The winners of the inaugural American Architecture Prize have been revealed, a celebration of the best work across three disciplines: architecture, landscape architecture and interior design.
Judged by a panel of experts comprising designers, architects, curators and academics, the award was conceived to acknowledge the most creative and innovative work worldwide, examining how form and function converge to create successful design.
The three recipients showcase the diversity of the current landscape. The Shanghai Tower, created by consultancy firm Gensler, was honoured as the best architectural design. A feat of engineering, the skyscraper is China's tallest building (and second tallest in the world), standing at a vertigo-inducing 632m high, and can also – perhaps out of pure necessity – lay claim to the fastest elevator in existence.
Meanwhile, the considered approach of McBride Charles Ryan won them the accolade of best interior design for The Infinity Centre, a new campus for Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia. The firm took inspiration from the infinity symbol that appears on the school's logo, which manifested itself both literally in the shape of the building and reflected the institution's interconnected approach to learning.
Australia also dominated the final category for landscape architecture. One of the city's largest environmental initiatives to date, the Sydney Park water reuse project comprises an AUS$11.2 million upgrade that allows 850 million litres of storm water to be captured each year, which will meet 10 per cent of the demand in the local area.
Additionally, the prize also drills down deeper into the sectors, highlighting a number of notable projects under more specialist areas, from the best public spaces to forward-thinking green architecture.