CTBUH names Urban Habitat Award Excellence Projects

Kengo Kuma, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Aspect Studios, HPP Architects, Kohn Pedersen Fox,

Martin Mischkulnig, Dave Burk, Darren Soh, Virgile Simon Bertrand, Tim Griffith,

Hong Kong, Singapore, Istanbul, Turkey, Sydney, Australia, Chicago, USA,



In preparation for the 2021 edition of the Tall + Urban Innovation Conference, set to take place online on May 18 to 20 of this year, the CTBUH (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) revealed the winning “excellence” projects in various categories of its prestigious awards. After the buildings have been categorised according to height, the new excellence winners are skyscrapers selected for the technological and construction aspects adopted, for their intended use or for the Urban Habitat category.

CTBUH names Urban Habitat Award Excellence Projects

With a perfectly defined rhythm, week after week, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is revealing the annual “Best Tall Building Award of Excellence Winners” in the different categories of its prestigious awards. An approach which, from one excellence winner to the next, is keeping the attention of operators in the sector alive, while preparing the public for the 2021 edition of the Tall + Urban Innovation Conference.
To overcome the travel restrictions and the various logistical problems related to the ongoing pandemic, the CTBUH annual conference will be held online from May 18 to 20 of this year, on which occasion the absolute winners in each category will be named, the best of the best.
After the buildings have been subdivided according to their height, categories to which we dedicated an article in January, the new "excellence" projects announced by the CTBUH are skyscrapers selected taking into account a number of aspects: the engineering and technological aspects adopted (construction, structural engineering, MEP engineering, geotechnical engineering, engineering of the façade, fire and risk engineering), their intended use (offices, residential or hotel buildings, mixed use buildings), as well as the Urban Habitat.
Our attention has focused of this last aspect, where the winners represent a perfect synthesis between the skyscraper project and the quality of the surrounding urban environment on two different scales: the first dedicated to District/Masterplan scale projects and the second focused on Single-Site scale projects. The projects that have won the “Urban Habitat Award of Excellence Winners” in the District/Masterplan category include the Darling Square project in Sydney, Australia. The landscape project completed by the Aspect Studios firm transformed a previously isolated space into a well-integrated public square in the vibrant Darling Harbour district. A public place open to stimuli from the surrounding streets and spaces, where The Exchange is also located, a multipurpose centre designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates. In the same category we also find the Lincoln Common project: a large mixed-use development that includes offices, residential and commercial units, designed to revitalise the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighbourhood and, in particular, the site of the former Children's Memorial Hospital. The project, developed by the Hines and McCaffery Interests firm, also saw the collaboration of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) and of Antunovich Associates.

The Urban Habitat – Single Site Scale category, on the other hand, includes two projects designed by the Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates studio. The first is the 18 Robinson skyscraper in Singapore, which has also been selected in the “Best Tall Building 100-199 meters 2021 Award of Excellence” category. The building gives life to a landscape composed of public spaces and open-air terraces, a non-static condition that continues to change thanks to the presence and development, over time, of the vegetation that surrounds the central space. The second project is the Victoria Dockside, a mixed use complex designed to create an accessible and dynamic district in Hong Kong near the port. The project was also recognised in the "MEP Engineering Award 2021 Award of Excellence" category.
In the same category we also find the AND Pastel project designed by HPP Architects, a residential complex consisting of four towers and three perimeter blocks. The buildings, distributed around four external courtyards, give life to a lively neighbourhood revitalising and renovating a former industrial area of Istanbul.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Full list of winners

Urban Habitat – District/Master Plan Scale
- Darling Square, Sydney
- Hudson Yards, New York City
- Lincoln Common, Chicago
- Pudong Financial Plaza Tower 1, Shanghaiv - Poly Greenland Plaza, Shanghai

Urban Habitat – Single Site Scale
- 18 Robinson, Singapore
- AND Pastel, Istanbul
- Assuta Bauhaus Village, Tel Aviv
- DUO, Singapore
- Taipei Nanshan Plaza, Taipei
- Trinity, Paris
- Victoria Dockside, Hong Kong

Images courtesy of CTBUH https://tallinnovation.com/

(01) The Exchange, images courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates credit © Photography by Martin Mischkulnig
(02) Lincoln Common, Chicago images courtesy of SOM credit: (c) Dave Burk | SOM
(03) Collage by CTBUH
(04 - 06) 18 Robinson, images courtesy of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, photo credit: (c) Darren Soh (04-05), (c) Tim Griffith (06)
(07-09) Victoria Dockside images courtesy of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, photo credit: (c) Virgile Simon Bertrand
(10-12)AND Pastel images courtesy of HPP Architects, photographer (c) Onur Gurkan


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