The Urban Habitat Award is an annual award that is awarded by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The award has been in place since 2014. The award recognizes that the impact of a tall building is bigger than the building itself and impacts the urban area in which it is constructed. Submissions for the award range from detailed and magnificent master plan buildings that have contributed to the quality urban environment to general projects that have demonstrated a positive contribution to the environment around them. Before the awards are given, the main jury selects four regional best tall buildings from where the overall winner will be picked. The main jury consists of five members drawn from multidisciplinary related to construction and represents diverse geographic spread. The overall winner of the Urban Habitat Award is selected by the Urban Habitat Jury which is made up of mainly urban planners, landscape architects, and city planners. This article focuses on the three winners of the Urban Habitat Awards, their location, and what gave them an edge over the other buildings.
3. 2016 - Wuhan Tiandi Site A (Wuhan)
Wuhan Tiandi Site A is a skyscraper located in the Yongqing area of central Hankou, Wahun. The building, which is located close to the Yangtze River, is still under construction and is expected to have 76 floors of which three floors will be underground. It brings together both residential and office buildings in tandem with the city’s long-term planning and development strategy. The building covers an area of approximately 727,000 square feet and is expected to have 256 hotel rooms and a parking space for over 2,000 vehicles. Wuhan Tiandi Site A retains the city’s culture, fusing fashion elements with modern facilities. The traditional architectural features of the building are meant to give it a new sense of vitality and to also enhance its business value. The building is planned to be completed in 2018 and enhance the urban environment, expand green space, and provide comfortable working and living environment. For the 2016 Urban Habitat Award, the CTBUH received a total of 132 submissions. However, Wuhan Tiandi Site A emerged the overall winner of the awards because of the attention it pays to sustainability and quality of life for the residents. According to the jury, the building highlighted the possibility of a master plan for the tall building neighborhood to include sufficient space that offers social design, workability, and high level of intimacy. Wuhan Tiandi Site A offers high quality of life for its residents, those who work with the quality of life experienced by the residents rivaling the experience at some of the tall building neighborhoods around the world.
2. 2015 - PARKROYAL on Pickering (Singapore)
Parkroyal on Pickering was the second building to win the Urban Habitat Award in Singapore. The luxury hotel is situated in the Central Area of Singapore. Dubbed the “hotel-in-a garden,” the building won for its unique architecture which incorporates an elevated terrace garden. The extensive greenery includes green wall, 160,000 square feet sky garden, and water features. Parkroyal on Pickering was designed by WOHA, an architecture firm based in Singapore that is known to incorporate extensive greenery is most of their buildings. The hotel has 367 rooms. The 5th floor is entirely a wellness floor, featuring a spa, infinity pool, garden, and a wellness center. The skyscraper has a total of 16 floors and parking space for 104 cars. It offers one bar and restaurant called LIME. The massive sky garden is the building’s main attraction. It is draped with tropical plants with palm trees cantilevered between the guest room blocks. The greenery, trees, and the garden appear to link up with those of the neighboring park as one long chain of urban parkland. Parkroyal on Pickering overlooks the shophouse district which is situated between Singapore River and the park. Thus, it responds to the different environments and facilitates the public connection between those areas. The building can be seen from and across the park with the architect making a grand urban gesture.The building’s concept was building-as-garden for a green city. The aim was to create an urban street scale for the residents and visitors passing by around to pick up some of the details and also implement a garden-themed aesthetic. It was meant to be a self-sustaining building that consumes minimal energy through the use of harvested rainwater, solar energy, and reclaimed water. Apart from the Urban Habitat Award, Parkroyal on Pickering has won several other awards including Singapore Experience Award, Good Design Award, World Architecture News Award, and the President’s Design Award.
1. 2014 - The Interlace (Singapore)
The Interlace is one of the largest and most mgnificent residential development in Singapore. The 1040-unit apartment building is situated on the corner of Depot Road and Alexandra Road. The complex is noticeable for its design which resembles 31 bricks that are irregularly stuck together. The building was designed by OMA and Ole Scheeren and was named the World Building of the Year in 2015 during the World Architecture Festival. The Interlace occupies an area of approximately 170,000 square meters and sits on eight hectares of land. It consists of 31 block apartments with the unit apartments ranging in size 800 to 6,300 square meters. The building has several recreational facilities including swimming pools, tennis court, gym, and children playgrounds.The Interlace project was commissioned in 2007 and the work was completed in 2013. The building is surrounded by several connected parks that promote the 2012 Singapore Green initiative. The building was awarded the Urban Habitat Award in 2014 for creatively realizing the potential a tropical environment provides by converting a “tower in the park” to a “tower as a park.” The Interlace was not just a worthy winner of the inaugural awards, but it also demonstrated the real opportunity the tall buildings have in creating a quality space by height. Other associations and groups such as architecture community have also praised The Interlace for incorporating sustainability features through careful analysis of the factors such as sun and the micro-climate conditions and adopting low-impact energy use. The complex has also been viewed as a challenge to the traditional architecture in Singapore and the rest of the world.