In the land of the giants...

Thursday 29 Oct 2009

Steven Holl's Linked Hybrid reigns supreme

Steven Holl Architects' Linked Hybrid in Beijing has been named by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) as the “Best Tall Building Overall” for 2009. The 220,000 sq m Linked Hybrid complex is a mixed-use facility formed of eight towers linked by a ring of eight sky bridges consumed within a 'twenty-first century porous urban space', inviting public use.

"With its rich pallet, appropriate scale and consistency in architectural language, Linked Hybrid adds a level of high quality architecture to the city of Beijing," said the CTBUH in announcing the winner.

The Council issues Best Tall Building Awards annually to give recognition to projects that have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and that achieve sustainability at the highest and broadest level."Working well above the level of purely sculptural architecture, the project embodies, on an urbanistic scale, where the future of tall buildings and urban cities is heading, creating architecture that does not isolate, but rather connects both on the ground level and in the sky. This creates both a unique ground floor that acts as an oasis in the density of Beijing, and a real multi-use zone of connected urbanism in the sky," the CTBUH added.

The complex houses 2,500 inhabitants in more than 750 apartments and is comprehensive in its offerings to residents with swimming pool, fitness center, cafe, gallery, tearoom, and further spaces encompassed within the connective sky bridges on the 18th floors. A true community is formed both within and outwith the structure with the inclusion of a hotel and a school making Linked Hybrid a 'city within a city'. This became a key factor in the judging process with an emphasis on the sustainability of creating a self-sufficient community. Incorporated with numerous geothermal and water recycling design features Linked Hybrid was seen by judges as a 'fantastic' sustainable model.

Accepting the award on behalf of the Linked Hybrid project team was design architect Steven Holl. Joining Mr. Holl on stage was Li Hu, project manager in Beijing from Steven Holl Architects, Congzhen Xiao, from structural engineer on the project, China Academy of Building Research, and Stefan Holst, from environmental consultants, Transsolar ClimageEngineering.

As described by CTBUH Executive Director and 2009 Jury panel member, Antony Wood, “It is only in the intensification of our cities and the inclusion of mixed urban-public facilities in the sky that the true vibrant, dense cities of the future can be realized. The Linked Hybrid building, perhaps more than any other built project, really does point the way to that future.”

The Council announced its four 2009 regional winners earlier this year: Manitoba Hydro Place for Americas, Linked Hybrid for Asia & Australasia, The Broadgate Tower for Europe, and Tornado Tower for Middle East & Africa. Linked Hybrid was chosen from these four regional winners and announced as the Best Tall Building Overall for 2009.

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