Being recognized as the best in an incredibly fast-paced and cutting edge architecture industry is no mean feat. Perhaps even more difficult is deciding definitively who should wear that crown.
The Council of Tall Building and Urban Habitat’s role has been to do just that, crowning four skyscrapers from around the world best in their class.
Mississauga’s ‘Absolute Towers‘ has earned the distinction of being named the best in its class in the Americas, beating out some incredibly tough competition. The iconic curvaceous forms of the buildings, which have led to the development being nicknamed ‘Marilyn Monroe’, were certainly enough to turn the judges’ heads.
“We see the entire building twisting to achieve the organic form, creating a beautiful new landmark for a developing urban area,” says engineer David Scott.
The ongoing success of the development, which was completed last year, should come as no surprise to its designers, architectural firm MAD architects. A major part of their original brief was to create a building that stood out from the city scape, envisioning ‘something beautiful, sculptural and human.’
“What’s unique about these buildings is, again, against the backdrop of 99 per cent of tall buildings being fairly boring rectilinear boxes, these are very curving organic towers, which look iconic and look incredible,” says Council on Tall Building and Urban Habitat executive director Antony Wood.
Wood is quick to attest that the buildings are more than a pretty façade, noting that their form does, in fact, perform quite a serious function.
“One of the main forces on a tall building are wind pressures,” he says. “It’s not gravity, it’s about wind, counteracting the wind and in some areas seismic. So a curvilinear building helps to kind of confuse the wind and split the wind around it as opposed to creating a vertical face for the wind to blow on.”
While the two towers differ in both height and area – the taller reaches a height of 179 metres with a total area of 45,000 square metres while the shorter stretches up 158 metres with a total area of 40,000 square metres – fluidity and connectivity is achieved through their undulating forms, which have been likened to a couple dancing.
Further winners of the award include Milan’s Palazzo Lombardia in the Europe region, the Doha Tower in Doha in the Middle East and Africa region and Australia’s 1 Bligh Street for the Australasian region.
Marked as international icons even before their completion, Absolute Towers truly stand out in an increasingly impressive architectural world.