Finance Property The world’s best tall buildings: Sydney skyscraper takes prestigious gong
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The world’s best tall buildings: Sydney skyscraper takes prestigious gong

A "verdant tower of green", the Oasia Hotel Downtown was crowned the world's best tall building of 2018. Photo: WOHA architects
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A sustainable Sydney skyscraper lauded as one of the world’s first “smart” buildings has taken home a prestigious international award for high-rise projects.

High-rise towers from 28 countries vied for glory at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s 16th annual awards, with Singapore’s Oasia Hotel Downtown taking out top gong as Best Tall Building Worldwide for 2018.

The CTBUH awards recognise projects that make “extraordinary contributions” to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, with sustainability and innovation at the forefront.

Australia’s contenders all hailed from Sydney, with International Towers – three commercial towers designed by British firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in Barangaroo South and a finalist in the Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia category, and 56-level luxury residential building Lumiere, built in 2007 in Sydney’s CBD, nominated for a ’10 year’ award. 

Sydney’s EY Centre boasts green credentials and innovative technology. Photo: Mirvac

The Mirvac-built EY Centre at 200 George Street in Sydney’s CBD was the only Australian winner, taking home the Construction Award for its innovative use of natural materials. Described as a “tower of wood”, the FJMT-designed office building was constructed using yellow block sandstone and natural timber.

The FJMT-designed tower features an intelligent facade that implements new energy-saving strategies. Photo: Gareth Hayman

Touted as one of the world’s first “smart” buildings, the environmentally-friendly skyscraper features an “intelligent” façade with an automated timber blind system that responds to its external and internal environment.

Best Tall Building Worldwide

Winner: Oasia Hotel Downtown, Singapore

The Oasia Hotel Downtown has been named the world’s best tall building. Photo: WOHA architects

For as little as $200 you could can spend the night in the world’s best tall building, Singapore’s Oasia Hotel Downtown. The stand-out skyscraper also collected the award for Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia, and features a vibrant red aluminium mesh facade and tropical living walls made up of more than 50 species of climbing plants.

Designed by Singapore’s WOHA architects with interiors by Spain’s renowned Studio Patricia Urquiola, the 27-storey, 314-room hotel was created using a “club sandwich approach” that incorporates a series of different strata, each with its own “sky garden”.

Best Tall Building Americas

Winner: American Copper Buildings, New York City

The American Copper Buildings are joined together by the highest skybridge in Manhattan. Photo: SHoP architects

Clad in thousands of panels of copper, the American Copper Buildings in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighbourhood is a luxury residential complex designed by SHoP architects. It features two ‘dancing’ buildings that bend in the middle and are joined by the highest skybridge in Manhattan, which houses a lap pool, lounge, and other shared amenities for the towers’ 761 apartments.

Best Tall Building Europe

Winner: The Silo, Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s The Silo was named Europe’s best tall building for 2018. Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj

Denmark’s COBE architects transformed what was originally a grain silo in Copenhagen’s Nordhavn neighbourhood into a 38-unit apartment building with an angular façade made of galvanised steel that serves as a climate shield. Each apartment features floor-to-ceiling windows, while a rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of the city.

Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa

Winner: Zeitz MOCAA,  Cape Town, South Africa

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town was created out of old corn silos in the harbour district. Photo: RODGER BOSCH/AFP/Getty Images.   

Created out of old corn silos, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town is the African continent’s first museum dedicated to contemporary African art. Designed by British architect Thomas Heatherwick, the building contains a nod to its history with an atrium designed to resemble the shape of a grain of corn.

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