The $125 million, 46-story building, which was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel – who is also tasked with creating a look for Qatar’s new National Museum – beat out other skyscrapers in the region because it combined “ancient Islamic patterns” with modernity, jurors said.
CTBUH, which inexplicably refers to the building as “Doha Tower,” said it based its awards on factors including sustainability and innovation:
The distinctive cylindrical form is elegant and efficient, creating a distinctive new landmark for the fast-growing Qatar capital. The façade is constructed of multi-layered patterns invoking ancient Islamic screens designed to shade buildings from the sun.
Similar in concept to Mr. Nouvel’s Torre Agbar office building in Barcelona, the Doha tower is the first tall building to use a reinforced concrete dia-grid columns in a cross shape. There is no central core, maximizing the interior space available for tenants.
Last year, the top MENA award went to Dubai’s The Index. The year before that, in 2010, the group awarded Burj Khalifa the best tall building honor.