Looking Back: Architecture

Irene Cheng looks back over a year in which – despite some masterly
exceptions – discusssions about architecture were more prevalent than
great new buildings

After the architectural annus mirabilis of 2005 – a year that saw the
completion of such jaw-dropping buildings as Herzog and de Meuron’s De
Young Museum in San Francisco, Office of Metropolitan Architecture’s
Casa da Música in Porto, Massimiliano Fuksas’ Milan Trade Fair and Zaha
Hadid’s Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg – 2006 might have seemed like
a letdown. None of the year’s most earnest aspirants to monumental
immortality – Daniel Libeskind’s blustery Denver Art Museum, UN Studio’s
over-hyped Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart or Jean Nouvel’s
uncharacteristically cumbersome Musée du Quai Branly, Paris – manages to
elevate the heart rate much.