Dubai’s twisting Cayan Tower named among world’s best new skyscrapers
It looks like a geometric puzzle – a square skyscraper that some giant has wrung out and twisted like a dishcloth.
For years Dubai’s striking Cayan Tower – or as it was previously known Infinity Tower – stood incomplete against Sheikh Zayed Road, its seemingly impossible futuristic helix shape prompting tourists to snap selfies against its curves.
After finally opening last summer, the world’s tallest tower featuring a 90-degree twist has been named one of the world’s top recently completed skyscrapers at an awards ceremony for high-rise architecture.
Designed by the Burj Khalifa architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, alongside local specialists Khatib & Alami Dubai, the 310-metre tower scooped fourth prize.
“The building’s twisted shape reduces wind forces on the tower and channels the wind in such a way that its forces are unable to organise themselves,” the Emporis judges said.
The project, which took seven years to build, was finally opened last June amid a fireworks and light show.
Judges commended its shape in which each floor is rotated by 1.2 degrees to achieve the total 90-degree twist, creating the shape of a helix.
London’s 306 metre-tall Shard was awarded the top prize by the international panel of judges, beating entries from the designers of more than 300 skyscrapers around the world.
The 73-storey glass fragment- shaped tower impressed the jury with its sophisticated implementation next to the busy London Bridge train station and road network.
“Construction of the Shard was complicated by the particularly tight site and therefore needed innovative planning,” the judges said. “This makes the result all the more impressive: a skyscraper that is recognised immediately and which is already considered London’s new emblem.”
In a triumph for European architecture, second prize in the awards went to Austria’s DC Tower 1 in Vienna, a 250-metre tall skyscraper, while China’s Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort in Huzhou scooped third prize.
No North American buildings made the top 10 this year, while five European buildings were celebrated, the most since 2008.
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Updated: May 20, 2014 04:00 AM