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Emporis Skyscraper Award 2012

Absolute World Towers in Mississauga win the Emporis Skyscraper Award

The world's most renowned architecture prize for skyscrapers, the Emporis Skyscraper Award, goes this year to the Absolute World Towers in Mississauga, Canada. The two towers were selected by an international jury of experts from over 300 skyscrapers at least 100 meters tall completed last year. The award, given by Emporis, is being presented for the thirteenth time this year.

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 second-placed project is Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi, designed by Aedas Architects. Due to its innovative 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 towers, the architects drew inspiration from Arab mashrabiya windows – sun and privacy screens found in traditional Islamic architecture.

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.
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#1 Absolute World 1 (Canada)

51
591 ft
56
Mississauga
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#2 Al Bahr Towers (United Arab Emirates)

45
Abu Dhabi
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#3 Burj Qatar (Qatar)

24
781 ft
46
Doha

#4 The Bow (Canada)

23
779 ft
58
Calgary
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#5 House on Mosfilmovskaya Block 1 (Russia)

18
700 ft
53
Moscow
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#6 Pearl River Tower (China)

17
1,016 ft
71
Guangzhou
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#7 Varyap Meridian (Turkey)

15
Istanbul
RMJM
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#8 UniCredit Tower (Italy)

14
714 ft
33
Milan
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#9 Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel (Spain)

11
344 ft
26
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#9 Dumankaya IKON (Turkey)

11
489 ft
41
Istanbul
TAGO Architects
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#9 Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza (China)

11
919 ft
56
Zhengzhou