In 2011, 88 new towers over 200 meters (656 ft.) high were built in the world–a record number, compared to the 32 new towers built in 2005. There are another 96 new towers slated for completion this year, with China being the biggest builder.But with so many new additions to skylines around the world, which buildings are the best?
Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a group of architects, structural engineers, and builders of tall buildings that monitors tall building projects around the world, recently named the best tall buildings in the World for 2012.
The group chose the best buildings in each of four regional categories: the Americas, Asia and Australia, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa. There’s an additional innovation award given to the most innovative building. Criteria include sustainability, innovation, and design.
The list includes a sexy, curvaceous pair of towers, a sky-high glass-enclosed atrium, and a building that breathes and moves with the sun, among others.
The Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada, a fast-growing suburb of Toronto, were named the best tall buildings in the Americas.
The residential towers, which are set to be completed in August 2012, will reach a height of 179.5 meters (589 ft.) and 158 meters (518 ft.).
1 Bligh Street was named the best tall building in Asia & Australasia. This 28-story elliptical tower stands out from the boxy structures nearby, in the heart of Sydney's central business district.
This innovative building has a double-skin, naturally-ventilated glass façade and a hybrid system using gas and solar energy to generate cooling, heating and electricity for the building.
Palazzo Lombardia, in Milan, was named the best tall building in Europe. This 40-story government building is the first CTBUH award winner from Italy.
The Palazzo Lombardia offers a variety of open spaces and passageways. The building's central piazza is covered by a curved glass roof and is meant to evoke the city's famed Galleria.
The Doha Tower in Qatar was named the best tall building in the Middle East and Africa. The 46-story tower has a distinct cylindrical shape.
There is no central core in the Doha Tower, maximizing the interior space available for tenants. The tower, which was designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, was completed in March 2012.
The 29-story office building was given the innovation award for its dynamic façade, which opens and closes in response to the movement of the sun. This reduces solar gain by more than 50 per cent, creating a more comfortable environment for occupants. The façade design also works with the local culture, evoking a wooden lattice screen traditionally found in Islamic architecture.
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