Awards Dinner Overview, 25 October 2007
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Now in its sixth year, the CTBUH Annual Awards Dinner took a major step up in its scope and format this year – expanding in both the number of awards recognized and the number of people in attendance. Set within the atmospheric setting of Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology, over 200 people joined us to celebrate the remarkable achievements of a number of distinguished individuals and project teams. Sold-out two weeks before the event, table sponsors included Arup, Bovis Lend Lease, Goettsch & Partners, Halvorson & Partners, IIT College of Architecture, The John Buck Company, KONE, Perkins & Will, Schirmer Engineering, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, SOM, Thornton Tomasetti, Tishman Speyer, Walsh Construction and the WSP Group. The 30 people of the CTBUH international Steering Group were also in attendance, following the inaugural meeting of the group that day, and a visiting delegation of 15 colleagues from Russia completed the international flavor of the event.
Following cocktails and the formal dinner, Awards Committee Chairman Tim Johnson of NBBJ opened the presentation, welcomed guests, showcased the two gleaming steel sculptures his team at NBBJ had created for the new tall building team awards and introduced the awards committee.
CTBUH Chairman David Scott presented the first award – the Lynn S. Beedle Achievement Award. Established in 2002, and named after CTBUH founder Dr. Lynn S. Beedle, the award recognizes an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to tall buildings and/or the urban environment during his or her professional career. The candidate may be from any area of specialization, including, but not limited to, architecture, structures, building systems, construction, academia, planning, develop¬ment, or management. Their contribution(s) may take any form, such as completed projects, research, technology, methods, ideas, or industry leadership.
This year’s Lynn S. Beedle Achievement Award went to Lord Norman Foster of Foster + Partners. Perhaps unparalleled in terms of design excellence in tall buildings, Foster’s track record spans from his seminal 1986 Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank Headquarters building Hong Kong, through the 1997 Commerzbank Frankfurt to more recent achievements such as the 2004 Swiss Re Tower London and the 2006 Hearst Tower New York. Michael Wurzel, a Director with Foster & Partners New York, collected the award on behalf of Lord Foster and shared a video message from Lord Foster to the audience. As noted by awards committee member Jim Forbes: “Lynn Beedle worked across multiple disciplines. He was a man who brought together art and science and truly facilitated integrated design. Lord Norman Foster clearly represents all of those traits as well."
The next award – the Fazlur Khan Medal – was presented by awards chair Tim Johnson. Established in 2004, this award recognizes an individual for his/her demonstrated excellence in design and/or research that has made a significant contribution to a discipline(s) for the design of tall buildings and the built urban environment. The contribution may be demonstrated in the form of specific technical advances, innovations, design breakthroughs, building systems integration, or innovative engineering systems that resulted in a practical design solution and completion of a project(s). This consideration may be based on a single project or creative achievement through multiple projects.
Dr Farzad Naeim of John A. Martin & Associates received this year’s Fazlur Khan Medal. A registered Structural and Civil Engineer in the State of California, as well as an Attorney at Law and Member of the California Bar Association, Mr. Naeim has won numerous awards including the Los Angeles Tall Buildings Structural Design Council’s Outstanding Journal Paper Award five times between 1996-2006. Citing the influence of Fazlur Khan on his development as a young engineer, Dr. Naeim shared with the audience how honored he was to receive the award. As noted by awards committee member Fiona Cousins “Dr. Naeim has dedicated his life to a very focused topic pertinent to high rise – seismic design. Although his focus has been narrow, its content and impact has tremendous depth.”
The two lifetime achievement awards were, this year, complimented with two new building awards which furthers the Council’s ambition to seek to recognize both excellence in tall building design and the team achievement in successfully delivering any tall building project. The first of these awards – the "Best Tall Building Award" recognizes a project that has made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment. The project must also exhibit processes and/or innovations that have added to the profession of design and enhanced cities and the lives of their inhabitants. Criteria for submission includes that the project must: be completed and occupied within the past 3 years; advance seamless integration of architectural form, structure, building systems, sustainable design strategies, and life safety for its occupants; achieve a high standard of excellence and quality in its realization, and the site planning and response to its immediate context must ensure rich and meaningful urban environments.
The recipient of the inaugural "Best Tall Building Award" went to the Beetham Hilton Tower, Manchester, UK – a stunning 169 meter, 50-story building combining residential over hotel which, as the tallest residential building in the UK has, quite literally, changed the entire urban landscape of Manchester. As noted by awards chair Tim Johnson: “The Beetham Hilton Tower dramatically places itself in the historic context of Manchester. The building is sensitive to its urban surroundings and exudes an honest expression of its various programmatic functions. This is most notable in the powerful cantilever at the shift from hotel to residential.” The award was presented by CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood who spoke of his personal experiences of the building in his home city of Manchester. Mark Connolly of the Beetham Organization received the award, together with representatives of the project team – Ian Simpson architects, contractor Carillion and the WSP Group for structural, services and fire engineering.
The second team award – the "Best Sustainable Tall Building" – recognizes a tall building that achieves sustainability at the highest and broadest level. The contribution may be demonstrated in the form of specific technical advances, sustainable design breakthroughs, building systems integration or innovative engineering systems. Criteria for submission includes that the project must: be completed within the past 3 years, occupied, and tested for sustainable results, and exhibit sustainable qualities at a broad level (environment, people, community & economics).
The recipient of the inaugural "Best Sustainable Tall Building Award" went to the Hearst Tower, New York – a 596 foot, 42-story office building for the Hearst Corporation which has unquestionably raised the bar for sustainable high rise design in North America. As noted by award committee member Vivian Loftness: “The Hearst Tower has many sustainable features, however, one that I am particularly fond of is that in discussions with building occupants they all express how they enjoy working in the building. Its air quality and daylighting strategy are major contributors to this." The award was presented by Tim Johnson and received by Brian Schwagerl of the Hearst Corporation together with members of the project team – Foster + Partners architects, Turner Construction Managers, WSP Cantor Seinuk for structural and Flack & Kurtz for services.
Rounding off a thoroughly enjoyable evening was the recognition of two newly named CTBUH Fellows, Leslie E. Robertson and Chandra K. Jha.