All cities across the world have their own visually-stunning skyscrapers. A well-constructed building could represent the city it stands on or even a nation. But of all these impressive structures, these skyscrapers are the most iconic:
Big Ben, London, United Kingdom
Not exactly the tallest skyscraper in the world, but it’s the most well-recognized. Big Ben is also one of the most famous clocks in the world. The structure got its name from one of the bells installed in the tower. The tower was completed during the restoration of the Palace of Westminster in 1858. It stands 316 feet. Each clock face measures 23 square feet and 4 foot numbers each. The great bell is 7 ½ feet tall and weighs a jaw-dropping 13 tons.
Big Ben was designed by Charles Barry while the clock tower was developed by Augustus Pugin. The clock itself was created by Beckett Denison.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
A marvel of design and engineering, the Burj Khalifa is the jewel of Dubai. It sits smack in the middle of downtown Dubai and claims to be the tallest of all skyscrapers in the world. The structure stands at a mind-bending 2,717 feet tall and has 163 floors. The Burj Khalifa was designed by Chicago firm Owings & Merrill while engineering and constructed by Samsung C&T, a South Korean company. The structure features nine hotels, 19 residential towers, a shopping mall, a 30-acre man-made lake and 7-acres of parkland!
Burj Khalifa is part of the government’s initiative to transform Dubai into an economic powerhouse, a playground for the rich and privileged. Since its completion in 2010, the Burj Khalifa did just that. It represented the country and ushered a new Dubai.
Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan
Featuring blue-green glass curtain walls and a modern design is the Taipei 101. It’s Taiwan’s most iconic skyscrapers. It was designed by C. Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture. As with most modern skyscrapers, Taipei 101 comes with all niceties such as a typhoon and earthquake resistant construction. At the heart of the structure is a steel pendulum suspended to offset the movements of the buildings. This stabilizes the structure even in strong winds. The Taipei 101 symbolizes the renewal of time. It’s also awarded as the largest green building in the world.
Petronas Towers 1 and 2, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Petronas Towers 1 and 2 hold the record as the tallest twin tower in the world. It also held the record as the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004. The Petronas Towers 1 and 2 serve as landmarks of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The entire façade is composed of solid steel and glass. The design of the buildings was based on Islamic art motifs. On the interior, there is a fantastic display of local arts, carvings, and fabrics.
You can see the tallest sky bridge in the world on the 41st and 42n floors. The sky bridge is what connects the twin towers to each other.
Empire State Building, New York, New York
Perhaps the Empire State Building is New York’s most iconic skyscraper. The structure was designed by William F. Lamb. He based the Empire State’s design to the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem North Carolina and the Carew Tower in Cincinnati Ohio. And because of this, staff of the Empire State Building always send a “Father’s Day” card to the staff of Reynolds Building each year!
The construction started in the 1930s and completed 410 days later. After its completion, it was considered as the world’s tallest building. Unfortunately, the opening of the Empire State Building coincided with the Great Depression. The building was almost deserted for 20 years. The structure survived a 1945 plane crash and a 1997 shooting. Despite all these, the Empire State Building remains as one of the most beloved skyscrapers in NYC and the world.