Flying high in Qatar

Friday 19 Oct 2012

Jean Nouvel's Doha Tower in Qatar named Best Tall Building Worldwide by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

The distinctive and innovative Doha Tower, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, was named Best Tall Building Worldwide by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat last night in a ceremony in the Illinois Institute of Technology’s seminal Crown Hall.

Doha Tower, which was first named the Best Tall Building in the Middle East and Africa, took the overall award out of the four regional winners. The building was honored for incorporating elements of traditional regional design with modern technologies to create an environmentally-sensitive icon for Qatar’s capital

The eye-catching cylindrical facade is constructed of multi-layered patterns invoking ancient Islamic screens designed to shade buildings from the sun.

“The skin of the building is a beautiful expression of the local culture, connecting this very modern tower with ancient Islamic designs,” said Richard Cook, awards chairman and partner in Cook + Fox Architects.” It also provides a fantastic pattern of light within the building, while efficiently dampening the heat gains internally of the sun’s rays.”

Doha Tower is the first tall building to use reinforced concrete diagrid columns internally. There is also no central core, maximising the interior space available for tenants.

“Doha Tower is an excellent example of an efficient modern tower that is inspired by its local culture and setting,” said Antony Wood, executive director of the CTBUH. “In an age of homogenized slick towers globally, Doha Tower is rooted to its place. This is not a non-specific icon which you could drop into any city of the world.”

In addition to naming the Worldwide Winner, Thursday night’s ceremony honored the other regional winners - the Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada (Americas); 1 Bligh Street, Sydney (Asia and Australia); and Palazzo Lombardia, Milan (Europe).

The Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi won the CTBUH’s first Innovation Award for the project’s computer-controlled opening-closing sun-screen.

This year the CTBUH Board of Trustees also awarded the Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award to Helmut Jahn, the architect known for his simple and elegant designs.

The Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal went jointly to Charles Thornton & Richard Tomasetti, founders of Thornton & Tomasetti, the structural engineers who helped design many of the most innovative and advanced tall buildings around the world.

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