Archive for emporis

Emporis Skyscraper Award 2016

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2017 by vincentloy

The result for Emporis Skyscraper Award 2016 was announced recently. It is an annual prize to honour highrise buildings with excellence in both aesthetic and functional design. The award first started in year 2000 ranks 10 best buildings worldwide annually which are chosen by Emporis editors. They are architectural experts from across the world. For your further information, Emporis is a real estate data mining company that collects and publishes data of buildings worldwide with particular emphasis on skyscrapers. The database now also includes low-rise buildings and other structures. Only buildings completed (built) in 2016 are considered for this award’s selection.

The winner for Emporis Skyscraper Award 2016 is Via 57 West in New York City, USA. The pyramid shaped winner, designed by the Danish architects BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, was recognized by the award jury for its fascinating and extraordinary shape which breaks new ground in design. VIA 57 West is a hybrid between an European perimeter block and a classic American skyscraper.

Claiming the second place is Torre Reforma from Mexico City, Mexico. With a height of 804 feet, it is Mexico City’s tallest skyscraper and also the world’s tallest exposed concrete structure. The jury specifically praises the intelligent environmental solution for a skyscraper. The building is composed of two exposed concrete walls and one main glass façade. The concrete walls protect the interior from direct sunlight and reduces the cooling load. Mexico City is known for its high seismic activity. For this reason, Torre Reforma has a triangular footprint and combined with the latest engineering knowledge, it is supposed to withstand heavy winds and earthquakes for the next 2,500 years.

In third place the expert jury voted Oasia Hotel Downtown, in Singapore. The project stands out with a remarkable red façade and 21 different species of plants in 1793 planter boxes turning into an urban oasis. The facade is overgrown with different vines to ensure the building’s facade is always lush and resilient during different weather conditions. Moreover, the tower offers four open sky gardens which allows wind to pass through the building for good ventilation.

Here’s below is the Top 10 Skyscrapers for year 2016 as selected by Emporis that reveals the remaining 4th to 10th place winners.

  1. Via 57 West – 142 metres high, 34 floors, New York City, USA. Architect: BIG. (30 points)

2. Torre Reforma – 245 metres high, 57 floors, Mexico City, Mexico. Architect: LBR Arquitectos. (27 points)

3. Oasis Hotel Downtown – 190 metres high, 27 floors, Singapore. Architect: WOHA Architects. (25 points)

4. MahaNakhon – 314 metres high, 77 floors, Bangkok, Thailand. Architect: Buro Ole Scheeren. (23 points)

5. Elbphilharmonie – 110 metres high, 25 floors, Hamburg, Germany. Architect: Kallmorgen & Partner, Herzog & de Meuron. (18 points)

6. 56 Leonard Street – 250 metres high, 57 floors, New York City, USA. Architect: Herzog & de Meuron. (17 points)

7. CTF Finance Centre – 530 metres high, 111 floors, Guangzhou, China. Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. (13 points)

8. The L Tower – 205 metres high, 59 floors, Toronto, Canada. Architect: Studio Daniel Libeskind. (12 points)

9. Beijing Greenland Dawangjing Tower – 260 metres high, 55 floors, Beijing, China. Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. (10 points)

10. Sumitomo Fudosan Roppongi Grand Tower – 231 metres high, 43 floors, Tokyo, Japan. Architect: Nikkon Sekkei Ltd. (7 points)

The winner, Via 57 West is one of the precedent studies for my Masters’ thesis. It is not very tall, but made a huge visual impact to the New York City’s skyline due to its unique design that challenges the convention of skyscraper typology. I do like the 2nd place winner, Torre Reforma too as the huge vertical bare concrete wall is a stand out among typical fully glass-clad or solid painted walled skyscrapers. The 3rd place, Oasis Hotel Downtown is to be complimented for its striking red-coloured cladding that allows landscaping to grow on it. The other buildings look fantastic too and they are mostly designed by famous architects. I have personally visited the Bangkok’s MahaNakhon Tower. Although it looks nice with its pixelated feature, but the way the architect explained how it relates to the city context doesn’t resonate to me at all.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)




Shanghai Tower named CTBUH’s Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 and won Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2016 by vincentloy

Shanghai Tower is a 632 metres tall skyscraper located in Shanghai, China and is currently the second tallest building in the world. Completed in 2015, it is also the tallest building in China, a country that has been actively building supertalls in recent decades. Designed by Gensler Architects, Shanghai Tower has 128 floors and is one of the three supertall buildings in the prime area in Pudong. The other two are the Shanghai World Financial Center (492 metres high) and Jin Mao Tower (421 metres high).


Recently, the tower is named Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 by Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Besides that, the tower has also won the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015. It’s a double joy for the tower. Shanghai Tower has accomplished such level of recognition due to many reasons. Some of them are its elegant spiraling cylindrical form, energy-efficient performance of the building, extraordinary double-skin facade, world’s fastest elevator, etc.




Shanghai Tower prevailed over other winners in smaller categories in CTBUH Best Tall Buildings selection to take the top prize after winning the Best Tall Building Asia and Australasia. Best Tall Building Americas goes to VIA 57 West, Best Tall Building Europe goes to The White Walls and Best Tall Building Middle East and Africa goes to The Cube. As for the Emporis Skyscraper Award, Shanghai Tower topped the list of their 10 finalist selection. The other 9 in order from top to bottom are Evolution Tower in Russia (no.2), II Dritto in Italy (no.3), Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza in China (no.4), ABODE 318 in Australia (no.5), Icon Bay in United States of America (no.6), D1 Tower in United Arab Emirates (no.7), 432 Park Avenue in United States of America (no.8), Citygate in Austria (no.9) and ICE II in Canada (no.10).

I would love to visit Shanghai Tower and goes up to its observation deck to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and to purchase a replica model of the skyscraper. If you know me well, one of my hobbies is to collect replica models of famous buildings and towers around the world. This hobby is actually very costly, but what can I do since it’s my interest. I have not visited Shanghai before and I am looking forward for a trip to that city in near future. I think I would be very impressed not only by the supertalls in that city, but also by the overall magnificent skyline of the city.


(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)


Emporis Skyscraper Award 2014.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2015 by vincentloy

The annual Emporis Skyscraper Award is back. If you have a particular interest in skyscrapers like me, then you should probably know the existence of this award. Emporis is a large database famous for its collection of information and photographs of highrise buildings across the world. The company also stored data of low-rise buildings and other man-made structures. Its skyscraper award which is one of the world’s most renowned architectural prize for skyscrapers is presented out annually to honour buildings with architectural excellence.

For this year’s award, the winning buildings must be completed in the previous calendar year (2014) and shall be of at least 100 metres high. The winner of the 2014 Emporis Skyscraper Award is Wangjing SOHO building located in Beijing, China. Chosen from over 300 skyscrapers built in 2014, Wangjing SOHO emerged as the prestigious winner.  The complex consisting of three unique skyscrapers with a height of 118 meter, 127 meter and 200 meter each, impressed the jury by its excellent energy efficiency and its distinctive design, which gives the complex a harmonious and organic momentum. The soft and fluid forms were designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, making Wangjing SOHO an architectural landmark of the metropolis Beijing. This complex of buildings do really look spectacular and very futuristic-looking. Zaha Hadid is always good in producing this kind of designs. Her style…



Second-placed Bosco Verticale (“vertical forest”), however, stands out through its “green” architecture, which marks a milestone in the field of sustainable construction. The facade and balconies of the two towers designed by Boeri Studio are covered with more than 700 trees and 90 different species of plants, which help to reduce smog and attenuate noise, while simultaneously producing oxygen and controlling the temperature inside the 105 meter and 78 meter tall towers.



The expert jury voted Tour D2 in Courbevoie into third place. Its elegant shape is defined by an external diagrid structure that spans the 171 meter tall oval tower in full height: The extravagant diamond design gives the skyscraper its characteristic appearance and makes the facade sparkle in the sunlight. On the roof, the steel mesh merges together to form an imposing dome above what is called the “Cloud Garden”, a 500m2 large green oasis in the heart of the business center.



Here’s below is the full list of Top 10 skyscrapers voted for Emporis Skyscraper Award 2014:

emporis award 2014

Although often represented in the Top Ten, Wangjing SOHO is the first time China manages to take the crown, since the Emporis Skyscraper Award was established in the year 2000 (fifteen years ago). Surprisingly there is not a single Canadian building among the winners this year, even with Toronto being one of the cities with the most new high-rise and skyscraper projects. Nevertheless, there is cause for celebration for North America: After the United States – the cradle of high-rise architecture – had been left empty handed two years in a row, this year two projects from New York made it into the Top Ten of the sought-after architecture prize. The iconic One World Trade Center made it to the list. I’m also surprised that my country, Malaysia made it into the Top 10 list too this time around with KKR Tower placed at No.10. It is a twisting (but the degree of twisting is not much disappointingly) office building located in my city, Kuala Lumpur. (image below)


I guess my city’s newly completed Ilham Baru Tower (274 metres tall and to be finished by this year) will be able to shine in this award next year. When choosing the winners, height records hardly play any role. Hence, only three “supertalls” (skyscrapers with a height of at least 300m) made it to the Top Ten this year. Instead of following the principle of “Bigger, Higher, Faster”, the jury put its emphasis on other qualities: “The results of recent years clearly show that criteria such as sustainability, efficiency and a clever design play a much more important role than reaching new superlatives”, says Daniel Schuldt, Emporis’ managing director.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

(Information source:

‘The Shard’ won Emporis Skyscraper Award 2013.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2014 by vincentloy

The Emporis Skyscraper Award for the year 2013, which is considered the world most renowned prize for skyscrapers, goes to London’s ‘The Shard’. The tallest building in western Europe, ‘The Shard’ was chosen by an international panel of experts from more than 300 skyscrapers of at least 100 metres in height and which were completed during the previous calendar year. The award, given by Emporis (, the international provider of building data. is now in its 14th year.

The 306m tall building designed by Renzo Piano, won over the jury, thanks to its unique glass fragment-shaped form and its sophisticated architectural implementation. Hmm…I had seen this building on my trip to Europe last year. I find that it is just a tall full-glass building that ends sharply at the top. Nothing special or worthy to be awarded the top honour for this skyscraper prize. That’s my personal opinion. Perhaps I didn’t know in detail of how the design is that great or maybe that last year’s competition isn’t strong, and so ‘The Shard’ stands out.


Second place went to DC Tower 1 at Vienna. The building at 250m high, is now Austria’s tallest building. The interesting feature of the building is one of its four sides that came with folded glass facade (creating ‘in’ and ‘out’ effect). In contrast with the other three typical flat sides of the building, the faceted facade creates a shifting pattern of light and shadow that animates the surface and lends it a rippling quality.


Coming in third place is Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort at Huzhou, China. It is a luxury hotel and resort by a lake with a height of 102m. It is not a very tall building, but is bold enough, thanks to its massive glowing light at night, striking reflection, and also particularly its torus/ ring-shaped form that leads to several nicknames given to the building like ‘Horseshoe Hotel’ or ‘Doughnut Hotel’.


For the full list of the top 10 winners of 2013’s Emporis Skyscraper Awards, go to this link: Hmmm…I don’t think Malaysia (my country) has any buildings that have won this prize before since its inception. If this prize is started out earlier (before 1997), then I’m sure Petronas Twin Towers will win.

(Information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Emporis Skyscraper Award 2012’s recipients are…

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2013 by vincentloy

The world’s most renowned annual architecture prize for skyscrapers, the Emporis Skyscraper Award for year 2012, has been given to the Absolute World Towers in Mississauga, Canada. The award, given by Emporis (, the international provider of building data, is being presented for the thirteenth time this year (first presented in year 2000).  If the awards started out few years earlier, I’m sure my local landmarks, Petronas Twin Towers would win it. By the way, let us look through the top three winners of this prestigious awards this year (for new buildings completed last year) to recognize excellence in highrise design and construction.

Absolute World Towers, which form part of a five-building complex and were designed by the architectural practices MAD and Burka Architects, won over the jury primarily through their unmistakable design: “The way the two structures twist organically by up to 8 degrees per floor is not just a superb technical achievement, but also a refreshing change to the set forms of high-rise routine,” stated the panel of experts in explaining the choice of the pair of towers, 176 and 158 meters tall, as the winner. The curvaceous form of this residential complex earned the building the nickname of ‘Marilyn Monroe’. The two towers also had continuous flowing balconies all around building, thus offering maximum lights to its interior.

MAD Architects . Absolute Towers . Toronto


(Image source:

The second-placed project is Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi, designed by Aedas Architects. Due to its innovative and distinctive facade, the skyscraper complex convinces in terms of both climate and design criteria. The outer skin of the facades is rotated by computer in response to the sun’s position, leading to a substantial reduction in thermal energy inside the buildings. In designing the twin towers, the architects drew inspiration from Arab mashrabiya windows – sun and privacy screens found in traditional Islamic architecture. This ‘green’ building is targeted to achieve LEED Silver rating. Both towers stand at a height of 145 meters respectively.

Al Bahar Towers are seen in Abu Dhabi


(Image source:

The expert jury voted Burj Qatar, a 238 meter tall skyscraper in Doha, into third place. Designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, it is the building’s exceptional facade design that stands out. The metal mesh facade, whose design – as with Al Bahr Towers – draws on traditional mashrabiya windows and is intended to contribute to protection from the sun, reveals a complex pattern at close quarters. The imposing effect of the ornamental facade reaches its full expression under the dome that tops the cylinder-shaped skyscraper. Another interesting point of this building shall be its large atrium that runs from ground to 27th floor, reaching a height of 112 meters.



(Image source:

I do hope that my home city, Kuala Lumpur would be building cool skyscrapers soon so that we may stand a chance to win this skyscraper award in near future. We do have a number of skyscrapers in KL, but most are built quite long ago and are generally cannot be regarded as striking or in state-of-the-art design. Too bad, this awards is not introduced yet when Petronas Twin Towers were completed back in 1997.

Information source:

Top 10 World’s Highest Observation Decks

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2013 by vincentloy

Observation deck is a place within a building or structure (tower) for visitation by tourists for sightseeing. Wonderful panoramic view is offered in observation deck which is usually located at the top portion of a building of tower, and yet not necessarily at the highest floor or point of a building. We are usually aware of the list of world’s tallest buildings. But what about the list of world’s highest observation decks? Emporis had compiled the list recently and I’m going to share it here. Click on the image below for larger view.

highest observation decks list from emporis

Burj Khalifa, the current world’s tallest man-made structure that stands at 828 metres had its observatory named ‘At The Top’. However, that doesn’t means that the building has the highest observatory in the world. It’s observatory is situated at 452 metres above ground and that is not high enough to top the list of world’s highest observation deck. It can only afford to be placed no.3. I wonder why the architect doesn’t want the observatory to be placed much higher to claim another title and also to allow for much breathtaking view from a greater height that has never been attempted before.

Out of this top 10 list of world’s highest observation decks, I had only been to one; the observatory in Taipei 101. I had visited Taipei 101 in 2008, at the time when it was still the world’s tallest building. Hence, the highest level of a building that I have ever been to is at level 91 of Taipei 101 which is at 392 metres above ground. At the time of my visit, it is also the title holder for the world’s highest outdoor observatory. Everything below appears so tiny from that particular level.

Out of this top 10 list, three are categorized as towers and not buildings; Canton Tower, Tokyo Sky Tree and CN Tower. Canton Tower which is located in Guangzhou is the world’s third tallest structure. The tower not only provides a magnificent view over the city of Guangzhou but also provides further attraction to visitors – a chance to circle the top of the tower below the antenna in glass pods 460 metres above ground. It’s like a horizontal ferris wheel at such a height! Excellent! I wish to visit the tower once in near future! The tower looks cool especially at night with those LED lights illuminating and giving ‘life’ to the tower beautifully.


Petronas Twin Towers, former world’s tallest buildings and still the current world’s tallest twin buildings had it’s highest observatory on 86th floor in Tower 2 at a height of 370 metres above ground. It would be then situated in placing no. 11. Opps..the list only covers top 10. I live in Kuala Lumpur, and I had never been to the observatory of the towers which are at level 41st and 42nd at the skybridge (170 metres above ground) and at 86th floor as mentioned earlier.

Around five years later, the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia would top this list as well as claiming the title of world’s tallest man-made structure from Burj Khalifa once it is built. The construction has commenced last month as reported and estimated year of completion would be somewhere in 2018. The building’s height would goes above 1000 metres, making it the only man-made structure to go beyond 1 km in height when completed. The exact figure of the height still remains unknown or mystery, similarly to the time when Burj Khalifa is completed. Kingdom Tower’s observatory would be located somewhere 800 metres above ground. Wow…

(Images and information in this post are from and from various other sources throughout the world wide web)

2011 Emporis Skyscraper Award results announced.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2012 by vincentloy

Emporis, a famous database keeping informations on skyscrapers around the world has announced the latest recipients of 2011 Emporis Skyscraper Award. The award is being given for the 12th time, and this latest announcement made in the end of 2012 is based on skyscrapers completed in previous year (2011).

8 Spruce Street in New York City is the winner of this renowned architecture prize for new skyscrapers. The winners were chosen from over 220 skyscrapers completed in 2011. 8 Spruce Street, the first skyscraper by the architect Frank Gehry, and also known as The Beekman or New York by Gehry, won over the jury with its magnificent undulating stainless steel facade. Commenting on the choice, the jury said: “8 Spruce Street stands out even in Manhattan’s already remarkable skyline. It is a major new architectural landmark for New York.”


(An image of 8 Spruce Street. Image source:

8 Spruce Street  won over the jury with its facade. The building’s cladding is composed of 10,500 stainless steel panels, some flat, some undulating. The five stories at the foot of the tower have a brick facade since the architect wanted the base to be in the spirit of the neighboring buildings. The building is 265 meters tall, has 76 floors and was completed in 2011 after a construction period of five years. The skyscraper is used as a residential building, but it also includes a school as well as doctors’ offices and shops.


(An image of Al Hamra Tower. Image source:


(An image of Etihad Tower. Image source:

The sculptured form of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Al Hamra Tower earned it second place in the ranking. Despite its great height, the skyscraper fits harmoniously into Kuwait City’s urban landscape. The form of the tower is interesting. The tower is now among the top 15 tallest buildings in the world currently. DBI Design’s Etihad Towers were voted into third place,with the jury praising the complex as a particularly harmonious ensemble of buildings. To check the full top 10 list, here is the table below, with their city, height and number of floors indicated:


It’s quite a good list. Out of the top 10, I like four; 8 Spruce Street, Al Hamra Tower, KK100, and Reflections at Keppel Bay. Out of all these buildings, I have only visited Reflections at Keppel Bay and the complex of buildings look wonderful! However, I prefer to have Reflections at Keppel Bay and KK100 to be in higher standing, while some buildings listed here aren’t that impressive after all. To check out more information and images of buildings mentioned in the winning list, you can go to its website: Ahh, none of KL’s buildings built in 2011 made it to the list. It is a proof that KL didn’t have new awesomely-designed buildings eventhough the city sees quite a number of building constructions. But then I’m looking forward to Ilham Baru Tower to make it to the list few years later as it is a fantastic-looking tall building to be completed in the city by 2014. You can also check out my post mentioning on details of this tower not far behind.

(Information source: