This year’s winner of the Emporis Skyscraper Award has been revealed as the Absolute World Towers in Mississauga by MAD Studio and Burka Architects. The swivelled pair of towers is now the second project in Canada to take home the award, the first being One Wall Centre in Vancouver back in 2001.
These two towers reach 176m and 158m in height and form part of a cluster of five buildings. They have been widely praised since completion in 2012, receiving the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s Best Tall Building Americas award last year.
The Emporis Jury concluded: “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.” The engineer on the project was Sigmund Soudack & Associates.
Taking second place behind the Absolute World Towers was Aedas Architects’ Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi. With their translucent façades inspired by traditional Arab mashrabiya windows, the intelligent exteriors of these towering skyscrapers are controlled by a computer which rotates the façades in relation to external conditions such as temperature and exposure to sunlight.
Ateliers Jean Novel’s third place winning project, the 238m-high Burj Qatar in Doha, has also been inspired by mashrabiya windows. Its ornamental façade is an intricate metal mesh, topped with a graceful dome and spire than acts as a lightning conductor. The project’s multi-layered appearance with the reinforced concrete diagrid columns and multi-layered patterns has been celebrated worldwide.
Other projects placed in the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2012 are: The Bow, Calgary by Foster + Partners and Zeidler Partnership Architects; House on Mosfilmovskaya 1, Moscow by Sergey Skuratov Architects; Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou by SOM and Guangzhou Design Institute; Varyap Meridian in Istanbul by RMJM and Dome Architects; UniCredit Tower in Milan by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Adamson Associates Architects and Tekne S.p.A; and Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel in Barcelona by Ateliers Jean Novel and Ribas & Ribas Asociados.