Building Magazine


Toronto’s L Tower among Emporis’ top 10 skyscrapers

This year, a Canadian project is among Emporis’ Top 10 Skyscraper Award winners, with Toronto’s L Tower claiming eight place in the global showcase. Designed by Studio Daniel Libeskind with Page + Steele / IBI Group as architects of record, the 59-storey L Tower was completed in 2016.  Located in downtown Toronto, the tower’s distinctively curved shape avoids shadowing onto the nearby Berczy Park, sensitively incorporating a high-rise form into the compact urban fabric.

Toronto's L Tower. Copyright: Edvard Mahnic

Toronto’s L Tower. Copyright: Edvard Mahnic

The winner of the top Emporis Skyscraper Award for the best new Skyscraper of the year is the 34-story residential building VIA 57 West in New York City, USA. The winner was picked by an international panel of experts from a worldwide pool of more than 700 eligible skyscrapers which were completed in 2016 and are at least 100 meters tall. The award, given by Emporis (, the leading international provider of building data, is being presented for the 17th time this year.

Emporis. VIA West. Copyright: Royce Douglas.

VIA West. Copyright: Royce Douglas.

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. “It’s impressive how the architect rethinks the whole idea of a skyscraper. The building is a fantastic addition to the New York skyline,” one jury member said.

Emporis. Torre Reforma. Copyright: Alfonso Merchand.

Torre Reforma. Copyright: Alfonso Merchand.

Claiming the second place is Torre Reforma from Mexico City, Mexico. With a height of 245 meters, it is Mexico City’s tallest skyscraper and also the world’s tallest exposed concrete structure. The jury specifically praises the intelligent environmental solution for a skyscraper. The building is composed of two exposed concrete walls and one main glass façade. The concrete walls protect the interior from direct sunlight and reduces the cooling load. Mexico City is known for its high seismic activity. For this reason, Torre Reforma has a triangular footprint and combined with the latest engineering knowledge, it is supposed to withstand heavy winds and earthquakes for the next 2,500 years.

Emporis. Oasia Hotel. Copyright: Kopter WOHA Architects

Oasia Hotel. Copyright: Kopter WOHA Architects

In third place the expert jury voted Oasia Hotel Downtown, in Singapore. The project stands out with a remarkable red façade and 21 different species of plants in 1793 planter boxes turning into an urban oasis. The facade is overgrown with different vines to ensure the building’s facade is always lush and resilient during different weather conditions. Moreover, the tower offers four open sky gardens which allows wind to pass through the building for good ventilation. This year buildings from Asia dominate the Top 10 of the Emporis Skyscraper Award. The winners‘ list contains a total of five Asian projects. New York City, known as the world capital of high-rise architecture, wins the award for the fourth time. The Sofitel in New York was the very first building to receive the sought-after award back in 2000.

The 2017 Emporis Skyscraper Award winners. Image via Emporis

The 2017 Emporis Skyscraper Award winners. Image via Emporis

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