Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
CCTV Headquarters Named Best Tall Building Worldwide
Awards Ceremony Also Honors Cobb and Baker for Lifetime's Work
November 7, 2013
See all the Winners and Finalists
Read an overview of the day's Symposium that preceded this event
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced the winner of its Best Tall Building Worldwide: CCTV Headquarters¹, Beijing, China. As part of a nearly year-long juried selection process across more than 60 entries, the Awards Jury first selected a Best Tall Building in four regions: the Americas, Middle East and Africa, Europe and Asia & Australasia. Senior representatives of each of these four winners then gave a presentation at the CTBUH Awards Symposium Nov. 7 at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, with the Jury convening immediately afterwards to determine the overall winner. The winner was announced by Wiel Arets, Dean of the School of Architecture at IIT, at the Awards Dinner following the Symposium.

Rem Koolhaas, Founding Partner, Office for Metropolitan Architecture, delivered the winning presentation, entitled “A New Typology for the Skyscraper: CCTV Headquarters, Beijing.”

 “When I published my last book, Content, in 2003, one chapter was called ‘Kill the Skyscraper,’” said Koolhaas, who received the award for CCTV. “Basically it was an expression of disappointment at the way the skyscraper typology was used and applied. I didn’t think there was a lot of creative life left in skyscrapers. Therefore, I tried to launch a campaign against the skyscraper in its more uninspired form.
Highlight video of the Awards Ceremony & Dinner
CCTV Headquarters, Winner of the overall Best Tall Building Worldwide
“The fact that I am standing on this stage now, in this position, meant that my declaration of war went completely unnoted, and that my campaign was completely unsuccessful,” Koolhaas joked, concluding, “Being here, it is quite moving - to be part of a community that is trying to make skyscrapers more interesting. I am deeply grateful, and thank all my partners.”
Rem Koolhaas and the CCTV team
Rem Koolhaas (center) and the CCTV team accept the Best Tall Building Worldwide trophy from IIT Dean of Architecture Wiel Arets
“I thought deciding the overall winner would be pretty straightforward, and it was not at all,” said CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood, a 2013 awards juror. “It went through four rounds of voting before we decided on the winner.”

The audience vote, taken separately, submitted via text message, and kept from the jury’s view until after their verdict had been announced, was the same – CCTV was the winner of the popular vote, too.
Over 500 delegates attended the daytime Awards Symposium featuring presentations by all the winners and featured finalists
Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Awardee Henry Cobb’s career is remarkable because of his ethical and forward-thinking approach to the design of tall buildings and their place in the urban fabric. Transforming the efficiencies of International Style into contextually responsive projects that nevertheless define the skyline of the cities in which they were built, Cobb not only raised the standards of design for tall buildings, but of the building profession in general. His professional composure and deep knowledge have set the template for future tall designers.

Through a career spanning 59 years, Clyde Baker, winner of the Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal, has become synonymous with geotechnical engineering for tall buildings, devoting passionate energy and innovation to the practice. In so doing, he has not only expanded the scope of understanding around a complex engineering subject; he has provided a model of professional ethics from which others can draw. By “shirking” the professional practice “learnings” that we are all getting, which amount to saying, “that’s not my fault,” Clyde Baker put the profession at the heart of his interest, not the lawyers.
Henry Cobb speaks about his career after accepting the Lynn S. Beedle Award Clyde Baker (right) accepts the Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal from CTBUH Chairman Timothy Johnson
Presented with an extremely strong set of submissions, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat named two winners of its 2013 Innovation Award. The highlighted innovations stand to revolutionize the technology, sustainability and efficiency of tall building construction and operation.

The Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) Prefabricated Construction Process captured the industry’s attention when Broad Group constructed T30, a 30-story hotel building in 15 days in Changsha, China, using pre-assembled components.

KONE UltraRope is a new carbon-fiber hoisting technology, the weight and bending advantages of which effectively double the distance an elevator can travel in a single shaft – to 1,000 m (1 km).
Shuguang Wang (right) accepts the Innovation Award for the Broad Sustainable Building Prefabricated Construction Method from Executive Director Antony Wood Johannes de Jong holds up a piece of KONE UltraRope, which won an Innovation Award
The Bow, winner of the Best Tall Buildings Americas award, is both stunning as a form and functions well from an environmental and urban standpoint, especially in the context of a harsh northern climate. It serves as a rare example of an iconic design resulting from the most practical, yet creative, response to site constraints. The resolution of wind loading, light access, thermal comfort, and public space objectives has resulted in a solution that embodies synthesis but bears no hint of compromise.
Best Tall Buildings Americas: The Bow The Bow team (Nigel Dancey, Foster + Partners; Ken Hornby, Encana; Jack Matthews, Matthews Southwest; and James Barnes, Foster + Partners) poses behind the Awards skyline after accepting the Best Tall Building Americas award
The developers of The Shard, winner of the Best Tall Building Europe award, showed remarkable tenacity in bringing it to fruition. The level of determination to wring economic success and poetics out of the project while still supporting public life at street level was remarkable. Through more than a decade of design revisions and public inquiries, the project team was unwavering in its determination to do more than impose a tall building on a neglected but architecturally rich neighborhood. Their determination was to secure the future of the London Bridge Quarter district itself.
Best Tall Buildings Europe Winner: The Shard The Shard team (Dave Elder, Mace and Bill Price, WSP Group) accepts the Best Tall Buildings Europe award from Awards Jury Chair Jeanne Gang (right)
Sowwah Square, winner of the Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa award, stands out as consciously sustainable and warmly inviting, yet a formally disciplined project in a region where achieving such aims have historically proven difficult. The interdependent elements work together such that the project functions as an integrated machine. From sun-tracking shading devices to elevated lobbies with views of cool roofs and the sweep of the harbor, little seems to have been left out of the calculations. That a building in this climate could support as much glass as it does is a testament to the possibilities of well-orchestrated design.
Best Tall Buildings Middle East & Africa: Sowwah Square James Goettsch speaking about Sowwah Square at the Awards Symposium
James Goettsch (left) and The Sowwah Square team accepts the Best Tall Buildings Middle East & Africa award from Awards Jury Chair Jeanne Gang (3rd from right)
Footnote:
¹ The CCTV project was led by OMA/Rem Koolhaas, former OMA partner, Ole Scheeren (until 2010), OMA partner David Gianotten and project manager Dongmei Yao in close collaboration with partners Shohei Shigematsu, Ellen van Loon and Victor van der Chijs


Image Gallery
Timothy Johnson, CTBUH Chairman / NBBJ, presenting the Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award to Henry Cobb, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.
Clyde N. Baker Jr., AECOM, accepting the Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal.

Antony Wood, CTBUH Executive Director, presenting awards at the annual awards dinner ceremony.

Antony Wood, CTBUH, presenting a Tall Building Innovation Award to Sunny Wang, BROAD Group.

Antony Wood, CTBUH, presenting a Tall Building Innovation Award to representatives of KONE.

Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang Architects, presenting awards at the annual awards dinner ceremony.
Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang Architects, presenting the Best Tall Building Americas award to the team behind The Bow, in Calgary.

Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang Architects, presenting the Best Tall Building Europe award to Dave Elder, Mace and Bill Price, WSP Group.

Wiel Arets, Dean of the College of Architecture at IIT, presenting awards at the dinner ceremony.

Rem Koolhaas, OMA, accepting the Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia Award.

Rem Koolhaas, OMA, and the rest of the CCTV team, accepting the Best Tall Building Overall award.

James Goettsch, Geottsch Partners, accepting the Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa award.

CCTV conducting an interview of Rem Koolhaas, OMA.
Delegates talking during the Post Symposium cocktail reception.
Dave Elder, Mace, talking during the Post Symposium cocktail reception.
Delegates talking during the Post Symposium cocktail reception.
Delegates talking during the Post Symposium cocktail reception.
Delegates talking during the Post Symposium cocktail reception.
Delegates posing during the Post Symposium cocktail reception.
Delegates posing during the Post Symposium cocktail reception.
Delegates posing during the Post Symposium cocktail reception.
Delegates talking during the Post Symposium cocktail reception.
The team from The Bow, in Calgary, posing in behind the award winning buildings.

Henry Cobb, a Lifetime Achievement Award winner, posing with associates behind the winning buildings.

Awards Jury: David Scott, Laing O'Rourke; Nengjun Luo, CITIC Heye Investment (Beijing); Antony Wood, CTBUH; Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang; Karen Weigert, City of Chicago; & Robert Okpala, Buro Happold.
Some of the members involved in the Gate Towers posing behind their building.

Some of the team behind the New Babylon project, located in The Hague.

The team behind Sowwah Square, the Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa award winner.

Delegates from Arup posing behind the 2013 award winning buildings.

Delegates from Israel posing behind the 2013 award winning buildings.