OMA’s brutalist towers win International Highrise innovation award

Stockholm’s Northern Towers, designed by Dutch firm, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), has won the 2020 International Highrise Award for the world’s most innovative building over 100m.

The Norra Tornen, in the central Vasastaden district, beat 31 other entries to the €50,000 prize, awarded every two years by the City of Frankfurt, the Museum of German Architecture (DAM) and DekaBank.

The towers used a prefabricated building system, overseen by UK consulting engineer Arup. This allowed one storey to be built a week, and made the project economically feasible for the developer, Oscar Properties.

The jury praised the balconies, and the fine detailing of the concrete modules (Ossip van Duivenbode, OMA)

The competition jury noted the skilful arrangement of the prefabricated concrete elements, the fine details of the interiors, and praised them as "expression of an equal society".

Peter Cahorla Schmal, director of DAM, said: "Norra Tornen is a refreshing entrance to the city, recalling structuralist models of brutalism from the 1960s such as the Habitat from Expo67 in Montreal, skillfully transforming them and enriching the city with a new urban dominant, with apartments for all."

The project, which contains 320 apartments, was completed in 2018.

Image: The Northern Towers are expressions of egalitarian brutalism (Laurian Ghinitoiu, OMA)

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