A skyscraper could actually vary from the tallest to the most inappropriate. Various Architects and designers have provided us with quite a few marvelous skyscrapers. Today we share our picks for top 10 skyscrapers across the world that are bound to get you awestruck and inspired.
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is currently the world’s tallest building. It is a ‘megatall’ skyscraper which is 828 meters tall, can you believe it, it’s almost a kilometer tall. The design for the 162 storey tower combines local cultural influences with cutting edge technology to cope with the challenges of the desert. The tower’s overall design is inspired by a mix of the petals of a desert flower and patterns found in Islamic architecture. The main purpose for construction of the skyscraper was to gain international recognition for Dubai and diversify from their oil-based economy. The Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith from Skidmore Owings and Merrill. The same is also responsible for construction of the One World Trade Center and the future KN tower. In order to support the building’s weight up to such great heights the engineers developed a concept known as a buttress core. This concept consists of a strong core with three wings stretching outwards and each wing is supported by the other two. Burj Khalifa has the world’s highest nightclub and also the world’s highest restaurant. It also has the second highest observation deck in the world after the Shanghai Tower at 555.7 m. Hope you don’t have a fear of heights if you visit it.
The French architect Vincent Callebaut’s twisting tower is taking shape in Taipei, Taiwan. This sustainable residential structure was completed in September 2017. It has about 23,000 trees which absorb up to 130 tons of carbon dioxide each year. The design has been conceived as vertical land or an inhabited tree bringing green and nature back into the city modeled after a DNA double helix. It has a 90-degree twist giving people panoramic skyline views. Each storey rotates 4.5degrees as the building ascends. Vincent Callebaut says that it’s time to repatriate nature in our cities in order to increase the quality of our life with respect to the environment. Who wouldn’t want to live in one of these apartments and have one’s own hanging garden.
Marina Bay Sands Hotel
Possibly the biggest and most well-known chunk of the singapore skyline, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino consists of 350 five-story towers capped by a sky park which looks like a giant boat-like structure on top. This is known as the sand sky park which has a public observatory garden, restaurants, lounges and of course an infinity pool overlooking the city. The ground level connects directly to the metro system and has its own shopping mall, which comes complete with a gondola pond skating rink and a food court. It’s the most expensive standalone casino property and is valued at 8 billion dollars billion. It was designed by Israeli Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, who is famous for his habitat 67 building. The developer originally asked Safdie to create a single Tower but he refused, saying that it would create a wall separating Singapore’s downtown from the sea, thus, instead he designed the three towers so that the downtown would still have windows to the sea view.
The Shanghai Tower is China’s tallest building and the second tallest in the world reaching a height to architectural top of 632 meters second to only the Burj Khalifa. It is the world’s tallest building by height to the highest usable floor, which is 127 to be exact . The observation deck was open to the public on July 1st 2016 and it beat the Burj Khalifa’s observation deck at 561.3 meters (approx.). The skyscraper allows visitors to stand on a glass platform and look down on the viewing deck and the city below. It also has the fastest elevators in the world with a top speed of 20.5 meters per second. Besides being the tallest skyscraper in China it also claims to be the greenest. It has received numerous awards and certificates for sustainable building practices and energy efficiency.
With its unusual keyhole design, the Kingdom Centre is Saudi Arabia’s tallest skyscraper. It incorporates Islamic geometry and expressive forms also known as burj al Melaka. The Kingdom Centre was selected as the world’s most well-designed skyscraper in the 2002 Emporis skyscraper Awards. The architects created the keyhole in the top in order to conform to city laws that don’t allow occupied floors above a certain height. It is home to the king. The Prince Abdullah mosque, the world’s highest mosque above sea level is on the 77th floor of the Kingdom Centre.
Saint Mary Axe
Also known as the gherkin the towering innuendo and the crystal phallus, this skyscraper is unlike anything else in London. Designed by Norman Foster the skyscraper was purchased for over a billion US dollars making it Britain’s most expensive office building. Its distinctive tapered form minimizes its footprint and it has gaps in each floor that serve as a natural ventilation system. At 40 stories high it is not the tallest building but it definitely stands out as a symbol of contemporary architecture. It was built on top of the site that formerly housed the Baltic Exchange that was damaged by a bomb placed by the IRA in 1992. The Gherkin began as a larger building but people complained that it affected the view and that it was ugly. It is now used primarily as an office building.
If everything goes according to plan, Dubai will have an 80 storey rotating dynamic skyscraper by 2020. A tower where the different stories actually change their shape, sounds impossible but dynamic group claims that this tower will be the world’s first skyscraper consisting of separate rotating floors attached to a central column. The residents will be able to control the rotation speed and direction of their apartment through voice activation. Well, tired of the view, let’s change it by 90 degrees to the right. This building will never be the same twice. This dynamic tower will also generate its own energy via wind turbines placed between each floor and solar panels covering the roof of each level. Architect David Fisher says the tower will also be the world’s first prefabricated skyscraper with up to 90% of it built in a factory and then shipped to the construction site. Although, we are yet to see a construction date or a location, the dynamic group company has registered a patent that guarantees rights to this building in motion.
One World Trade Center
Completed in 2014, the One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth tallest in the world. The official architectural height is a symbolic 1,776 feet referring to the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. The project was meant to recapture the New York skyline, reassert downtown Manhattan’s prominence as a business center and establish a new civic icon for the country. It serves both to remember and rebuild following the tragedy. It has the same name as the North Tower of the original World Trade Center that was completely destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001.
The Cayan tower, also known as the infinity tower is the world’s tallest high-rise building with a twist. The unique skyscraper looks like as if a giant came and twisted it like a dish towel. The complete skyscraper spirals an amazing 90 degrees from its base to its crown. It stands 305 metres above the ground. Previously known as the infinity tower, it was designed by the same architect as the Burj Kalifa, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and took seven years to build. Each floor rotates 1.2 degrees around a cylindrical elevator giving most of the apartments a wonderful view of the Gulf and the marina, also protecting them from the wind load and solar heat.
In 1997, the elephant tower opened in Thailand becoming the world’s largest elephant shaped structure. Also known as the Chang building, it is the most talked about building in Thailand. The Cubist design is now a national icon with a little bit of humor. These three towers have 32 floors full of luxury condos, offices and shops. Its ears are multi storied balconies, its eyes are huge windows and its tail is made up of 20 stories of glass rooms that stick out of its rear, its tusks are home to the building’s management company. The creator of Bangkok’s elephant tower thai senator, engineer and real estate mogul Arun Chaiseri studied engineering at the University of Illinois and went onto build one of Thailand’s largest engineering firms. He was also an advocate for the welfare of Thailand’s elephants. There is also a robot building in Bangkok that was designed for the Bank of Asia to reflect the computerization of banking. Architect Sumet Jumsai was inspired by his son’s robot toy and made the building as a protest against the neoclassical and high-tech post-modern architecture that was so popular.