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The Structural Awards 2016

Global Engineering Prize Shortlist Announced: Innovative Built Environment

1 Aug 2016

Structural Awards 2016 Shortlist

The Structural Awards 2015 Shortlist News

The Structural Awards 2016 shortlist celebrates world engineering

1st August 2016 – The Institution of Structural Engineers today released the shortlist for The Structural Awards 2016, featuring 47 entries drawn from 14 nations. The annual awards are held to celebrate the role of structural engineers as innovative design professionals and the guardians of public safety in the built environment.

Shortlisted projects are in two sections:

Beautiful Structure – where the beauty of engineering is given expression through the ingenious use of materials and great design.

Wonderful Wood – where wood has been used by engineers to create attractive, interesting structures, from a dinosaur museum to a treetop walkway.

This year the shortlist showcases the dazzling range of innovative projects which structural engineers help create, including major infrastructure like railway stations, airports and bridges; urban landmarks like skyscrapers and concert halls; plus smaller scale projects of all kinds.

Especially striking is the superb range of timber engineering included with this year’s submissions, which sees wood used to striking effect in a Canadian dinosaur museum, a Scottish art studio and accommodation for patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

Institution Chief Executive, Martin Powell, said:

“If a building is a human body, then the structural engineer is responsible for the skeleton –ensuring that structures stand up under all kinds of stresses and strains, whether from wind, earthquakes or their own weight.

“This year’s shortlist well illustrates the engineer’s crucial role, with all kinds of structure represented – from treetop walkways and mega-tall skyscrapers to floating stairways and football stadia. Our congratulations to all those who entered, providing us with another wonderful Structural Awards shortlist.”

Structural Awards : Beauty of Structure

Blavatnik School of Government
photo : Eddie Jump

The Blavatnik School of Government – Oxford, United Kingdom

Structural Designer: Pell Frischmann

A new home for Oxford University’s School of Government, where world-class academics and practitioners pursue excellence through teaching and research in leadership and public policy education.

This striking building features high quality exposed concrete throughout. Its unusual form, established through a series of stacked, off-set cylindrical and square volumes, creates a variety of different spaces. The whole building is designed to encourage openness and communication.

Expo2015 Hive Milan
photo Courtesy UK Trade & Investment

Expo2015 Hive – Milan, Italy

Structural Designer: Simmonds Studio

A highly complex sculptural structure that was the centrepiece of the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015. Using a geometry inspired by the honey bee, the Hive underwent four complete redesigns and 21 design iterations in five months, yet was delivered on time.

The Hive consists of 60,000 unique aluminium parts, formed in a structural system of 31 stacked layers of alternating radial and circumferential trusses.

Torre BBVA Bancomer building
photo : LegoRogers

Torre BBVA Bancomer – Mexico City, Mexico

Structural Designer: Arup

The Latin American headquarters of the bank, BBVA Bancomer, and the tallest completed building in Mexico. The architecture clearly expresses the engineering of the structure.

Engineers designed for Mexico City’s low frequency earthquakes by placing the structural frame on the exterior of the envelope. This Eccentrically Braced Megaframe acts as an external protective skeleton, carrying all the building’s lateral wind and seismic loads, and is designed to avoid excessive earthquake damage through ductile connections.

JTI Headquarters Geneva structure
photo : Hufton + Crow

JTI Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland

Structural Designer: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Inc.

A 10-storey building framed in structural steel, forming a triangular shape around a central courtyard, this stunning landmark building, with its impressive cantilever, establishes a strong identity amongst its prestigious neighbours and surrounding parklands.

Each of the three perimeter and three courtyard building elevations are sloped, full-depth, nested Pratt trusses, tied together by moment connections in the spandrel beams, which together resist all gravity and lateral loads.

The Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2015
photo : Jim Stephenson

The Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion 2015 – London, United Kingdom

Structural Designer: AECOM

The 2015 Pavilion by Spanish architects SelgasCano is an amorphous, double-skinned, polygonal structure consisting of panels of translucent, multi-coloured fabric.

The engineers employed a steel frame draped in unreinforced, prestressed EFTE, a fabric with the requisite structural and fire performance, and high level of translucency that helped realise the Pavilion’s coloured and mirrored finish.

MPavillion 2015 Melbourne structure
photo : John Gollings

MPavillion 2015 – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Structural Designer: Arup / ShapeShift.Tech

Founded in 2014, ‘MPavilion’ is a unique annual architecture and design event which commissions a design for a temporary pavilion for Queen Victoria Gardens, in the centre of Melbourne’s Southbank Arts Precinct.

The 2015 MPavilion featured three and five metre diameter composite laminate petals, with integrated LED strip lighting and in-built amplifiers, supported by slender carbon fibre columns. The structure was designed to gently sway under wind loads, creating a forest canopy effect.

5 Martin Place Sydney structure
photo : Aurecon

5 Martin Place – Sydney, Australia

Structural Designer: Aurecon

A renovated 1916 heritage building, nicknamed the ‘Money Box’, with a new office tower extension, featuring a cantilevered 10-storey section projecting 22 metres over the heritage buildings.

The new building’s efficient structural steel frame, featuring V-shaped bracing and suspended columns in tension, has allowed the existing buildings to be free of any structural intervention. The new building also incorporates sustainable features such as rainwater harvesting and high-performance glazing.

Structural Awards – Wonderful Wood

Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum Wembley

Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum structure
photos : Fast + Epp

Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum – Wembley, Alberta, Canada

Structural Designer: Fast + Epp

This palaeontology museum rests on the ancient Pipestone Creek dinosaur bone bed in Northern Alberta. Its geometrically-complex roof is supported by expressed timber beams creating a visual reference to dinosaur bones.

Prefabricated modular timber panels are supported on angled glulam beams, tied
together with intricate, custom-made connections constructed using laminated CNC-milled Douglas fir plywood.

Midden Studio Kintyre Scotland

Midden Studio Kintyre interior
photos : Webb Yates Engineers

Midden Studio – Kintyre, Scotland, United Kingdom

Structural Designer: Webb Yates Engineers

An artist’s studio located on the Kintyre coast. Due to its remote location it is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, such as very high wind and snow loads. The building sits on top of a Victorian midden wall, formerly the depository for dung from nearby stables.

Both the walls and the roof are formed from stressed skin panels, enabling the corner of the building to cantilever over the stream without using any structural steel members. There is also a window in the underside of the cantilever which allows the artist to peer down to the flowing water below.

Maggie’s Centre Manchester structure Maggie’s Centre Manchester roof structure
photos : Foster + Partners

Maggie’s Centre – Manchester, United Kingdom

Structural Designer: Foster + Partners

Maggie’s Centres provide a welcoming ‘home from home’ for people affected by cancer. The Manchester Centre establishes a domestic atmosphere in a garden setting a short walk from The Christie Hospital’s leading oncology unit.

The centre’s structure was constructed entirely in laminated veneer lumber, a sustainable harvested softwood which minimises the carbon footprint of the building. The frames were fabricated using computer-controlled cutting that minimised the total amount of material used.

STIHL Treetop Walkway Westonbirt

STIHL Treetop Walkway structure
photos : BuroHappold

STIHL Treetop Walkway – Westonbirt, United Kingdom

Structural Designer: BuroHappold

The UK’s longest treetop walkway at 280m, this project is the crowning glory of redevelopment at Westonbirt Arboretum, opening up new vistas and helping visitors learn more about trees.

The structure consists of 57 crossing timber legs, machined to a gently tapering cigar shape from solid larch and Douglas fir sections. The legs support a flowing timber and steel walkway.

Woodchip Barn Dorset structure

Woodchip Barn Dorset roof structure
photos : Valerie Bennett

Woodchip Barn – Dorset, United Kingdom

Structural Designer: Arup

Located in Hooke Park, a woodland which serves as a test ground for experimental timber structures, the barn was part of a student competition to design a storage barn. The structure would use Beech trees harvested from the local forest.

A prime concept of the project was to use “Y” shaped tree fork junctions structurally, so that the natural strength of these joints was exploited. The timbers were 3D scanned, enabling fabrication using a seven-axis robotic arm.

The Cube London structure

The Cube London building structure
photos : Engenuiti

The Cube – London, United Kingdom

Structural Designer: Engenuiti

A ten-storey residential development that provides 50 homes on a unique rotated cruciform plan. An innovative, cost effective and environmentally efficient development in the heart of London.

The Cube pushes the boundaries of hybrid buildings and timber engineering through its novel twisted design and complex geometry. The interfaces between concrete, steel and timber required the development of a new suite of details and connections.

About The Institution of Structural Engineers

The Institution of Structural Engineers is the world’s largest membership organisation dedicated to the art and science of structural engineering. It is a leading source of expertise on all structural engineering and public safety issues in the built environment.

The Institution of Structural Engineers has 27,000 members in 105 countries around the world and was founded in 1908.

The Structural Awards 2016 information / images from Institution of Structural Engineers

Structural Awards 2015 Winners

The Structural Awards 2015 Winners

The Structural Awards 2015
Award for Arts or Entertainment Structures: The Vegas High Roller, Las Vegas, USA (by Arup)
The Vegas High Roller
photo © Arup

The Structural Awards 2014

The Structural Awards 2013
Taizhou Bridge, China – The Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence:
Taizhou Bridge
photo from Structural Awards 2013

For more information about The Structural Awards 2015 visit:


Stirling Prize

European Architecture

Contemporary Interiors

European Architecture Competition

Europe 40 Under 40

European Prize Architecture

American Architecture Awards

Pritzker Prize architects

European Hotel Awards

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