Mexico City’s Torre Reforma — the capital’s tallest building — has been voted the world’s most innovative skyscraper.
The 246-meter-high office building, located on the emblematic Reforma avenue, won the International Highrise Award (IHA), a biannual prize awarded by the city of Frankfurt in association with the German Architecture Museum (DAM) and DekaBank.
The tower’s Mexico City-based architect, Benjamín Romano, received the prize statuette and 50,000 euros (US $57,000) at a ceremony held last week at Frankfurt’s Saint Paul’s Church.
The DAM nominated 36 buildings in 15 countries for the architectural award, considered one of the most prestigious in the world.
The jury, made up of architectural experts, structural engineers and real estate developers, unanimously declared Torre Reforma, or Reforma Tower, the winner.
“This award is especially valuable because it comes from my peers – architects, engineers, developers – who can appreciate not only a building itself, but the inherent financial, structural, environmental and normative challenges,” Romano said.
“I believe that the best architecture is the one that finds the answer to these challenges. The one that emanates from needs, context and reality, and not only from someone’s imagination or aesthetic taste.”
Due to an intelligent design system that allows it to use 25% less energy than other buildings, the Torre Reforma is the only building in Mexico with the highest level certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, which was developed by the United States Green Building Council.
In a statement, the IHA jury said “the prevailing problem of earthquakes in Mexico City calls for an intelligent support structure, which lends the 246-meter-high office tower its striking appearance.”
Romano’s design, the statement continued, “places Mexico’s capital on the world map of ground-breaking highrise architecture.”
“Conceived as a huge urban obelisk and defined by two exposed-concrete walls arranged as an open book, Torre Reforma stands out from the surrounding highrises – not just because of its height. With the massive walls, Benjamín Romano takes the Aztec building traditions up and interprets them in a modern way,” the jury said.
“Torre Reforma was the one building that inspired both the structural engineers and the architects in like measure as a masterful demonstration of a new approach to the highrise – and was therefore a worthy winner. It is a building that the entire jury felt did indeed embody the mission that Benjamín Romano set himself: sustainable architecture, architectural structuring, high-tech and artistic integration.”
Dr. Ina Hartwig, deputy mayor in charge of culture of the city of Frankfurt, said that “Torre Reforma stands out on account of its extraordinarily clear, almost sculptural architecture and its triangular footprint.
“The futuristic façade looks out over one of the world’s largest downtown parks [Chapultepec]. Its sensitive, intuitive design is an impressive response to the local topographical challenges,” she added.
Source: Notimex (sp)