Iconic Building

Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea

Standing out against the Pyongyang skyline like a giant, unfinished pyramid is the Ryugyong Hotel – a building masked in mystery and holding an unusual world record: the tallest unoccupied building in the world. Nicknamed the ""Hotel of Doom"" due to its abandoned state and uncertain future, the Ryugyong Hotel has become an intriguing landmark that sparks curiosity around the globe. At 105 stories, it's a dominating presence on the Pyongyang skyline. The original plan for 3,000 rooms would have made it one of the largest hotels in the world. Construction of the Ryugyong Hotel began in 1987 with ambitious plans. The goal was to create a world-class hotel boasting a staggering 3,000 rooms and featuring five innovative revolving restaurants, offering guests a unique dining experience while taking in panoramic views of the city. The planned completion date was just two years later in 1989, but history had other plans. The early 1990s brought economic hardship to North Korea, forcing a ...

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Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea

Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea, is a 555-metre tall, 123-story skyscraper developed by the Lotte Group, one of South Korea's largest business conglomerates. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, it is the tallest building on the Korean Peninsula and the 5th tallest globally, offering a mix of functions including offices, a luxury hotel, retail spaces, and observation decks. The tower's sleek, tapered design stands out against Seoul's mountainous backdrop, with a unique double-deck elevator system that provides a virtual journey through the city's landmarks during the 60-second ride to the top. The tower's top floors house observation decks, a glass skywalk, and a rooftop bar, offering panoramic views of the city. Lotte World Tower's design incorporates elements inspired by traditional Korean arts, blending modern aesthetics with cultural heritage. The tower's eco-friendly features, such as solar energy collection and rainwater recycling, contribute to its LEED Gold certification, emp ...

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Istanbul Sapphire, Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul Sapphire is a 261-meter tall skyscraper in Istanbul, Turkey, completed in 2010. Designed by Tabanlıoğlu Architects, it features a unique double-shell facade with private gardens and terraces between the layers. The building includes residential units, a shopping mall, and communal living areas every nine floors with amenities like a mini golf course and swimming pool. Istanbul Sapphire's innovative design blends modern architecture with traditional Turkish elements, offering a community-oriented living experience. Fun fact: Istanbul Sapphire's glass facade appears to get narrower as it rises, creating a striking visual effect. ...

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Shanghai World Financial Centre, Shanghai, China

The Shanghai World Financial Center, a towering architectural marvel in Shanghai, stands as a testament to innovation and progress. With an investment exceeding $1 billion, this skyscraper offers more than just height, housing corporate offices, luxury hotels, upscale retail spaces, and an awe-inspiring observation deck. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, its fusion of functionality and aesthetics is evident in the distinctive trapezoidal aperture that reduces wind pressure. The sleek glass façade incorporates cutting-edge energy-saving technologies, emphasizing sustainability while embracing traditional Chinese design elements. Advanced engineering solutions like a tuned mass damper ensure structural stability in the face of the city's gusty winds. Symbolizing Shanghai's rich cultural heritage and modernity, the SWFC epitomizes the city's rise as a global financial hub, showcasing ambition and resilience in shaping the urban landscape of tomorrow. Fun Fact: The Shanghai World ...

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30 St Mary Axe, London, UK

30 St Mary Axe, fondly known as 'The Gherkin,' stands as an architectural marvel in the heart of London's financial district. Designed by Norman Foster and Arup Group, this iconic skyscraper redefined the city's skyline with its unique egg-shaped design and energy-efficient features. Completed in just 3 years at a cost of approximately £138 million, The Gherkin's sleek glass facade rises 180 meters into the sky, housing 41 floors of office space. Though not the tallest in London, The Gherkin remains an emblem of modern architecture and sustainability. Its innovative design incorporates a diagrid structural system, reducing the need for internal support columns and maximizing floor space for tenants. The Gherkin's construction utilized advanced building materials and technologies to achieve remarkable energy efficiency, earning it the prestigious reputation of being one of the most environmentally friendly skyscrapers in the world. Fun Fact: The distinctive shape of The Gherkin not ...

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Turning Torso, Malmo, Sweden

Turning Torso in Malmo, Sweden, is far from your ordinary skyscraper. Standing as a testament to modern architectural brilliance, this iconic structure is a true marvel in the heart of Scandinavia. Designed by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, Turning Torso defies convention with its twisting form, resembling a spiraling sculpture reaching for the sky. Rising 190 meters above the city, Turning Torso's unique design captures the imagination, with nine segments rotating a full 90 degrees from base to crown. This dynamic rotation creates an elegant and organic silhouette that sets Turning Torso apart from traditional skyscrapers. While it may not hold the title of the tallest building in Sweden, Turning Torso remains an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of Malmo's progressive spirit. Its striking presence on the skyline serves as a beacon of innovation and creativity, drawing admirers from around the world. Visitors to Malmo are captivated by Turning Torso's g ...

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Hotel & Casino Grand Lisboa, Macau

Hotel & Casino Grand Lisboa in Macau isn't your typical luxury destination. Once hailed as an architectural masterpiece, it stands as a towering icon amidst the vibrant streets of Macau. Constructed in a relatively short period, this extravagant complex was brought to life by the visionary architects at Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects & Engineers (HK) Ltd., renowned for their innovative designs that redefine the city's skyline. Soaring high above the bustling cityscape, the Grand Lisboa's distinctive lotus-inspired structure commands attention with its bold silhouette and shimmering golden façade, making it an unmistakable landmark in Macau's skyline. Although it may no longer hold the title of the tallest building in Macau, the Grand Lisboa remains a symbol of extravagance and opulence in the region. Visitors flock to its grand halls and lavish casino floors, where luxury and entertainment converge to create an unforgettable experience. The Grand Lisboa's architectural grandeu ...

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Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, Tokyo, Japan

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower in Tokyo is not your average educational facility. Once heralded as an architectural marvel, it stands tall and proud in Tokyo's bustling skyline. Constructed in a remarkably short span of time, this futuristic tower was brought to life by the innovative minds at Tange Associates, a renowned architectural firm known for pushing the boundaries of design. Rising 204 meters above ground, the tower's cocoon-like structure is a testament to Tokyo's cutting-edge design ethos. Its striking silhouette, with undulating curves and reflective glass façade, embodies the spirit of innovation and creativity synonymous with the city. While it may not hold the title of the tallest building, Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower remains a symbol of Tokyo's forward-thinking approach to education and architecture. Students and visitors alike are drawn to its iconic design, which houses state-of-the-art educational facilities and offers stunning panoramic views of the city skyline. The tow ...

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Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong

The Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong is far from your average office building. Once holding the title of the world's tallest building, this architectural masterpiece stands as a testament to Hong Kong's skyline. Constructed in a remarkably short period and at a cost of USD 175 million, this tower was designed by the renowned architect I.M. Pei, known for his iconic designs around the world. The tower's unique structural design, featuring triangular patterns symbolizing prosperity, has made it an architectural marvel admired globally. Though it no longer holds the title of the world's tallest, the Bank of China Tower remains an indelible symbol of Hong Kong's financial prowess. Visitors flock to its observation deck to take in panoramic views of the cityscape. The tower's sheer weight is staggering, equivalent to thousands of city buses, and its towering height of 1,205 feet is a defining feature of Hong Kong's skyline. A fascinating tidbit about the Bank of China Tower is that, on cl ...

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China Central Television Headquarters, Beijing, China

The China Central Television Headquarters, often referred to as CCTV Headquarters, is no ordinary office building. Holding the title of the world's tallest building for a significant period, this Beijing marvel stands as a symbol of architectural innovation. Constructed in a mere 3 years at a cost of USD 175 million, this masterpiece was designed by the renowned architectural firm OMA, led by Rem Koolhaas. The building's iconic form consists of two leaning towers connected by a horizontal structure, creating a bold and futuristic silhouette that dominates the skyline. Although it's no longer the tallest building globally, the CCTV Headquarters remains an iconic landmark in Beijing. Visitors flock to its observation deck, where they can enjoy breathtaking views of the cityscape. The sheer scale of the building is staggering, weighing equivalent to thousands of city buses. At a towering height of 1,729 feet, it stands as a testament to China's architectural prowess and ambition. A fasc ...

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Chrysler Building, New York, US

The Chrysler Building, an emblem of Art Deco elegance, stands as an architectural gem in the heart of New York City. Once hailed as the tallest building in the world, this iconic skyscraper was completed in a remarkable 410 days, setting a new standard for efficiency in construction. Designed by architect William Van Alen, the Chrysler Building's distinctive silhouette rises to a height of 1,046 feet, adorned with gleaming stainless steel spires that culminate in a breathtaking crown. While it may no longer hold the title of the tallest, the Chrysler Building remains an indelible part of the Manhattan skyline. Visitors are drawn to its lobby, adorned with intricate Art Deco motifs, and the observation deck, offering panoramic views of the bustling city below. The craftsmanship of the Chrysler Building is unparalleled – it boasts over 29,000 tons of steel and 3,826,000 bricks meticulously assembled to create its iconic form. Additionally, its lobby features lavish materials such as ...

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Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

The Burj Khalifa, once crowned as the tallest building in the world, stands as a testament to Dubai's ambition and innovation. Holding the record for the tallest structure ever built, this architectural masterpiece was constructed in a mere six years at a cost of approximately USD 1.5 billion. Designed by the renowned architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Burj Khalifa's sleek, tapering silhouette pierces the sky, reaching a staggering height of 2,717 feet with 163 floors. Burj Khalifa is an iconic symbol of Dubai's skyline. Visitors flock to the observation decks on the upper floors, where they can marvel at panoramic views of the city and beyond. The sheer magnitude of the Burj Khalifa is awe-inspiring – it weighs approximately 500,000 tons, equivalent to around 100,000 elephants. Additionally, its exterior is adorned with thousands of glass panels, reflecting the sunlight and creating a shimmering effect. Fun Fact: From the observation deck, visitors can witness bre ...

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Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China

The Shanghai Tower, once hailed as the tallest building in China and the second-tallest in the world, is no ordinary skyscraper. It reigned over Shanghai's skyline as a monumental symbol of progress and innovation. Constructed in just seven years for an estimated cost of USD 2.4 billion, this architectural marvel was designed by the renowned firm Gensler, known for its cutting-edge designs. The tower's unique spiral shape, with 128 floors reaching a height of 2,073 feet, was inspired by the traditional Chinese pagoda and symbolizes harmony and unity. Despite being surpassed in height, the Shanghai Tower remains an iconic landmark of Shanghai. Visitors flock to the observation deck, where they can enjoy breathtaking views of the cityscape and the Huangpu River. The weight of the Shanghai Tower is astounding – equivalent to approximately 580,000 metric tons of steel. Additionally, the tower's double-decker elevators can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, whisking visitors to th ...

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