China’s Shanghai Tower wins 2016 Emporis Skyscraper Award

    Shanghai Tower is currently the second-tallest building in the world and the tallest skyscraper in Asia. Image: © Connie Zhou

    The winner of the 2015 Emporis Skyscraper Award is the Shanghai Tower, currently the second-tallest building in the world and the tallest skyscraper in Asia. An international panel of experts selected the Shanghai Tower from more than 300 skyscrapers of at least 100 meters height that were completed in 2015. China took the crown for the second time in a row since the Emporis Skyscraper Award was established in 2000 by Emporis (, an international provider of building data.

    The 632-meter-tall Shanghai Tower was chosen as the winner for several reasons, including its elegant spiraling cylindrical shape, which was designed by Gensler Architects. It also impressed the jury with its extraordinary energy efficiency. The double-skin façade of the tower is reminiscent of a thermos bottle. Moreover Shanghai Tower is the home of the world’s fastest elevator, which can transport people at a speed of 20 meters per second to the 561-meter high viewing platform.

    Second place in the voting went to the Evolution Tower in Moscow. It was recognized by the award jury for its expressive design. Each floor twists 3 degrees in relation to the floor below it. The tower has a rotation from the base to the top of more than 150 degrees. The extravagant design is inspired by St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow and Tatlin’s tower.

    The third-placed building is Il Dritto (The Straight One) in Milan. It is a collaboration between Japanese architect Arata Isozaki and Italian architect Andrea Maffei. The 210-meter-tall tower is also known as Allianz Tower; German financial services firm Allianz is the owner. Design of the façade is inspired by Constantin Brâncuși’s sculpture, “Endless Column.” Besides its shape, the expert jury praised the façade, which is slightly curved to outside.

    In 2015, the Top 10 skyscrapers show a great deal of regional diversity, including nominees from all over the world, from Melbourne, to Moscow, to New York (see Table 1).

    Table 1: Top 10 Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015 winners

    Information provided by Emporis, a global provider of building information (