Sydney’s One Central Park has been named the “Best Tall Building Worldwide” by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
The residential skyscraper, designed by French architecture practice Ateliers Jean Nouvel in collaboration with Australian firm PTW, celebrated earlier this year when it was named one of four of the world’s most exceptional buildings.
Now it has outpaced all others to stand alone in the esteem of the CTBUH.
The jurors spent almost a year processing 88 entries, with One Central Park competing directly with the other four finalists in the category: The Edith Green-Wendall Wyatt Federal Building, Portland, USA (Americas); De Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands (Europe) and Cayan Tower, Dubai, UAE (Middle East & Africa).
While the jury appreciated Cayan's striking helix shape or the way De Rotterdam saw three mixed-use towers connected to form a classic skyscraper, it was One Central Park's lofty green presence that impressed.
From the time the design concept was unveiled through to its official opening this year, One Central Park has received worldwide attention for it's environmental efforts, in particular housing one of the world's largest en masse vertical gardens, designed by French botanist, Patrik Blanc.
Stretching 116 metres high, the building features a 64,000 square metre green space, using hydroponics and heliostats to grow plants around the periphery of the building at all levels. As its name suggests, the park is inspired by New York's Central Park, providing green public space in the urban realm. The vertical garden itself spans 1,000 square metres and features 250 species of Australian flowers and plants.
“Every member of the team challenged us to deliver something that was out of the box,” said Michael Goldrick, project management director of Frasers Property. “The Ateliers Jean Nouvel team put together challenges we never really envisioned. It really drove us to deliver what I think for Sydney and Australia is a really iconic building.”
CTBUH executive director and awards juror Antony Wood said his first look at the project “stopped me dead.”
“There have been major advances in the incorporation of greenery in high-rise buildings over the past few years – but nothing on the scale of this building has been attempted or achieved," he said. "One Central Park strongly points the way forward, not only for an essential naturalisation of our built environment, but for a new aesthetic for our cities – an aesthetic entirely appropriate to the environmental challenges of our age.”
The vertical garden is complemented by a Sky Garden which cantilevers out from level 29 of the tower. This Sky Garden features the light-directing heliostat system.
One Central Park has demonstrated the environmental possibilities that exist sky high. The architects have explored the new "forest skyscraper" concept and shown that green architecture can both look and function in an environmentally friendly way, with its foliage and gardens at the heart of the project's sustainability.
Vertical gardens bring nature into urban centres, improving air quality for their buildings' inhabitants, contributing to acoustic and insulation support, reducing energy and mitigating the urban heat island effect.
One Central Park will now join some of the world's most notable skyscraper projects to boast large living walls. The world's largest according to the Guinness World Records grows on City Development Limited's Tree House condominium and spans 2,289 square metres over 24 storeys.
The garden's thermal properties are expected to achieve air-conditioning savings of between 15 and 30 per cent.
Italy's highly anticipated Bosco Verticale project in Milan by architect Stefano Boeri was also completed this year. The two buildings feature 900 trees and more than 2000 plants.
"On flat land, each Vertical forest equals, in amount of trees, an area equal to 7000 m2 of forest," Boeri says on his website. "In terms of urban densification the equivalent of an area of single family dwellings of nearly 75,000 m2. The vegetal system of the Vertical Forest aids in the construction of a microclimate, produces humidity, absorbs CO2 and dust particles and produces oxygen."
Sri Lankan residential project Clearpoint Residencies is looking to take the crown for largest vertical garden. The 46-storey building will be wrapped in greenery when construction is completed in April 2016. It will Sri Lanka's first sustainable building and will feature planted terraces and mango trees. The building will feature a unique drip irrigation system to remove the need for manual watering.