Bahrain World Trade Center wins best tall building in Mena region

Published November 27th, 2008 - 09:41 GMT

The GCC’s Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC) has been named “Best Tall Building” in the Middle East and Africa region for 2008 by the world’s leading body dedicated to the field of tall buildings, The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), at an awards ceremony held in Chicago, US.

The 2008 ‘Best Tall Building Awards’ recognise projects that have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and that achieve sustainability at the highest and broadest level.
With only 4 building awards made annually, the BWTC is firmly establishing the GCC’s prominence in international standards of architecture, as other winners included Renzo Piano’s The New York Times Building (Americas region), Norman Foster’s 51 Lime Street in London (European region), and Kohn Pedersen Fox’s Shanghai World Financial Center (Asia/Australasia region).  Architect Cesar Pelli and engineer William F. Baker, SOM, were honoured with ‘Lifetime Achievement’ awards for their individual and portfolios of outstanding tall building work. 

These prestigious awards recognise one outstanding tall building from each of four geographical regions: the Americas, Europe, Middle East/Africa, and Asia/Australia. The accolade means the BWTC project will be showcased in the CTBUH’s ‘Tall Building’ museum in New York. Being the world’s first incorporation of large-scale wind turbines makes the BWTC a giant leap forward in the future of carbon critical design and puts Bahrain at the van guard of pioneering architecture.

Timothy Johnson, CTBUH Awards Committee Chairman and Design Partner with global design firm NBBJ commented: “The Bahrain World Trade Center has achieved an exceptionally high standard of excellence and quality in the realisation of built form. Moreover, the environmentally responsible elements incorporated into the building’s construction are helping drive the emergence of new methods to preserve urban quality of life for future generations.” Reinforcing this in their official statement when presenting the awards, the jury stated: “The Bahrain World Trade Center project is iconic, environmental, and a bit gives a very strong visual nod toward sustainability.”

Atkins architect, Shaun Killa, was officially presented with the trophy at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.  Held in the S.R. Crown Hall, designed by legendary Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and regarded as one of the most architecturally significant buildings of the 20th century, the ceremony paid homage to the benchmark designs of the 21st century.   

Designed and engineered by Atkins, the BWTC is the world’s first commercial building to harness wind power for energy with the incorporation of large-scale wind turbines. Three, 29m diameter wind turbines will generate up to 15% of the two towers’ electrical requirements.

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