Top 10 Amazing Skyscrapers

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10. The Bow, Calgary

Many skyscrapers are named after the company or entity which financed its construction, which is fine, because these things cost a lot! But it’s much more interesting when the buildings get a more descriptive name, like The Bow, an awesome-looking tower in Calgary, Alberta. The tallest office building in Canada outside of Toronto, it overlooks the Bow River, but also dominates the Calgary skyline with its very distinctive crescent shape.

9. Al Hamra Tower, Kuweit City

Standing as the tallest building in Kuwait, the Al Hamra Tower is a stunning sight, and not just due to its scale. Named one the best inventions of 2011 (the year of its completion) by TIME magazine, the structure features an asymmetric design (reminiscent of the traditional robes worn by Kuwaitis) which maximizes views of the Arabian Gulf, while also minimizing solar heat.

8. Mode Gokuen Cocoon Tower, Tokyo

We’re used to thinking of skyscrapers as either residential or office buildings, but Tokyo’s Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower is special in that it’s actually an educational facility. Though it isn’t even among the top ten tallest towers in the Japanese capital, it is certainly one of the more eye-catching.

The home of three educational institutions, it is, on the other hand, one of the tallest buildings of its kind in the world.

7. One World Trade Center, New York

Built near the site where New York’s iconic Twin Towers stood, One World Trade Center is an awesome sight. By far the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the five tallest on the planet, it dominates Manhattan’s already impressive skyline.

Like many modern structures, it contains multiple sustainable architecture features, which also makes it one of the most environmentally friendly skyscrapers in the world.

6. Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

A symbol of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, the twin Petronas Towers used to share the distinction of being the world’s tallest building (between 1998 and 2006), until finally being surpassed by Taipei 101. The structures are built high-strength reinforced concrete, as a more economical alternative to steel, and are connected by a skybridge on the 41st and 42nd floors – the highest 2-story bridge in the world.

5. The Shard, London

Soaring 309 meters (1,014 ft) above the London skyline, The Shard is the tallest building in Britain, as well as the European Union – by quite a margin. The highly distinctive glass-clad pyramidal tower dominates the city’s skyline and is already one of its most emblematic structures.

4. Mercury City Tower, Moscow

Part of Moscow’s ultra-modern International Business Center, the 1,100 foot (330 meter) high Mercury City Tower is the tallest structure in Europe. The new development in the Russian capital also features a handful of other sizeable buildings, yet Mercury City Tower stands out not only thanks to greater scale, but also due to its very distinctive orange colored façade.

3. Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai

Another gigantic building like many that have sprung up in the Eastern Hemisphere, Jin Mao Tower used to be the tallest building in China, until being surpassed by the nearby Shanghai World Financial Center. Together with the Shanghai Tower, expected to open this year, the trio will form the world’s first grouping of supertall skyscrapers, which will undoubtedly be an awe-inspiring sight.

Thought the smallest of the three, Jin Mao Tower is arguably the best-looking, with its tiered pagoda-style appearance contrasting with the smooth, futuristic exterior of its siblings.

2. Burj Khalifa, Dubai

You cannot talk about skyscrapers without mentioning the marvel that is Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

Standing at an incredible 2,722 feet (829.8 meters), this contemporary wonder of the world is the tallest artificial structure ever built, and was designed to raise the profile of the Emirati metropolis – a feat it has definitely accomplished.

1. Taipei 101, Taipei

Completed in 2004, Taipei 101 is an architectural masterpiece and was the largest building in the world until the opening of Burj Khalifa in 2010.

The 509 meter skyscraper features eight distinct elements giving the structure the semblance of a pagoda, and is steeped in symbolism, from the design to the significance of its numbers. Also, Taipei 101 is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes, and boasts LEED Platinum certification, making it the tallest and largest green building in the world.

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