Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
CTBUH Names Best Tall Buildings for 2012

Buildings in Italy and Australia win for the first time; Abu Dhabi towers win first “Innovation’ award; Helmut Jahn, Charles Thornton and Richard Tomasetti receive lifetime achievement awards

Download PDF Press Release

Chicago - June 13, 2012

Dramatic towers in Canada, Qatar, Australia and Italy have been named the best tall buildings in the world for 2012 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the international not-for-profit association.

The four regional winners include the Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada (Americas); 1 Bligh Street, Sydney (Asia and Australia); Palazzo Lombardia, Milan (Europe); and Doha Tower, Doha (Middle East and Africa).

8 Spruce Street Guangzhou International Finance Center KfW Westarkade The Index
Best Tall Building

Absolute Towers

Best Tall Building
Asia & Australasia:

1 Bligh Street

Best Tall Building

Palazzo Lombardia
Best Tall Building
Middle East & Africa:
Doha Tower
Buildings were selected for their design and technical innovations, sustainable attributes, and the enhancement of both cities and the lives of their inhabitants.

The Al Bahar Towers in Abu Dhabi won the CTBUH’s first Innovation Award for the project’s computer-controlled sun-screen.

“The winners display remarkable creativity, as well as a respect for the environment, connection with place, and the urban surroundings,” said Richard Cook, awards committee chairman and founding partner of Cook+Fox Architects.

The other members of the jury this year include: Vishaan Chakrabarti of SHoP Architects, USA; Robert Pratt of Tishman Speyer Properties, China; Structural Engineer Werner Sobek of Werner Sobek, Germany; David Scott of Laing O’Rourke, UK; Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre, UK; and Antony Wood of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago.

Tall Building
Innovation Award:

Al Bahar Towers
This year the CTBUH Board of Trustees awarded the Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award to Helmut Jahn, the architect known for his simple and elegant designs.

The Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal went to Charles Thornton and Richard Tomasetti, founding principals of Thornton & Tomasetti, the structural engineers who helped design many of the most innovative and advanced tall buildings around the world.

The recognition of Mr. Thornton and Mr. Tomasetti represents the first time the panel has awarded the prize to two people.

Adrian Smith Dr. Akira Wada
Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award:
Helmut Jahn
Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal:
Charles Thornton and Richard Tomasetti

This year’s winners will be recognized, and the awards conferred, at the CTBUH 11th Annual Awards Ceremony & Dinner which will take place at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Crown Hall, Chicago, on the evening of October 18. All the winning projects and finalists will be celebrated at this gala event. Additionally, from the four regional best tall building winners, one overall winner will be selected and bestowed with the “Best Tall Building Worldwide” award, to be announced on the night.

The awards ceremony will take place in conjunction with an afternoon Symposium which will be focused on the four regional best tall buildings, the tall building innovation award, and the two lifetime achievement award winners. This Symposium will take place at the Illinois Institute of Technology close to the awards dinner venue, during the afternoon prior to the dinner.

View an overview of last year's Awards Ceremony & Dinner

The additional Tall Building Finalists in each category were as follows:
Jameson House, Vancouver, Canada
BG Group Place, Houston, USA
Asia & Australasia:
KK100 Development, Shenzhen, China
Reflections at Keppel Bay, Singapore
Solaris, Singapore
Victoria Tower, Stockholm, Sweden
Complesso Garibaldi - Tower B, Milan, Italy
Middle East & Africa:
Al Hamra Firdous Tower, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Al Bahar Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Villaggio II, Accra, Ghana
Ark Hills Sengokuyama Mori Tower, Tokyo, Japan

Kajima Corporation Head Office Building No. 2, Tokyo, Japan

Note: For further information on the CTBUH Awards Ceremony & Dinner and Symposium
please visit

Note for Press:
For image requests and additional
information on the 2012 award winners
please contact:
Kevin Brass