Adrian Smith Wins 2011 Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

June 22, 2011

Adrian Smith, FAIA, RIBA, is the 2011 winner of the Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat for his extraordinary contribution to the supertall building typology.

The award will be presented at the CTBUH 10th annual awards ceremony and dinner on Oct. 27 at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Crown Hall. Recent winners of the award include John C. Portman Jr. of John Portman & Associates and William Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

“Adrian is one of a relatively small number of architects who has designed and built a significant number of not only tall, but supertall, buildings internationally,” said Antony Wood, CTBUH’s executive director. “As such, his contribution to the development of the typology is beyond doubt. Equally as exciting are the ‘as yet unannounced’ tall projects that I know of that are scheduled to come from his office in the coming months.”

Smith, the senior Design Partner at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture in Chicago, is one of the world’s most prolific and celebrated designers of supertall towers. As of mid-2011, he has designed four of the world’s eleven tallest completed buildings: Dubai’s Burj Khalifa (No. 1), Nanjing’s Zifeng Tower at Nanjing Greenland Financial Center (No. 7), Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower (No. 10) and Shanghai’s Jin Mao Tower (No. 11), all at his former firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Last year, the CTBUH named Burj Khalifa the Best Tall Building completed in the Middle East and Asia, and also presented Burj with the Global Icon Award.

Smith’s design portfolio at SOM also includes London’s 201 Bishopsgate/Broadgate Tower, which the CTBUH named the Best Tall Building completed in Europe in 2009. Also at SOM, Smith was the Design Partner of the 71-story, 310-meter Pearl River Tower, scheduled to open this fall in Guangzhou, China, as the world’s most highly sustainable supertall building.

At AS+GG, which Smith co-founded with Gordon Gill and Robert Forest in 2006, his portfolio includes the recently announced Wuhan Greenland Center, a 606-meter tower in China, and another supertall tower in the Middle East to be announced later this year. Earlier supertall designs at AS+GG include 1 Dubai, 1 Park Avenue and Meraas Tower, all commissioned by the government-backed Meraas Development in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“Adrian’s body of work includes some of the world’s tallest and most recognized buildings,” noted CTBUH Trustee Peter Irwin, “yet his designs transcend mere height and have become landmarks because of their graceful design and inherent sensitivity to local context and culture.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award is named after the late CTBUH founder Lynn S. Beedle, a leader in the study, design and building of skyscrapers.
“This is a great honor,” Smith said of the award. “The CTBUH is a great organization and I’m extremely proud of this recognition.”

In addition to his tall building experience, Smith is co-author of the recently published book Toward Zero Carbon: The Chicago Central Area DeCarbonization Plan (Images Publishing Group), which outlines a comprehensive strategy to bring Chicago’s downtown Loop to carbon neutrality by 2030.

About Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture is dedicated to the design of high-performance architecture in a wide range of typology and scale, from low- and mid-rise residential, commercial and cultural buildings to mixed-use supertall towers and new cities. The office uses a holistic, integrated design approach that explores symbiotic relationships with the natural environment. AS+GG is currently working on projects for clients in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Canada and the United States. The partnership was founded in 2006 by Adrian Smith, Gordon Gill and Robert Forest. For more information, please visit In ea.rly 2010, AS+GG launched a related energy and engineering consulting firm, PositivEnergy Practice; for more information, please visit