Wangjing SOHO, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, has won the top prize in the 2015 Emporis Award competition, according to a report in Sourceable. Each year, an international panel of experts reviews skyscrapers of at least 330 feet in height that were completed during the previous calendar year. The award, given by Emporis, the international provider of building data, is now into its fifteenth year.
The winning design marks the first time a building in China has received the prestigious award. The SOHO complex consists of three unique skyscrapers with a height of 390 feet, 420 feet and 660 feet each. It impressed the jury with its excellent energy efficiency and its distinctive design — which gives the buildings a harmonious and organic momentum. The soft and fluid forms make Wangjing SOHO an architectural landmark for the city of Beijing.
Second place this year went to Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) constructed in the Porta Nuova district of Milan, Italy and designed by architect Stefano Boeri. The jurors said it stands out because of its extensive use of “green” architecture, which marks a milestone in the field of sustainable construction. The facade and balconies of the two towers designed by Boeri are covered with more than 700 trees and 90 different species of plants, which help to reduce smog and attenuate noise, while simultaneously producing oxygen and controlling the temperature inside the 350 foot and 260 foot tall towers.
When judging buildings today, mere height is not the only criterion. Instead of following the principle of “Bigger, Higher, Faster”, the jury put its emphasis on other qualities, such as innovation and environmental awareness. Only three “supertalls” (skyscrapers with a height of at least 1,000 feet) made it to the Top Ten this year. “The results of recent years clearly show that criteria such as sustainability, efficiency and clever design play a much more important role than reaching new superlatives”, says Daniel Schuldt, Emporis’ managing director.