CTBUH Names Best Tall Buildings For 2016

CTBUH Names Best Tall Buildings For 2016
June 23, 2016 angela

CTBUH Names Best Tall Buildings For 2016

Unconventional typology, sustainability and structural innovation reigned as The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat announced the 2016 winners and finalists for its annual CTBUH Tall Building Awards.

The awards are an independent review of new tall building projects selected by a prestigious panel of experts. Buildings that challenge tall building typology are selected which could height advancements, and strong environmental efforts and it seems recognition is desired with 2016 seeing 132 submissions.

The council issues four regional awards each year with one of the winners awarded the honour of overall Best Tall Building Worldwide, announced later in the year.

According to the CTBUH, this year has again set a new bar with many projects “employing inventive solutions that respond to demanding site constraints and prerogatives related to sustainability, seismicity, wind forces, mixed functionality, and a vibrant urban habitat.

“Others achieve unrivalled iconicity, while introducing groundbreaking structural solutions and spatial arrangements at height.”

For Best Tall Building – Americas, VIA 57 West took the win. The 142 metre residential skyscraper brings an unconventional typology to Manhattan’s skyline and was designed by Bjarke Ingels. The architects have coined the building the “Courtscraper”, a reference to the 22,000 square foot courtyard that brings sunlight and views deep into the building.

“VIA 57 West is an inspired hybrid of the traditional courtyard block and high-rise tower,” said Michael Palladino, juror, design partner, Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Los Angeles. “Its complex and intelligently orientated architecture maximises occupants’ views to the Hudson River and activates the New York City waterfront with a dynamic new standard for integrated urban infill development.”

VIA 57 West, New York City, USA (Best Tall Building Americas) © Nic Lehoux

VIA 57 West, New York City, USA (Best Tall Building Americas) © Nic Lehoux

The recently completed Shanghai Tower secured the Best Tall Building – Asia & Australasia. Designed by Gensler, the 632 metre mixed use skyscraper holds the title of the tallest building in Asia and is the second tallest building in the world. Jurors recognised the sustainable efforts of the building.

“Shanghai Tower shows the greatest commitment to communal space in a tall building since Commerzbank Tower completed in 1997,” said Antony Wood, juror, executive director, CTBUH, Chicago. “It contains the world’s first truly ‘inhabitable’ double-skin façade on a skyscraper, which is not only remarkable for its intended greenery, but its incorporation into the tower’s overall ventilation strategy. The sacrifice of valuable floor area to realize this social amenity proves that the aspirations for Shanghai Tower went far beyond mere commercial gain.”

According to Gensler, Shanghai Tower’s sustainability strategies will reduce the building’s carbon footprint by 34,000 metric tonnes a year.

Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China (Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia) © Connie Zhou

Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China (Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia) © Connie Zhou

Over in Europe, The White Walls building in Cyprus made first place in the Best Tall Building -Europe category. While the building sits at a more humble 69 metres, like Shanghai Tower, it packs an environmental punch.

The south facade features a vertical landscape covering approximately 80% of the building’s façade designed to “trap carbon dioxide, emit oxygen, and provide energy-saving shade” according to the council. “The mass of the tower’s white concrete walls is negated by numerous square perforations, from which an assortment of hanging vegetation protrudes,” added CTBUH.

Melbourne’s Karl Fender, jury chair, director of Fender Katsalidis Architects said: “The White Walls is a truly groundbreaking exercise in materiality, serving as a successful expression of the architectural and environmental values of the Mediterranean across the vertical axis. Extensive vegetation on the north façade and the presence of loggias on the south façade create a very real connection with nature, while the tower’s punctured concrete walls quite literally ‘bleed green’ with tangles of local plant species.”

BTB-Europe_The White Walls, Nicosia_(c)Yiorgis Yerolymbos, courtesy of Nice Day Developments

The White Walls, Nicosia, Cyprus (Best Tall Building Europe) © Yiorgis Yerolymbos, courtesy of Nice Day Developments

The final regional award, Best Tall Building – Middle East & Africa was awarded to 56 metre tall residential building: The Cube in Beirut, Lebanon.

Behind the project is Orange Architects who explain the design to feature “14 stacked and rotated floor plans generates 19 attractive apartments in total, ranging in size from 117 to 234 m², with fluid space, large balconies and wall to wall window frames”.

“The Cube indicates a clear alternative to the extruded box typology that defines the majority of residential high-rises around the world, instead comprising a stack of completely unique villas in the sky,” said Hashimah Hashim,juror, executive director, KLCC Property Holdings Berhad, Kuala Lumpur. “The tower is particularly successful in its structural design, which features a system of elegantly framed girder walls that add visual flair and allow for completely unobstructed floor plans.”

The Cube, Beirut, Lebanon (Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa) © Matthijs van Roon

The Cube, Beirut, Lebanon (Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa) © Matthijs van Roon

The next three awards recognised building longevity and specific tall building credentials:

10-Year Award: Hearst Tower, New York, USA

Performance Award – TAIPEI 101, Taipei, China

Urban Habitat Award – Wuhan Tiandi Site A, Wuhan, China

Finally, there was the Innovation Award which recognised recent innovation in tall building. Securing the win was the “Pin-Fuse, a dual-element structural solution, composed of Pin-Fuse Joints® and Pin-Fuse Frames™, which slip at pre-set loads to dissipate energy and achieve ductility during seismic events,” the council wrote. “Ensuring life-safety and collapse prevention performance of structures in moderate and severe earthquakes is generally considered to be a minimum seismic design objective for structures, and is embodied in the codes of most countries.”

Later this year, one building will be selected from the four regional winners to take out the Best Tall Building Worldwide. This will announced in November at CTBUH’s 15th Annual Awards Symposium.

For a detailed list of the award winners including finalists, visit CTBUH here.

Cover image is TAIPEI 101, Taipei – Performance Award Winner ©Taipei Financial

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