Canadian project among winners of international Emporis Skyscraper Award

Shanghai Tower. Photo: Connie Zhou.
Shanghai Tower. Photo: Connie Zhou.

The winners of this year’s Emporis Skyscraper Award have been announced, including a Canadian project by architectsAlliance.

The Emporis Skyscraper Award has been given since 2000. The jury is formed of architecture experts from all over the world, who judge nominated buildings according to aesthetic and functional design criteria. Previous winners include Wangjing SOHO (2014) in Beijing, The Shard in London (2013) and Absolute World Towers in Mississauga (2012).

First place went to Shanghai Tower, currently the second tallest building in the world and the tallest skyscraper in Asia. The building was chosen by an international panel of experts from over 300 skyscrapers of at least 100 meters height which were completed in 2015.

The 632-metre tall Shanghai Tower was chosen as the winner for several reasons, including it’s elegant spiraling cylindrical shape which was designed by Gensler Architects. It also impressed the jury with its energy efficiency. The double skin facade of the tower is reminiscent of a thermos bottle. Moreover, Shanghai Tower is the home of the world’s fastest elevator, which can transport people at a speed of 20 metres per second to the viewing platform of 561 metres height.

Evolution Tower. Photo: Igor Butyrskii.
Evolution Tower. Photo: Igor Butyrskii.

Second place in the voting went to the Evolution Tower in Moscow by Kettle Collective and RMJM Edinburgh, recognized by the award jury for its expressive design. Each floor twists three degrees in relation to one below it, and the tower has a rotation from the base to the top by more than 150 degrees. The design is inspired by St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow and Tatlin’s tower.

The third-placed building is Il Dritto (The Straight One) in Milan. It is a collaboration between Japanese architect Arata Isozaki and Italian architect Andrea Maffei. The 210-metre tall tower is also known as Allianz Tower: the German financial services giant Allianz is the owner. The design of the facade is inspired by Constantin Brâncuși’s sculpture “Endless Column.”

ArchitectsAlliance won tenth place for their project ÏCE II in Toronto. Ïce is a three-tower complex that is transforming the former CN Railway Lands at the foot of Toronto’s York Street. Each tower has a distinct personality that reflects its program.

ICE II. Photo: Edvard Mahnic.
ICE II. Photo: Edvard Mahnic.

The office tower – modernist, rational, transparent – incorporates innovative ‘double-skinned’ building technology that controls solar gain. Two slender residential towers have sculpted, highly articulated profiles that frame views of the Lake. Despite the substantial increase in density, existing view corridors through the site are preserved.

Seven-metre high open spaces anchor the base of each tower, linked by a network of public promenades, open-air walkways and a new landscaped urban plaza. A raked podium – the first of its size in Toronto – links the towers and extends out to the property line, providing year-round protection to this enriched public realm. Shaped openings in the podium allow light to filter into the plaza, and provide room for the future growth of a grove of young trees.

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