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Shanghai Tower voted world’s best new skyscraper

November 10, 2016

The Shanghai Tower was voted best new skyscraper for 2016. Photo: Gensler

To add to its title of ‘world’s second-tallest building’, the spiral-shaped Shanghai Tower has now been named the world’s best new skyscraper.

The 632-metre tower by Gensler Architects, which rises above Shanghai’s Lujiazui financial district, took out the top gong at the annual Emporis Skyscraper Awards, announced this month.

A jury of experts judged more than 300 entrants, all above 100 metres tall, based on design and functionality.

Photo: Gensler. The tower comprises 128 floors, 106 elevators and 420,000 square metres of floorspace. Photo: Gensler.

In a statement the jury said they were impressed by the ‘elegant shape’ of the tower, a slim cylinder that rotates 120 degrees on an axis.

This design is practical as well as aesthetic: it makes it more energy efficient, reducing the structure’s wind load by 24 per cent.

The judges praised the building’s ‘extraordinary energy efficiency’ – it received a coveted ‘green’ LEED rating thanks to 200 wind turbines generating 10 per cent of the building’s electricity.

The Shanghai Tower rises 673m above the city. Photo: Gensler. The Shanghai Tower rises 632 metres above the city. Photo: Gensler.

It boasts the world’s fastest elevators travelling a nausea-inducing 20 metres a second.

The tower is divided into nine ‘vertical neighbourhoods’ that each have a sky lobby with plenty of light and indoor gardens, with the intention of creating a sense of community.

After eight years of construction and costing $4 billion, the tower comprises 128 floors, 106 elevators, 258 hotel rooms, and 420,000 square metres of floorspace.

Moscow's Evolution Tower was named the world's second best new skyscraper. Moscow’s Evolution Tower was named the world’s second best new skyscraper. Photo: Wikimedia.

The world’s second best new skyscraper is Moscow’s Evolution Tower which is also spiral shaped, while the Il Dritto – from Italian, meaning ‘the straight one’- was awarded third.

Australia had a representative in the competition’s top five with an apartment building in Melbourne, the Abode 318, earning fifth place.

It’s the second time a Chinese project has won the top award, after the Wangjing SOHO in Beijing won last year.

Twisting buildings are rising in popularity around the world, according to non-profit organisation the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

A recent report by the organisation says there are 28 twisting towers around the world with the trend expected to grow “aided by new technologies assisting architectural and structural design”.

“A stunning variety of textures, view angles and ripple effects result from these manipulations, making these ‘twisters’ some of the world’s most iconic buildings – and in many cases, aerodynamic and energy-efficient.”

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