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Scenic City Road Far Aerial View

On the road…and in the sky!

 Compiled by: Gloria Spittel

Commanding vistas and defining cities, skyscrapers around the world have a larger mission than simply standing tall (and proud). For some, skyscrapers are a testament of the ever-broadening scope and wonder of human capability, given their improbable shapes and dizzying heights. The sky and its vastness is everyone’s canvas. Some of the recently opened and upcoming stupendous works of human ingenuity personify this emerging trend.


The Tower, Dubai Creek Harbour (Dubai, UAE)

Scheduled for completion by 2020 and simply known as ‘The Tower,’ this will become the tallest structure in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). That’s right, it’s destined to tower over the Burj Khalifa, the tallest human-made structure in the world at present.

Constructed by the developer of the Burj Khalifa, The Tower is expected to stand 100 metres (m) taller than the Burj Khalifa (which reaches a height of 828m). Designed by Santiago Calatrava Architects and Engineers, The Tower is expected to feature several ‘garden’ observation decks offering 360° views of Dubai.


The Shard (London, UK)

Completed in 2013, The Shard has been a focal point of London’s skyline ever since. It is the tallest building in the United Kingdom and stands at a height of 306m with an observatory at 244m from the ground.

Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the building’s appearance reflects a shard of glass. In fact, its steel-framed pinnacle has been constructed with shards of glass designed to blend with the sky. The building houses residences, hotels, offices, restaurants and viewing galleries. Its developer and joint owner Irvine Sellar passed away in February.


432 Park Avenue (New York City, USA)

This is currently the world’s tallest residential building, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Standing 425m tall, the building was completed in 2015. It is the 15th-tallest building on Earth, second in New York City and third-tallest in the United States. Located in the heart of Manhattan, 432 Park Avenue overlooks the famed Central Park.

Designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, the structure reflects the characteristic density of New York City and emulates a new generation of super-slim pencil-thin buildings. Intentionally designed to maximise space both on the ground and in the air, the building could be a glimpse into future residential living in dense cities. But this humongous building contains only 104 residential units – a sign perhaps that it is more for the super-wealthy than an example of future urban living.


MahaNakhon (Bangkok, Thailand)

Completed and opened last year, MahaNakhon – also known as The Ritz Carlton Residences & Edition Hotel – boasts a fascinating facade that represents a crumbling structure in places when viewed from a distance. Other viewpoints provide a pixelated appearance.

Designed by Office for Metropolitan Archi-tecture and standing 314m high, the building is the tallest in Thailand. Located in the Silom business district in the heart of Bangkok, the building contains residential and retail space, a hotel and an observatory.


Shanghai Tower, Lujiazui Financial Center, Pudong New Area (Shanghai, China)

Known also as the Shanghai Centre, this towering building was completed in 2015. Designed by Gensler, the Shanghai Tower is a treat of visual, architectural, engineering and environmental-sustainability accomplishments.

The building is the tallest in China and while it’s only the second-highest building in the world, the Shanghai Centre is the planet’s tallest twisted tower. It has gained formal certification for its sustainable initiatives by the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification protocols, LEED Platinum BD+C (for Building Design and Construction (Core and Shell)). Rising 632m above ground level, the curved and twisted tower houses resi-dences, offices, restaurants and other com-mercial spaces.


Tanjong Pagar Centre (Singapore)

Opened last year and also known as the Guoco Tower, this is the tallest building in Singapore. At a height of 290m in the Central Business District (CBD), the Tanjong Pagar Centre com-prises office space in the Guoco Tower, over 100 luxury residential units, retail outlets and restaurants, and the Sofitel Singapore City Centre hotel.

Designed by Architects 61 and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Tanjong Pagar Centre will also feature an urban city park.


Jeddah Tower, Jeddah Economic City (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) 

Why we said The Tower in Dubai will surpass the height of the Burj Khalifa but be the tallest structure in the UAE is because Saudi Arabia has a 1,000m-high Jeddah Tower in the works. Known as the ‘Kingdom Tower,’ this building is also expected to be ready by 2020, and will house residences, serviced apartments, a hotel and offices.

Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the building will be the first human-made structure to reach and breach the one-kilometre threshold when completed. The tower will also house the world’s highest observatory.


96 Legends Square (Colombo, Sri Lanka)

A complex encompassing the residential, business, shopping and recreational spheres, 96 Legends Square is under construction and slated for completion by 2019. Formerly known as the 96 Iconic Tower, the building has been designed to commem-orate Sri Lanka’s historic victory at the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1996.

Designed by architects Avant Garde Urban Design Partnership in collaboration with ARK Architects, the tower will soar to a height of 383m making it Sri Lanka’s tallest building when completed.


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