Video: Ole Scheeren on Height and Density

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In this interview, conducted by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Ole Scheeren discusses the ideal height for sustainable buildings. Drawing reference from two of his projects, MahaNakhon and The Interlace, he speaks to the difference between height and density, and how those two interplay when creating livable spaces in urban areas. He goes on to talk about how large buildings such as skyscrapers can be made more open to the surrounding city, both visually through programming. Watch the full clip above!

CTBUH Names One Central Park “Best Tall Building Worldwide” for 2014

One Central Park. Design architect: Ateliers Jean Nouvel. Collaborating architect: PTW Architects. Image © Murray Fredericks

This year’s title of “” has been awarded to One Central Park, in Sydney, Australia. The award, presented by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), was chosen after a year long selection process across 88 entries in four regions. Senior representatives of each of these four winners presented at the CTBUH Awards Symposium on November 6th at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and the winner was announced at the Awards Dinner following the Symposium. Read on after the break to learn more about the winning building.

Deutsche Post Towers Wins CTBUH 10 Year Award

Courtesy of Jahn

Deutsche Post Towers in Bonn Germany has received the 10 Year Award from the (CTBUH). Completed in 2002 and designed by Murphy/Jahn, Post Tower was a leader in introducing high performance design elements to create a more efficient and pleasant office environment, and has now been recognized by this unique award which rewards proven value and performance in a tall building over a period of 10 years since its completion, and offers a valuable look at the life of buildings long after the initial designs are realized. Read on after the break to learn more about the winning building.

In Defense of Rewarding Vanity Height

One , the tallest building in the United States… arguably. Image © Joe Mabel via Wikipedia

Recently, ArchDaily editors received an interesting request from an anonymous Communications Director of an unnamed New York firm, asking us “In your reporting, please do not repeat as fact, or as “official,” the opinion that One World Trade Center in New York will be the tallest building in the United States.” He or she goes on to explain that the decision maker who ‘announced’ the building as the tallest in the US, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), is not officially endorsed by the AIA or the US Government, and that while their work is beneficial for architecture and as a whole, their criteria for height evaluation are flawed and have been criticized by many in the industry.

The desire to have the tallest building in a city, country or even the world goes back to at least the medieval period, when competing noble families of Italian hill towns such as San Gimignano would try to out-do each other’s best construction efforts (jokes about the Freudian nature of such contests are, I imagine, not much younger). Perhaps the greatest symbol of this desire is the decorative crown of the Chrysler Building, which was developed in secret and enabled the building to briefly take the prize as the world’s tallest, much to the surprise and ire of its competitors at the time.

With this competitive spirit apparently still very much alive, I thought it might be worthwhile to address the issue raised by our anonymous friend.

CTBUH Announces Five Finalists in its Student Competition

© Alex Balchin Courtesy of

The (CTBUH) has announced five finalists in their 2014 Student Design Competition, which asked entrants to respond to the theme of ”sustainable verticle urbanism” in order to “shed new light on the meaning and value of tall buildings in modern society.”

“There has been a major transition in the sense of the value of the tall building and what it can contribute to the urban realm, and society in general,” said former Competition Jury Chair William Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox. “This transition moves the tall building away from just an instrument of financial exploitation and toward a development highly concerned with its impact on the city, the environment, and the urban habitat.”

The winner of the competition will be announced at a special judging session as part of the CTBUH’s 2014 Shanghai Conference which begins on Tuesday. Read on after the break for all the finalists.

Hong Kong’s International Commerce Centre Wins Inaugural CTBUH Performance Award

©

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates‘ International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong as the winner of its first ever Performance Award. The new award recognizes the project with the lowest measured environmental impact on the urban realm, as measured using actual data from the completed construction.

The explains the need for the prize, saying: “Most awards programs focus on design intent, as opposed to actual performance – often well-intentioned projects are not revisited, and thus not held accountable.” KPF‘s 484-metre tall office tower won the prize based largely on its policy of collecting and sharing performance data.

Read on after the break for more on the award

OMA / Ole Scheeren’s “The Interlace” Nabs Inaugural CTBUH Urban Habitat Award

The Interlace by OMA / Ole Scheeren. Photo © Iwan Baan

, the organization best known for its Tall Building Awards, has announced the winner of its inaugural Urban Habitat Award: OMA / Ole Scheeren’s The Interlace in Singapore. The jurors, including Studio Gang Architects‘ Jeanne Gang, praised the apartment complex, which includes communal gardens and spaces on the roofs and in between the apartment blocks, for responding to its tropical context and “integrating horizontal and vertical living frameworks.” 

CTBUH Jurors also recognized Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ NEO Bankside as a finalist. Read more about the The Interlace and NEO Bankside, after the break.

CTBUH Names Its Winners for Best Tall Building 2014

Cayan Tower / . Image © Tim Griffith /

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced the regional winners of its 2014 Best Tall Building award. Chosen from a selection of 88 nominees, the four winning buildings will go on to compete for the Best Tall Building Worldwide Award, due to be announced in December.

The winners and finalists this year show significant diversity in form, function and philosophy; normally low-rise typologies such as education, green buildings, renovations and boundary-pushing shapes have all made the list. Jeanne Gang, founder of Studio Gang and Chair of the jury, said: “The submissions this year… reflect the dawning of a global recognition that tall buildings have a critical role to play in a rapidly changing climate and urban environment.”

Read on after the break for the full list of winners and finalists

VIDEO: What We Can Learn From Tall Buildings

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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

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

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (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. / 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 China and the . 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 recipient. The uniquely-shaped skyscraper, as described by CTBUH, “cleared the way for a new generation of tall buildings in London 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 / OMA © 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 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 CTBUH’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, committee chairman and founding partner of Cook+Fox Architects.

Continue after the break to learn more.

In Progress: Shanghai Tower / Gensler

Courtesy of

Soon to be the tallest building in China, the 632-meter Shanghai Tower is beginning to take shape. Located in the center of the Pudong district, the tower 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 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 China 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? 2012 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.