Top 10 Unusual Projects of 2018

For the end of the year, we've rounded up projects that are anything but ordinary. From the immersive to the transformative, here are our picks for the most unusual projects of 2018. 

Firm: John Pawson

Project: Jaffa

City: Tel Aviv

Standout: This 19th-century hospital was transformed into a luxury hotel. In this picture, the majestic former chapel enters the 21st century without sacrificing its former glory.

Firm: X+Living

Project: Hangzhou Neobio Family Park

City: Hangzhou

Standout: X+Living took Alice in Wonderland aesthetics and ran wild with them in this indoor play park and restaurant. The park was an honoree in the Entertainment category of our Best of Year Awards 2018.

Firm: Studio Modijefsky

Project: CityHub

City: Rotterdam

Standout: This hotel spans across three buildings, each with a different color scheme (yellow, pink, and blue). The intensity of each building's respective palette changes on each floor, making use of daylight to create contrast and visual drama.

Firm: Starbucks Coffee Japan

Project: Starbucks Coffee Kyoto Ninei-zaka Yasaka Chayaten

City: Kyoto

Standout: Ninei-zaka, a historic stone-paved street, seems like an unexpected place for a Starbucks, but this tourist-heavy neighborhood was the perfect spot for the coffee behemoth to set up shop.

Firm: The System Lab

Project: Healing Stay Kosmos

Site: Ulleungdo, South Korea

Standout: This remote, otherworldly resort is located on a volcanic island three hours from the South Korean mainland. Its sparse, organic aesthetics meld into the island's rugged landscape.

Firm: Wutopia Lab

Project: Aranya Kids’ Restaurant

City: Qinhuangdao

Standout: The amenity space was designed with a different vision than the typical brightly-hued child aesthetic: soap bubbles to play in, surrounded by dreamlike planetarium lights. The restaurant is the winner of the Kids' Zone category of our Best of Year Awards 2018.

Firm: Schemata Architects

Project: °C

City: Tokyo

Standout: The sleep pod hotel used to be a stop-by for business travelers, but now it's a drop-in sauna inspired by Finnish spa culture.

Firm: Marchi Architectes

Project: H33

City: Parigny

Standout: This two-level modular home in France was built solely to display and house the Symbioz, a self-driving electric car by Renault.

Firm: NBBJ

Project: The Spheres

City: Seattle

Standout: In an environment created for plants and people to thrive, this urban work space floats in a jungle of 40,000 plants. The Spheres is an honoree in the Green category of our Best of Year Awards 2018.

Firm: One Plus Partnership Limited

Project: Chow Thai Fook

City: Hong Kong

Standout: The jewelry store, wrapped in fuchsia like a gift box, features glass cases with dining-style seating to make for a more casual sales environment than the typical countertop. The store is an honoree in the Mid-Size Retail category of our Best of Year Awards 2018.

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