Innovative towers are transforming skylines worldwide, shifting the focus from record breaking spires to imaginative solutions that embrace sustainability and economic conditions. The race to scrape the skies has taken a refreshing turn, and congratulations are in order for Bosco Verticale in Milan by Stefano Boeri Architetti, recipient of the 2015 Best Tall Building Worldwide.

Four regional winners representing the America’s, Asia & Australasia, Europe, and Middle East & Africa were selected in July from a pool of 123 entries by The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The not-for-profit organisation is the world's leading resource for skyscraper design, with a prestigious panel of expert judges. SOM scooped the regional prize for the America’s with the crystalline form of One World Trade Center in New York City. The environmentally conscious design for CapitaGreen by Toyo Ito & Associates in Singapore’s business district won the Asia & Australasia category, and the undulating façade of Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Tower by Foster + Partners claimed the Middle East & Africa category.

Bosco Verticale, the European victor was announced as overall winner at the 14th annual CTBUH International Best Building Awards Symposium. Chicago, the birthplace of the skyscraper played host to the awards ceremony and dinner, celebrated on 12 November in Mies van der Rohe’s iconic S.R. Crown Hall, at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Bosco Verticale, which translates as ‘Vertical Forest,’ was considered ‘ground-breaking’ by the judges for the viability of incorporating a multi-storey intensive living façade. The two residential towers are screened by trees and vegetation, inspiring interaction with the surrounding environment, while creating a protective micro-climate. With not a spire in sight, this year's winner is living proof that vertical forests are not such a tall order after all.