Find out which features make these the best new skyscrapers, topped by New York’s VIA 57 West

by Brianna Crandall — February 5, 2018 — Global building data provider Emporis recently announced the winner of the 17th annual Emporis Skyscraper Award for the best new skyscraper of 2016 — the “spectacular” 34-story residential building VIA 57 West in New York City. The winner was picked by an international panel of experts from a worldwide pool of more than 700 eligible skyscrapers that were completed in 2016 and are at least 100 meters tall.

The pyramid-shaped VIA 57 West, designed by the Danish architects BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, was recognized by the award jury for its fascinating and extraordinary shape, which they said breaks new ground in design. The winner 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 remarked.

Claiming 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, notes Emporis. The jury specifically praised 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 reduce the cooling load. Since Mexico City is known for its high seismic activity, Torre Reforma has a triangular footprint and incorporates the latest engineering knowledge; the building is supposed to withstand heavy winds and earthquakes for the next 2,500 years.

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 1,793 planter boxes, turning the building into an urban oasis. The structure’s façade is overgrown with different vines to ensure the façade is always lush and resilient during different weather conditions. Moreover, the tower offers four open-sky gardens that allow 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.

The 2016 winners are:

  1. VIA 57 West, New York City, NY, USA; BIG
  2. Torre Reforma, Mexico City, Mexico; LBR Arquitectos
  3. Oasia Hotel Downtown, Singapore; WOHA Architects Pte. Ltd.
  4. MahaNakhon, Bangkok, Thailand; Büro Ole Scheeren
  5. Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany; Kallmorgen & Partner, Herzog & de Meuron
  6. 56 Leonard Street, New York City, NY, USA; Herzog & de Meuron
  7. CTF Finance Centre, Guangzhou, China; Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
  8. The L Tower, Toronto, ON, Canada; Studio Daniel Libeskind
  9. Beijing Greenland Dawangjing Tower, Beijing, China; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  10. Simitomo Fudosan Roppongi Grand Tower, Tokyo, Japan; Nikken Sekkei Ltd.

This is the fourth time that New York City, known as the world capital of high-rise architecture, has won the award. The Sofitel in New York was the very first building to receive the sought-after award back in 2000, points out Emporis.

For photos and statistics of the 2016 winners, visit the Emporis Web site.