Architecture

2019 awards celebrate some of the world's most stunning new structures

2019 awards celebrate some of ...
Vessel in New York won the Award for Structural Artistry in Non-Building Structures
Vessel in New York won the Award for Structural Artistry in Non-Building Structures
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CITIC Tower is more popularly known as China Zun
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CITIC Tower is more popularly known as China Zun
CITIC Tower, Beijing won the award for Tall or Slender Structures
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CITIC Tower, Beijing won the award for Tall or Slender Structures
Kienlesberg Bridge in Ulm, Germany won the Award for Vehicle Bridges
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Kienlesberg Bridge in Ulm, Germany won the Award for Vehicle Bridges
Kienlesberg Bridge in Ulm, Germany won the Award for Vehicle Bridges
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Kienlesberg Bridge in Ulm, Germany won the Award for Vehicle Bridges
Kienlesberg Bridge is one of the least ostentatious projects on the list – in a good way
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Kienlesberg Bridge is one of the least ostentatious projects on the list – in a good way
Kienlesberg Bridge is alongside the Neutor Bridge in Ulm, Germany
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Kienlesberg Bridge is alongside the Neutor Bridge in Ulm, Germany
Millet Vinegar Museum won the Award for Small Projects of under £3 million
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Millet Vinegar Museum won the Award for Small Projects of under £3 million
Millet Vinegar Museum's traditional methods make for one of the most beautiful winners of the evening
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Millet Vinegar Museum's traditional methods make for one of the most beautiful winners of the evening
Millet Vinegar Museum won the Award for Small Projects of under £3 million
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Millet Vinegar Museum won the Award for Small Projects of under £3 million
The design of Tanxishan Glass Landscape Pedestrian Bridge used 3D laser scanning technology
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The design of Tanxishan Glass Landscape Pedestrian Bridge used 3D laser scanning technology
Tanxishan Glass Landscape Pedestrian Bridge, Zibo, China won the Award for Pedestrian Bridges
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Tanxishan Glass Landscape Pedestrian Bridge, Zibo, China won the Award for Pedestrian Bridges
Tanxishan Glass Landscape Pedestrian Bridge, Zibo, China won the Award for Pedestrian Bridges
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Tanxishan Glass Landscape Pedestrian Bridge, Zibo, China won the Award for Pedestrian Bridges
Newquay Harbour Footbridge in Cornwall, England won the Award for Structural Heritage
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Newquay Harbour Footbridge in Cornwall, England won the Award for Structural Heritage
Newquay Harbour Footbridge in Cornwall, England won the Award for Structural Heritage
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Newquay Harbour Footbridge in Cornwall, England won the Award for Structural Heritage
Though understated, Newquay Harbour Footbridge is a fascinating, minimal restoration
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Though understated, Newquay Harbour Footbridge is a fascinating, minimal restoration
Newquay Harbour Footbridge in Cornwall, England won the Award for Structural Heritage
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Newquay Harbour Footbridge in Cornwall, England won the Award for Structural Heritage
Morpheus Hotel, Macau, China won the Award for Construction Innovation
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Morpheus Hotel, Macau, China won the Award for Construction Innovation
Morpheus Hotel, Macau, China won the Award for Construction Innovation
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Morpheus Hotel, Macau, China won the Award for Construction Innovation
In Morpheus Hotel, engineers BuroHappold exhibted "formidable skills," according to the judges
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In Morpheus Hotel, engineers BuroHappold exhibted "formidable skills," according to the judges
Qingdao World Expo City in Qingdao, China won the Award for Structural Artistry in Building Structures
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Qingdao World Expo City in Qingdao, China won the Award for Structural Artistry in Building Structures
Qingdao World Expo City in Qingdao, China won the Award for Structural Artistry in Building Structures
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Qingdao World Expo City in Qingdao, China won the Award for Structural Artistry in Building Structures
Qingdao World Expo City has been designed to withstand high winds
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Qingdao World Expo City has been designed to withstand high winds
Vessel in New York won the Award for Structural Artistry in Non-Building Structures
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Vessel in New York won the Award for Structural Artistry in Non-Building Structures
Vessel is without doubt the most eye-catching structure on the list
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Vessel is without doubt the most eye-catching structure on the list
Vessel in New York won the Award for Structural Artistry in Non-Building Structures
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Vessel in New York won the Award for Structural Artistry in Non-Building Structures
La Reference in Ganthier, Haiti won the Award for Sustainability
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La Reference in Ganthier, Haiti won the Award for Sustainability
La Reference in Ganthier, Haiti won the Award for Sustainability
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La Reference in Ganthier, Haiti won the Award for Sustainability
La Reference School was designed in response to the devastation in Haiti wrought by recent natural disasters
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La Reference School was designed in response to the devastation in Haiti wrought by recent natural disasters
The New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has a fully retractable pitch
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The New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has a fully retractable pitch
The New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London won both the Award for Long Span Structures and the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence
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The New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London won both the Award for Long Span Structures and the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence
The New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London won both the Award for Long Span Structures and the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence
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The New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London won both the Award for Long Span Structures and the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence
Tūranga Library in Christchurch, New Zealand won the Award for Structures in Extreme Conditions
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Tūranga Library in Christchurch, New Zealand won the Award for Structures in Extreme Conditions
Tūranga Library in Christchurch, New Zealand won the Award for Structures in Extreme Conditions
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Tūranga Library in Christchurch, New Zealand won the Award for Structures in Extreme Conditions
Tūranga Library in Christchurch uses state-of-the art seismic-resistant construction techniques
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Tūranga Library in Christchurch uses state-of-the art seismic-resistant construction techniques
Coal Drops Yard in London won the Award for Structural Transformation
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Coal Drops Yard in London won the Award for Structural Transformation
The Award for Structural Transformation celebrates turning the old into the new
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The Award for Structural Transformation celebrates turning the old into the new
Coal Drops Yard in London won the Award for Structural Transformation
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Coal Drops Yard in London won the Award for Structural Transformation

The winners of the 52nd Structural Awards were announced on Saturday. Whittled down from a shortlist of 49 projects, the awards celebrate some of the most impressive achievements in construction, varying from small-scale sustainable projects and traditional techniques to vast billion-dollar-plus behemoths. Let's take a look at the winners.

Award for Tall or Slender Structures: CITIC Tower

CITIC Tower is more popularly known as China Zun
CITIC Tower is more popularly known as China Zun

Location: Beijing, China
Structural Engineer: Arup
Architect: TFP Farrells and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
What the judges say: "The judges were impressed with the multi-faceted structural design for an extremely tall and slender building in a high seismic zone."
What we say: At 528 m (1,730 ft), it's thought that CITIC Tower, aka China Zun, could be the tallest building in a so-called high seismic hazard zone – a place where earthquakes are likely to be more frequent. Its design is inspired by a Chinese wine carrier, or zun, hence its popular name.

Award for Pedestrian Bridges: Tanxishan Glass Landscape Pedestrian Bridge

The design of Tanxishan Glass Landscape Pedestrian Bridge used 3D laser scanning technology
The design of Tanxishan Glass Landscape Pedestrian Bridge used 3D laser scanning technology

Location: Zibo, China
Structural Engineer: Tongji Architectural Design
Architect: Paradox Architecture Design Consulting
What the judges say: "The form of the bridge has created a landmark for the area with its long spanning elegant profile both in the sweeping horizontally curved glass desk and its vertically curved inclined arched support."
What we say: Apparently the design team used 3D laser scanning to map the surrounding cliffs that the bridge spans. The pedestrian bridge categorically is always likely to showcase a stunning project, and this year's doesn't disappoint.

Award for Vehicle Bridges: Kienlesberg Bridge

Kienlesberg Bridge is one of the least ostentatious projects on the list – in a good way
Kienlesberg Bridge is one of the least ostentatious projects on the list – in a good way

Location: Ulm, Germany
Structural Engineer: KREBS + KIEFER
Architect: Knight Architects
What the judges say: "It is an architectural homage to the nearby 110-year-old wrought-iron Neutor Bridge. The judges admired how the graceful, economic, and efficient appearance belies the complexity of the site and irregularity of the support conditions."
What we say: One of the least ostentatious projects on the list, the design team gets full marks for building a bridge that is easy on the eye while beautifully fitting its surrounding environment.

Award for Small Projects (of under £3 million): Millet Vinegar Museum

Millet Vinegar Museum's traditional methods make for one of the most beautiful winners of the evening
Millet Vinegar Museum's traditional methods make for one of the most beautiful winners of the evening

Location: Zibo, China
Structural Engineer: Light Earth Designs and Tianjin University Research Group of Architectural Design
Architect: Tianjin University Research Group of Architectural Design
What the judges say: "The engineers were clearly resistant to the temptation to betray the pure brick form with steel or other ductile fixings. Instead, they relied on their confidence, borne of accurate and considered analysis and optimization of the dome shape, to resist lateral forces."
What we say: It's lovely to see traditional materials and methods in use, resulting in one of the more beautiful projects on the list.

Award for Structures in Extreme Conditions: Tūranga Library

Tūranga Library in Christchurch uses state-of-the art seismic-resistant construction techniques
Tūranga Library in Christchurch uses state-of-the art seismic-resistant construction techniques

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Structural Engineer: Lewis Bradford Consulting Engineers
Architect: Architectus and Schmidt Hammer Lassen
What the judges say: "Tūranga’s hidden beauty lies in its level of seismic resilience, such that after a serious seismic event, the shock absorbing systems could be readily replaced and the building would be re-usable."
What we say: The building uses state-of-the art seismic-resistant construction techniques, with concrete core walls up to 140 tonnes, which rock in the event of an earthquake, weight providing stability. It's a beast.

Award for Structural Heritage: Newquay Harper Bridge

Though understated, Newquay Harbour Footbridge is a fascinating, minimal restoration
Though understated, Newquay Harbour Footbridge is a fascinating, minimal restoration

Location: Newquay, UK
Structural Engineer: Free4m Consulting
Architect: Free4m Consulting
What the judges say: "The scheme recognized that only the suspension bridge hangers were in need of replacement and researched the original details thus returning it as close as was feasible to its original design."
What we say: It sounds like almost as much work went into the research as it did the design and construction. An unglamorous project, certainly, but one that showcases engineering at its efficient best.

Award for Structural Transformation: Coal Drops Yard

The Award for Structural Transformation celebrates turning the old into the new
The Award for Structural Transformation celebrates turning the old into the new

Location: London, UK
Structural Engineer: Arup
Architect: Heatherwick Studio
What the judges say: "The design team have skillfully combined sensitive renovation of neglected heritage structures with complex extensions to form a seamless and integrated composition."
What we say: This is good, in a glossy coffee table magazine sort of way. Pictures taken before construction began show dilapidated brick arches. Those taken after completion show a radical change. Transformation indeed.

Award for Construction Innovation: Morpheus Hotel

In Morpheus Hotel, engineers BuroHappold exhibted "formidable skills," according to the judges
In Morpheus Hotel, engineers BuroHappold exhibted "formidable skills," according to the judges

Location: Macau, China
Structural Engineer: BuroHappold Engineering
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
What the judges say: "The entire project from the initial visualization of form, through the evolutionary development, analysis and design of different viable structural options, to the optimization and bespoke manufacturing of the structural components and the control of their sequenced erection on site, could not have been accomplished without the formidable range of digital and communicational skills that characterize the structural engineer of today."
What we say: Good, aren't they, computers! An old joke among construction engineers was that ZHA designed unbuildable buildings. From the sound of the judges' spiel, that may still be the case with the Morpheus Hotel

Award: for Structural Artistry (Building Structures): Qingdao World Expo City

Qingdao World Expo City has been designed to withstand high winds
Qingdao World Expo City has been designed to withstand high winds

Location: Qingdao, China
Structural Engineer: China Architecture Design & Research Group
Architect: China Architecture Design & Research Group
What the judges say: "To maintain the lightest of structures a novel prestressed cable arch was developed, with a fabricated box section of just 500 mm depth to span 48 m. It is estimated that the use of the cables has permitted a steel weight saving of up to half compared to a traditional arch structure."
What we say: This massive exhibition center has been designed to withstand high winds. Equally impressive is the amount of daylight the building appears to let in – some that serial exhibition-goers will be grateful for.

Award for Structural Artistry (Non-Building Structures): Vessel

Vessel is without doubt the most eye-catching structure on the list
Vessel is without doubt the most eye-catching structure on the list

Location: New York, USA
Structural Engineer: AK II
Architect: Heatherwick Studio
What the judges say: "The structural engineering challenges that were met to deliver this piece of urban inhabitable sculpture ranged through analysis, design and construction. But for each of these, the uniqueness of the structure meant the challenges themselves were also unique."
What we say: Designed by Thomas Heatherwick of, among other things, 2012 Olympic cauldron fame, Vessel is without doubt the most eye-catching structure on the list. The tourist attraction has 154 flights of stairs, 80 viewing platforms, and basically nothing else.

Award for Sustainability: La Reference School

La Reference School was designed in response to the devastation in Haiti wrought by recent natural disasters
La Reference School was designed in response to the devastation in Haiti wrought by recent natural disasters

Location: Ganthier, Haiti
Structural Engineer: Eckersley O'Callaghan
Architect: Studio PHH Architects
What the judges say: "All documentation and processes were methodically designed to develop local understanding of structural behavior and become educational tools for replication, ensuring a social legacy within and beyond this specific project. Design decisions incorporated local materials and skill-availability, with the challenging design loads and respective detailing."
What we say: This school was designed in response to the devastation in Haiti wrought by natural disasters including the 2010 earthquake and 2016 hurricane. The design team worked pro bono, making sure to document the entire process to inform other projects in Haiti. Excellent.

Awards for Long Span Structure and Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence: New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

The New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has a fully retractable pitch
The New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has a fully retractable pitch

Location: London, UK
Structural Engineer: BuroHappold Engineering with Schlaich Bergermann Partner
Architect: Populous
What the judges say: "This is an impressive stadium containing many dramatic long span solutions. The attention to detail throughout is exemplary and is an excellent showcase for the structural engineer's art."
What we say: The judges were also impressed with the "impossibly light roof" of the 62,000-seater stadium. And it only cost £1 billion. Still, to pick up the ultimate gong of the evening, they must have spent at least some of the money wisely.

As always, the winners were announced by The Institution of Structural Engineers. After the event, Chair of the judges Professor Tim Ibell called for more sustainable construction practices. "Keeping in mind the current climate crisis, we must pledge to build structures which are kind to the environment," he said. "Reuse and refurbishment should be our adopted mantra. With the net zero carbon target in sight, we wholeheartedly support the Structural Engineer's Declaration which encourages companies and us to change the way we work."

So those are the winners for 2019, but there are more photos in the gallery if you'd like to see more.

Source: The Institution of Structural Engineers

2 comments
ljaques
CITIC tower and the glass bridge are the only two sane and attractive structures.
Jerome Morley Larson Sr eAIA
Interesting objects but boring architecture for the most part and some downright awful.