Architecture has always played a big role in highlighting and emphasizing a country’s power and future orientation. What were once limitations restricting people to push the boundaries even further were eventually abolished after numerous unsuccessful trials. Humans, at first, unwillingly developed the concept of vertical living prior to the idea becoming a necessity. Creating the tree house was the dawn of a movement that turned far-fetched ideas into reality. Nowadays high rise buildings are defining new urban forms and lifestyles in cities. In this article, we will be giving an overview of the world’s top 10 biggest skyscrapers.
10. International Commerce Centre
Rising at 484 m above sea level in Hong Kong, the ICC adds another super-tall addition to one of the densest cities in the world. Running alongside the harbor, it features two hotels and multi-use functional spaces in the heart of the West Kowloon waterfront promenade.
Constructed by KPF Architects and completed in 2010, this skyscraper is marketed as a 118-story tower due to the widespread of tetraphobia, whereas it consists of 108 floors. Sophisticated control systems and unique glass façade structure are ingeniously integrated within the ICC itself adding more efficiency and impressiveness.
9. Shanghai World Financial Center
After being delayed and its construction interrupted, the Shanghai World Financial Center was inaugurated on the 28th of August 2008 after around 11 years since its inception. KPF Architects were influenced by the ancient square shaped Chinese prism crosscut by two cosmic arches symbolizing the heavens. Reaching a height of 492 m, this upright element consists of offices, shopping malls, and hotels such as Park Hyatt Shanghai. The transparent floor of its 100th deck offers visitors of the tower a breathtaking view of China’s financial hub.
8. Taipei 101
Becoming Earth’s tallest greenest building after a LEED platinum certification on the 28th of July 2011, Taipei 101 standardized the concept of green buildings and energy efficiency. Conceived to resist earthquakes and other natural disasters this skyscraper holds the world’s largest steel pendulum in the core of its upper floors. Completed with a height of 509.2 m in 2004 by C.Y. Lee & Partners, it was considered as the world’s tallest habitable construction and therefore, became Taiwan’s landmark. The 101 floors are equipped with state of the art offices, a VIP club entitled Summit 101, international restaurants and retail stores with the tower’s surrounding fused with Feng Shui and Asian art and tradition.
7. CTF Finance Centre
Part of the Guangzhou Twin Towers and renowned as the “East Tower”, the CTF Finance Centre is home to one of the fastest elevators in the world using magnetic systems. KPF Architects connected this mixed-use project to the surrounding buildings in China’s third most populous city. Unveiled to the public in October 2016, the CTF Finance Centre sprouted into Guangzhou’s impressive skyline at a height of 530 m with a floor count of 111. The facade design incorporates a Chinese inspired mullion system enabling LED lighting by the night and solar shading throughout the day.
6. One World Trade Center
To fill the urban void left from the disaster that shock the US, SOM designed One World Trade Center as a reminiscence of what once stood still. The opening in July 2013 marked the beginning of an urban redevelopment of Lower Manhattan, New York City. It is regarded as the highest skyscraper of the northern hemisphere with an elevation of 541,3 m offering commercial spaces, restaurants and shopping areas. Changing from the original cubic form, as a recall of the older towers, to an obelisk shape at the top resembling the Washington Monument, viewers would be able to contemplate this memorial of hope and prosperity from the lavish surrounding of the tower.
5. Lotte World Tower
Reported as the tallest building in South Korea and soon to become the country’s landmark, Lotte World Tower officially welcomed its guests on the 14th of October 2016. The design by renowned architectural firm KPF is inspired by historical Korean art and combines several multifunctional zones in a towering structure with its highest point at 555 m above sea level. Along with a luxurious 7-star hotel, this tower designates most of its area at its core for entertainment and public-friendly spaces. Aiming for a LEED Gold accreditation, KPF architects are anticipating the creation of a new benchmark of futuristic constructions in the country.
4. Ping An Finance Centre
Set for completion later this year and pointing to the skies with an altitude of 660 m, Ping An Finance Centre would cast its shadow on Shenzhen’s business district. Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates conceived this avant-garde stone and glass mega structure compromising retail stores, high-end shopping mall and housing the headquarters of Ping An Insurance – China’s second largest insurance company. Guests would be enabled to panoramically contemplate the metropolis city of Shenzhen through its observation deck or entitled to socialize and interact in its central atrium.
3. Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower
In an attempt to modernize Saudi Arabia’s pilgrimage city, Dar Al-Handasah Architects constructed the world’s most expensive building set to accommodate worshippers in its luxury hotel. The project holding the record of the world’s largest clock face provoked controversy as an earlier Islamic heritage site was demolished to accommodate this complex. In addition to the clock towers and an extravagant hotel, the skyscraper features a shopping mall, prayer rooms, lunar viewing decks, Islamic museum and lavish lounges. The 601 meters multibillion tower was completed in 2012 with a floor count of 120.
2. Shanghai Tower
Rising firmly to a height of 632 m, Shanghai Tower stimulates the city’s lifestyle and culture with its ingenious sky gardens and one of its kind glass outer skins along with its record of the world’s highest observation deck. Designed by Gensler, a renowned international architecture firm, the tower is able to withstand harsh natural conditions as a consequence of pioneering investigations. With its unique curved form, Shanghai Tower incorporates sumptuous green spaces alongside ample atriums, meeting points, VIP lounges and wellness spaces. Since February 18th, 2015, this enormous structure has accommodated almost 16,000 visitors on a daily basis.
1. Burj Khalifa
Holding multiple world records in different categories, Burj Khalifa victoriously regarded as the world’s highest ever skyscraper thrived to push the boundaries of architectural creativity and engineering possibilities even further. Listed as a top “selfie” destination, this marvel demonstrated its impact on a city, which was once nothing more than a mere desert. The mega tall wonder of SOM extends from its grounds reaching a monumental 828 meters of architectural height. Visitors arrive from all over the world to contemplate this masterpiece being decorated with LED lights and laser projections on numerous events. On the inside, this freestanding structure integrates splendid hotels, extravagant residences and copious corporate suites in its spiraling pattern. Visitors are rewarded with a breathtaking view over Dubai’s enhanced urban expansion.