The world's sky-high buildings get a shot at being named as one of the CTBUH's Best Tall Buildings in their annual awards competition. The prestigious awards distinguish outstanding tall-building projects worldwide and the impact they have on inhabitants and their urban surroundings, as well as innovative design and construction methods that push the industry forward.
Out of 48 finalist projects representing 28 countries, 10 winners were selected. Awards were given in the regional categories as well as in Urban Habitat, Construction, Innovation, and 10 Year Awards. Out of the regional winners, Singapore's Oasia Hotel Downtown (which received the Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia Award) was crowned this year's Best Tall Building Worldwide.
Check out the category winners below!
Best Tall Building Worldwide + Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia Winner: Oasia Hotel Downtown
Project summary: The visually-striking Oasia Hotel Downtown stands out among the gray and blue high-rises of Singapore with its plant-covered façade of red and green. Landscaping is used extensively as an architectural surface treatment, and forms a major part of the development’s material palette, with a total of 54 species of plants climbing along the aluminum mesh façade screen. With a substantial commitment to outdoor communal space through the incorporation of “skyspaces” along its height, the tower provides respite and relief to its occupants, neighbors, and city.
Best Tall Building Americas Winner: American Copper Building
Project summary: The American Copper Buildings are located along the edge of New York City’s East River. Clad in copper on the north and south façades, the color and refractive qualities of the towers will patina gracefully over time, shifting from a russet brown to a signature blue-green throughout the years. Perhaps the most conspicuous structural element is the three-story skybridge connecting the East and West towers, which creates intriguing corner spaces and provides residents with a unique way to appreciate their home.
Best Tall Building Europe Winner: The Silo
The Silo was transformed from a grain container in the formerly industrial Nordhavn area of Copenhagen into a contemporary residential high-rise. The interior has been preserved as raw and untouched as possible, while a façade made of galvanized steel has been installed on the exterior of the former silo to create a climate shield.
Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa Winner: Zeitz MOCAA
Zeitz MOCAA represents the adaptive reuse of a massive grain storage and silo complex on the downtown waterfront of Cape Town, South Africa. The top portion of the taller building was transformed into a luxury hotel, while the bottom portion of the elevator building and the storage annex would become Africa’s first international museum dedicated to contemporary African art. From the outside, the greatest visible change to the original structure is the addition of glass windows inserted into the geometry, which by night transform the building into a glowing beacon on Table Bay.
Urban Habitat Award: The World Trade Center Master Plan
This project played a pivotal role in New York City's collective response to the 9/11 attacks. At the center of the space are two reflecting pools that deeply puncture the vast flat expanse of the plaza, forming empty vessels that delineate the location of the former towers. The design knits the site back into the urban fabric, allowing the site to be a living part of the city once again.
Innovation Award: MULTI
MULTI, the world’s first rope-less, multi-directional elevator, harnesses the power of linear motor technology to move multiple cars in a single shaft, vertically and horizontally. It requires fewer and smaller elevator shafts, and can thus increase a building’s lettable space by up to 25 percent. The introduction of a multi-directional elevator opens up infinite combinations of vertical and horizontal building design opportunities.
Construction Award: EY Centre
EY Centre employs a world-first timber-and-glass closed-cavity façade (CCF) system, made possible by innovation in digital technologies, that helps the building achieve impressive sustainability standards while creating an approachable office space for tenants. A team used a 3D-modeling platform to create an exact replica of the triangular timber soffit and awning, which could be meshed with as-built survey information to allow for prefabrication and high quality pre-assembly directly from the 3D models.
10 Year Award (2007 Completions): The New York Times Tower
The tower stands out with its distinctive grille of white ceramic brises-rods wrapping around the structure. These elements help the building achieve a high level of transparency while reducing the heat load to a point where the building is energy-efficient and yet has the great luxury of floor-to-ceiling, water-white glass. The façade includes a first-of-its-kind shading system that automatically adjusts to block glare, and the lights dynamically adjust to dim or turn off if natural lighting is sufficiently bright.
10 Year Award (2008 Completions): Shanghai World Financial Center
A symbol of Shanghai's emergence as a global financial center, the SWFC's boldest feature is a 43-meter-wide portal carved through its upper levels, and also services a distinct structural function – it relieves the enormous wind pressures on the building. This design boldness has allowed the SWFC to endure as an indelible feature of the city’s skyline 10 years later.
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