Properties / Architecture

Behold These Iconic Skyscrapers

A look at five of the most important skyscrapers as we celebrate Skyscraper Appreciation Day on 10 August.

Aug 10, 2023 | By Joe Lim
Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa. Image: Britannica.

Did you know 10 August is Skyscraper Appreciation Day? Yes, these beloved skyscrapers represent cities and countries across the globe. From their stunning architecture to their rich amenities and features, we celebrate the iconic designs of these buildings and admire the genius architects behind them.

Luxurious Skyscraper

Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa soars across the Dubai skyline. Image:

The Burj Khalifa, which was unveiled in 2010, is a symbol of architectural innovation and human achievement. This recognisable skyscraper, designed by Adrian Smith of the architectural firm SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill), dominates the Dubai skyline. With a height of 828 metres (2,722 ft), it is the tallest man-made building in the entire world. With setbacks as it rises to lessen wind load, the Burj Khalifa has a slick, modern appearance. Its exterior is embellished with a distinctive glass and steel design. The Armani Hotel, along with workplaces and opulent villas, may be found inside the Burj Khalifa, a symbol of contemporary engineering and design brilliance.


Defying Heights and Convention

Shanghai Tower

The world’s second-tallest skyscraper – Shanghai Tower. Image: Dezeen.

The spectacular Shanghai Tower, a triumph of contemporary architectural ingenuity, is located in the centre of Shanghai’s Lujiazui neighbourhood. This 632-metre-tall skyscraper, designed by the highly regarded international company Gensler, redefines urban life. It is the second-tallest structure in the world and was completed in 2015. Both functionally and aesthetically, its unusual twisting design reduces wind loads and provides breathtaking panoramic views. The 128-storey building houses offices, cultural centres, and a five-star hotel. Shanghai Tower, with its cutting-edge sustainability features and double-skin facade, is the perfect example of how urban design and environmental awareness can coexist.


Symbol of Resilience and Hope

One World Trade Centre

One World Trade Center named tallest skyscraper in the western hemisphere —  One World Trade Centre, NY, US. Image: Dezeen.

One World Trade Centre, which dominates the Manhattan skyline, is a symbol of resiliency and rebirth. This 541-metre-tall masterpiece was created in 2014 by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill architect David Childs. Its design strikes a mix between innovation and remembrance as it rises from the revered grounds of the first World Trade Centre. In order to improve safety and implement energy-saving features like cutting-edge heating and cooling systems, the tower has a strong concrete core. The height of the monument symbolises the year of the American Declaration of Independence. One World Trade Centre embodies a future of power and cohesion while paying homage to the past.

Asia’s Iconic Skyscraper

kuala lumpur petronas

Petronas Towers is taller than the Empire State Building in New York. Image: Site Visits.

The Petronas Towers, created in 1998 by Argentine architect Cesar Pelli, is a stunning pair of skyscrapers that serve as a representation of Kuala Lumpur’s modernity. Up until 2004, these twin towers were the tallest structures on the planet. They have 88 stories each and rise to a height of 452 metres (1,483 feet), connecting them through a double-decker Skybridge. The Towers’ modern steel and glass façade, which reflects Malaysia’s cultural character, is inspired by Islamic elements. The Petronas Towers, which exhibit a distinct postmodern design and represent the pinnacle of 20th-century architectural success, not only house offices and retail establishments but also showcase a harmonious combination of aesthetics and engineering prowess.

London’s Architectural Pride

Shangri-La Hotel The Shard

The Shard houses the Shangri-La Hotel in London. Image: Archi Wonder.

The Shard is a masterwork of architecture and engineering and serves as a recognisable representation of contemporary London. This 95-storey glass tower, created by architect Renzo Piano, pierces the city skyline with its exquisite shape. The Shard, which was completed in 2012 and rises 1,016 feet (310 metres), is the tallest structure in Western Europe and the United Kingdom. Its unusual pyramid-like design, created with a cutting-edge glass façade, reflects the sky as well as the nearby urban environment. The Shard effortlessly combines functionality, aesthetics, and urban integration on its upper levels, where it houses offices, opulent residences, a hotel, and a public viewing gallery.

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