MVRDV - Valley named best tall building under 100 metres at CTBUH Awards

Valley named best tall building under 100 metres at CTBUH Awards


Valley has won two prizes at the annual awards of the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The geology-inspired, plant-covered mixed-use building in Amsterdam Zuidas was selected as the best tall building under 100 metres worldwide, as well as receiving an "Award of Excellence" in the best tall building in Europe category. The awards were announced this week at the 2023 CTBUH International Conference in Singapore. The awards continue a string of successes for Valley, which previously won the Emporis Award for the best new skyscraper in the world, the 2023 AZ Award, an Architizer A+ Award, and the Amsterdamse Nieuwbouwprijs, among others.

Tom Redecker, projects director at EDGE (left) and Gideon Maasland, director at MVRDV (right) receive one of two awards

Designed for developer Edge, Valley is an attempt to bring a green and human dimension back to the inhospitable office environment of Amsterdam Zuidas. It is a building with multiple faces; on the outer edges of the building is a shell of smooth mirrored glass, which fits the context of the business district. Inside this shell, the building has a completely different, more inviting natural appearance, as if the glass block has crumbled away to reveal craggy rock faces inside replete with natural stone and greenery.

Valley. Image © Ossip van Duivenbode

Much of the building is open to the public: from the publicly accessible footpath that zig-zags up to the central valley from the street level, to the Grotto, an atrium that forms a covered street on the first floor. The grotto is connected to the outside by two large skylights that double as shallow water pools in the valley level above, and its natural stone flooring, walls, and ceilings – the same stone used on the surfaces of the valley and towers – makes clear that all the public areas of the building are part of the same apparently geological formation.

Valley. Image © Ossip van Duivenbode

Landscape architect Piet Oudolf developed a matrix to select the right plants for each location in the building, taking into account factors such as wind, sunlight, temperature, and maintenance. Trees, for example, are largely found on the lower floors, while the uppermost levels mainly support small plants. In total, more than 271 young trees and shrubs and approximately 13,500 smaller plants occupy the natural stone planters, representing 220 different plant species.

Read more about Valley here, and find out more about the CTBUH Awards here.