Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Names Quay Quarter Tower 2023’s Best Tall Building Worldwide

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New Sydney icon wins unprecedented seven awards, demonstrates importance of structure renewal to mitigate climate change

Quay Quarter Tower, in Sydney

View of Quay Quarter Tower from Sydney Harbour. Image courtesy Adam Mørk, 2022
View of Quay Quarter Tower from Sydney Harbour. Image courtesy Adam Mørk, 2022

Quay Quater Tower Team

Liann Lim (pictured right of trophy holder), Sr. Development Manager of Quay Quarter Tower, the CTBUH 2023 Best Tall Building Worldwide, and the project team receive the award in Singapore. Image courtesy CTBUH
Liann Lim (pictured right of trophy holder), Sr. Development Manager of Quay Quarter Tower, the CTBUH 2023 Best Tall Building Worldwide, and the project team receive the award in Singapore. Image courtesy CTBUH

Chicago, Oct. 26, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) announced the winner of its annual award for best tall building worldwide: Quay Quarter Tower, in Sydney. Winners were also announced in five regional categories, five height categories and a dozen other functional categories (a complete list of categories and winners appears below) at the organization’s annual international conference, themed Humanizing High Density, in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

“The global construction industry confronts an emerging dilemma: should we build new structures, or should we renew existing ones to accommodate the anticipated growth in urban density?” explained CTBUH CEO Javier Quintana de Uña. “The pursued remedies can impact not only individual structures but also entire cities and the built environment in general and must take into account environmental, economic and social sustainability. Sydney’s Quay Quarter Tower exemplifies the forward-looking strategies and solutions that address this density dilemma, significantly reducing carbon emissions and helping to mitigate the impact of climate change while meeting the needs of its occupants and the surrounding community.”

Quay Quarter Tower, owned by Dexus Wholesale Property Fund (DWPF), Mirvac Wholesale Office Fund (MWOF) and Rest Super, repositioned an existing underused building, the 1976 AMP Center, retaining a significant portion of its beams, columns and slabs, as well as over 95 percent of its existing core, an approach that resulted in an embodied carbon savings of 12,000 metric tons in structure. Additionally, a self-shading façade reduces solar radiation, minimizing mechanical loads on the building, and strategically positioned atria enable natural daylight to permeate the 2,000-square-meter floor plates, improving energy efficiency in the interior. And an innovative removable floor system in the atria allows occupants to remove and replace floor sections, affording flexibility that can accommodate a wide range of uses as businesses grow and work practices evolve, extending the life cycle of the building. As a result of these carbon-reducing features and others, the building exceeds the operational performance of many newly constructed buildings and has achieved a 6-Star Green Star rating.

“But carbon is only part of the equation here; we also focused on connectivity and the community,” explained Liann Lim, Senior Development Manager of Quay Quarter Tower. “The building’s atria create a vertical village, with social spaces that promote interaction among occupants, and activate the workspace, which has achieved IWBI WELL Platinum certification. We also took advantage of Sydney’s temperate climate, extending the internal market hall to external terraces, and the podium’s rooftop park and cafe provide both a new destination and much-needed greenery in a dense urban quarter for occupants and visitors alike.”

As the building rises, the façade gradually shifts toward the east, offering extensive harbor views that include the Sydney Opera House. This design approach ensures that the building does not cast additional shadows over the adjacent Royal Botanic Gardens or the public museum space to the south.

“We’re very pleased with the building’s overarching sensitivity and contribution to the city,” added Lim. “Being recognized by CTBUH as the best tall building worldwide affirms that we’re making a positive impact not just in Sydney and Australia but in the built environment globally.”

Quay Quarter Sydney, a precinct anchoring the city’s northeastern central business district, is also leading the way in planning and placemaking innovations. The project’s heritage laneway development, Quay Quarter Lanes, was recognized with CTBUH’s Urban Habitat Award for its imaginative urban design, which enhances social sustainability and city life.    

The annual CTBUH Award of Excellence competition recognizes projects from around the world that employ the most advanced concepts and technologies in sustainable vertical urbanism. It celebrates and amplifies game-changing approaches to some of the most pressing challenges confronting the urban environment today, including mitigating the impact of climate change, reducing carbon emissions, achieving sustainability through an environmental—as well as cultural—lens and equity and affordability in housing, among many others

Submissions for the Award of Excellence competition were solicited widely earlier this year. Representatives for each project presented to multidisciplinary juries assembled at the organization’s annual international conference, October 16–21. Juries were comprised of CTBUH members from across the globe with expertise in architecture, engineering, construction and other diverse disciplines. Overall category winners were then selected and conferred at an award ceremony and dinner. For more information on the CTBUH Award of Excellence competition, including the full slate of competitors and jury members by category, please visit https://ctbuhconference.com/about/award-of-excellence-winners/.

2023 CTBUH Award of Excellence Winners:

  • Best Tall Building Worldwide: Quay Quarter Tower, Sydney, Australia
  • Best Tall Building, Americas: Engineering Laboratories | Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Columbia
  • Best Tall Building, Asia: DJI Sky City, Shenzhen, China
  • Best Tall Building, Oceania: Quay Quarter Tower, Sydney, Australia
  • Best Tall Building, Europe: Sara Kulturhus, Skellefteå, Sweden
  • Best Tall Building, Middle East and Africa: Atlantis The Royal Resort, Dubai, UAE
  • Best Tall Building Under 100 Meters: Valley, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Best Tall Building 100–199 Meters: Lighthouse 2.0, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Best Tall Building 200–299 Meters: CapitaSpring, Singapore
  • Best Tall Building 300–399 Meters: The Spiral, New York City, United States
  • Best Tall Building 400 Meters and Above: Guangxi China Resources Tower, Nanning, China
  • Best Tall Non-Building: Lotus Tower, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Urban Habitat Award: Quay Quarter Lanes, Sydney, Australia
  • Future Project Award: Atlassian Central, Sydney, Australia
  • 10-Year Award: The Interlace, Singapore
  • Construction Award: Quay Quarter Tower, Sydney, Australia
  • Repositioning Award: Quay Quarter Tower, Sydney, Australia
  • Innovation Award: Urban Sequoia NOW
  • Structure Award: Quay Quarter Tower, Sydney, Australia
  • Systems Award: Ping An Property & Casualty Insurance Tower, Shenzhen, China
  • Space Within Award: Quay Quarter Tower, Sydney
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Award: Turner Construction 2030

Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to smarter, more sustainable cities and a more viable future for global populations. Specifically, CTBUH focuses on the critical role of density in addressing climate change. CTBUH is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in Shanghai, China, and Venice, Italy. CTBUH’s worldwide membership network includes companies from fields such as real estate development, architecture, engineering, cost consulting, building management and construction, among others. In addition to hosting leading industry events, CTBUH produces research and reporting on issues of significant consequence to its membership. Its most utilized asset is its building database, SkyscraperCenter.com, a compendium of detailed data, images and technical information on more than 30,000 tall buildings throughout the world. CTBUH is best known to the public for developing the international standards for measuring tall building height and is recognized as the arbiter of the “World’s Tallest Building” designation. For more information, please visit ctbuh.org.

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CONTACT: Charles Mutscheller The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat [email protected] 

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