The finalists of the International Highrise Award have recently been selected: In Frankfurt/Main, Germany, an international jury of architects, engineers and property specialists chose five projects for the final shortlist. They will compete for the award and EUR 50,000 in prize money, which is bestowed by the city of Frankfurt/Main, Deutsches Architekturmuseum and DekaBank in a ceremony on November 5, 2010 in Frankfurt's renowned Paulskirche.
This important international architectural prize for high-rises is open to architects and developers, whose buildings must be at least 100 meters high and have been commissioned within the last two years. On the basis of extensive research, in 2010 Deutsches Architekturmuseum nominated 27 high-rise projects from 16 different countries for the competition; the jury then judged them in line with six fundamental criteria: pioneering design, aesthetics, integration into the urban setting, sustainability, innovative technology, cost efficiency.
“Whether commercial, residential or conceived as a vertical „city-within-a-city", our five finalists are all examples of mixed-use high-rise buildings,“ commented Spencer de Grey, Jury Chairman and Head of Design at Foster + Partners, London. In social, urban and also in ecological terms the final five demonstrate “a positive trend that has the opportunity of exploring new building forms.”
The residential high-rises Aqua Tower in Chicago and The Met in Bangkok address the concept of living outdoors and in green settings, and thereby develop new, unusual designs. The Jury decided that the over 200-meter-high buildings with balconies, terraces and communal open spaces fostered an augmented, vertical way of life which delivers long-term savings in energy resources.
The Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo also treads new ground. Thanks to innovative layout planning it brings together three independent educational institutions with over 10,000 students inside one highly expressive cocoon-like shell. The building represents a new typology for school buildings and is simultaneously a motor for the further development of the quarter.
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai represents high performance in contemporary high-rise architecture in several regards: Not only did the object convince the Jury with its record height of 828 meters, but also in particular thanks to the new, innovative structural solution developer and the elevator technologies that were employed in order to enable the dream of a vertical city to be realized.
Last but by no means least, the body of experts chose Shanghai World Financial Center as a finalist. As a new symbol of the global metropolis it stands out for its simple, elegant design, which also permits a great diversity of views outside and is realized in an innovative support structure.
The international jury was chaired by Spencer de Grey (Head of Design Foster + Partners, London). Other members of the Jury were: Joachim Faust (HPP Hentrich-Petschnigg & Partner, Düsseldorf), Harald Kloft (osd office for structural design, Frankfurt/Main), Matthias Sauerbruch (Sauerbruch Hutton, Berlin) Peter Cachola Schmal (Director, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt/Main), Thomas Schmengler (Managing Director, Deka Immobilien GmbH, Frankfurt/Main), Felix Semmelroth (Head of the Frankfurt/Main Culture Department) and Ma Yansong (MAD, Beijing).