Back to Previous

Winners of the 2021 Structural Awards announced

Date published

After an enforced break last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are hugely excited to be able to announce the winners of the Structural Awards 2021.

Now in its 54th year, this hotly contested programme celebrates the very best work across the global structural engineering community.

The winners were chosen from a list of 53 pioneering projects and judged according to their creativity, quality and sustainability as well as the ingenuity of the engineering team behind them.

A diverse range of structures were recognised across 13 categories, from the ultra-modern, aesthetically stunning Taiyuan Botanical Garden Domes (Award for Structural Artistry (Building Structures)) to the robust and resilient Atrio North Tower (Award for Structures in Extreme Conditions).

This year’s entries perfectly underline how structural engineers around the world are responding to emerging issues in construction, particularly the climate challenge. Many of the shortlisted and winning projects showcase adapted approaches, designed to deliver the same exceptional work in a more eco-friendly way.

The coveted Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence, presented to the year’s most outstanding example of structural engineering design, was, for the first time ever, jointly awarded to Christchurch Town Hall, New Zealand (also received The Award for Structural Heritage) and Lille Langebro, Denmark (also received The Award for Pedestrian Bridges).

The judging panel, chaired by former IStructE President, Professor Tim Ibell, were unanimous in their praise of the projects' structural engineers, Holmes Consulting (Christchurch Town Hall) and Buro Happold (Lille Langebro). 

They highlighted the technical complexity of both firms’ work as the stand out feature on the two projects, setting them apart from the other winners. 

They felt Christchurch Town Hall, with significant portions of the site being upgraded, repaired and restored, in a post-earthquake setting, offered the full spectrum of structural and geotechnical challenges.

For Lille Langebro, they highlighted the pedestrian bridge’s elegant design which, as it incorporates a complex geometry, had demanded excellence in structural design and detailing.

On both projects, the judges were also impressed by the structural designers’ precision, especially in dealing with very challenging constraints and highly specific requirements. They added the attention to detail throughout both Supreme Award-winners is exemplary, and an excellent showcase of the care and skill required of structural engineers worldwide. 

Commenting on this year’s entries, Professor Ibell says, “Massive congratulations to all the winners and thanks to all those who entered. What this year’s submissions demonstrated is how there’s been a shift in attitudes towards green building. No doubt we’ll see sustainability become a non-negotiable project requirement, as important as structural integrity, safety and comfort.”

What are you going to do about sustainability?

​Reducing carbon emissions is a global priority. Five leading structural engineers explain the need to take our professional responsibility seriously and commit to doing things better. Show this video to clients and collaborators to start the conversation.

Full list of 2021 Structural Award winners and commendations

The Award for Construction Innovation 
Winner: Apple Marina Bay Sands
Commendation: King’s Scholars Pond Sewer Rehabilitation

The Award for Long Span Structures      
Winner: Jewel Changi Airport
Commendation: Shijiazhuang International Convention and Exhibition Center     

The Award for Minimal Structural Intervention
Winner: Elizabeth Line OLE Gantry Rigorous Assessments             

The Award for Pedestrian Bridges            
Winner: Lille Langebro
Commendation: Swing Bridge to Dinosaur Island               

The Award for Small Projects (of under £3 million)
Winner: The Viper Elevated Walkway at the Newt in Somerset
Commendation: Stroud Christian Community Chapel

The Award for Structural Artistry (building structures)    
Winner: Taiyuan Botanical Garden Domes           

The Award for Structural Artistry (non-building structures)
Winner: Future Tree

The Award for Structural Heritage
Winner: Christchurch Town Hall
Commendation:   Repair and Rehabilitation of Daly's (Shakey) Bridge 

The Award for Structural Transformation             
Winner: Ashworth Centre and Library Extension - Lincoln's Inn Fields       

The Award for Structures in Extreme Conditions
Winner: Atrio North Tower         

The Award for Tall or Slender Structures
Winner: Tianjin CTF Finance Centre         

The Award for Vehicle Bridges   
Winner: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge over the River Barrow  

The Award for Zero-Carbon Ambition     
Winner: York House
Commendation: Oregon Forest Science Complex
The Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence            
Winner: Christchurch Town Hall
Winner: Lille Langebro 




Related Resources & Events

Presenting work at the 2018 Young Researchers Conference

Moving into engineering management

This two-day in-person course gives first time managers a toolbox of techniques to use for managing engineers and other technical staff.

Date – 4 October 2023
Location – The Institution of Structural Engineers
Price – £565 - £845 + VAT
IStructE image 3C

Mental Health First Aid training 2023 (online)

Certify as a Mental Health First Aider through four tutor led live online training sessions.

Date – 2 October 2023
Location – Online
Price – Free
steel roof

Eurocode 3: structural steelwork design

This one-day, online course examines changes between BS 5950 and Eurocode 3. The emphasis is on buildings and the provision of general rules for buildings of EN 1993-1-1 and design of joints to EN 1993-1-8.

Date – 27 September 2023
Location – Online
Price – £275 - £425 + VAT