The International Highrise Award 2012 goes to Christoph Ingenhoven\ ingenhoven architects, Düsseldorf, and Ray Brown\ Architectus, Sydney, for the office building "1 Bligh Street" in Sydney. An international jury made up of architects, engineers, real estate experts, and architecture critics has chosen the project from five finalists, who had been shortlisted for the final round. 26 projects from 17 countries were nominated for the International Highrise Award 2012. For the first time the jury has also awarded a Special Commendation for the revitalization of an existing highrise to create the Deutsche Bank towers (Frankfurt/Main) by gmp – von Gerkan, Marg und Partner with Mario Bellini Architects. The award ceremony took place on November 15, 2012 in Paulskirche in Frankfurt.

Though at 139 meters and 30 floors the winning building does not set any height records it does set new standards on its continent regarding social, cultural, urban-planning and sustainability. »The overall quality of the building is outstanding. With their design the architects avoid the iconic, and instead place the emphasis on the needs of the users – say the view from all the offices,« commented the jury of experts chaired by Frankfurt- based architect Prof. Albert Speer. »1 Bligh Street« has an elliptic shape and is slightly out of line with the street, so that all the offices have a direct view of Sydney Harbor and Harbor Bridge. It is Australia’s first highrise to have a naturally ventilated double façade of glass. This enables and ideal an ideal incidence of daylight reduces heating costs and losses and accentuates the building’s overall homogenous, crystalline shape. The building’s main tenant is the law firm Clayton Utz, which has rented 15 floors. Project developer of the highrise completed in 2011 is the DEXUS Property Group, one of the leading Australian real-estate firms.

The finalists at a glance:

  • The Pinnacle@Duxton (Singapur) by ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism, Singapore
  • The Troika (Kuala Lumpur) by Foster + Partners, London
  • Eight Spruce Street (New York) by Gehry Partners, Los Angeles
  • 1 Bligh Street (Sydney) by ingenhoven architects, Düsseldorf and Architectus, Sydney
  • Absolute Towers (Mississauga, Canada) by MAD, Beijing

The most important international architecture prize for highrises is aimed at architects and developers, whose buildings are at least 100 meters high and were completed in the past two years. The jury judges the nominated projects on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Pioneering design
  • Functionality
  • Innovative balding technology
  • Urban integration
  • Sustainability
  • Cost effectiveness

According to Prof. Albert Speer, Chairman of the International Highrise Award 2012 jury, “the finalists demonstrate that in contemporary highrise construction there is not only a shift in use from office to residential. We also discern a country focus on the Asian-Pacific region”. This is because four of the five nominated projects are residential highrises, two of them from the Asian-Pacific region, two from North America, the traditional highrise region.

The City of Frankfurt has bestowed The International Highrise Award every two years since 2004. It was jointly initiated in 2003 by the City of Frankfurt, Deutsches Architekturmuseum and DekaBank. It has since been organized by Deutsches Architekturmuseum and DekaBank cooperating as partners, and in 2012 will be bestowed for the fifth time. The honor is awarded to a structure that combines exemplary sustainability, external shape and internal spatial quality, not to mention social aspects, to create a model design. The prize, a statuette by the internationally renowned artist Thomas and EUR 50,000 is awarded to the planners and developers jointly.

The international 2012 jury was headed by Albert Speer (AS&P – Albert Speer und Partner, Frankfurt/Main). Other jury members were: Prof. Johann Eisele (Architekt, ES – Eisele Staniek +, Darmstadt), Sigurdur Gunnarson (structural engineer, University of Bergen), Richard Hassell (architect, WOHA, Singapore), Felix Semmelroth (Head of Cultural Affairs, City of Frankfurt/Main), Catherine Slessor (Editor-in-chief, Architectural Review, London), Peter Cachola Schmal (Director, Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt/Main), Thomas Schmengler (Managing Director, Deka Immobilien GmbH, Frankfurt/Main) and Carol Willis (Director, Skyscraper Museum, New York), and as deputy Prof. Annette Bögle (Professor of structural engineering, HafenCity Universität Hamburg).

Herausgeber: © Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt a.M., Schaumainkai 43, 22.04.2019