Shortlist for The Structural Awards 2013 revealed

1 August 2013
By Edd Gent
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Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

The Halley VI Antarctic Research Centre in Antarctica

The Halley VI Antarctic Research Centre in Antarctica

Emirates Air Line cable car, London

The Emirates Air Line cable car in London

The China Central Television Headquarters in Beijing

The China Central Television Headquarters in Beijing

The Strand East Tower in London

The Strand East Tower in London

Southend Pier Head in Essex

Southend Pier Head in Essex

The Emirates cable car and the Halley VI Antarctic Research Centre have made the shortlist for The Structural Awards 2013.

The awards, organised by the Institution of Structural Engineers, are designed to celebrate achievement, innovation and excellence in the field of structural engineering in all kinds of structures from skyscrapers and bridges to sports arenas and restoration projects.

Entries come from all corners of the globe such as Germany, Georgia, China and even Antarctica, as well as many from the UK. The winners will be announced at The Structural Awards ceremony in London on 15 November 2013.

“Structural engineers make an absolutely vital contribution ensuring that our urban environments are safe and secure,” said YK Cheng, president of the Institution of Structural Engineers. “Yet their work often goes unrecognised.

“The Institution of Structural Engineers holds The Structural Awards each year to showcase the dizzying variety of challenging environments in which engineers work and the highly complex structures they help to raise.  

“The aim is to recognise the astonishing range of skills that characterise our global profession, raise awareness among the general public, and encourage young people into exciting structural engineering careers.”

Among the nominees is AECOM’s Halley VI Antarctic Research Centre. Sited on a pristine floating ice shelf in Antarctica, the world’s first fully-relocatable, permanently manned research station sits on skis and is designed to lift itself out of rising snow.

In their comments the judges said: “The panel admired the dedication and collaborative response to meeting the unique challenges of this project: to deliver a practical and economic solution without compromise on the environmental demands of the project and its client.”

The Emirates Air Line cable car, created by Expedition Engineering, Buro Happold and URS, has quickly become a London landmark and a significant addition to London’s infrastructure linking two major landmark destinations, the O2 and the ExCel Exhibition Centre.

The judges said: “The synergy between architecture and engineering has yielded a new landmark, which is both beautiful and bold. Delivery within a very short timescale is testament to the whole project team and a fine example of what the UK construction industry can deliver.”

The joint project to design China Central Television’s new Headquarters in Beijing by Arup and East China Architectural & Design Research Institute posed significant structural challenges due to the need to link two leaning towers, compounded by the location in a highly seismic area.

The judges said: “This is an excellent example of the structural engineer providing a solution to a very difficult problem with a basic concept that is clear and robust. In addition, their skills in innovation, collaboration and attention to detail are apparent in the development of the final design.”

Atelier One and Meinhardt Infrastructure’s project at the popular Gardens by the Bay attraction in Singapore includes cooled conservatories, a small forest of “super-trees” and an aerial walkway, all of which the judges felt exemplified innovative structural engineering, especially considering the constraints of a commitment to energy conservation and the enhancement of nature.

The judges said: “The engineers have clearly applied innovative thinking to achieve a series of structures that are original and visually striking. This is a project full of ideas and truly sustainable achievements.”

The complete shortlist is available here.

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