Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s David Rubenstein Forum Named Best Tall Building

The 10-story David Rubenstein Forum in Chicago, designed by American studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro, has been awarded the 2022 award for Best Tall Building Worldwide by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

Completed in 2020, the David Rubenstein Forum at the University of Chicago was named an overall winner at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) awards last week.

David Rubenstein Forum has been named the world’s best tall building

The landmark tower was built on the University of Chicago campus next to Midway Plaisance Park and is located across from the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.

It consists of six blocks stacked on top of each other, each cantilevered from a central spine, with a 12-metre cantilever protecting the entrance to the building.

Skyscraper next to Midway Plaisance park
It is next to the Midway Plaisance park

The 9,000-square-foot building contains a 285-seat auditorium, lecture halls, and numerous multi-purpose spaces for teaching.

Since each of the cantilevered blocks has glass ends, most of these spaces have views north to downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan or south across the university campus.

Glass facade of David Rubenstein Forum
The building has large glass facades

The building achieved a LEED Gold sustainability certification, and its large glass facades incorporate “bird-safe technology” to make the glass visible to birds, as it is located on the Mississippi Flyway Zone.

It was named Best Tall Building Worldwide at the CTBUH awards, where it also won Best Tall Building under 100 meters.

“With the United Nations projecting urbanization to reach nearly 70 percent by 2050, demand for healthier, more sustainable and socially just urban environments is growing, tall buildings and other smart, resilient approaches to population density are integral to the solution,” said CTBUH CEO Javier Quintana the Una.

“The projects selected for our annual Award of Excellence competition represent the most advanced concepts and technologies currently in use around the world, and the David Rubenstein Forum in particular exemplifies the diversity of interdisciplinary ingenuity required to meet the complex needs of students, employees, communities and the public at large.”

View from a University of Chicago lecture hall
Rooms have a view of the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel

Also at the awards, Olderfleet in Melbourne was named Best Tall Building between 100-199 meters by Grimshaw Architects, One Dalton in Boston by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners won Best Tall Building between 200-299 meters and The St Regis in Chicago by Studio Gang Architects has been named Best High-rise between 300-399 meters. Kohn Pedersen Fox’s One Vanderbilt in New York City won Best Tall Building over 400 meters.

Other winners included 111 West 57th Street in New York City by SHoP Architects, which was named Best Tall Residential Building, and BIG’s Copenhill Power Plant and Ski Slope, which won Best Tall Non-building.

Building with several cantilevered blocks
The building is made of stacked, cantilevered blocks

Led by Elizabeth Diller, Ricardo Scofidio and Charles Renfro, American studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro is one of the world’s best-known architecture studios.

Other projects completed by the studio include the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado, the renovation of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Broad Museum in Los Angeles.

The photography is by Brett Beyer.

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