Best Tall Building of 2015

John Hill
16. November 2015
Photo: Paolo Roselli, courtesy of CTBUH

The jury's selection was made from four regional winners that were named in June 2015: One World Trade Center, New York, USA (Americas), designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; CapitaGreen, Singapore (Asia & Australasia), designed by Toyo Ito & Associates Architects; Bosco Verticale, Milan, Italy (Europe), designed by Boeri Studio; and Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Tower, Abu Dhabi, UAE (ME & Africa), designed by Foster + Partners.

Representatives from each project gave presentations at the CTBUH Award Symposium last week and then the jury, chaired by WOHA's Wong Mun Summ (his firm's PARKROYAL on Pickering was given the Urban Habitat Award the same evening), convened to select Boeri's two-tower project the winner. Per the CTBUH statement on the 2015 Best Tall Building Worldwide:

The jury applauded Bosco Verticale, which translates to “Vertical Forest,” for its extraordinary implementation of vegetation at such scale and height. The building supplants traditional cladding materials with screens of greenery such that the plants act as an extension of the tower’s exterior envelope, creating a distinct microclimate. The building’s intensive “living façade,” incorporating numerous trees and 90+ species of vegetation, is an active interface to the surrounding environment. Along with creating a beautiful appearance, the living green façade concurrently stimulates interaction with the surrounding environment while also protecting against it, in fact enhancing the sustainability of the project. The jury called this exploration of the viability of greenery at such heights groundbreaking.

With vegetation placed up to 27 stories high, it's easy to be skeptical about the project, given that trees don't naturally grow in those conditions. Yet Boeri stated on receipt of the award that the project learned from the failures of other projects as well as its own: "Honestly, the reason we were able to do the Bosco Verticale was because we were able to learn from failures . . . and what I hope is that other attempts will learn from the mistakes we made with the Bosco Verticale." The next attempt will be by Boeri's own firm, in a planted tower proposed for Lausanne, Switzerland.

The Awards Dinner held in S.R. Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology (Photo: CTBUH)

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