The results of the 2011 Emporis Skyscraper Award are now in: 8 Spruce Street in New York City is the winner of the renowned architecture prize for new skyscrapers. Every year, Emporis’ expert international jury rewards ten skyscrapers completed in the previous calendar year. The award is being given for the 12th time.
Image: Courtesy of Gehry Partners
The winners were chosen from over 220 skyscrapers completed in 2011. 8 Spruce Street, the first skyscraper by the architect Frank Gehry, and also known as The Beekman or New York by Gehry, won over the jury with its magnificent undulating stainless steel facade.
Commenting on the choice, the jury said: “8 Spruce Street stands out even in Manhattan’s already remarkable skyline. It is a major new architectural landmark for New York.”
The sculptured form of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Al Hamra Tower earned it second place in the ranking. Despite its great height, the skyscraper fits harmoniously into Kuwait City’s urban landscape. The tower is engineered to take account of climate conditions: the south facade, with limestone elements cladding a concrete wall, protects the building from the searing desert sun and impressed the jury from both architectural and functional points of view.
DBI Design’s Etihad Towers were voted into third place, the jury praising the complex as a particularly harmonious ensemble of buildings. Critical to the decision were the soft, curving contours of the towers: these suggest the shape of sails and are intended to evoke Abu Dhabi’s history as a port. The jury of experts also singled out the exceptional facade of silver and blue glass.
8 Spruce Street is now the third New York tower to win the Emporis Skyscraper Award. The very first award (2000) went to Sofitel New York Hotel, while Hearst Tower won the coveted architecture prize for 2006. That makes New York City, the world capital of high-rise architecture, the city to which the Emporis Skyscraper Award has most often been awarded.