A reimagined industrial grain container in Denmark was deemed the best tall building in Europe on Thursday by the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
The Silo, now a 17-story apartment building with 38 units, was developed by COBE architects in Copenhagen’s formerly industrial Nordhavn (North Harbor) neighborhood.
“For architects, one of the hardest jobs of working on a project like this is that we’re already falling in love with the old silo structure, this monolithic, slim and aesthetic building,” Caroline Nagel, a project director at COBE, said in a statement. “It’s a question of how you can transform it into a livable building that still contains the old soul of the silo.”
The former grain silo was the largest industrial building in the area, which is being transformed into a residential and mixed-use neighborhood, according to COBE. The architects created an angular, faceted façade, made from galvanized steel, that acts as a climate shield. The new exterior also allows for outdoor balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows that let light and warmth into the formerly dark and cold space.
Inside, the largely concrete space has been preserved and left “as raw and untouched as possible,” according to the council’s announcement of the 2018 Best Tall Building Awards.
“The Silo embodies the importance of restoring original structures in cities, as a matter of environmental sustainability, as well as an ethical and visionary approach to cultural heritage,” the council said.
The renovation was commissioned in 2013, and the work was completed in 2017. Apartments range from about 1,140 square feet to about 4,300 square feet in size, with single and multi-level units available. The immense space inside the silo made it possible for ceiling heights to be as tall as 23 feet.
A three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment there is currently available for rent for 24,000 Danish krone (US$3,760) a month, according to the Housing Company, a Copenhagen real estate agency.
Restaurant Silo is located on the 17th floor, and features a seasonal menu and 360-degree views. The ground floor is also open to the public, and has an exhibition space.
The Tall Building Awards, now in its 16th year, are given to projects that “have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and that achieve sustainability at the highest and broadest level,” according to the council. This year there were 48 finalist projects from 28 countries that were judged by an expert panel.
The Silo was one of the regional Best Tall Building winners, which also included the American Copper Buildings in New York City as the best in the Americas and Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa for the Middle East and Africa. Singapore’s Oasia Hotel Downtown got top honors as the Best Tall Building Worldwide.
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