Recognition shines spotlight on architectural achievements worldwide.Design is a funny word

MGM Cotai; image courtesy of KPF

A spokesman for Emporis, a global provider of building information, tells ELEVATOR WORLD its annual Skyscraper Award recognizes excellence in aesthetic and functional design. Towers at least 100-m-tall completed during the previous calendar year are selected by a jury of experts. Each fall, Emporis announces an overall winner and nine runners-up. The latest honorees were announced on October 29. At the top of the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2018 list is MGM Cotai in Macau, a multibillion-dollar casino resort designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) on the Cotai Strip in China. Emporis observes:

"When selecting the MGM Cotai, the jury was especially fascinated by its innovative design. The unique structure is based on the idea of nine Chinese jeweler's boxes stacked upon each other, forming two interconnected towers. The asymmetrical design and golden coloring create a dynamic and glamorous appearance, which fits the atmosphere of Macau."

Also fitting the atmosphere are the Otis traction elevators serving the complex, which includes a hotel. YouTube videos reveal units with metallic gold doors and interiors outfitted with various-textured gold surfaces, as well as sparkling gray stone floors.

Rounding out the top three are the 443-ft-tall La Marsellaise office building in Marseilles, France, and the 624-ft-tall 52 Lime Street office building (also known as the Scalpel) in the heart of downtown London, served by KONE and thyssenkrupp vertical-transportation (VT) systems, respectively. The Scalpel was also designed by KPF.

The colorful envelope of La Marseillaise; image courtesy of Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Conceived by French architect Jean Nouvel, La Marsellaise was selected for its ecological features and its "extraordinary façade, which is painted in [nearly] 30 different colors reflecting the diversity of the city," Emporis observes. Its 31 stories are served by 15 7-m/s KONE elevators.

Simplex, a Croatia-headquartered company that has completed nearly 1,200 installations in Western Europe and is installing the first thyssenkrupp MULTI sideways-moving system in Berlin, performed installation at La Marseillaise. Simplex states:

"A total of nine elevators have been installed by [our] professional team in the new architectural pearl of French Marseilles. La Marsellaise tower, in the new business district of Euroméditerranée, is the largest urban-renewal project in this part of Europe. The tower was named after the French anthem, and the project was in development for 16 years. After three-and-a-half years of construction, [investment in the tower] stood at around EUR200 million (US$221.4 million)."

Hefty investments in these architectural jewels include their VT systems, of which OEM team members are justifiably proud. Middle East-based thyssenkrupp Sales Engineer, New Installations Tareq ZN Aloglah said on LinkedIn:

52 Lime Street, aka "the Scalpel," cuts a striking figure on the London skyline; image courtesy of KPF.

"Featuring a dramatic architectural shape with asymmetrical facets and a pointed, attic roof structure, 52 Lime Street or 'the Scalpel,' is a commercial development in London's Square Mile. Our thyssenkrupp colleagues in the U.K. installed 11 TWIN elevators in this premium office building in the heart of London's financial district. . .gives you the same conveyance capacity in 25% less space. . .TWIN is used to maximize lettable floor area and future-proof changes to building occupancy. [In addition to the TWIN elevators], four Velino [heavy-duty] escalators, two goods lifts and a firefighters elevator were installed in the 38-story building. Being part of the London skyline is a great honor for us!" has a full list of the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2018 winners. A little research will likely reveal which OEMs and other VT providers were involved in these remarkable projects. The next round of winners will be announced in fall 2020.