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CTBUH Awards 2011 Winners

Best Tall Building + World Conference – Architecture 2011

CTBUH – Articles

“9/11 – Ten Years On : CTBUH Reflections”

In the week that we mark the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 events and the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has commissioned a number of articles from industry leaders, reflecting on how the world of tall buildings has changed since then.

What has been the direct impact of 9/11 on the typology? How has that impact varied with geography and culture around the world? What has become of the predictions of the end of the skyscraper typology which immediately followed the event? Has too much changed, or too little?

9/11 – Ten Years On : CTBUH Reflections

Tenth anniversary of collapse of the World Trade Center

CTBUH Awards 2011 Winners - 200 Greenwich Street
image : Foster + Partners

Contributors include Leslie Robertson, William Baker, Eugene Kohn, Paul Goldberger, Gene Corley and others.

CTBUH Awards

22 Jun 2011

CTBUH Conference 2011

2011 Seoul World Conference Early Registration Deadline: 10 July, 2011

The deadline for early bird conference registration, July 10th, is quickly approaching, register today and receive the best possible conference rates! With over 200 high-quality abstracts submitted from around the world, the conference promises to contain an impressive array of speakers and subjects. Additionally, a large number of significant technical tours have now been confirmed, including Korea’s future tallest building, the now under construction Lotte Super Tower.

15 Jun 2011

CTBUH Best Tall Buildings 2011

Four Skyscrapers Named Regional “Best Tall Buildings” for 2011 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Best Tall Building “Worldwide” to be announced at October Awards Ceremony; “Lifetime Achievement” winners Adrian Smith and Akira Wada also to be recognized.

Chicago – June 15, 2011 The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is pleased to announce the winners of its annual “Best Tall Building” awards for 2011. These awards recognize outstanding tall buildings from each of four geographical regions, and this year are awarded to: “New York by Gehry” at Eight Spruce Street, New York (Americas); Guangzhou International Finance Center, Guangzhou (Asia & Australasia); KfW Westarkade, Frankfurt (Europe); and The Index, Dubai (Middle East & Africa). These buildings were selected for their design and technical innovations, sustainable attributes, and the enhancement of both cities and the lives of their inhabitants.

Awards Committee Chairman Richard Cook, of Cook + Fox Architects, said about this year’s entries: “Not only has this been a record-breaking year for the Best Tall Building Awards in terms of the number of buildings submitted, the quality overall is perhaps the best we have seen. There were very strong contenders for the winner in each regional category, and several projects would, I’m sure, have been winners in other years.”

The other members of the jury this year include: His Excellency Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Head of Emaar Properties in the UAE (owner-developer of the Burj Khalifa); Gordon Gill of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, Chicago (architect and previous year’s Awards Chair); Peter Murray of Wordsearch Communications, London (Urbanist and Founder of the New London Architecture Centre); eminent Structural Engineer Werner Sobek of Werner Sobek, Germany; and Antony Wood of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago (architect and academic).

This year’s recipients of the Council’s two lifetime achievement awards were selected by the CTBUH Board of Trustees, under the leadership of Chairman Sang Dae Kim: Adrian Smith of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award) and Dr. Akira Wada, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Fazlur Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal). Both men were selected for their lifetime’s work towards the development and advancement of tall buildings.

This year’s winners will be recognized, and the awards conferred, at the CTBUH 10th Annual Awards Ceremony & Dinner which will take place at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Crown Hall, Chicago, on the evening of Thursday, October 27. All the winning projects and fi nalists will be celebrated at this gala event. Additionally, from the four regional best tall building winners, one overall winner will be selected and bestowed with the “Best Tall Building Worldwide” award, to be announced on the night.

The awards ceremony will take place in conjunction with an afternoon Symposium which will be focused on the four regional best tall buildings, and the two lifetime achievement award winners. This Symposium will take place at the Illinois Institute of Technology close to the awards dinner venue, during the afternoon prior to the dinner.

CTBUH Awards Regional Best Tall Buildings

Best Tall Building Americas

Eight Spruce Street

CTBUH Awards 2011 Winner - Rippling Building
image © dbox

Location: New York, USA
Completion Date: April 2011
Height: 265 m (870 ft)
Stories: 76
Use: Residential
Owner/Developer: Forest City Ratner Companies
Design Architect: Gehry Architects New York, PC
Structural Engineer: WSP Cantor Seinuk
MEP Engineer: Jaros Baum and Bolles
Construction Manager: Kreisler Borg Florman
Main Contractor: Kreisler Borg Florman

CTBUH Best Tall Building Americas – 2011 : Eight Spruce Street

The façade of “New York by Gehry” at Eight Spruce Street, designed to create a draping fabric-like quality, creates a unique signature, while holding itself as very much a “New York” building grounded in its traditional setback rules. The façade is partly a result of the client’s desire to have bay windows in each residential unit.

The windows are shifted from fl oor-to-fl oor and vary in size, creating the drape-like effect. Inside, the residential units are arranged to effi ciently marry the plan to the façade. 2011 Awards Chair Rick Cook noted that “the tower invigorates a part of Manhattan that has been somewhat overlooked in recent years, and as the Tallest All-Residential Building in North America, adds significantly to the urban-population and diversification of its neighborhood.”

Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia

Guangzhou International Finance Center

CTBUH Awards 2011 Winners - Guangzhou International Finance Center
photo © Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Location: Guangzhou China
Completion Date: 2010
Height: 440 m (1,444 ft)
Stories: 103
Use: Hotel/Office
Owner/Developer: Yue Xiu Group
Design Architect: Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Associate Architect: South China Design Institute
Structural Engineer: Arup
MEP Engineer: Arup
Project Manager: Yue Xiu Group
Main Contractor: China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd; Guangzhou Municipal Construction Group Co Ltd

The slender crystalline form of the Guangzhou International Finance Center is both elegant and clean. Each of the three façades of the curved triangular plan are also gently curved in section, set out asymmetrically with the widest point at a third of the height, tapering to its narrowest point at the top. The building’s aerodynamic form reduces the impact of wind at height, thereby reducing the necessary size and weight of the structure.

The building utilizes the world’s tallest constructed diagrid structure, whose inherent stiffness resists acceleration and sway, eliminating the need for damping. Awards juror Antony Wood added, “the building has an elegant simplicity in both form and structure, with the diagrid giving depth, strength and character to the building. It is also great to see the British adept at designing supertall buildings!”

CTBUH Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia – 2011 : Guangzhou International Finance Centre

Best Tall Building Europe

KfW Westarkade

CTBUH Awards 2011 Winners - KfW Westarkade
photo © Jan Bitter

Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Completion Date: May 2010
Height: 56 m (184 ft)
Stories: 14
Use: Office
Owner: KfW Bankengruppe
Design Architect: Sauerbruch Hutton
Associate Architect: Architekten Theiss Planungsgesellschaft mbH
Structural Engineer: Werner Sobek GmbH
MEP Engineer: Reuter Rührgartner GmbH; Zibell, Willner & Partner
Project Manager: Architekten Theiss Planungsgesellschaft mbH

Already being touted as one of the most energy-efficient office buildings in the world, KfW Westarkade is projected to use approximately half the energy of an average European offi ce building, and one-third of a US-based one. The building addresses the prevailing wind direction to exploit it for controlled natural ventilation of the offices by means of its double-layered façade, which allows for the building to be naturally ventilated eight months out of the year.

Awards Juror Peter Murray noted that “the streamlined form integrates itself into its surrounding context, while simultaneously standing out through the playful use of color. Whereas many buildings use color as a way to mask an otherwise unremarkable building, here it contributes an additional rich layer to what is already a remarkable building.”

CTBUH Best Tall Building Europe – 2011 : KfW Westarkade Building

Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa

The Index

CTBUH Awards 2011 Winners - The Index Dubai
photo © Nigel Young/Foster + Partners

Location: Dubai, UAE
Completion Date: March 2011
Height: 326 m (1,070 ft)
Stories: 80
Use: Residential/Office
Owner/ Developer: Union Properties
Design Architect: Foster + Partners
Associate Architect: Khatib & Alami; Woods Bagot
Structural Engineer: Halvorson and Partners; BG&E
MEP Engineer: Roger Preston & Partners; WSP
Project Manager: Gerard Evenden
Main Contractor: Brookfield Multiplex

CTBUH Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa – 2011 : The Index

A long but narrow profile houses the mixed residential-overoffice functions of this tower within a coherent but well articulated form. The floors are supported by four A-frame concrete “fins,” revealing the building’s structural system and internal organization. The building is oriented to reduce solar gain, and employs a system of sunshades on the exposed south elevation.

The building takes a particularly interesting approach at its base, with only its structural fins and cores coming all the way to the ground, while the rest of the space opens up in an open-air shaded atrium with large pools which create a cool micro-climate around the tower’s entrances. Awards Juror Werner Sobek noted that “the Index presents a new environmental icon for the Middle East, showcasing important passive strategies of orientation, core placement and shading.”

CTBUH Best Tall Building Awards information from CTBUH

CTBUH Awards Best Tall Building Finalist Projects


Eleven Times Square, New York
HL23, New York

Asia & Australasia

Fukoku Tower, Fukoku Japan
International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong
Riviera TwinStar Square, Shanghai
The Hansar, Bangkok


Heron Tower, London
Net Center, Padova Italy
Sapphire Tower, Istanbul

Middle East & Africa

Rolex Tower, Dubai

Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award

Adrian Smith, AS + GG Architecture

Adrian Smith Architect
photo © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Adrian has been a practicing architect for more than 40 years, and is one of a relatively small number of architects who has designed and built a significant number of supertall buildings. He has thus contributed greatly to the development of the typology. Throughout his career he has developed a holistic approach that seeks to integrate a project’s form with its structure and building systems. This integrated approach has resulted in an increased understanding of the architectural, structural and mechanical systems of skyscrapers. CTBUH Trustee Peter Irwin noted that “Adrian’s body of work includes some of the world tallest and most recognized buildings, yet his designs transcend mere height and have become landmarks because of their graceful design and inherent sensitivity to local context and culture.”

Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal

Akira Wada, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Akira Wada
photo © Tokyo Institute of Technology

Since becoming Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1989, Dr. Wada has been widely acknowledged as a leading expert in structural engineering, especially seismic design, and has held a number of important posts on various committees. He has also been chair of the CTBUH Japan Chapter since its formation in 2010 and was recently named the new president of the Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ) in June 2011. CTBUH Chairman Sang Dae Kim said of Wada, “few men have contributed so greatly to the understanding and development of tall building structures in seismically active regions, and his recent election as the new president of the AIJ is a testament to the significant influence of his career.”

CTBUH Awards Ceremony & Dinner and Symposium : http://awards.ctbuh.org


CTBUH Awards 2010‘Best Tall Buildings’ for 2010

Burj Khalifa honored as first recipient of CTBUH’s new Tall Building “Global Icon” Award

Chicago – October 25, 2010. In a surprise move, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) bestowed a new award on the Burj Khalifa Tower at its annual “Best Tall Buildings Awards Ceremony” on Thursday evening, 21st October. The new “Global Icon” award recognizes those very special tall buildings that make a profound impact, not only on the local/regional context, but on the genre of tall buildings globally. Innovative in planning, design and execution, the building must have influenced and re-shaped the field of tall building architecture, engineering, and urban planning.

It is intended that the award will only be conferred on an occasional basis, when merited by an exceptional project – perhaps every 10 or 15 years. As explained by CTBUH Awards Chair Gordon Gill, of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture: “There was discussion amongst members of the jury that the existing ‘Best Tall Building of the Year’ award wasn’t really appropriate for the Burj. We are talking about a building here that has changed the landscape of what is possible in architecture – a building that became internationally recognized as an icon long before it was even completed. ‘Building of the Century’ was thought a more apt title for it.”

World Tallest Building
image from Emaar

CTBUH Best Tall Building Overall – 2010 : Burj Khalifa

CTBUH “Best Tall Building Overall – 2009”

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has named Linked Hybrid by Steven Holl Architects as the “Best Tall Building Overall” for 2009.

Linked Hybrid Beijing
photo : Courtesy Steven Holl Architects, photograph © Shu He

CTBUH Best Tall Building Overall – 2009 : Linked Hybrid complex, Beijing

The Council issues Best Tall Building Awards annually to give recognition to projects that have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and that achieve sustainability at the highest and broadest level. It issues four regional awards each year (Americas, Asia & Australasia, Europe and Middle East & Africa). In addition, from the four regional awards, one project is awarded the honor of Best Tall Building Overall.

CTBUH Events

CTBUH Awards : Dinner / Ceremony / Symposium

Location: Chicago, IL, USA


Chicago Skyscrapers
Chicago Skyscraper
photo courtesy of Jan Klerks

Burj Khalifa – CTBUH Best Tall Building Overall 2010

Emporis Skyscraper Award

World Skyscrapers

Skyscraper Developments

Skyscraper Images

Architecture Walking Tours Europe

Empire State Building New York

CTBUH Best Tall Building Overall 2010: Burj Khalifa Dubai

Comments / photos for the CTBUH Awards 2011 page welcome