The chosen works vary broadly in terms of scale and function as well as in style and spirit, but all represent a unique vision. Some are exercises in formmaking pyrotechnics. Case in point: Zaha Hadid’s splendidly curvaceous cultural center in Baku, Azerbaijan (pictured). Others, like the minimalist open-air pavilion by Foster + Partners in Marseille, France, are sublime studies in simplicity. Inventiveness prevails, perhaps nowhere more strikingly than in Aedas’s twin Abu Dhabi skyscrapers, whose smart façades adjust to changing light conditions. And underlying all these edifices is a deep connection to place, with each design sensitively responding to its locale’s history and aesthetic traditions. To be sure, there are other spectacular new buildings—far more than could possibly fit in our pages. Consider this sample a reflection of the times, a celebration of ingenuity, and a reminder of architecture’s power to inspire.