Architectural design has advanced to a phenomenal stage where every modern city would like to boast having one of the tallest buildings. While criteria defining the tallest buildings or skyscrapers differ widely, listed below are the ten most popular architectural marvels of our time.
Empire State Building
A world famous New York City landmark and sky scaper, it rises above the island of Manhattan, about a quarter of a mile into the sky. The observatory is located on the 86th floor, 1050 feet above the ground and offers the most breathtaking and panoramic view of Manhattan and beyond from within a glass enclosed pavilion. Besides the observatory there are several tourist attractions, including, restaurants, shops and banks. It also has a New York SKYRIDE an independently owned and operated simulated helicopter ride and virtual-reality movie theatre. William Lamb, an architect at Shreve, Lamb and Harmon was chosen to design the Empire State Building in 1930
Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lampur lay claim to being the tallest twin towers of the 20th century, standing at a height of 1483 feet. They were designed by architect Cesar Pelli and completed in 1998. The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia’s Muslim religion. The towers feature a sky-bridge between the towers on the 41st and 42nd floors which is 170m high and 58m long.
Architect Bruce Graham designed the Sears Tower of Chicago in 1974. At 1450 feet, and 110 stories, it is the tallest building in the United States of America. The construction system consists of steel fram with bronze tinted glass curtain wall. The Sears Tower Skydeck observation deck and tourist attraction is on the 103rd floor, 1353 feet above the ground.
Bank of China Tower
Located in Honk Kong, in addition to being one of the famous skyscrapers in the world, it is one of the most outstanding achievements of modern architecture. The construction was started in 1985 and completed in five years by the architects I. M. Pei & Partners and Sherman Kung & Associates. The building standing at 1205 feet, is a grouping of four triangular glass and aluminium towers of different heights, all emerging from a single granite podium. The changes rising from a square base to a single spire results in a magnificent façade of angles and profiles that reflect the light and seem almost crystalline in composition. On the 42nd floor is a sky-deck providing a panoramic view of the northwest Hong Kong.
Rising at 1046 feet, it was considered to be an engineering marvel and the tallest building in 1931. However, it still remains the tallest brick building in the world. The tower is a beautifully tapered stainless steel crown supporting the famous spire at its peak. A quintessence of skyscraper design, the Chrysler Building is a perfect example of Art Deco and has a lobby clad in different marble, onyx and amber.
At a height of 1671 feet, this high-rise building has surpassed all to become the tallest skyscraper today. Taipei 101 holds the world record in three of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s height categories: tallest to the structural top, tallest to the roof, and highest occupied floor. The 89th floor has an indoor observation area while the 91st floor has an outdoor observation deck, known as the highest in the world. The pagoda shaped design of this building is inspired by traditional Chinese architecture. The sectioned tower is also symbolic of the bamboo plant characterizing strength, resilience and elegance. The tower’s design specifications are based on the number 8, considered lucky in the Chinese culture.
Jin Mao Building
This building in Shanghai symbolizes the progress and advancement made by the Chinese. It boasts of being the first tallest sky scrape in the country and the third tallest in the world. A great blend of East-West architecture it denotes aptly the emergence of Shanghai as a modern global city. It follows the versatility model by offering retail at it base, offices above and the Grand Hyatt’s World’s highest Hotel occupying the upper 38 floors. The magnificently designed building combines the elements of traditional Chinese architecture and a vastly Gothic influence.
Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab rises to a level of 1053 feet, and is known as one of the world’s tallest structure with a membrane façade, 24-meter wide helipad. This is the tallest operating hotel building in the world and the design is influenced by the profile of an Arabian sailing ship. The Al Muntaha restaurant is located 200 meters above the Persian Gulf offering a panoramic view of Dubai while the atrium is situated at a height of 180 meters.
At a height of 1815 feet, the CN Tower in Toronto is the tallest building and freestanding structure in the world. It is considered to be the signature icon of the city and hosts almost two million visitors a year. The view from the exterior glass floored observation deck located 342 meters above ground is breathtaking as it is exciting. It also has the Space Deck at 447 meters, the world’s tallest observation deck with a 160 km view and the revolving 360 Degree Restaurant.
A reflective obelisk sky scrape at Boston is an architectural marvel. It is regarded as ‘icily magnificent’ wherein the surface changes as the day changes, each side reflecting the color of the sky it faces. Moreover, this dramatic effect is highlighted by the parallelogram shape of the prism, which provides uniquely differing reflections on adjoining surfaces.
The architectural buildings mentioned above are famous creations and literally considered architectural works of art today.