Skip to main content

Meet the world's best new skyscraper

By James Durston, CNN
September 18, 2013 -- Updated 1636 GMT (0036 HKT)
Absolute World Tower 1 & 2 form part of the Absolute City Centre complex, an inner-city ensemble consisting of five residential towers.
Due to their curved shape, with no floor appearing the same, the two towers were given the nickname "Marilyn Monroe."
<strong>Architects</strong>: MAD, Ltd.; Burka Architects
Absolute World Tower 1 & 2 form part of the Absolute City Centre complex, an inner-city ensemble consisting of five residential towers. Due to their curved shape, with no floor appearing the same, the two towers were given the nickname "Marilyn Monroe." Architects: MAD, Ltd.; Burka Architects
HIDE CAPTION
1. Absolute World Towers (Canada)
2. Al Bahr Towers (U.A.E.)
3. Burj Qatar (Qatar)
4. The Bow (Canada)
5. House on Mosfilmovskaya 1 (Russia)
6. Pearl River Tower (China)
7. Varyap Meridian (Turkey)
8. UniCredit Tower (Italy)
9 (tie). Dumankaya IKON (Turkey)
9 (tie). Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel (Spain)
9 (tie). Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza (China)
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • German building data company Emporis issues list of best new skyscrapers
  • Winner known as "Marilyn Monroe" due to curvy design
  • Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi has outer skin that rotates in response to the sun's position
  • No U.S. buildings made the top 10 list this year

(CNN) -- A pair of buildings colloquially known as "Marilyn Monroe" has won the prize for best new skyscraper completed in 2012.

The curvy, twisting buildings, officially known as Absolute World Towers, and located in Mississauga, Ontario, were designed by Beijing-based MAD architects and Toronto-based Burka Architects.

"The way the two structures twist organically by up to eight degrees per floor is not just a superb technical achievement, but also a refreshing change to the set forms of high-rise routine," said an international panel of expert judges when explaining their decision.

The prize, given by building data company Emporis of Hamburg, Germany, "rewards skyscrapers for excellence in their aesthetic and functional design," the company said.

It's the thirteenth time the prize has been awarded.

Coming soon: World's first 'invisible' tower

Click to expand  Click to expand
Click to expandClick to expand

Judges considered more than 300 skyscrapers completed last year and that are at least 100 meters tall.

Other entries in the top 10 include buildings from Doha (Qatar), Moscow, Guangzhou (China) and Milan (Italy).

The second place Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi, designed by Aedas Architects, has an outer skin that rotates in response to the sun's position, leading to cooler temperatures inside the buildings.

25 great skyscrapers: Icons of construction

Burj Qatar, a 238-meter skyscraper Designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, in Doha, took third place.

It features a metal mesh facade, whose design "draws on traditional mashrabiya windows and is intended to contribute to protection from the sun, revealing a complex pattern at close quarters."

The United States doesn't have any buildings on the list this year.

Photos: Exploring post-Soviet architectural oddities

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1808 GMT (0208 HKT)
The guidebook asked staff, contributors and authors for well-known and lesser-known recommendations.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
An airport in Asia has stolen the crown from Manila's Ninoy Aquino, voted 'world's worst' three years in a row.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1620 GMT (0020 HKT)
It's time for a beef break, veal vacation, hog holiday or sinew sabbatical in a T-bone a-fide U.S. meatopolis.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
With so many awesome new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 0107 GMT (0907 HKT)
Scientists are busy surveying Southeast Asia's Coral Triangle, home to 75 percent of all known coral species.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1350 GMT (2150 HKT)
Bounce Below in Wales
Bounce Below transforms an abandoned slate mine into a surreal, springy world of fear and fun,
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 2316 GMT (0716 HKT)
With chopsticks or fingers? Wasabi or no? A double Michelin-starred Tokyo chef sets the record straight and shows us the sushi way.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2224 GMT (0624 HKT)
Markthal Rotterdam foodhall in the Netherlands.
It may look like a gateway across time and space crafted with alien technology, but in reality it's a fruit and vegetable market.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 0925 GMT (1725 HKT)
Based on the votes of over 330 industry experts, the 2014 winners include bars from 27 cities in 14 countries.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 2231 GMT (0631 HKT)
Careening down an active volcano at 95 kph on a thin board? It happens only at Cerro Negro in Nicaragua.
ADVERTISEMENT