Best of CH 2008: Top Five Buildings

Though much of the architectural world focused on massive undertakings at the Summer Olympics, Beijing didn't have a monopoly on the creative buildings of 2008. Of the many structures that graced Cool Hunting's bandwidth this year, a handful stood out from the pack.


Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center
Recently opened at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, the EMPAC fuses the best aspects of the arts, science and technology. The building—which features a theater, concert hall and audio/video production studios—is meant to foster creative pursuits among artists, visiting scholars, researchers, engineers and designers. Designed by the British firm, Grimshaw, the EMPAC's eye-catching exterior and curved-cedar core are a sight to behold.

Image via deebee | photography.


East Beach Cafe
British designer Thomas Heatherwick took a site-specific approach with this beachside eatery. Looking more like oversized flotsam than a business, the East Beach Cafe has made a a serious tourist destination out of the sleepy English town of Littlehampton.


Taking the concept of adaptive reuse to new heights, Dutch architect Trude Hooykaas used an old dock to create a modern office building. The cantilevered glass exterior both allow occupants to regulate temperatures and reduces heating and cooling costs.


Portland's Clinton Condominiums
Situated in a tony corner of Southeast Portland, the Clinton Condominiums take the place of a former industrial building. The building's minimal interiors combine attractive design with eco-consciousness in a way that's right at home in the Pacific Northwest.


Abilmo Pop-Up Hotel Rooms
Though they measure a paltry 130 square feet, these mobile hotel rooms include everything necessary for a night's stay, from bed to bathroom facilities. Heavily insulated for both temperature and noise, the Abilmo rooms can make almost any environment habitable.