Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
CTBUH Names Best Tall Buildings for 2013

Regional winners from Canada, China, UK and UAE; 10-Year, Innovation and Overall awards announced next; Lifetime achievement awards: Henry Cobb, Clyde Baker

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July 1, 2013

Highly distinctive towers in Canada, China, the UK and UAE have been named the best tall buildings in the world for 2013 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

The four regional winners include The Bow in Calgary, Canada (Americas); CCTV in Beijing, China (Asia and Australia); The Shard in London, United Kingdom (Europe); Sowwah Square in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (Middle East and Africa).

8 Spruce Street Guangzhou International Finance Center KfW Westarkade The Index
Best Tall Building

The Bow

Best Tall Building
Asia & Australasia:

CCTV Headquarters

Best Tall Building

The Shard
Best Tall Building
Middle East & Africa:
Sowwah Square

An overall winner for the “Best Tall Building Worldwide” will be named from the four regional winners at the CTBUH 12th Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner at the Illinois Institute of Technology, November 7, in the iconic Crown Hall, designed by Mies van der Rohe.

The 10-Year and Innovation awards will be announced separately prior to the ceremony.

The Council received more than 60 entries from around the world for the Best Tall Building awards.

“The winners and finalists include some of the most striking buildings on the global landscape,” said Jeanne Gang, awards jury chair and principal of Studio Gang Architects. “They represent resolutions to a huge range of contemporary issues, from energy consumption to integration with the urban realm on the ground.”

The CTBUH Best Tall Building Awards are an independent review of new projects, judged by a panel of industry executives. Projects are recognized for making an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and for achieving sustainability at the broadest level.

Adrian Smith Adrian Smith
Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award:
Henry Cobb
Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal:
Clyde Baker

This year the CTBUH Board of Trustees awarded the Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award to Henry Cobb, founding partner of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. His list of tall-building achievements includes Hancock Place in Boston and the Library (US Bank) Tower in Los Angeles. Past winners of the Lynn S. Beedle Award include Helmut Jahn, Lord Norman Foster, Cesar Pelli, William Pedersen and Adrian Smith.

“Henry Cobb has demonstrated phenomenal leadership throughout his career, particularly on Hancock Place,” said CTBUH chairman Timothy Johnson. “Cobb’s leadership in smoothing out the difficulties around Hancock Place set the standard for future retrofits and advocated for positive changes to building codes around tall buildings.”

The Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal went to Clyde Baker, retired senior principal engineer at AECOM, who has performed geotechnical engineering for seven of the 16 tallest buildings in the world, and a major portion of the high-rise buildings built in downtown Chicago over the past 50 years, including nine with deep basements and slurry walls.

“Clyde has contributed so much to our industry,” said Bill Maibusch, CTBUH Trustee. “He has touched a lot of projects and been instrumental in making those projects successful.”

Winners and finalists are featured in the annual CTBUH Awards Book, which is published in conjunction with a major global publisher and distributed internationally each year.

View an overview of last year's Awards Ceremony & Dinner

The additional Tall Building Finalists in each category were as follows:
Devon Energy Center, Oklahoma City, USA
Tree House Residence Hall, Boston, USA

Asia & Australasia:
C&D International Tower, Xiamen, China
PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore
Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China
Sliced Porosity Block, Chengdu, China

ADAC Headquarters, Munich, Germany
New Babylon Tower, The Hague, The Netherlands

Tour Total, Berlin, Germany

Middle East & Africa:
The Gate Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE

6 Remez Tower, Tel Aviv, Israel

Note: For further information on the CTBUH Awards Ceremony & Dinner and Symposium, please visit

Note for Press:
For image requests and additional information on the 2013 award winners, please contact: Dan Safarik