Chicago’s Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat recently named the Burj Qatar the world’s best new tall building, which is curious to us for several reasons. First of all, famed French architect Jean Nouvel designed the building but we can’t find it on his website. Is he not proud of his towering child?
Second, there’s a council of tall buildings? Who thought that would be a good idea? Third, there’s another giant Burj building in the Arabian Gulf, as if one of those wasn’t enough. (Granted, Burj means Tower in Arabic, so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is more than one.) And lastly, is there really any such thing as a best tall building?
Just to give our readers a sense of perspective, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is 2717 feet tall, whereas its baby brother (really, can a building like this be considered anything other than a young strapping boy?) is just 761 feet tall.
There’s a lot of feet between them, so Burj Qatar, a.k.a Doha Tower, already sounds a lot better to us than the Burj Khalifa, which is really exciting (and hard) to look at from the ground, but which doesn’t really make the earth a better place to live at all.
Qatar’s Burj also has a really interesting facade comprised of layers of what look like mashrabiya screens that regulate the tower’s interior temperature. It is this and the nod to vernacular architecture that the CTBUH loved it so much.
“Doha Tower is an excellent example of an efficient modern tower that is inspired by its local culture and setting,” said Antony Wood, executive director of the CTBUH. “In an age of homogenized slick towers globally, Doha Tower is rooted to its place. This is not a non-specific icon which you could drop into any city of the world.”
First selected as the best new tall building in the Middle East and North Africa region, the Burj Qatar has since scooped the prize that architects of all giant towers would love to have. Except that Nouvel couldn’t be there to pick up the prize.
These and more incredible pictures can be found on www.asergeev.com