Posts Tagged ‘Best Highrises 2018/19: The International Highrise Award 2018’

Architecture | Sky-High with Street Credibilty

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Bangkok, Thailand,
Büro Ole Scheeren +

Photo Hufton + Crow

Best Highrises 2018/19
The International
Highrise Award 2018

Frankfurt | Germany
3 November 2018 >
3 March 2019

Beirut Terraces,
Beirut, Lebanon,
Herzog & de Meuron
Photo Iwan Baan

Aside from the obvious symbolism of its subject matter, this is a very sexy competition. A fact that was, presumably, not lost on The City of Frankfurt which initiated it in 2003. The International Highrise Award, now considered the world’s most important architecture prize for high-rises, was guaranteed to establish Frankfurt as a centre for architectural innovation and to draw global attention to the city, which continues to host the event.

Oasia Hotel
Downtown, Singapore,

Photo K Kopter

But why Frankfurt? Due to the historical value of their existing buildings many other European cities, have rejected skyscraper construction. Frankfurt’s inner city area, however, was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II and only a small number of its landmarks were rebuilt, which left ample room for modern high-rises that would stand as monuments to reconstruction. Outside Germany, Frankfurt is simply called Frankfurt; in German-speaking countries the city is given its full name Frankfurt am Mein (Frankfurt on the Mein river), and sometimes referred to as ‘Mainhattan’ – a reference to its impressive high rises and skyscrapers that began to appear in the 1960s and where architect Coop Himmelblau’s European Central Bank (2015) is situated. The intervening years saw hundreds of high-rises erected in the city, however, the Commerzbank Tower, at 259 metres, built in 1997, is destined for the moment at least to remain the tallest.

2 views of

Torre Reforma,
Mexico City, Mexico,
L Benjamín

Winner of The International
Highrise Award 2018

Photo (top) Iwan Baan.
Photo (above)
Alfonso Merchand

Although extremely high, landmark buildings continue to go up around the world, especially in China, which now has 30 of the world’s tallest, the criteria on which their design is based has somewhat altered. Hybrid usage is on the rise, while single-use buildings are becoming rare. One trend emerging in Southeast Asia and China involves grouping individual structures together in ensembles, which is creating developments that define their surrounding areas and even whole districts. While extraordinary aesthetics and trailblazing design have not lost their attraction, this year’s IHA competition has placed greater emphasis on functionality, innovative building technology, sustainability, cost-effectiveness and how high-rises contribute to the urban fabric and encourage street-life.

Chaoyang Park
Plaza, Beijing, China,
MAD Architects

Photo Hufton + Crow

Organised jointly with the Deutsches Architekturmuseum and DekaBank, both also based in Frankfurt, aimed at architects and developers whose buildings are at least 100 metres high, the biennial competition is judged by a panel of prominent architects, structural engineers, real-estate experts and architecture critics from across the globe.

Best Highrises 2018/19 at (DAM) Deutsches Architekturmuseum, focuses on the main prize-winner and five finalists, (all shown here), but presents all 36 nominated structures.

All images courtesy DAM

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