Milan’s “Twisted Tower”, headquarters of the Generali Insurance giant in the CityLife quarter, has won first place for worldwide excellence in the high-rise category of this year’s prestigious awards by the American Concrete Institute.

Rising 186 m in a breathtaking corkscrew of steel and glass, the 44-storey building was designed by the late Iraqi-born Dame Zaha Hadid, the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and winner of the UK’s most important architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011.

The ‘Twisted Tower’ was built in 2017 by the Milan firm Redesco. It is based on a 2.5 m-thick concrete slab, which also supports three underground basement floors. The tower is one of the first projects of torsion tower to be built entirely in concrete. The torsion is more accentuated at the base and reduces along the height of the tower until it becomes vertical at the very top.

A queue over a kilometre long lined up to visit the tower during the FAI Autumn Days event soon after it was built.

“This recognition celebrates Italian engineering and the ability to design buildings that are unmatched from an architectural and technological point of view,” Marco Beccati, technical director of CityLife, told media. “The Tower was a real challenge, and we faced it with our consolidated know-how that led to the construction of a building that represents global best practice for all future projects of this type.”