Big, bold and beautiful: The world's best new tall buildings

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The Tall Building Awards is split into four categories: the Americas, Asia & Australasia, Europe, and Middle East & Africa(Credit: Nick Lehoux)

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The influential Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has announced the winners of its 15th annual CTBUH Tall Building Awards. Highlighting the best new skyscrapers around the globe, this year's recipients include the world's second-tallest skyscraper and a remarkable pyramid-like tower in NYC.

The CTBUH Tall Building Awards is split into four categories: the Americas, Asia & Australasia, Europe, and Middle East & Africa.

Shanghai Tower – Gensler

Gensler got the nod for Asia & Australasia with its Shanghai Tower, which is currently the world's second-tallest building. Rising to 632 m (2,073 ft) over the bustling Chinese city, the US$2.4 billion mixed-use skyscraper twists 120 degrees from bottom to top, to reduce wind loads.

Shanghai Tower features 128 floors and comprises 420,000 sq m (4,520,842 sq ft) of floorspace. Rated LEED Gold (a green building standard), it also boasts some sustainable design, including a greywater system, rainwater collection, and 270 electricity-producing wind turbines.

The Cube – Orange Architects

CTBUH awarded the Middle East & Africa category to Dutch firm Orange Architects' project The Cube. Located in Beirut, Lebanon, the tower rises to a height of 50 m (164 ft), and comprises a total of 14 stacked volumes that rotate 90 degrees per level, providing spacious and sheltered balcony spaces for its residents.

The Cube consists of a total floorspace of 5,600 sq m (60,277 sq ft), which is split between 19 luxury apartments. Parking is located in an underground garage and a large section of the building hangs impressively over the main entrance.

Via 57 West – BIG

Prolific Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has won the Americas category for its Via 57 West project, one of the most interesting builds to come from this most interesting of firms in recent months. Rising to a height of 142.3 m (467 ft), the pyramid-like tower is a real landmark for NYC.

Measuring 80,000 sq m (861,000 sq ft), Via 57 West boasts some sustainable design elements. Water use is kept to a minimum with low-flow taps and energy-efficient washing machines, while rainwater is collected for reuse.

The White Walls – Ateliers Jean Nouvel

French studio Ateliers Jean Nouvel was picked for the Europe category with The White Walls, also known as Cyprus Tower, and Tower 25. Located in Nicosia, Cyprus, the mixed-use building rises to a height of 69.6 m (228 ft) and is the tallest building in the country.

The tower features a "vertical garden" on the south facade which features lots of greenery and its facade is dotted with openings to promote ventilation.

CTBUH will choose an overall winner from the four category winners later this year. Head to the gallery to see each building in full, in addition to 20 worthy runners-up.

Source: CTBUH

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