Lonely Planet Writer

These are the best tall buildings in the world

Every city has its own unique skyline, and each year, the addition of new buildings and the renovation and restoration of old ones causes urban landscapes to change, often in impressive ways.  With that in mind, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has announced the winners of its 16th annual awards program, which recognises the best and most innovative tall buildings in the world.

The Oasia Hotel Downtown in Singapore was named the Best Tall Building Worldwide.
The Oasia Hotel Downtown in Singapore was named the Best Tall Building Worldwide. Image by Patrick Bingham-Hall

Winners were named in nine individual categories, with Singapore’s Oasia Hotel Downtown scooping the prize for the “Best Tall Building Worldwide”, impressing judges with its red and green façade that features a total of 54 species of plants climbing along an aluminium mesh screen. The tower was also praised for its practical design, which features thoughtful spaces throughout for its occupants. “This project won not only because it incorporates 60 stories of green walls along the exterior,” said CTBUH executive director and awards juror Antony Wood, “But because of its significant commitment to communal space. The tower has given over 40% of its volume to open air communal terraces in the sky.”

The American Copper Buildings in New York City won the Best Tall Building Americas category.
The American Copper Buildings in New York City won the Best Tall Building Americas category. Image by Max TouheyT

Regional winners included the American Copper Buildings in New York City (Best Tall Building Americas), the Silo in Copenhagen (Best Tall Building Europe) and Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa (Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa). In addition to that, a number of other award recipients were recognised at the conference, with ten awards winners being chosen from a group of 48 finalist projects representing 28 countries.

The Silo in Copenhagen was named Best Tall Building in Europe.
The Silo in Copenhagen was named Best Tall Building in Europe. Image by Rasmus Hjortshoj

Two of this year’s winners were not brand-new structures, but rather represented the adaptive reuse of two unused industrial buildings. The Silo in Copenhagen was transformed into a luxury residential high-rise, while Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town features Africa’s first international museum dedicated to contemporary African art.

“As tall buildings age and advances in technology drive tenants to newer buildings, the industry must think critically about the future of such large structures. The Silo and Zeitz MOCAA embody the importance of restoring original structures in cities, as a matter of environmental stability, as well as an ethical and visionary approach to cultural heritage,” CTBUH public relations coordinator Matt Watson told Lonely Planet Travel News.

Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa. Image by Iwan Baan_Exterior

All projects recognized in the CTBUH 2018 Awards Program, including finalists and nominees, will be featured in a brand new series of books.