Check Out the Amazing Buildings of the Structural Awards Shortlist

By James O Malley on at

The Institution of Structural Engineers has announced this year's shortlist for its Structural Awards 2015, highlighting some of the most amazing design, engineering and architecture seen in the last year.

The awards ceremony itself takes place on November 13th - and you can view the full shortlist on the Institution's website, but here's some of the highlights...

Amphibious House

Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Structural Designer: Techniker

Amazingly, it seems that this house can float. Because of its precarious position on the Thames, it has been built to rise up to 2.5m high to cope with an "extreme flooding event". Apparently it will "remain operational" during a flood, and can be re-occupied as soon as the flood ends - so it sounds like it still wouldn't be wise to stay there whilst the water rises. But still - it should keep your stuff dry.

Housing for Low-Income Communities in El Salvador

El Salvador
Structural Designer: Arup

Whilst it may not look too impressive, the idea behind this house is that it stays low cost, so that people with low incomes in El Salvador can afford somewhere to live. Apparently the design is a combination of modern engineering principles and technologies and traditional building methods.

Vegas High Roller

Las Vegas, United States
Structural Designer: Arup

Vegas got its very own London Eye, which beats our wheel by 168m to 135m. All of its cabins are spherical and, like you'd hope for a city in the desert, are air conditioned too.

Melbourne School of Design

Melbourne, Australia
Structural Designer: Irwinconsult

Appropriately for a school of design this is a rather impressive, umm, design, with a suspended staircase, cell-style roof windows and a dramatic cascading centrepiece.

Merchant Square Footbridge

London, United Kingdom
Structural Designer: Knight Architects AKT II

Just around the corner from Paddington station (and the Giz UK office!) is this hugely impressive bridge, surrounded by some flats that you'll never be able to afford. It is apparently designed to look like a traditional Japanese hand fan, which you can see perfectly from the angle the above shot was taken.

New Home for The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Katowice, Poland
Structural Designer: BuroHappold Engineering

Seating almost 1800 people, the Polish venue has been designed to reflect the region's landscape and mining heritage. So it's blocky, Minecraft-style, natch.

Qianximen Jialing River Bridge

Chongqing, China
Structural Designer: China Merchants Chongqing Communications Technology Research & Design Institute Co. Ltd. T.Y. Lin International

This striking bridge (also pictured above at the very top of this post) is apparently based on the shape of a shuttle in an ancient Chinese weaving machine, to reflect Chongqing's history and culture. And if you've never heard of Congquing don't worry... only 32 million people live there (!).

Entry Pavilion to the National September 11 Memorial Museum

New York, United States
Structural Designer: Buro Happold

The Pavilion is the entrance to the new 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York and is partially made from two 80ft "tridents" that were reclaimed from the original Twin Towers. Apparently they were so big, they had to be installed first with the rest of the Pavilion built around them.

Singapore Sports Hub

Structural Designer: Arup

This sports hub is a combination of a 55,000 seater stadium (with retractable roof and moveable seating), as well as a shopping centre and leisure space. Which is obviously just a front for the gigantic alien spaceport beacon buried underneath it.

Steel and glass features for the 300th anniversary of Omsk, Russia

Omsk, Russia
Structural Designer: Malishev Engineers

The awards organisers' description for this Siberian city says that 'the project involved the design and construction of steel and glass “crystals” to be scattered along the street as if by an imaginary “wizard”.' Umm, okay Dumbledore.

Sussex House

Sussex, United Kingdom
Structural Designer: Packman Lucas

And finally, one last British entry from the Sussex Downs. This Packman Lucas home was constructed to be highly sustainable, and includes a bio mass boiler, insulation, solar shading and "high performance glass" to prevent heat loss.