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WS Atkins scoops 'world's best new building' accolade

WS Atkins has won an award for 'the best new building in the world' for its seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.

The international practice won the award for Architecture 19812001 in the inaugural Science, Technology and Arts Royal Summit (STAR) awards - the world's first annual celebration of technological achievements.

The sail-shaped Burj Al Arab is the world's tallest hotel - a 321m-high tower built 290m offshore from Dubai in the waters of the Arabian Sea.

The project took six years to complete as the team battled to overcome local environmental conditions - the risk of earthquakes, the high concentration of chlorides and sulphates in the sea, and the variations in temperature and humidity.

The tower is supported on 250 columns - 1.5m in width and 45m under the sea - while diagonal trusses on the side of the building are as long as a football pitch and weigh as much as 20 doubledecker buses.

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