2010 Year End -- Architecture
There's no getting around it: It was a lump-of-coal-in-the-stocking kind of year in architecture pretty much from beginning to end. Firms continued to cut back their staffs. New work was excruciatingly hard to find. Oh, and the roof caved in at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill's Metrodome in Minneapolis.
Still, the field adapted, as it always does. As I point out in this retrospective essay, the slowdown provided some chances to assess the architecture of the boom years and the effects on the profession of the recent credit crunch, which has put so many projects on ice.
And as this list shows, the high points of the year came mostly not in expensive new buildings -- there were simply too few of those to fill an entire top 10 -- but in museum exhibitions, installations and events like CicLAvia, which gave Angelenos a new way of looking at the built environment here.
Here's hoping for a sunnier 2011, with at least a few more construction cranes back in action.
Photo from the top 10: Frank Gehry's Luo Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. Credit: Isaac Brekken / For The Times.