The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)-designed Via 57 West has been declared the world's best new skyscraper by information specialist Emporis during its annual Skyscraper Awards. The impressive building looks like a strange futuristic pyramid and takes up almost an entire city block in Manhattan, New York City.
The Emporis Skyscraper Awards has been running for 17 years now and highlights buildings that are over 100 m (328 ft)-tall, even if they really don't look much like typical skyscrapers. Indeed, this 32-story residential building is anything but typical.
Architect Bjarke Ingels says that the tetrahedral design of Via 57 West is a blend of skyscraper and European housing block with central courtyard, which he dubs "courtscraper." The actual courtyard itself features the same proportions as Central Park, but at 13,000th the size, and its shape ensures there'll be plenty of sunlight inside, as well as great views.
"It's impressive how the architect rethinks the whole idea of a skyscraper. The building is a fantastic addition to the New York skyline," said an unnamed Emporis jury member.
Second place was awarded to Torre Reforma, Mexico City's tallest skyscraper (seen above). Rising to a height of 804 ft (245 m), it's the world's tallest exposed concrete structure and its triangular form comprises two concrete walls and one glazed section. As well as giving it a unique look, the concrete walls serve to prevent the interior from being unduly warmed by the sun.
Due to the area's high seismic activity, Torre Reforma has been specifically designed to withstand earthquakes and heavy winds. The inside of the building is organized into 14 sections, each one with its own private interior garden. In a nice touch, an existing house on the site was retained and integrated into the main lobby instead of being demolished.
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