Retail base
© Luxigon Retail base

Since 2004, Exton, Pa.–based software company Bentley Systems' Year in Infrastructure Conference in London has hosted the Be Inspired Awards, a program that recognizes the work of its users who have designed innovative building, operations, and infrastructure projects. This year, the conference, held from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3 at the Hilton London Metropole, had presentations from 54 Be Inspired Awards finalists across 18 categories, including Innovation in Building, Innovation in Manufacturing, and Innovation in Reality Modeling (see below for more on each of these three).

The 18 winners and eight Special Recognition Award recipients were announced on Nov. 2. Keeping in tradition, Bentley's vice president of corporate communications, Chris Barron, opened the annual Be Inspired Awards ceremony with a song: "50 Ways to Be Inspired," a parody of Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover."

View upward from retail base
© Luxigon View upward from retail base

Building-related categories for Innovation in Building, Innovation in Structure, and the Special Recognition Award category for Advancing Construction Collaboration each announced one architectural project winner this year.

The Innovation in Building winner this year is Los Angeles–based Morphosis' Hanking Center Tower in Shenzhen, China. The 1.19 million-square-foot project, currently under construction, is a 73-story mixed-use building with office, commercial, and retail spaces. The seemingly disjointed glass volumes on the building's exterior give the skyscraper a nontraditional form that allows for a vastly open-plan main floor that simultaneously reduces the building's structural footprint. The tower's offset core is held together by a steel skeleton and linked to the main tower through sky bridges and diagonal "mega braces." The Hanking Center Tower was also honored earlier this year in ARCHITECT's 2016 Progressive Architecture Awards.

Hanking Center Tower, Shenzhen, China
© Morphosis Architects Hanking Center Tower, Shenzhen, China

The Hanking Center Tower was praised by award presenter Victor Alvarez, Bentley's senior product marketing manager: "This project demonstrated the effective use of BIM methodology and advanced integration of multiple disciplines, along with efficient reuse of info across the project life cycle. The innovative use of a detached core structure enabled the maximization of usable space and the incorporation of natural light provided a good marriage of form and function." Morphosis' project team, which includes structural engineers from Chicago-based Halvorson + Partners and other main subs, utilized Bentley's AECOsim Building Designer software. The program allows project team members from different firms and offices to collaborate on 3D models and construction documents in real-time.

Courtesy Bentley Systems

Two other buildings were honored at the ceremony. The first is 22 Bishopsgate in London (left), by English firm PLP Architecture, which won the Innovation in Structure Award. The 912-foot-tall project is set to be the tallest building in London's Financial District, and will house 12.9 million square feet of office, retail, medical, and education facilities. The building's structural engineer, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, utilized Bentley's RAM Structural System as well as the Bentley Integrated Structural Modeler in order to more efficiently draw up models for the steel structure.

Citic Tower in Beijing, China was awarded the Special Recognition Award for Advancing Construction Collaboration—an honor that was presented by Bentley CEO Greg Bentley, who stated that the award is "given to an organization that demonstrates 'next practices' in collaboration for construction ... from BIM to bulldozer." The 1,732-foot-tall building will be the new headquarters of real estate developer Citic Heye Investment Limited when it is completed in 2018.

For the full list of winners, see Bentley’s Be Inspired Awards website.