To mark 50 years of The Structural Awards we’re asking you to vote for the greatest tall structure ever to have won the “Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence” or the “Structural Special Award” that preceded it. 

Both the Supreme Award and the Special Award have recognised the very best of structural engineering excellence since 1968, celebrating outstanding engineering accomplishment from around the world.

Below we’ve picked four great skyscrapers which have won our Supreme or Special Awards. Vote for your favourite, or suggest another winner we’ve missed out.

Left to Right: HSBC Building, Century Tower, Sky Tower, Jin Mao Building (All images sourced Wikimedia Commons, Authors: Louisehui, Wiiii, Chris Gin, Shizhao)

1985: HSBC Building, Hong Kong, China – Ove Arup and Partners

With a height of 178.8m, featuring 47 storeys and four basement levels, this steel structure was remarkable as the most expensive building in the world at the time of its completion. It was noted for its dramatic exoskeleton trusses and its modular design, which saw five steel modules prefabricated in the UK and shipped to Hong Kong. About 30,000 tons of steel and 4,500 tons of aluminium were used.

1991: Century Tower, Tokyo, Japan - Ove Arup and Partners

Century Tower is a 100m tall twin-tower office building in Bunkyo-ku, in the heart of Tokyo. Completed in early 1991, the design consisting of two towers of 20 and 18 stories, their outer form defined by eccentrically braced frames - responding to seismic engineering requirements in a city where earthquakes are a real threat. The four eccentrically braced frames in the east-west direction are complemented by two north-south moment resisting frames.

1998: Sky Tower, Auckland, New Zealand – Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner

The tallest freestanding structure in the southern hemisphere is constructed of high performance reinforced concrete: the main structural element is the tubular shaft which is 225.6m in height, its lower portions stiffened by eight raking reinforced concrete legs, joined via a prestressed concrete collar. The tower is topped by a 90m high steel mast. The design required special consideration of wind and earthquake loading.

2000: Jin Mao Building, Shanghai, China – Skidmore Owings and Merrill

420m tall, the superstructure consists of a mixed use of structural steel and reinforced concrete, with a central reinforced concrete core linked to exterior composite megacolumns by outrigger trusses. The Chinese tradition of Feng Shui was recognised in the structure of the building by making strong references to the fortuitous number eight: The building is 88 storeys tall, and features an octagon shaped reinforced megaconcrete shear core wall. 

The Ultimate Structural Awards Tall Building Which is the greatest tall structure ever to have won the Institution's Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence or Special Award.

This year saw more entries to The Structural Awards than ever before! The judges will announce our Shortlist in early August.

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