Gensler's Shanghai Tower, the world's second-tallest building, has been declared the world's best skyscraper by information specialist Emporis in its annual skyscraper awards. The mixed use megatall skyscraper reaches a total height of 632 m (2,073 ft) and twists a full 120 degrees to mitigate the effect of the punishing winds at such heights.
Lauded by Emporis for its elegant design and energy-efficiency, the US$2.4 billion Shanghai Tower is a very impressive building.
The foundations alone required an entire fleet of trucks pouring concrete for 63 hours straight. A total of 106 Mitsubishi-designed elevators travel at speeds of up to 20 m (65 ft) per second in order to allow move people around the mammoth structure in a reasonable time.
A double-layered glass skin improves the building's insulation and wind turbines power all the external lighting. Rainwater is also collected and used for air-conditioning and heating systems.
Making use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) software from Autodesk, the design team was able to analyze wind resistance and seismic loads of progressive iterations of the building's design and eventually achieve what Gensler estimates is a design that used 32 percent less materials than a conventional tower of the same size.
Moscow's Evolution Tower (pictured above), by RMJM Edinburgh and Kettle Collective is the second place runner-up. This building twists too, but does so more dramatically. As it rises, each of the neo-futurist's skyscraper's 53 floors twists a full 3 degrees compared to the preceding floor.
Its design was partly inspired by Moscow's iconic Saint Basil's Cathedral (though we can't see the resemblance) and it reaches a total height of 246 m (807 ft).
Head to the gallery to see the remaining eight runners-up for the Emporis Skyscraper Award, including an NYC skyscraper modeled after a trashcan and another in Austria with an unusual multicolored facade.