Emporis Skyscraper Award 2012’s recipients are…

The world’s most renowned annual architecture prize for skyscrapers, the Emporis Skyscraper Award for year 2012, has been given to the Absolute World Towers in Mississauga, Canada. The award, given by Emporis (www.emporis.com), the international provider of building data, is being presented for the thirteenth time this year (first presented in year 2000).  If the awards started out few years earlier, I’m sure my local landmarks, Petronas Twin Towers would win it. By the way, let us look through the top three winners of this prestigious awards this year (for new buildings completed last year) to recognize excellence in highrise design and construction.

Absolute World Towers, which form part of a five-building complex and were designed by the architectural practices MAD and Burka Architects, won over the jury primarily through their unmistakable design: “The way the two structures twist organically by up to 8 degrees per floor is not just a superb technical achievement, but also a refreshing change to the set forms of high-rise routine,” stated the panel of experts in explaining the choice of the pair of towers, 176 and 158 meters tall, as the winner. The curvaceous form of this residential complex earned the building the nickname of ‘Marilyn Monroe’. The two towers also had continuous flowing balconies all around building, thus offering maximum lights to its interior.

MAD Architects . Absolute Towers . Toronto


(Image source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_k6GHZiydYY/TgmK58wgZkI/AAAAAAAAK1Y/gcz8LmmUWSQ/s1600/MAD+Architects+.+Absolute+Towers+.+Toronto.jpg)

The second-placed project is Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi, designed by Aedas Architects. Due to its innovative and distinctive facade, the skyscraper complex convinces in terms of both climate and design criteria. The outer skin of the facades is rotated by computer in response to the sun’s position, leading to a substantial reduction in thermal energy inside the buildings. In designing the twin towers, the architects drew inspiration from Arab mashrabiya windows – sun and privacy screens found in traditional Islamic architecture. This ‘green’ building is targeted to achieve LEED Silver rating. Both towers stand at a height of 145 meters respectively.

Al Bahar Towers are seen in Abu Dhabi


(Image source: http://www.al-monitor.com/files/live/sites/almonitor/files/contributed/jnt_news_in-the-midst-of-the-arab-spring/1-RTR37TJ6.jpg)

The expert jury voted Burj Qatar, a 238 meter tall skyscraper in Doha, into third place. Designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, it is the building’s exceptional facade design that stands out. The metal mesh facade, whose design – as with Al Bahr Towers – draws on traditional mashrabiya windows and is intended to contribute to protection from the sun, reveals a complex pattern at close quarters. The imposing effect of the ornamental facade reaches its full expression under the dome that tops the cylinder-shaped skyscraper. Another interesting point of this building shall be its large atrium that runs from ground to 27th floor, reaching a height of 112 meters.



(Image source: http://prafulla.net/wp-content/sharenreadfiles/2013/07/477110/Burj-Doha-Doha-Tower-in-Qatar.jpg)

I do hope that my home city, Kuala Lumpur would be building cool skyscrapers soon so that we may stand a chance to win this skyscraper award in near future. We do have a number of skyscrapers in KL, but most are built quite long ago and are generally cannot be regarded as striking or in state-of-the-art design. Too bad, this awards is not introduced yet when Petronas Twin Towers were completed back in 1997.

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