Skyscraper finalists announced for International Highrise Award 2014

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De Rotterdam, Rotterdam, by OMA (Image: Ossip van Duivenbode)

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The International Highrise Award recognizes the world's best highrise of the last two years, as according to an expert jury. It claims to be the world’s most important architecture prize for highrises. This year's shortlist features buildings in Milan, Rotterdam, Sydney, Paris, Barcelona and New York.

The International Highrise Award was set up in 2004 by the City of Frankfurt, Deutsches Architekturmuseum and DekaBank. It seeks to honor buildings that combine "exemplary sustainability, external shape and internal spatial quality, not to mention social aspects, to create a model design."

The last International Highrise Award, in 2012, was given to 1 Bligh Street in Sydney, which was awarded the Best Tall Building in Asia and Australasia by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in the same year. The building, designed in partnership by Ingenhoven Architects and Architectus, was said to "set new standards on its continent regarding social, cultural, urban-planning and sustainability."

This year’s five finalists were selected from 26 nominees in 17 countries, with the eventual winner to selected by a jury of industry experts that includes last year's winner, Christoph Ingenhoven.

"Good architecture requires a willingness to take risks and a desire to try things out," says Ingenhoven in a press release. "All the finalists took this approach – there can be no innovation without experimentation. Our shortlist comprises three different prototypes of the future."

Milan's Bosco Vertikale (seen above), designed by Boeri Studio, is a greened residential highrise containing 400 apartments. Each apartment has access to at least one patio or balcony and their own small piece of garden or forest.

Metropolitan Architecture's De Rotterdam building, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is comprises of three multifunctional towers and is inspired by the concept of a vertical city. In addition to its multifunctionality, its compact use of space impressed the judges.

One Central Park in Sydney was designed by Paris-based Ateliers Jean Nouvel. It has two towers and a trapezoidal layout. A mix of innovation, sustainability and cost-effectiveness includes widespread greening and the use of daylight-using technology for lighting.

Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel was also designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel. It comprises two towers stood next to each other with facades that don't make use of conventional windows, but of irregular openings.

Finally, the Sliced Porosity Block in Chengdu, Chengdu, was designed by Steven Holl Architects. It is said to set new social, cultural and urban-planning standards. It provides public space and displays lighting effects on its facades at night.

The winner of the International Highrise Award 2104 will receive €50,000 (US$65,000) and will be announced on November 19th.

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