People are always fascinated to reach beyond the clouds. Since we don’t have wings to fly, people do have the brains and the skills to build towers and skyscrapers whose tips aspire to reach the sky. It’s an exciting feat for anyone to climb high and beautiful buildings in big cities. And because it’s in close proximity to cool restaurants, exciting shopping malls and other activities, a trip to the city becomes more exciting. Here’s a list of the world’s most amazing skyscrapers that have been astounding people ever since they have been built:
Shanghai World Financial Center – Shanghai, China
Shanghai World Financial Center is a super skyscraper located in Pudong New Area in the city of Shanghai, and is one of the tallest buildings in China. It contains 62 office floors, urban retail and dining facilities, and a 174-room Park Hyatt Hotel at the top from the 79th to 93rd floors. Above the hotel from the 94th to 100th floors is a visitors’ square and observatory.
The shape created by the intersection of two sweeping arcs and a square prism represents the ancient Chinese symbols of heaven and earth, and the tapering form supports efficiencies from large floor plates at the base for offices to floors near the top for hotel rooms. It has a unique square bottle opener design on top to reduce the stress of the wind pressure. Originally, the design of the top is supposed to be circular. But the citizens and city mayor of Shanghai protested, claiming it looks like the rising sun design on the flag of Japan. When it was completed in 2008, it became the tallest building in China but lost its title to the neighboring Shanghai Tower.
The Shard – London, England
One of the most recognizable towers in London is The Shard, which is home to some of the best restaurants, offices and hotel rooms in the city, along with breathtaking views. It’s a 95-story supertall skyscraper designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano.
In a city as architecturally matured as London, it takes something special for a building to take the eyes away from the Westminster Palace, Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The Shard achieved this, as the tip of the building looked like slices of broken glass – or shards – making it stand out across the city. It’s also one of the highest buildings in Europe, measuring 310 meters. In the viewing floors on the 68th, 69th, and 72nd floors, you can see the best views in London.
One World Trade Center – New York, USA
Built near the iconic Twin Towers stood, One World Trade Center is by far the tallest skyscraper in the United States and the Western Hemisphere and the sixth tallest building in the world. It offers multiple sustainable architecture features, making it one of the most environmentally-friendly skyscrapers in the world. It’s also very meaningful. Its height of 1,776 feet was a symbolic reference to the year when the US Declaration of Independence was signed. The deck begins at 1,362 feet, and the glass parapet extends to 1,368 feet, which are the exact heights of the South and North towers.
Rebuilding the skyscraper was controversial and garnered mixed criticisms, especially from the survivors and loved ones of the lost from the 9/11 attack, but the developers took heed of every structural and safety failure of the Twin Towers and made One World Trade Center as the safest building in the world. Between the dense fireproofing, high-strength concrete, longer reinforcement steel bars, and pressurized stairwells – this tower well exceeds New York’s building safety code requirements.
Bitexco Financial Tower – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Located in the historic city of Ho Chi Minh is the Bitexco financial tower. It’s most fascinating feature in this building is the distinctive helipad cantilevered out of the 55th floor while the building continues to rise above it. This makes it unique from other buildings with a helipad on the roof as the norm. The tower is designed to represent the lotus (Vietnam’s national flower) in a mature and blossomed state, as if a lotus bud is reaching out in search of the sun. A glass curtain wall swirls like petals around the tower’s façade.
This building is not the tallest in the country, but it’s always a standout in the Ho Chi Minh city’s skyline. The perpendicular helipad is supported by a reinforced concrete core with steel cantilevers. There is an observation deck on the 47th floor called the Saigon Skydeck, where visitors can get a 360-degree view of the city.
Torre Glòries – Barcelona, Spain
Formerly known as Torre Agbar, Torre Glòries is a 38-story tower was designed by the shape of a geyser shooting up. This structure is a symbol of Barcelona’s urban renewal and modernization. It’s the most discernible figure in the city, and the structure’s smooth and spherical shape has drawn comparisons to the Gherkin in London. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, this 144-meter building has two cylindrical layers: one topped with polished aluminum, and the second being made of clear and translucent glass with 40 different colors.
What makes this building amazing is that it has a total of 4,500 red, yellow, blue, and pink LED lights placed over the façade to produce over 16 million different colors across the entire surface of the building. The colors are programmable to follow animated sequences while illuminating the city with floodlights at night. Torre Glòries became a popular gathering point on New Year’s Eve in Barcelona as it puts on a spectacular display of lights to see during New Years’.
Bank of China Tower – Hong Kong
The Bank of China Tower is the most recognizable tower in Hong Kong, outshining its taller neighbors. Built in 1990, this 367.4 meters tall skyscraper was the tallest building outside the US that time. The unusual crystalline-like structure was inspired by the bamboo plant, representing its strength, growth, and vitality. The prism-like façade and the asymmetrical form of the building is pure geometry, making it a unique work of art.
Fun fact: this building stirred controversy while it was being built. It was criticized by many for breaking the flow of Feng Shui with its sharp corners, which was reportedly believed to bring bad luck to its neighbors. But now, it’s known for offering an amazing observation deck on the 43rd floor, which offers stunning views of the Central business district, and for its part in the city’s Symphony of Light Show.
Petronas Towers – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Petronas Towers, also known as the Petronas Twin Towers, is the tallest twin building in the world. These towers changed the skyline of Kuala Lumpur and stands out over the capitals otherwise unassuming landscape. This twin tower has put Kuala Lumpur on the architectural radar, and also evoked the country’s rich culture. Its design incorporates Islamic motifs and symbols that influenced the detailing on the building.
Unlike other twin tower designs around the world that stand independently beside one another, the Petronas Towers has an iconic bridge that connects them. This is the most interesting part of this twin tower. The sky bridge connects the 41st and 42nd floors of each tower, linking businesses together and acts another fire escape in the event of a fire or other incidents. Visitors can see the views of Kuala Lumpur from this skybridge, and it is the highest access point for visitors to travel in the office buildings.
Empire State Building – New York, USA
The world-famous Empire State Building is a legendary skyscraper located in the center of Manhattan. For decades, it has been the icon of New York, where Jay-Z’s dreams are made, and King Kong went crazy. It’s a popular tourist attraction for many decades, as the top floors of this building give people amazing views of the Big Apple.
Built during the Great Depression in 1931, the Empire State Building was an impressive feat as it took only one year and 45 days to build. It was the longest holder of the “World’s Tallest Building” title from the year it was built until 1972. Its design is a typical pre-World War II Art Deco architecture, and its signature blond color is due to Indiana limestone. Its exterior lighting changes regularly to mark significant events and promote charitable causes. This is also one of the few skyscrapers that offer wedding packages at its observatory.
Taipei 101 – Taipei, Taiwan
Resembling a growing bamboo stalk, Taipei 101 became the first tower ever to cross the half-kilometer mark when it was completed in 2004. It is hard to miss this on Taiwan’s skyline as it significantly surpasses the height of the other buildings around it. This skyscraper is an architectural masterpiece that features eight distinct elements that give the structure the semblance of a pagoda. It also
At 508 meters, Taipei 101 held the title of the “World’s Tallest Building” for years until 2011 when Burj Khalifa was completed. But in spite of being that tall, it offers one of the world’s fastest passenger elevator, as it requires just 37 seconds to take people to the topmost point from the fifth-floor tower. It also held the title of the world’s tallest green building as it boasts of LEED Platinum certification. There are observation decks on the 88th and 89th floor.
Burj Khalifa – Dubai, UAE
The current holder of the world’s tallest building title, the Burj Khalifa is a product of visionary ideals and solid science. At 828 meters and more than 160 floors, Burj Khalifa holds the following world titles: tallest free-standing structure, the highest number of stories, highest outdoor observation deck, highest occupied floor, tallest service elevator, and elevator with the longest travel distance. It’s a true global icon that has become a symbol of Dubai’s wealth.
The design of the Burj Khalifa incorporates elements of Islamic architecture. And while we’re on the subject of Islam, it offers the world’s highest mosque, located on the 158th floor. The Armani Hotel is located here, and it offers the most luxurious suites and amazing views. It also houses offices and 900 apartments. Gigantic doesn’t begin to describe it.