5 of our favorite projects that opened in 2017
Every year brings with it the completion of another new structure that changes the character of our landscapes. In the months and years leading up to 2017, construction crews and those watching them awaited the opening of these five projects across North America. Take a look at some of our favorite structures that opened this year.
1. Apple Park
Apple's new 2.8-million-square-foot campus in Cupertino, CA, is no less revolutionary than the company's original iPhone was at the time of its introduction. Likely costing upwards of $5 billion, the circular main building has been likened to a "spaceship" due to its futuristic design. The campus opened its doors in April, but crews are still putting some finishing touches on the surrounding landscape.
2. Wilshire Grand Center
Started in 2014, the 73-story, mixed-use building now is the nation's tallest building west of the Mississippi River. The 1,100-foot-high tower features a sail-shaped, sloping roof anchoring a 284-foot spire with programmable LED lights. Opened in June, the downtown Los Angeles development tops the previous record-holder — U.S. Bank Tower — by more than 80 feet.
3. Mercedes-Benz Stadium
After a few fits and starts, the Atlanta Falcons' highly anticipated stadium finally opened to players and their audience in August. While the stadium is now being used by the Falcons and professional soccer team Atlanta United, project teams haven't quite worked out problems with the the $1.5 billion arena's most unique feature — an Oculus-inspired retractable roof. The eight-panel roof has been project teams' greatest source of frustration. Although officials had hoped the structure would be able to open and close smoothly by the start of this year's NFL season, unresolved issues with the roof's retraction have forced officials to leave it closed for the remainder of 2017.
4. Brock Commons Tallwood House
For now, the 18-story residence hall at Vancouver, Canada's University of British Columbia holds the title of the world's tallest wood building. Opened in July, the $39 million tower represents a growing trend toward tall wood construction, as contractors look for new ways to cut costs and time spent on a project. Brock Commons' 17 wood floors (above the ground-level podium) were constructed in just nine weeks, using only a six-person crew.
5. Google's "Pearl Place" campus
The online giant joins a growing list of tech companies expanding their capacity with new high-tech campuses. Google's new $131 million Boulder, CO, campus isn't quite finished — but the company expects to start the move-in process next month. Totaling 330,000 square feet of office space and underground parking, December's Phase 1 completion will see the first two of Google's three new office buildings open their doors to its 700-plus employees there. Fitting for its environment, the development is expected to meet the minimum criteria for LEED Gold certification.
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