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The Emporis Skyscraper Award

The Emporis Skyscraper Award is the world's most renowned prize for high-rise architecture and has been awarded on an international basis every year since 2000. The primary criteria in awarding the prize are excellence in aesthetic and functional design. Every year, a jury of experts selects the winner. Buildings must have a minimum height of 100 meters and have been completed during the previous calendar year.

Award 2020

Winner One Barangaroo
Architect Bates Smart, WilkinsonEyre
Height 890 ft

According to the jury, the extravagant design of One Barangaroo’s exterior façade was the deciding factor for the building coming in at first place. It is inspired by natural shapes and resembles three petals rising slightly twisted into the sky. Award overview

Award 2019

Winner Lakhta Center
Architect RMJM, Gorproject
Height 1,516 ft

When choosing the Lakhta Center as its favorite, the jury was impressed by the skyscraper's unusual form. The exterior structure of the building consists of five wings that rotate almost 90 degrees. The twist creates a dynamic impression, giving the building the shape of a blazing flame. Award overview

Award 2018

Winner MGM Cotai
Architect Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Height 495 ft

When selecting the MGM Cotai, the jury was especially fascinated by its innovative design. The unique structure is based on the idea of nine Chinese jeweler's boxes stacked upon each other, forming two interconnected towers. Award overview

Award 2017

Winner Lotte World Tower
Architect Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Height 1,819 ft

The winner especially impressed the jury with its harmonious design that gives the skyscraper a soft and natural dynamic. Award overview

Award 2016

Winner VIA 57 West
Architect BIG
Height 467 ft

The pyramid shaped winner, designed by the Danish architects BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, was recognized by the award jury for its fascinating and extraordinary shape which breaks new ground in design. VIA 57 West is a hybrid between an European perimeter block and a classic American skyscraper. Award overview

Award 2015

The 632-meter tall Shanghai Tower was chosen as the winner for several reasons, including it's elegant spiraling cylindrical shape which was designed by Gensler Architects. It also impressed the jury with its extraordinary energy efficiency. Award overview

Award 2014

Winner Wangjing SOHO impressed the jury by its excellent energy efficiency and its distinctive design, which gives the complex a harmonious and organic momentum. The soft and fluid forms were designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, making Wangjing SOHO an architectural landmark of the metropolis Beijing. Award overview

Award 2013

Winner The Shard
Architect Renzo Piano Building Workshop SRL
Height 1,004 ft

"Construction of The Shard was complicated by the particularly tight site and therefore needed innovative planning. This makes the result all the more impressive: a skyscraper that is recognized immediately and which is already considered London's new emblem," stated the expert jury in explaining its decision. Award overview

Award 2012

Winner Absolute World 1
Architect Burka Architects Inc., MAD, Ltd., Stantec
Height 591 ft

Absolute World Towers won over the jury primarily through their unmistakable design: "The way the two structures twist organically by up to 8 degrees per floor is not just a superb technical achievement, but also a refreshing change to the set forms of high-rise routine," stated the panel of experts. Award overview

Award 2011

The winning building is the first skyscraper by the architect Frank Gehry, and is also known as "The Beekman". It won over the jury with its magnificent undulating stainless steel facade. Commenting on the choice, the jury said: "The building stands out even in Manhattan's already remarkable skyline. It is a major new architectural landmark for New York." Award overview

Award 2010

The unique appearance and eye-catching red facade of Barcelona's Hotel Porta Fira saw it triumph over 300 skyscrapers from all over the world. It won over the skyscraper that is currently the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa (Dubai): the jury felt that Hotel Porta Fira's aesthetics and integration into its urban environment outweighed the Babylonian desire to build ever-taller skyscrapers. Award overview

Award 2009

Winner Aqua
Architect Studio Gang Architects
Height 859 ft

The jury chose the innovative Aqua for its fascinating shape and visual appearance, which change dramatically depending on the angle from which one is viewing the building. The precision construction methods deployed and sustainable, environmentally-friendly aspects were also praised. Award overview

Award 2008

Winner Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower
Architect Tange Associates
Height 668 ft

The jury praised the "expressive design" and "remarkable environment" that the 50-story Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo provides. The cocoon-like tower is currently the second-tallest university building in the world. Exterior and interior design are integrated in a particularly sophisticated way, thus creating a harmonious learning environment for Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower's users. Award overview

Award 2007

Winner Haagse Toren
Architect AAArchitecten
Height 432 ft

A particular feature of Het Strijkijzer is its structurally expressive folded-triangle shape, which responds well to the small site on which the skyscraper stands. The jury chose the building not just for this contextual approach and for its elegant reinterpretation of classic high-rise architecture, but also for its efficient program for accommodating new entrants to the housing market. Award overview

Award 2006

Winner Hearst Tower
Architect Adamson Associates, Foster + Partners
Height 597 ft

Hearst Tower was chosen for its sustainability and innovative design, among other reasons. The 46-story tower was constructed on top of an existing six-story structure. The building achieves an appealing contrast between old and new styles of architecture. The jury was also impressed by the facade's striking triangle pattern. Award overview

Award 2005

Winner Turning Torso
Architect Santiago Calatrava S.A.
Height 623 ft

HSB Turning Torso, named for its twisting shape, is currently the tallest skyscraper in Scandinavia. At 190 meters and 54 floors, it is a landmark of the city of Malmö. The jury described the building as "highly adventurous and innovative" and rewarded the architect's willingness to experiment. Award overview

Award 2004

Winner Taipei 101
Architect C.Y. Lee & Partners
Height 1,671 ft

Taipei 101 was crowned winner of the Emporis Skyscraper Award, convincing the jury on design and functional criteria. Built according to Feng Shui principles and named for its 101 stories, the shape of the tower was inspired by a bamboo stalk to withstand the extreme loads that can occur in Taiwan, a seismically active zone. Award overview

Award 2003

Winner 30 St. Mary Axe
Architect Foster + Partners
Height 590 ft

30 St Mary Axe is a landmark on the London skyline; its unique shape imparts a new character to the financial district in the "City" at the heart of London. The curving tower stretches 41 stories into the sky. The building won over the jury due to its fascinating facade and its sustainability and energy efficiency. Award overview

Award 2002

Its unique design makes Kingdom Centre a symbol of the city of Riyadh. The elliptical tower is crowned by a curved opening and can be seen from almost anywhere in Saudi Arabia's capital. It is currently not only the tallest building in Saudi Arabia but also the tallest skyscraper in the world with fewer than 50 stories. Award overview

Award 2001

Winner One Wall Centre
Architect Busby + Associates Architects
Height 491 ft

One Wall Centre is a narrow 48-story elliptical tower which is pointed at both ends, and clad in blue glass with a sloping roof. At the time of its completion it was the tallest building in British Columbia. It won due to the highly-successful combination of its design and functionality. Award overview

Award 2000

The Sofitel is a 400-room hotel in the heart of Manhattan. The building features a limestone-and-glass tower flanked by two rectangular 20-story wings. The facade looking onto West 45th Street was inspired by limestone buildings of the Parisian Moderne. The tower won for its highly-striking and yet functional design. Award overview