International Highrise Award (IHA) selects five notable projects as its finalist. The awards is known to be as one of the world’s most important architectural prizes for highrises. They are given to projects that epitomize the criteria of future-oriented design, innovative building technology, functionality, integration into urban development schemes, cost-effectiveness and sustainability. Led by 2014 International Highrise Award winner Stefano Boeri, the jury of the world class competition highlighted the noteworthy trend in high-rise development from buildings to residential towers, including the geographic dichotomy of the finalists. Here are the five finalists selected for the International Highrise Award with comments from the jury.

Four World Trade Center — New York, USA / Maki & Associates

international highrise award - four world trade center

The second tower built next to Seven World Trade Center, which was completed on Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. The office tower merges beautifully into its significant environment. The effect of the perfectly designed glass facade allows the building ground to be used commercially whilst granting due space to this unforgettable location. “The mirrored façade and the sculptural qualities of this project are executed so outstanding, that there are moments of disappearance when the perspective is changed. This immateriality seems to give an answer to the question: What can you create of nothingness?” (Jury member Ole Scheeren)

432 Park Avenue — New York, USA / Rafael Viñoly Architects

international highrise award - 432 park avenue

The 432 Park Avenue rises outstandingly above all other buildings in Northern Manhattan since it was built on October 2014. Rafael Viñoly Architects has created the structure which is currently the highest high-rise residential tower in the world and the third highest building in the United States. Multiple modern support structure technologies were used to enable the building to stand despite a relatively small ground plan. This project with its extremely slender proportions gives inspiration to new towers to be created on in the densest metropolises in the world. “Viñoly wanted to create a landmark, he wanted to establish a new prototype in high-rise-building. His super slender needle with the astonishing slenderness ratio of 1:15 is the sheer icon of the idea of a high-rise and will definitely be copied all over the world,” according to Jury-Chair Stefano Boeri.

Sky Habitat — Singapore / Safdie Architects

international highrise award - sky habitat

The two stepped twin towers connected by three bridges comprised the white residential structure Sky Habitat (Singapore) built by Safdie Architects. Situated in a green park landscape, the building is ingeniously adapted to the requirements of an extreme climate. Its strategic location offers residents appealing outdoors and communal spaces. The project is definitely a high-quality role model of new residential forms in tropical areas. Director of the DAM Peter Cachola Schmal commented that the project “shows a new and fascinating concept of the vertical city. It is a machine for living, with certain high-class amenities, like balconies for everyone, skygardens, pools etc. for all its middle-class residents. It does take residential housing to a new level.”

Skyville@Dawson — Singapore / WOHA Projects

international highrise award - skyville

Skyville@Dawson by WOHA is an exceptional model of social housing in Singapore. The flexibly designed housing units on a densely populated complex are grouped into little villages that share various communal spaces and facilities. “This is what I like about it: You’re in a high-rise building but they break down the units and you have this sort of a sky village on top of two other sky villages and you are part of a whole, but also part of a smaller unit at the same time”, said Jury member Brigitte Shim.

VIΛ 57 West — New York, USA / BIG

international high rise - 57 west

VIΛ 57 West is a 136-metre-high hybrid of classical high-rise and traditional European perimeter development. Situated right by Hudson River, the structure rises up as a silver, shimmering tetrahedron. Under the seemingly steely roof skin, over 700 apartments are grouped around an interior green courtyard which serves as oasis for spending sociable hours. This industrial neigbourhood consists of a motorway, a powerplant and a waste-processing facility. “The project is outstanding in its interpretation of a New York block – this is what makes it really interesting” (chair of the jury, Stefano Boeri).

The International Highrise Award winner will be proclaimed by the City of Frankfurt/Main together with Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) and DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale at Frankfurt’s Paulskirche on November 2, 2016.