world’s best new skyscraper

Sustainable Buildings: “The World’s Best New Skyscraper”

Architecture and construction are sectors that demand tremendous innovation in order to address the unprecedented challenges humanity faces, namely climate change, population growth and urbanization. Dutch architects seem to have mastered the art of thinking-out-of-the box, as their contemporary designs reflect great innovation, and act as an inspiration globally. I recently wrote an article on floating houses in the Netherlands, an innovative concept which the Dutch are using to adapt to climate change. This time around, I would like to introduce you to a remarkable sustainable building in Amsterdam, Netherlands, named Valley, which was recently awarded the prestigious Emporis Skyscraper Award 2021, for the world’s best new skyscraper.

world’s best new skyscraper
Valley
Photographer: Ossip van Duivenbode
Source: MVRDV

The Emporis Skyscraper Award

The Emporis Skyscraper Award is a prestigious award for architectural excellence which has been given yearly, since the year 2000, to the best newly built skyscrapers to celebrate their design and functionality. In order for a building to be nominated, it needs to have been completed during the previous calendar year, and be at least 100 meters tall, which explains the description “newly built skyscraper”. The jury – made up of a selection of global architecture experts – judge the nominated buildings based on their aesthetic, design, and functionality.

The latest rankings for the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2021 reveal a shift in the way skyscrapers are designed and appreciated nowadays. Sustainable building features are increasingly included in buildings and appreciated more. Out of more than 600 nominated skyscrapers (100m and above) for the 2021 award, four buildings in the top five had a height of only about 100m. This suggests that the jury considered other criteria such as sustainability and innovation to be more important than the height and the size of the building. Taller and bigger is not necessarily better anymore, but rather the more sustainable and innovative a building is, the more appreciated it is.

Emporis Skyscraper Award: Top Five Buildings – 2021

RankingBuilding NameCity, CountryHeightFloors 
#1ValleyAmsterdam, Netherlands100m26
#2111 West 57th StreetNew York City, USA435m84
#3NV TowerSofia, Bulgaria106m 20
#4Antares TowerBarcelona, Spain104m27
#5Bundang Doosan TowerSeongnam, South Korea100m27

Source: Amazing Architecture

Valley – The World’s Best New Skyscraper

Valley, the world’s best new skyscraper – 2021, was designed by the Dutch architecture studio MVRDV for the developer Edge. Its designers sought to bring a green and human dimension into one of Amsterdam’s main business center, Zuidas, where the building is located. In order to achieve this, Valley was designed to be a mixed building combining working, living and entertainment, and it possesses several unique sustainable building features such as:

  • 1700m2 of greenery on its sides. These plants were chosen depending on factors such as wind, sunlight, temperature and maintenance
  • Bird- and bat boxes, as well as insect and bee hotels to enhance biodiversity
  • Solar panels
  • Electric car charging ports
  • Triple glazed windows to lower energy use
  • Smart climate-controlled ceilings
  • Low-energy LED lighting
  • A public park accessible via two external staircases to promote exercise
  • Apartments rightly positioned to receive adequate natural light, which lowers energy use
world’s best new skyscraper
Valley
Photographer: Ossip van Duivenbode
Source: MVRDV

Not only is Valley a highly functional building with unique sustainable building features, it also possesses good aesthetics. Its design was inspired by mountain sides and valleys, and it is a building with multiple facets, switching from a mirrored glass outer shell to an inner shell made of natural stone and greenery. All of these features make Valley an extraordinary and innovative architectural design which rightfully earned it the prestigious Emporis Skyscraper award for the “world’s best new skyscraper”. 

world’s best new skyscraper
Valley
Photographer: Ossip van Duivenbode
Source: MVRDV
Leslie Fotso
No Thoughts on Sustainable Buildings: “The World’s Best New Skyscraper”

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