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Is this the best building in the world?

  • Story Highlights
  • The Universita Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy is the first World Building of the Year
  • More than 700 projects entered the contest in 17 different categories
  • The buildings were judged by a panel of architects led by Lord Norman Foster
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By Mike Steere
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- How do you pick the best buildings in the world? And what makes them stand out from the rest?

The Universita Luigi Bocconi building in Milan, Italy which won the World Building of the Year award.

It is an unquestionably subjective process -- one which was left to a judging panel of experienced architects at the recent World Architecture Festival in Barcelona, Spain.

In the end, the winner of the learning category and overall World Building of the Year was the Universita Luigi Bocconi building in Milan, Italy. Do you think this is the best building in the world?

Architecture legend Lord Norman Foster led a panel judging the competition, which selected the "best" buildings across 17 different categories and rated an overall "World Building of the Year."

Categories included housing complexes, offices, learning facilities, transport buildings, sports arenas, and private homes.

The winning building, designed by Grafton Architects in Dublin, Ireland, was described by World Architecture Festival director, Paul Finch, as "a totally 3-D piece of design" and praised it for its close relationship with its resident city of Milan.

Other notable winners were the BMW Welt -- Event, Exhibition and Automobile Delivery Center in Munich, Germany -- which claimed the production category, and the Zaha Hadid Architects-designed Nordpark Cable Railway in Austria, which won the transport section.

Photo View photos of the World Building of The Year and ten other category-winning buildings »

While Europe dominated the awards, two of the most significant winners came from Asia -- with the best private home in Japan and the best civic building in China.

We want to know what you think of these buildings? Do you think modern architecture is appealing -- or are there other buildings which are far better than these? Make your comments in the Sound Off box below and we'll publish the best.

The judges' selection process was based around the qualities of "commodity, firmness and delight" which the Roman architect Vitruvius claimed were the principal qualities of well-designed buildings.


Vitruvius defined the three qualities in the following way:

Commodity: buildings should work well -- they should be fit for the purpose for which they are designed.

Firmness: buildings should be soundly built and durable.

Delight: buildings should look good -- their design should please the eye and the mind.

Let us know if these buildings delight you!

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