbock, where the singer was born – where it will be a new home for rock concerts, operas, ballets and touring Broadway shows, as well as large-scale social and community events.

MVRDV celebrate rock and roll

“2016

Denmark’s Museum of Rock Music opened in April in the city of Roskilde, with a typically eye-catching design by Dutch architects MVRDV – making their second appearance on this list. The building channels Mick Jagger, David Bowie and other flamboyant figures from the history of rock music with a textured, spiky golden facade and plush deep red interiors. MVRDV co-founder Jacob van Rijs told CLAD: “The building is like a singer standing on top of a stage; the frontman in a band. We thought about how you transfer rock music into architecture and we were inspired by the studs of a belt, leather jackets, velvet music cases, red carpets and so on.” The design was conceived as a statement, and our story about the project attracted thousands of views.

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Before looking ahead at some of the most exciting projects and exhibitions of 2017 we thought we’d take a moment to look back on some of the CLADglobal stories that particularly caught the imagination of our readers 2016.
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