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Sydney tower stakes its place among the world's best tall buildings

1 Bligh St, Sydney Ingenhoven and Architectus 1 Bligh St, Sydney Ingenhoven and Architectus 1 Bligh St, Sydney Ingenhoven and Architectus Palazzo Lombardia, Milan Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Palazzo Lombardia, Milan Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Absolute Towers, Canada MAD architects Absolute Towers, Canada MAD architects Absolute Towers, Canada MAD architects Absolute Towers, Canada MAD architects Doha Tower, Qatar Ateliers Jean Nouvel Doha Tower, Qatar Ateliers Jean Nouvel Al Bahar Towers, Abu Dhabi Aedas Architects Ltd Al Bahar Towers, Abu Dhabi Aedas Architects Ltd Al Bahar Towers, Abu Dhabi Aedas Architects Ltd

Ambitious towers in Australia and Italy have made it onto the list of the best tall buildings in the world for the first time.

The four regional winners named by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat were Doha Tower/BurjQatar, Doha (Middle East and Africa), the Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada (Americas), Palazzo Lombardia, Milan (Europe), and 1 Bligh Street in Sydney (Asia and Australia).

ingenhoven architects and Architectus’ 1 Bligh Street is a 28-floor elliptical office tower, with a double skin naturally-ventilated glass façade and hybrid energy system using gas and solar energy to generate cooling, heating and electricity for the building..

But it was the building's soaring glass atrium – the tallest naturally ventilated sky-lit atrium in Australia – that impressed judges.

“The dramatic, naturally-ventilated central atrium connects the office workers with nature at the inner depths of the plan, giving a sense of openness for the entire building," says Werner Sobek, founder of Werner Sobek Group and a member of the jury panel.

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

An overall winner for the Best Tall Building Worldwide will be named at the CTBUH 11th Annual Awards in October.

The Best Tall Building Awards are an independent review of new projects, judged by a panel of industry executives. Projects are recognised for making an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and for achieving sustainability at the broadest level.

The council received 78 entries from around the world – the majority of the entries were from Asia, followed by the Middle East. The number of entries from the Americas continued to decline, reflecting the impact of the recent global recession.

A record number of 88 towers of height greater than 200m were completed in 2011, according to CTBUH data. Another 96 are projected to complete this year, with China the biggest builder.