Although it may appear that skyscrapers are all about "Who can build the tallest tower?", the Emporis Skyscraper Award is a reminder that fusing function and smart aesthetics are essential at any height. Since 2000, the Emporis Skyscraper Award highlights outstanding skyscraper design worldwide.
The top 10 projects alone in the latest edition indicate the stiff level of international competition that the prize attracts. The towering trio of skyscrapers that make up the Wangjing SOHO complex by Zaha Hadid Architects won first place, therefore becoming the first project in China to win the prestigious award. A few first-prize winners in recent years include Renzo Piano's The Shard in London (2013), the Absolute World Towers in Mississauga (2012), and Frank Gehry's 8 Spruce Street in New York City (2011).
Iconic buildings by Boeri Studio, SOM, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Foster + Partners, and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners also made the top-10 cut this time around.
Check 'em out right below.
1. Wangjing SOHO | Beijing, China
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Height: 200 m
"According to the developer the design of Wangjing SOHO was meant to evoke the image of Koi (Japanese carp), a traditional Chinese symbol of wealth, luck, health and happiness. The juxtaposition of the tower's fluid forms continuously changes when viewed from different directions; appearing as individual buildings in some views, or as a connected ensemble in others. The three underground parking floors include secure parking for 8,256 bicycles and showers for cyclists."
2. Bosco Verticale in Milan, Italy
Architect: Boeri Studio
Height: 105 m
"Irrigation of the plants and trees will be produced to great extent through the filtering and reuse of the grey waters produced by the building. The Bosco Verticale aids in the creation of a microclimate and in filtering the dust particles contained in the urban environment. Additionally Aeolian and photovoltaic energy systems will contribute, together with the aforementioned microclimate to increase the degree of energetic self sufficiency of the two towers."
3. Tour D2 | Courbevoie, France
Architects: Agence d'Architecture Anthony Béchu, ATSP
Height: 171 m
"The structure of the building is inspired by a fish trap. Thanks to the design and the choice of materials, it was possible to reduce material consumption by 30 percent, in comparison to other towers the same size. It's the first skyscraper with an external steel structure in La Défense."
4. One World Trade Center | New York City, New York
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Height: 541 m
"One World Trade Center has become the highest building in New York City by April 30, 2012. The tower's footprint is equal to that of each of the original Twin Towers. The tower has extra strong fireproofing whilst the air supply system incorporates chemical and biological filters; emergency stairs are extra-wide and pressurized"
5. The Leadenhall Building | London, UK
Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Height: 224 m
"The open space at the base rises to seven stories and contains trees and retail amenities. Each floor plate on the south side is stepped back by 0.75 meters from the one below, resulting in the distinctive wedge shape when viewed from the east and west. Of its 29 lifts, 22 are exterior, fully scenic glass elevators."
6. Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid | Abu Dhabi, UAE
Architect: Foster + Partners
Height: 382 m
"It is currently the tallest building in Abu Dhabi. The reflective, ventilated three-skin façade and the solar collectors on the top of the building generate a high level of energy efficiency and sustainability. A swimming pool on the 89th floor, as well as the terraced garden and gym on the 90th floor offer the ultimate bird’s-eye view of the city."
7. Soyak Kristal Kule | Istanbul, Turkey
Architects: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Has Mimarlik
Height: 169 m
"Top elevator speed is 7 meters per second. Due to the asymmetrical sloping surfaces the tower is shaped like a crystal. At street level the tower addresses a generous entry plaza on one side, while on the other it is joined to an extensive stone-clad base containing dining, conference, and gathering spaces above several levels of parking."
8. One57 | New York City, New York
Architects: Atelier Christian de Portzamparc, Frank Williams & Partners
Height: 306 m
"The use of dark and light glass on the building’s exterior creates vertical stripes, while also manipulating sunlight and maximizing views. Walls of glass provide unobstructed views of Central Park and Midtown Manhattan. As of January 2015, it is home to the most expensive residence ever sold in New York City."
9. Infinity | Brisbane, Australia
Architect: DBI Design
Height: 248 m
"It is currently the tallest residential building in Brisbane, Australia. The unique façade adopts effective architectural elements such as contrasting vertical and horizontal strips."
10. KKR Tower | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Architect: GDP Architects
Height: 175 m
"The project includes sustainable strategies, like rainwater harvesting and energy-efficient fittings. The building has 10-circular columns slanting in two directions, mirrored at two sides of the tower, whose radius decreases upwards. Hence the tower curves inward towards centre levels then outward towards roof. The green terrace on the roof is covered by a louvered canopy with 50% open glazing."
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