Today, at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Bjarke Ingels and BIG were presented with the International Highrise Award for Via 57 West, their "courtscraper" building in Manhattan. The following speech, which has been translated from the original German by Clara Jaschke, was delivered by architecture critic and curator Bart Lootsma at the event.
I was truly delighted when Peter Cachola Schmal called me to ask whether I would deliver the citation for Bjarke Ingels and BIG at this year’s edition of the International Highrise Award.
Just the weekend before I had been thinking that I should write something about BIG. For weeks, one spectacular and interesting project after another had been popping up on Bjarke’s, Kai-Uwe Bergmann’s and a couple of others’ Facebook pages.
BIG’s VIA 57 West has been unanimously chosen as the winner of the 2016 International Highrise Award (IHA) for the world’s most innovative highrise.
One of the world’s most important architectural prizes for tall buildings, the award is presented by Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) every two years to the project that best exemplifies the criteria of future-oriented design, functionality, innovative building technology, integration into urban development schemes, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness.
Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) has been chosen to represent Germany at Venice Biennale 2016 with the exhibition Making Heimat. Germany, Arrival Country. The DAM team - including general commissioner and director Peter Cachola Schmal, curator Oliver Elser, and project coordinator Anna Scheuermann - has already begun to collect examples of buildings that are being transformed for refugees and migrants - from large reception centers to refugee-led bicycle workshops. All work will be presented to the public in early 2016 as "an information pool for planners and policy-makers."
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has selected Stefano Boeri’s Bosco Verticale as the Best Tall Building Worldwide 2015 for “its extraordinary implementation of vegetation at such scale and height," according to a press release. The tower was selected from a shortlist of four buildings, which included SOM’s One World Trade Center, Toyo Ito and RSP Architects’ CapitaGreen and Foster + Partners’ Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Tower.
Bosco Verticale by Boeri Studio has won the 2014 International Highrise Award, deeming it to be the “most beautiful and innovative highrise in the world." Selected from a competitive shortlist of towers by Rem Koolhass, Steven Holl and Jean Nouvel, the forested highrise was praised by the jury for bringing 800 trees and 14 thousand plants to the Milan skyline.
“The Vertical Forest is an expression of the human need for contact with nature,” stated jury president Christoph Ingenhoven. “It is a radical and daring idea for the cities of tomorrow, and without a doubt represents a model for the development of densely populated urban areas in other European countries.”
Rem Koolhaas, Steven Holl, Jean Nouvel and Boeri Studio are the masters behind five skyscrapers competing to be crowned the “World’s best.” Chosen as finalists for the 2014 International Highrise Award (IHA), the four practices are in the running for a prestigious title and €50,000 prize.
Award organizers from the City of Frankfurt/Main, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) and DekaBank at Frankfurt’s Paulskirche will announce a winner in mid-November. The chosen skyscraper will be selected by an esteemed, multidisciplinary jury based on the criteria ranging from future-oriented design and innovative building technology, to the building’s integrative urban development scheme and cost-effectiveness.
“Good architecture requires a willingness to take risks and a desire to try things out. All the finalists took this approach – there can be no innovation without experimentation. Our shortlist comprises three different prototypes of the future,” commented Jury Chairman Christoph Ingenhoven.
View all five of the competing highrises and the jury’s comments, after the break…