VIDEO: What We Can Learn From Tall Buildings

YouTube Preview Image

What do you think the North American, Asian and Western European tall building communities most need to learn from each other? This is precisely what the Center on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) sat down to ask five leading architects, whose responses formed an eclectic and meaningful overview on the state of tall building worldwide. As Rem Koolhaas noted, each region has their own journey that is worth understanding, such as the Arab world’s transition from “extravagance to rationality” or ’s hyper-focus on project realization. However, as James Goettsch points out, “not every building has to be something remarkable.” It’s alright for some buildings to be nothing more than “good citizens.”

Watch all five responses in the short video above.

World’s Tallest Buildings of 2013 Dominated by Asia

Courtesy of Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats

According to the latest Tall Report, 73 buildings in excess of 200 meters were completed in 2013 worldwide, the second highest total only behind 2011 with 81 completions. The increase of completions from 2012 to 2013 continues a significant upward trend that, since 2000, has seen an astounding 318 percent increase in tall buildings. 

CTBUH Crowns One World Trade as Tallest Building in US

Center as seen from the Hudson River. Image © Joe Mabel via Wikipedia

The (CTBUH) has official ruled Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s One World Trade Center (1WTC) as the tallest building in the United States. The decision comes after a long debate questioned whether or not the tower’s 408 foot spire should count towards its overall height.

As CTBUH explained: “Due to design changes that resulted in the removal of the architectural cladding around the mast at the top of the structure, it became unclear whether the structure was in fact a ‘spire’ – a vertical element that completes the architectural expression of the building and is intended as permanent, or whether it was an antenna – a piece of functional-technical equipment that was subject to change.”

CCTV Headquarters Named “Best Tall Building Worldwide”

CCTV/ Partners-in-charge: Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, designers, David Gianotten, photographed by Iwan Baan

OMA’s CCTV Headquarters in Beijing, ArchDaily’s 2012 “Building of the Year,” was deemed “Best Tall Building Worldwide” by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Selected from a shortlist of four deserving skyscrapers, CCTV was awarded “best” due to its “unusual take on skyscraper typology.”

The jury stated: “Instead of competing in the race for ultimate height and style through a traditional two-dimensional tower soaring skyward, CCTV’s loop poses a truly three-dimensional experience, culminating in a 75-meter cantilever.”

Vanity Height: How Much of a Skyscraper is Usable Space?

1. Kingdom Tower / Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. Image © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Ever expanding population growth coupled with the continuous development of urban centres mean that buildings, in general, will continue to get taller. With the topping out of One World Trade Centre in May this year the worldwide competition to construct towers with soaring altitudes doesn’t seem to be slowing, especially in and the UAE. The question on many people’s lips, however, is how much of these colossal buildings is actual usable space?

The Gherkin Receives CTBUH’s Inaugural 10 Year Award

© Nigel Young

Norman Foster’s Swiss Re Headquarters, a.k.a. “The Gherkin,” has been selected as the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) first 10 Year Award recipient. The uniquely-shaped , as described by CTBUH, “cleared the way for a new generation of tall buildings in and beyond. Ten years on, its tapering form and diagonal bracing structure afford numerous benefits: programmatic flexibility, naturally ventilated internal social spaces that provide user comfort while reducing energy demand, and ample, protected public space at the ground level.”

CTBUH Names Best Tall Buildings for 2013

Winner: ; Beijing, China / © Philippe Ruault

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has named four distinctive towers from Canada, China, the UK and UAE as the best tall buildings in the world for 2013. Each winning project, judged by a panel of industry executives, has been selected for their “extraordinary contribution in the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, as well as for achieving sustainability at the broadest level.”

“The winners and finalists include some of the most striking buildings on the global landscape,” said Jeanne Gang, awards jury chair and principal of Studio Gang Architects. “They represent resolutions to a huge range of contemporary issues, from energy consumption to integration with the urban realm on the ground.”

The 2013 winners are…

CTBUH Names Best Tall Buildings for 2012

Absolute Towers - Courtesy of MAD architects

Four innovative towers in Canada, Qatar, Australia and Italy have named the best tall buildings in the world for 2012 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), the international not-for-profit association. These towers demonstrate the continued renaissance of tall building development worldwide, as a record number of 88 tall buildings soaring over 200 meters were completed in 2011, compared to 32 buildings in 2005. Another 96 tall buildings are projected to compete this year, with China being the largest contributor.

The four regional winners include the Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada (Americas); 1 Bligh Street, Sydney (Asia and Australia); Palazzo Lombardia, Milan (Europe); and Doha Tower in Doha, Qatar (Middle East and Africa). Additionally, Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi won the ’s first Innovation Award for the project’s computer sun-screen.

“The winners display remarkable creativity, as well as a respect for the environment, connection with place, and the urban surroundings,” said Richard Cook, awards committee chairman and founding partner of Cook+Fox Architects.

Continue after the break to learn more.

In Progress: Shanghai Tower / Gensler

Courtesy of Gensler

Soon to be the tallest building in China, the 632-meter is beginning to take shape. Located in the center of the Pudong district, the will become the centerpiece of the city’s international financial district. The transparent, mixed-use building will work as a “self-contained city”, housing 550,000 square-meters of world-class office, hotel, entertainment, retail and cultural venues. It is designed to achieve both LEED Gold certification and a China Green Building Three Star rating.

Global powerhouse Gensler won the Shanghai Tower commission in an invited multi-stage competition among many other leading international architects. Upon completion, the Shanghai Tower will be the second tallest building in the world, behind the 828-meter Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Continue after the break for more information and the latest construction images.

CTBUH presents “Asia Ascending: Age of the Sustainable Skyscraper City”

Be sure to take advantage of the early bird special by April 30th for the ’s 2012 World Congress, appropriately located in the skyscraper city of Shanghai. According to The Skyscraper Center, ten of the 20 tallest buildings in the world will be in by 2020.

The Congress will examine poignant issues such as: Is the skyscraper a sustainable building type? Can tall buildings truly reduce and harvest enough energy to become carbon-neutral? What is the full impact on the city and the lives of its inhabitants by developing skyward? And what support mechanisms and urban infrastructure are required for such growth? CTBUH2012 has confirmed an impressive list of several Chinese leading developers, architects and engineers to speak at the World Congress. Continue after the break to review the full list.

CTBUH Debuts their Skyscraper Resource Site

| © Pawel Sulima

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat ( CTBUH) has launched The Skyscraper Center – a comprehensive resource for data and information on all buildings taller than 200 meters, whether they are completed or currently being developed. Detailed profiles and images reveal each towers global and regional size-ranking, as well as the projects latest updates and data. For example, recently completed Al Hamra Firdous Tower by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill ranks first in its city and national ranking, second in its regional ranking and is the thirteenth tallest building in the world.

“The new site builds on our database compiled through 40 years of research and adds valuable new functions, new information and extensive assets for both professionals and non-professionals exploring the world of skyscrapers,” said Timothy Johnson, chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

2011 Skyscraper Trends

© TFP Farrells

Every January the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat conducts a review of skyscraper construction and compiles all the data from the previous year. The trend since 2007 has seen record breaking years for buildings taller than 200 meters completed, with 88 completed in 2011. Even as the global economy is slowly recuperating from the 2008 financial crisis, it would appear as though this trend will remain relatively stable. China, leading the pack at 23 completed towers is predicted to remain at the forefront of skyscraper market, followed by Middle Eastern countries in the next decade.  UAE, South Korea, and Panama City – an up and coming cosmopolitan city – rounded out the top four. Of the towers completed in 2011, 17 have made their way into the top 100 tallest buildings – Shenzhen’s Kingkey 100, at 442 meters crowning this year’s list. More after the break.

The Tallest 20 in 2020: Entering the Era of the Megatall by CTBUH

Tallest Skyline © CTBUH

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat recently published The Tallest 20 in 2020: Entering the Era of the Megatall. Within this decade, the World’s first kilometer-tall building will be constructed, along with many other buildings over 600-meters tall. “The term “” (which refers to a building over 300 meters) is thus no longer adequate to describe these buildings: we are entering the era of the “megatall.”

Continue reading for more details on “The Tallest 20 in 2020″.