We wrote hundreds upon hundreds of stories about the built world around us this year — ranging from the discovery of how Egypt really built its pyramids, to a tour of the building where NYC’s poop goes. Odds are good you didn’t see every last one, so take a look at the best of the year.
An ancient engineering mystery, solved.
You can see it from all over LA — but a complicated opera involving locals, environmentalists, Google, and the city is making it tougher to actually find it.
Where New York City’s Poop Goes
NYC’s sewage infrastructure is both gross and magical, as Nick Stango found out this year first hand.
Where do all your idiotic Facebook photos from 2004 live? They live in this carefully-constructed, remarkably-engineered nowhere.
That Time Cleveland Released 1.5 Million Balloons and Chaos Ensued
If you don’t remember this happening, you probably weren’t born yet. Because you’d remember. It was UTTER CHAOS.
Tracking Brooklyn’s Rapid-Fire Gentrification With Google Street View
You knew it was changing, but until Ashley Feinberg compared just a few years of Google Street View, you might not have realised quite how much.
Your lame college-era Philip Johnson phase was so much worse than you think.
The experts weigh in on what would happen if the Stay Puft giant from Ghostbusters actually attacked.
This Superhero Train Keeps New York City’s Subway Safe
A story about planning, technology, and the slow crush of a geological inevitability.
It’s still possible to keep a building secret in Manhattan, but we got a tour anyways — Nick Stango managed to get inside the anonymous building where cell service is being pushed into subway stations.
NASA’s been under fire for spending so much money on projects and infrastructure that’s useless to it these days. One exception: Orion. Sarah Zhang explains why it’s a crucial moment.
Earlier this year, we got to descend into one of the city’s biggest infrastructure projects — these are the images we brought back.
This year Frank Gehry — now 85 — finally claims his rightful title as architecture’s top crotchety old man. And that’s a competitive category!
Lead image by Axel de Stampa, who GIF’d a number of great buildings this year.