Meet the world's best new skyscraper

Story highlights

  • German building data company Emporis issues list of best new skyscrapers
  • Winner known as "Marilyn Monroe" due to curvy design
  • Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi has outer skin that rotates in response to the sun's position
  • No U.S. buildings made the top 10 list this year

A pair of buildings colloquially known as "Marilyn Monroe" has won the prize for best new skyscraper completed in 2012.

The curvy, twisting buildings, officially known as Absolute World Towers, and located in Mississauga, Ontario, were designed by Beijing-based MAD architects and Toronto-based Burka Architects.

"The way the two structures twist organically by up to eight degrees per floor is not just a superb technical achievement, but also a refreshing change to the set forms of high-rise routine," said an international panel of expert judges when explaining their decision.

The prize, given by building data company Emporis of Hamburg, Germany, "rewards skyscrapers for excellence in their aesthetic and functional design," the company said.

It's the thirteenth time the prize has been awarded.

Coming soon: World's first 'invisible' tower

Judges considered more than 300 skyscrapers completed last year and that are at least 100 meters tall.

Click to expand
EXPAND IMAGE

Other entries in the top 10 include buildings from Doha (Qatar), Moscow, Guangzhou (China) and Milan (Italy).

The second place Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi, designed by Aedas Architects, has an outer skin that rotates in response to the sun's position, leading to cooler temperatures inside the buildings.

25 great skyscrapers: Icons of construction

Burj Qatar, a 238-meter skyscraper Designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, in Doha, took third place.

It features a metal mesh facade, whose design "draws on traditional mashrabiya windows and is intended to contribute to protection from the sun, revealing a complex pattern at close quarters."

The United States doesn't have any buildings on the list this year.

Photos: Exploring post-Soviet architectural oddities