Last year saw some monumental developments. Here in Asia, the topping-out of Shenzhen's Ping An Finance Centre has altered the city's skyline and redefined the world map of tall buildings. Further afield, there's the recently opened Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, while the spaceship-like Apple Park imagined by Norman Foster in California lifted off in April. Closer to home, The Murray opened at the end of the year in Hong Kong; what was once a government office building is now an upscale hotel.
There have been some other surprises: the small Spanish studio RCR Arquitectes' winning of the Pritzker Prize, for instance. The practice, which is not well known, has challenged the organisation's tradition of celebrating reputed designers, and Carme Pigem of the winning trio is only the third woman to receive the accolade. Is the architectural world finally giving more credit to creativity, not just popularity, and will this provide more momentum for women designers? Of course, the bigger question is who will win this year. We talk to Martha Thorne, the executive director of the prize, about the process of nomination. We also gaze into our crystal ball and suggest some winners. The announcement will be made in March.
What's perhaps more important is that the profession of architecture should be all about creativity and fun, especially when it comes to the stories of the people behind all that concrete and steel. Take Perspective's recent event, the A&D Trophy Awards. Three hundred industry professionals and business leaders made the night one of the most memorable of the year. As a token of our appreciation, this year's first issue is dedicated to you – the men and women behind the stories. Within these pages are conversations with inspirational creatives and entrepreneurs.
What will 2018 offer? There are several exciting projects in the pipeline: China's tallest tower-to-be, Wuhan Greenland Centre (which will be the world's second tallest building when completed), a new V&A museum in Dundee, Scotland, and the 3 World Trade Center in New York.
We look forward to these and other landmark projects, and wish you all a wonderful New Year.