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CTBUH Recognizes the Best Tall Buildings

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:26 am    Post subject: CTBUH Recognizes the Best Tall Buildings Reply with quote

CTBUH Recognizes the Best Tall Buildings

By Kevin Wilcox

1 Bligh Street, a 442 ft tall, 28-story office building in Sydney, Australia, is the winner of the Best Tall Building Asia and Australia. Judges praised the enormous ventilated central atrium and rooftop garden. Courtesy of ingenhoven architects + Architectus / H.G. Esch, Hennef

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat releases its annual list of the best tall buildings in four regions after a record year for skyscrapers.

June 19, 2012—The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) recently announced the four regional winners in its annual Tall Building Awards competition, capping a record year that paradoxically saw the completion of 88 buildings reaching more than 200 m into the sky at a time of economic malaise. The CTBUH expects another 96 such buildings to be completed this year.

“Many of these projects were started at the height of the building boom around the world,” explains Kevin Brass, the CTBUH’s public affairs manager. “So it’s a bit of an anomaly. But we also see a continued urge to build tall buildings and a continued need to build tall buildings, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. China, of course, is leading the way, in large part because they are creating new cities, new urban environments.”

Brass cites statistics by the United Nations that estimates that by 2050, 70 percent of the world’s projected 9 billion people will live in cities, compared to 50 percent of the world’s approximately 7 billion people today.

“Tall buildings also represent more than just practicality. In many cities, they are icons. They are landmarks,” Brass says. “And they are built to help draw attention and respect to growing cities. There is no doubt that is a driver to construction around the world. There is a move to grow taller based on the desire to create symbols for their cities and countries.”  

The first Innovation Award was bestowed on Al Bahar Towers, a
476 ft tall, 29-story office building in Abu Dhabi, UAE, for its
dynamic façade that reacts to sunlight. Courtesy of Aedas

The four regional winners this year are the Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada; 1 Bligh Street in Sydney, Australia; Palazzo Lombardia in Milan, Italy; and Doha Tower in Doha, Qatar. Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates won a special award for innovation in recognition of a complex, computer-controlled façade with shades that move according to the ambient light conditions to reduce the building’s cooling requirements. From among the four regional winners, one overall winner will be selected as “Best Tall Building Worldwide,” an award that will be bestowed at a ceremony October 18 in Chicago.

“The winning submissions over the last few years have clearly become more creative as they advance the art and technology of skyscraper design,” said Richard Cook, AIA, LEED AP, a founding partner of Cook+Fox Architects, of New York City, in written comments to Civil Engineering online. Fox chaired the awards committee this year. “We have seen ‘horizontal’ skyscrapers and aggressive environmental engineering, and I believe we’re entering a new age of high-rise design. The winning entries, in my opinion, make that point clear.

“At Palazzo Lombardia, a spectacular and sensuous urban space has been created reminiscent of the Galleria. Doha Tower provides a culturally specific icon on the skyline. The Absolute Towers stretch the limits of paired sculptural form to create a marker on the skyline for a regional center,” Cook said.

The curvaceous Absolute Towers, a residential development in
Mississauga, Canada, designed by MAD architects, is the winner
of Best Tall Building Americas, singled out as a beautiful, organic
form that adds a landmark to a developing urban area. ©TomArban

The CTBUH began the tall building awards in 2007 to recognize projects that have made an “extraordinary contribution to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment,” said Steve Henry, who coordinates the program for CTBUH, in written comments. Each year, more entrants tout such sustainable features as water-saving technologies, recycling, solar shading, double-skin facades, and on-site energy production.

“The winning entries have advanced the cause of sustainable high-rise design,” Cook said. “Each solution tends to be unique, as is appropriate with an environmentally responsive design process. We’re seeing real progress in the design of exterior enclosing systems, including the culturally specific solar shading in Doha Tower, kinetic and responsive design in Al Bahr, and climate-wall technology in Palazzo Lombardia. Together these proposals exhibited an encouraging mix of sustainability features which together will help transform tall building proposals in the future.”

Cook said that with a growing population increasingly choosing to live in cities, the challenge for engineers and architects is to create urban centers that are “livable and humane.”

“We believe that tall buildings will play a key role in maintaining dense and lively urban centers globally,” Cook said. “We believe it’s critically important to learn the best of what’s being accomplished globally to inspire those who plan, develop, and design high rise buildings for their local environment.”

The Winners

The Best Tall Building Americas is the two curved structures of the Absolute Towers, a residential development in Mississauga, Canada. Tower One is 576 ft high with 56 stories. Tower Two is 518 ft tall with 50 stories.

Judge’s comment (from a press release issued by CTBUH): “There have been several curvaceous towers completed in recent years—some using balconies to achieve the free-form edge, and others using the whole façade. With Absolute we see the entire building twisting to achieve the organic form, creating a beautiful new landmark for a developing urban area.”

—David Scott, head of structural engineering, Laing O’Rourke, Kent, United Kingdom

The Best Tall Building Asia and Australia is 1 Bligh Street, a 442 ft tall, 28-story office building in Sydney, Australia.

Judges comment: “The dramatic, naturally ventilated central atrium connects the office workers with nature at the inner depths of the plan, giving a sense of openness for the entire building. The series of communal spaces throughout the building, and especially the fantastic rooftop garden, add greatly to the quality of life for the tenants.”

—Werner Sobek, Ph.D., founder, Werner Sobek Group, Stuttgart, Germany.

The Doha Tower, a 773 ft, 46-story office building in Doha, Qatar,
is the winner of Best Tall Building Middle East and Africa. Judges
cited the façade, which features ancient Islamic designs that
provide a pattern of light within the building. Courtesy of Ateliers
Jean Nouvel

The Best Tall Building Europe is Palazzo Lombardia, Milan, Italy, a 529 ft tall, 40 story government building.

Judge’s comment: “In a city know for history and fashion, the tower is perfectly attuned to the urban environment. More than simply a tower, the project creates a cohesive blend of parks and commercial space, with an appropriately local flair.”

—Anthony Wood, executive director, CTBUH.

The Best Tall Building Middle East and Africa is the Doha Tower, Doha, Qatar, a 773 ft, 46-story office building.

Judge’s comment: “The skin of the building is a beautiful expression of the local culture, connecting this very modern tower with ancient Islamic designs. It also provides a fantastic pattern of light within the building, while efficiently dampening the impacts of the sun’s rays.”

—Richard Cook

The first Innovation Award was bestowed on Al Bahar Towers, a 476 ft tall, 29-story office building in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Judge’s comment: “The dynamic façade on Al Bahar, computer-controlled to respond to optimal solar and light conditions, has never been achieved on this scale before. In addition, the expression of this outer skin seems to firmly root the building in its’ cultural context.”

—Chris Wilkinson, OBE RA Dip Arch RIBA Hon FAIA, FCSD, principal and founder, Wilkinson Eyre Architects, London

Source: http://www.asce.org/CEMagazine/Articlens.aspx?id=25769809676
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