Russia's massive Lakhta Center named skyscraper of the year
Information specialist Emporis has revealed the winner of its annual Skyscraper Award. From over 700 skyscrapers officially completed in 2019, the number one spot has gone to Russia's massive Lakhta Center, which rises to a maximum height of 462 m (1,516 ft) in St. Petersburg.
The Lakhta Center, which was designed by Gorproject and RMJM, is Europe's tallest building and the 13th-tallest worldwide. Indeed, it's a huge project and construction involved 20,000 people from 18 countries. Its facade comprises 16,505 individual pieces of glass and the building takes the overall form of a spire with five wings that twist from top to bottom. Though most of the interior is given over to office space, it also features an observation deck and a restaurant boasting panoramic views of the area.
"When choosing the Lakhta Center as its favorite, the jury was impressed by the skyscraper's unusual form," says Emporis. "The exterior structure of the building consists of five wings that rotate almost 90 degrees. The twist creates a dynamic impression, giving the building the shape of a blazing flame, which resembles the logo of Gazprom, the natural gas producer that has taken up its new headquarters inside the building.
"The skyscraper was also able to score points with the jury due to its use of environmentally friendly and energy efficient technologies. As the northernmost supertall skyscraper in the world, the building is exposed to extreme temperatures. A double skin facade prevents unnecessary heat loss and makes it extraordinarily energy efficient. In addition, thanks to the innovative use of infrared radiators, excess heat is not lost but fed back into the system."
Coming in second place, Zaha Hadid Architects' Leeza Soho is one of the firm's finest works to date. The office building in Beijing, China, rises to a height of 207 m (679 ft) and is defined by a huge atrium that runs from top to bottom, dividing it into two halves. Structurally, it can actually be considered two towers joined at several points by skybridges and wrapped in one glazed shell, much like the firm's Morpheus Hotel and Opus.
Third place goes to New York City's 35 Hudson Yards, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The skyscraper is part of the huge Hudson Yards construction project that includes Heatherwick Studio's amazing Vessel. It rises to a height of 1,010 ft (307 m) and its interior is mostly office space, with the exception of a stunning viewing point near its top named the Edge.
Head to the gallery to see the remaining seven runners-up in the Emporis Skyscraper Award.