Five notable projects have been selected as finalists for the 2016 International Highrise Award (IHA). One of the world’s most important architectural prizes for highrises, the award is given to projects that exemplify the criteria of future-oriented design, functionality, innovative building technology, integration into urban development schemes, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness.
Led by 2014 IHA winner Stefano Boeri, the competition’s world-class jury noted the significant trend in high-rise development away from office buildings and towards residential towers, as well as the geographic dichotomy of the finalists.
“Asia versus America is an interesting conclusion at this point – they are the defining forces on the map,” commented jury member Ole Scheeren. “In Asia you can see the impact of the tropical, climatic and environmental consequences are very well translated into new types of residential high-rises. In New York the finalists all show some way of power-statement.”
See the 5 finalists with comments from the jury, after the break.
The Four World Trade Center (New York/USA) by Maki & Associates is the second new tower, after the 7 World Trade Center, that was completed on Ground Zero after the attacks on 11 September. The office tower blends quietly and unpretentiously into its significant neighbourhood. The glass facade reflects the surroundings so perfectly that the contours of the tower practically dissolve. This effect allows the precious building ground to be used commercially whilst granting due space to this emotional location. “The mirrored façade and the sculptural qualities of this project are executed so outstanding, that there are moments of disappearance when the perspective is changed. This immateriality seems to give an answer to the question: What can you create of nothingness?” (Jury member Ole Scheeren)
Since the completion of the shell construction in October 2014, the slender tower 432 Park Avenue (New York/USA) rises significantly above all other buildings in northern Manhattan. The building by Rafael Viñoly Architects is currently the highest residential high-rise in the world and the third-highest building in the United States. Innovative support structure techniques enable this dizzying height on a relatively small ground plan. With these extremely slender proportions, the project serves as an example of new towers in the densest metropolises in the world.
For Jury-Chair Stefano Boeri it is evident that “Viñoly wanted to create a landmark, he wanted to establish a new prototype in high-rise-building. His super slender needle with the astonishing slenderness ratio of 1:15 is the sheer icon of the idea of a high-rise and will definitely be copied all over the world.”
The white residential sculpture SkyHabitat (Singapore) by Safdie Architects consists of two stepped twin towers, connected by means of three sky bridges. Situated in a green park landscape, the building with its open structure is adapted to the requirements of the extreme climate. At the same time, it offers its residents appealing outdoor and communal spaces. The project is therefore a high-quality example of new residential forms in the tropics.
For Peter Cachola Schmal, Director of the DAM the project “shows a new and fascinating concept of the vertical city. It is a machine for living, with certain high-class amenities, like balconies for everyone, skygardens, pools etc. for all its middle-class residents. It does take residential housing to a new level.”
SkyVille @ Dawson (Singapore) by WOHA with 960 apartments is an exceptional example of social housing in Singapore. The flexibly designed units on the extremely dense complex are grouped into little “villages” that share various communal spaces. Little communities are formed and solidarity is strengthened. “This is what I like about it: You’re in a high-rise building but they break down the units and you have this sort of a sky village on top of two other sky villages and you are part of a whole, but also part of a smaller unit at the same time”, said Jury member Brigitte Shim. This type of high-rise therefore makes a special contribution to counteracting anonymity in the megacities of our time.
The 136-metre-high hybrid of a classical high-rise and a traditional European perimeter development VIA 57 West (New York/USA), situated right by the Hudson River, rises up in the form of a silver, shimmering tetrahedron. “The project is outstanding in its interpretation of a New York block – this is what makes it really interesting” (chair of the jury, Stefano Boeri). Under its steely roof skin, over 700 apartments are grouped around an interior courtyard with greenery, which serves as a tranquil oasis for spending sociable hours within this industrial neighbourhood with a motorway, a power plant, and a waste processing facility. In addition, the prototype of a “courtscraper” with its “innovative design” (Thomas Schmengler, Jury member) on the western edge of Manhattan offers all residents an unobstructed view of the river, due to its unique shape.
The full jury for the award is as follows:
Jury Chair Stefano Boeri (Stefano Boeri Architetti, Milan), Lamia Messari-Becker (civil engineer, Professor at the University of Siegen), Ole Scheeren (architect, Buro-OS, Beijing/Berlin), Brigitte Shim (architect, Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, Toronto), Horst R. Muth (Head of Project Management at Deka Immobilien GmbH, Frankfurt/Main), Peter Cachola Schmal (Director of Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt/Main), Thomas Schmengler (CEO of Deka Immobilien GmbH, Frankfurt/Main) and Felix Semmelroth (Former Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture and Science for the City of Frankfurt/Main). Substitutional Jury members were: Claudia Meixner (architect, MEIXNER SCHLÜTER WENDT Architekten, Frankfurt am Main) and Holger Techen (civil engineer, imagine structure, Frankfurt am Main).
Past winners of the award include Boeri Studio’s Bosco Verticale in 2014; 1 Bligh Street by Ingenhoven Architects and Architectus in 2012; The Met Bangkok by WOHA Architects in 2010; The Hearst Tower by Foster + Partners in 2008; Torre Agbar by Ateliers Jean Nouvel in 2006; and De Hoftoren by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates in 2004.
The winning project will be awarded by the City of Frankfurt/Main together with Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) and DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale at Frankfurt’s Paulskirche on November 2, 2016.
News via The International Highrise Award.