11. Guggenheim, Hans Hollein
Location: Salzburg, Austria
Winner of an international competition in Salzburg, the proposal of Hollein stood out from the rest of the entries with its eccentric approach to the site. Designed on a huge rock formation, symbolic of Salzburg’s scenic landscape, the museum was enclosed completely in the rock, allowing light to penetrate from a central void and well-positioned skylights. With no visible facades, the unbuilt museum presents to this day a muse of its kind for various designs.
12. Bangkok HyperBuilding, OMA/ Rem Koolhaas
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
A leader on visionary designs, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture launched the theoretical project to tackle the concerns of 21st-century architecture and urbanism. Wildly-knit buildings and systems reach one kilometer in height to accommodate over 120,000 people. A sort of mega-neighborhood, the design intends to function as a self-contained city. With train elevators and cable cars, the cutting edge concept integrates all city functions and services, encouraging people to travel less while still enjoying an abundance of green spaces.
13. The Spiral, Daniel Libeskind
Location: London, England
The extension to the Victoria and Albert Museum, proposed by Libeskind, is still one of the most provocative projects to stupify Londoners. Conceived on a historic street of 19th-century architecture, the chaotic play of volumes stood out unapologetically from its context, keeping its legacy to this day, even with being unbuilt.
14. The Scottish Parliament, Richard Meier, and Partners architects
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
The proposal for the new Scottish parliament is an unbuilt example of the architectural finesse displayed by the architect through his projects. Encompassing four built forms, the project established a new relationship between the volumes, allowing flow and transparency as the leading features of the whole complex.
15. Fourth Grace, Will Alsop
Location: Liverpool, England
Taking its name from the adjacent historic buildings, known as ‘the three graces’, the design was part of the development plan for Liverpool, the European capital for culture 2008 bid. Winning against renowned architects like Foster and partners, the proposal incorporated residential areas, offices, and a cloud-like museum. It is said that the project was dropped due to being too provocative to public opinion.
16. Shimizu Mega City Pyramid, Shimizu Corporation
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Conceived to accommodate 1 million people, the avant-garde pyramid was destined to become the largest man-made structure. But as today’s materials are not capable of bearing construction of this scale, the conceptual project bets on the invention of a strong, yet lightweight material.
17. Dubai Opera House, Zaha Hadid
Location: Dubai, UAE
Designed as a new Opera house and cultural center for performing arts, the Project was located in the new Seven Pearls district in Dubai. The design was unprecedented in its fluidity and flow around Dubai. One bold dune-like structure houses the diverse functions of the program while conveying the most seamless connection with the surrounding landscape.
18. The Crystal Island, Norman Foster
Location: Moscow, Russia
Conceived as the largest building in the world, the tower was to cover a floor area of 2,5 million square meters. A diverse mix of amenities along with two viewing platforms would have been enough to turn this ambitious design into a daily destination to all of Moscow. However, as the economic recession hit, the project had to be canceled.
19. Nakheel Tower, Woods Bagot
Location: Dubai, UAE
Destined to become the highest concrete structure in the world, The Nakheel tower took its inspiration from Islamic design features and virtues to become a true emblematic sign of Dubai’s inclusivity, excellence, and unstoppable growth. The concept of the complex was to incubate the world’s first inner-harbor, along with lavishing residential and office spaces.
20. M+ Museum, Shigeru Ban
Location: Hong Kong, China
The shortlisted design stood out for its unique approach to connectivity and sustainability. The star shape of the building allowed for several five operable facades, providing a continuous flow between interior and exterior. Even though it did not win the competition, the project remains a valuable architectural contribution.