Residential Highrise VIA 57 West in New York wins the International Highrise Award 2016

Residential Highrise VIA 57 West in New York wins the International Highrise Award 2016
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The Housing & Development Board of Singapore is awarded with a special recognition

The jury of the International Highrise Award 2016 resolved unanimously: the residential highrise VIA 57 West in New York/USA has won the prize, worth EUR 50,000, for the world’s most innovative highrise.

Architect Bjarke Ingels (BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group) and the client Douglas Durst (The Durst Organization) received the prize statuette and the prize money today at the awards ceremony in Frankfurt’s Paulskirche.

The IHA prize was awarded by Dr. Ina Hartwig, the City of Frankfurt Deputy Mayor for Culture, Dr. Matthias Danne, Member of the Board for Real Estate and Finance at DekaBank and Peter Cachola Schmal, Director of the Deutsche Architekurmuseum (DAM).

The Jury awarded a special recognition to the Housing & Development Board (HDB) of Singapore for their exemplary leadership as a public agency realizing innovative high-rise sustainable residential community projects.

From over 1500 highrises that were commissioned worldwide over the last two years, Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) nominated 30 outstanding buildings from 14 different countries. An international jury of experts consisting of architects, structural engineers and real estate specialists selected the final five for the short-list.

The International Highrise Award has been bestowed biannually since 2004 by the City of Frankfurt. The IHP was initiated by Deutsches Architekturmuseum and DekaBank in 2003 together with the City of Frankfurt. It is financed by Deutsches Architekturmuseum and DekaBank.

It is being bestowed for the sixth time in 2014. The key criterion is that the building unites sustainability, external shape and interior qualities and social aspects to create a pioneering design. The IHP is open to architects and developers whose building is at least 100 meters tall and was commissioned within the last two years.

Residential Highrise VIA 57 West in New York wins the International Highrise Award 2016


New York City up front with innovations in high-rise construction

In the west the site is separated from the Hudson River by a multi-lane motorway, in the north stands a historical electricity plant, in the south there are the noises and smell of the newly built waste sorting centre, while a conventional, blue-glazed, 130-metre-high residential tower rises up in the east, whose view of the Hudson River may not be obstructed - these were the unattractive framework conditions in the very mixed district “Hell’s Kitchen”.

The architects responded to this with the innovative concept of a “courtscraper”. The hybrid of an American high-rise and a European perimeter development turns away from the building to the north-east and is orientated towards a green interior courtyard.

The balconies integrated into the roof surface afford protected views of the Hudson River in the West. Almost all of the 709 apartments enjoy a view of the river and the sunset, which would have been geometrically impossible for a normal perimeter development.

This sculptural prototype therefore offers a quiet, sheltered oasis within the loud city, without being closed off from it. BIG Architects have created great innovations with this building.

The project was developed by the Durst Organization, one of the oldest family-run commercial and residential real estate companies in New York City.

Established in 1915, the company is owned and operated by the third generation of the Durst family. Douglas Durst chairman of the Durst Organization will join architect Bjarke Ingels in receiving the prize.

Residential Highrise VIA 57 West in New York wins the International Highrise Award 2016


The grandiose building sculpture represents a varied and sensual experience from all perspectives

Dr. Matthias Danne, member of the Board for real estate and finance at Deka-Bank explains: „Through its unusual shape and innovative design, VIA 57 West enriches the urban high-rise architecture. Despite consolidated construction and efficient use of space, a habitat is created which is unique in Metropolitan New York City.“

Peter Cachola Schmal, Director of Deutsches Architekturmuseum and member of the IHP jury 2016 commented: “Basically, this project is a major milestone for housing, and not only in the extreme residential market of New York. It not only brings in an exciting new typology, a hybrid of a skyscraper and a perimeter development, but also shows how impulses from current European movements, building groups, and cooperatives can be applied to quite different residential areas. The metropolitan inhabitant residing alone is no longer lonely, but finds the necessary social contact with like-minded fellow beings within the same block. “

Dr. Ina Hartwig, Deputy Mayor in charge of Culture of the City of Frankfurt: “Today around 50 % of the world population live in metropolises or urban agglomerations. The urban space runs short and even in Frankfurt living in high-rises becomes more common. Frankfurt not only awards the only International Highrise Award, but also recognizes in its own towers innovative developments in highrise building. An ecological and sustainable urban development policy leads to a livable environment in high-rise building.”

Bjarke Ingels “It is a great honor that VIA 57 West receives the International Highrise Award 2016. It is a rare new breed of building combining the communal qualities of a european courtyard with the density and views of a highrise. I see this prize as an invitation for us and others to think differently about how we want inhabit our future cities”

Douglas Durst said “As iconic and enduring as the design of VIA 57 West is, its true beauty is the collaborative and congenial work of the project team. And while the entire world gets to admire this sloped curtain wall and the iconic form of this hyperbolic paraboloid, we, who worked on it, understand that every facet of this building was the result of a unique collaboration from architect to tradesperson and everyone in between. It is a great honor to be recognized for the hard work that went into the development of VIA and we profoundly proud that this building is being recognized for its contribution to New York City’s skyline. “

During the awards ceremony, the four other short-listed projects will be honored:

  • Four World Trade Center (New York/USA) by Maki & Associates, Tokyo/Japan
  • 432 Park Avenue (New York/USA) by Viñoly, New York/USA
  • SkyHabitat (Singapore) by Safdie Architects, Boston/USA
  • SkyVille@Dawson (Singapore) byWOHA Architects, Singapur

Residential Highrise VIA 57 West in New York wins the International Highrise Award 2016


IHA partners extend collaboration until 2020

On the fringes of the event, the sponsor of the award announced it would continue its cooperation for a further four years. This means the International Highrise Award is secured until 2020.

Deutsches Architekturmuseum is presenting all the projects nominated

The exhibition on “Best Highrises 2016/17 – International Highrise Award 2016”, will run at Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM ) in Frankfurt from November 4, 2016 thru January 15, 2017 and will not only present the prize winners and finalists, but all 30 nominated projects.


600450 Residential Highrise VIA 57 West in New York wins the International Highrise Award 2016
Date: 9 November 2016

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