The Structural Awards, held by the Institution of Structural Engineers every year, recognizes the range of innovation, achievement, and excellence of structural engineers whose work is often overlooked. The Structural Awards highlights the challenging environments structural engineers constantly face in order to help build highly complex structures. The annual competition aims to distinguish talent, garner public attention, and inspire young people to explore the field of structural engineering.
On August 5, the Institution released the 2013 official shortlist that includes entries from Germany, China, Georgia, Antarctica, and several from the UK. Winners will be announced at The Structural Awards Ceremony in London on November 15, 2013.
Take a gander at some of the shortlisted projects below.
China Central Television’s new Headquarters
Structural Designer: Arup; East China Architectural & Design Research Institute
Description: "The architects’ design for the new building is intended to encourage people from various disciplines to work together, creating a highly unusual shape. The two leaning towers, 234m and 194m tall, linked together by a 15 story cantilevered “overhang” and a 10 story podium, posed significant structural challenges, compounded by the location in a highly seismic area. The response was to brace the facade on all sides to form a continuous tube that is ideally suited to deal with the nature and intensity of the loading."
Judges’ comments: "This is an excellent example of the structural engineer providing a solution to a very difficult problem with a basic concept that is clear and robust. In addition, their skills in innovation, collaboration and attention to detail are apparent in the development of the final design."
The Anaklia-Ganmukhuri Pedestrian Bridge
Structural Designer: Fast + Epp; Leonhardt Andrä und Partner
Description: "Serving as a vital link across the Enguri River to the Black Sea resort town of Anaklia, Georgia, the Anaklia-Ganmukhuri Pedestrian Bridge is considered the longest cable-stayed timber bridge in Europe and possibly the world."
Judges’ comments: "Overcoming significant challenges, the elegant result achieved by the designers extends confidence in the use of timber in large scale structures."
The Halley VI Antarctic Research Center
Structural Designer: AECOM
Description: "Sited on a pristine floating ice shelf in Antarctica, the world’s first fully-relocatable, permanently manned research station, Halley VI, sits on skis and is designed to lift itself out of rising snow. Successful delivery in one of the harshest and remote locations on earth required a unique understanding of and response to the environment, scientists’ needs, restricted construction window, prefabrication, shipping constraints and maintenance limitations. The design met the stringent international environmental standards required for this region and will leave nothing behind when it moves on."
Judges’ comments: "The panel admired the dedication and collaborative response to meeting the unique challenges of this project: to deliver a practical and economic solution without compromise on the environmental demands of the project and its client."
The Emirates Air Line cable car
Structural Designer: Expedition Engineering; Buro Happold; URS
Description: "The Emirates Air Line is a dramatic new addition to London’s infrastructure linking two major landmark destinations, the O2 and the ExCel Exhibition Center. The project was delivered in a remarkably short timescale, only two years from concept through to public opening."
Judges’ comments: "The synergy between architecture and engineering has yielded a new landmark which is both beautiful and bold. Delivery within a very short timescale is testament to the whole project team and a fine example of what the UK construction industry can deliver."
Southend Pier Head
Structural Designer: Price & Myers
Description: "This is an economic building, pre-fabricated off-site in timber and steel and kept light by efficient structural engineering design. It needed to be light because it was fabricated as one element off site. It was then floated out to the end of the pier and lifted into its final resting place."
Judges’ comments: "The sense of theater engendered by floating the building out and lifting it into place, all in one day, is only part of the story – it also helped keep the construction team safe. The building and its unusual construction story has apparently already entered local folklore!"
Jasper Place Library
Structural Designer: Fast + Epp
Description: "The striking feature of this library building is the undulating roof structure. The clean, open and uncluttered architectural expression is realized through a post-tensioned concrete structure utilizing the inherent longitudinal stiffness of the concrete waves."
Judges’ comments: "The structural engineers on this project used geometry and stiffness to best advantage in order to realize a concrete roof which appears to defy gravity. This is only possible through a profound understanding of engineering relating to stability, load paths, structural form, materials and construction."
Tynemouth Railway Station
Structural Designer: Ramboll
Description: "Constructed in 1882, the fine wrought and cast iron canopy of the old LNER station at Tynemouth was on English Heritage’s 'at risk' register due to widespread corrosion. The causes were identified and the repairs of this Grade II listed structure were carried out with meticulous attention to detail, restoring the canopy to its splendid original condition."
Judges’ comments: "Much of the structure was severely cracked and corroded with some parts near to collapse. The judges found this to be an exemplary repair of the very fine wrought and cast iron canopy."
Gardens by the Bay
Structural Designer: Atelier One, Meinhardt Infrastructure
Description: "The Gardens by the Bay is already an important attraction on the water’s edge of Singapore. The gardens include two magnificent cooled conservatories, a small forest of “super-trees” and an aerial walkway, all of which exemplify innovative structural engineering. The whole complex is underpinned by a commitment to energy conservation and the enhancement of nature. The conservatories have an usual structure where an arch provides a spine to support a series of tensioned ribs – a highly original approach. The super-trees are sculptural objects in their own right but provide a really intriguing combination of engineering and aesthetic role – as solar collectors, chimneys, steam exhaust outlets and shade devices."
Judges’ comments: "The engineers have clearly applied innovative thinking to achieve a series of structures that are original and visually striking. This is a project full of ideas and truly sustainable achievements."
One One One Eagle Street
Structural Designer: Arup
Description: "The unusual arrangement of the perimeter columns in this 50 story tower is a direct response to the physical constraints and opportunities presented by the site. The seemingly random orientation of the columns follows a set of structural rules including a zero sum of angles at each floor to ensure overall stability."
Judges’ comments: "For this building the structural engineer has developed a design that responds to the architectural vision whilst solving the problems of support and enhancing the performance of the building. Such an integrated solution demonstrates the excellence that we all strive for."
Teign Crossing Cycle Bridge
Newton Abbot, Devon, UK
Structural Designer: Engineering Design Group, Devon County Council
Description: "Working to a limited budget, the design team were challenged to create a light touch landmark structure, providing as little obstruction to the natural open views as could be achieved. The structure uses tuned mass dampers to ensure that vibrations are reduced to comfortable levels."
Judges’ comments: "The judges appreciate the way in which the design brief for this project was successfully realized, achieving an elegant structure serving its community."
Castle Green Bridge
Structural Designer: Flint & Neill Ltd
Description: "This beautifully detailed pedestrian bridge fulfills the requirement to provide access across the historical moat at Taunton Castle, UK. The possible presence of archaeologically significant artifacts in the moat area, coupled with the need to minimize visual impact, resulted in the adoption of a slender reinforced concrete continuous beam solution."
Judges’ comments: "The success of this delightfully unobtrusive structure within a highly sensitive setting bears testament to the ingenious yet functional thinking of the structural engineer."
Strand East Tower
Structural Designer: engineersHRW; Wood Beton SpA
Description: "The Strand East Tower stands 40m tall; a timber and steel hyperbolic paraboloid resting on a piled raft foundation just to the south of the London 2012 Olympic Park. The tower’s graceful and efficient form takes on an additionally magical aspect after dark when it is illuminated by some 600 LED lights."
Judges’ Comments: "The judges are impressed with the strength, efficiency and beauty of the structure, appositely reflecting Vitruvius’ triple architectural principles of “firmness, commodity and delight."
To see the complete shortlist, click here.