The public sector fairy tale is well and truly over - but that doesn’t mean that work in 2011 will completely dry up. Here are five of the most exciting projects of the year ahead.

2012 Olympics

2011 is the year when the London 2012 Olympic Games become a tangible, physical reality. Hopkins’ velodrome is set to be the first of the “Big Five” permanent venues to finish, with others, including Zaha Hadid’s aquatics centre, set to complete shortly afterwards.

Hepworth Wakefield

Chipperfield has won plaudits for his cultural buildings in both Europe and the US. Yet such accolades may finally come closer to home when the new Hepworth Wakefield art gallery opens this spring. The interlocking trapezoidal blocks, inspired by the city’s industrial heritage, are already a distinctive feature of Wakefield’s urban landscape.

Westfield Stratford

If you thought Westfield White City was big, wait until Westfield Stratford City opens. The 2 million ft2 mega-structure will be the largest inner-city shopping centre in Europe when it opens in September. Along with the Olympics, it is the most visible commercial product of the huge urban regeneration plan for what was formerly one of London’s most deprived areas. It straddles the edge of the London 2012 Olympic park and will benefit from its location at the interchange of a new high-speed international transport network.

Rothschild’s Bank HQ, London

Rothschild’s Bank’s new headquarters in the City of London is the first UK building designed by radical Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his Rotterdam-based Office for Metropolitan Architecture - and one of the most high profile buildings of the year. Although it is scheduled to complete in the summer, the slender glass boxes of Koolhaas’ new offices can already be seen above the surrounding roofscape. With Jean Nouvel’s recently completed One New Change, it marks the City’s often controversial willingness to promote provocative contemporary commercial architecture.

Museum of Transport, Glasgow

Hot on the heels of her Stirling prize success, Zaha Hadid’s Museum of Transport in Glasgow promises to keep her firmly in the spotlight. Many will be keen to see if Hadid’s first-built UK museum project can repeat the success of her scintillating Maxxi in Rome. Her trademark swooping geometries and dynamic forms are already visible as the building rises from the banks of the Clyde. But like Maxxi, it is the interior’s ability to reconcile the architect’s visceral conceptualism with the functional requirements of museum design that will determine its success.