OMA Wins International Highrise Award

John Hill
29. October 2020
Photo: Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy of OMA

Norra Tornen, a two-tower residential project designed by OMA partner Reinier de Graaf for a site in Stockholm's city center, has been named the winner of the biennial International Highrise Award 2020.

The winner — the ninth IHA winner — was named today during an online presentation necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic. Norra Tornen bested four other big-name, high-profile finalists: Omniturm in Frankfurt/Main by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group; Eden in Singapore by Heatherwick Studio; The Stratford in London by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; and Leeza SOHO in Beijing by Zaha Hadid Architects.

Photo: Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy of OMA

Accordingly, the statuette and check were presented "symbolically" to architect and client in a digital ceremony broadcast from Paulskirche in Frankfurt and attended by the award's three organizers: Dr. Ina Hartwig, the City of Frankfurt Deputy Mayor for Culture; , Dr. Matthias Danne, Deputy CEO of DekaBank; and Peter Cachola Schmal, Director of the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM).

Photo: Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy of OMA

Explaining the project in a presentation included in the award ceremony, Reinier de Graaf said their design both follows and disobeys the building envelope given them by the city architect when they came on board in 2012. Creating bays with balconies wrapping the perimeter and flipping every other floor led to its final "beehive" appearance. Both the structure and facade were prefabricated and therefore built fairly quickly: the 36-story Innovationen Tower was completed in 2018 and the 32-story Helix Tower this year.

Photo: Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy of OMA

Norra Tornen was developed by Oscar Properties after winning a land allocation competition held by the City of Stockholm in 2013. The two towers contain a total of 320 apartments (182 in Innovationen Tower, 138 in Helix Tower) plus amenities and ground-floor retail. The towers are the first built project in Sweden by OMA and the tallest buildings in Stockholm.

Photo: Ossip van Duivenbode, courtesy of OMA

Visit OMA's profile for more information on the Norra Tornen.

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