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## Famous Skyscrapers

Architectural design has progressed to a phenomenal stage where every modern city wants to boast of having one of the tallest buildings. While the criteria that define the tallest buildings or skyscrapers vary widely, below are listed ten of the most popular architectural marvels of our time.

Empire State Building

A world famous New York landmark and skyscraper, it rises about a quarter of a mile into the sky above the island of Manhattan. The observatory is on the 86th floor, 1,050 feet above the ground and offers the most spectacular and panoramic view of Manhattan and beyond from inside a glass-enclosed pavilion. Apart from the observatory, there are many tourist attractions, including restaurants, shops and banks. It also owns and operates the New York SKYRIDE simulated helicopter ride and independent virtual-reality movie theater. William Lamb, an architect at Shreve, Lamb and Harmon was selected to design the Empire State Building in 1930.

Petronas Towers

The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lampur claim to be the tallest twin towers of the 20th century, standing at a height of 1483 feet. They were designed by architect Cesar Pelli and completed in 1998. The 88-story towers are constructed mainly of concrete, with a steel and glass facade that resembles motifs found in Islamic art, which is a reflection of Malaysia’s Muslim religion. Between the towers on the 41st and 42nd floors is a sky bridge that is 170 m high and 58 m long.

Sears Tower

Architect Bruce Graham designed the Sears Tower in Chicago in 1974. With 1450 meters, and 110 floors, it is the tallest building in the United States of America. The construction system consists of a steel frame with a bronze glazed glass curtain wall. The Sears Tower Skydeck observation deck and tourist attraction is on the 103rd floor, 1,353 feet above the ground.

Bank of China Tower

Located in Hong Kong, in addition to being one of the world’s most famous skyscrapers, it is one of the most remarkable achievements of modern architecture. Construction began in 1985 and was completed in five years by architects IM Pei & Partners and Sherman Kung & Associates. Standing at 1,205 feet, the building is a set of four triangular glass and aluminum towers of varying heights, all rising from a single granite podium. The changes that rise from a square base to a single dome result in a brilliant surface of angles and profiles that reflect light and appear almost crystalline in composition. There is a sky deck on the 42nd floor that provides a panoramic view of North West Hong Kong.

Chrysler Building

Standing at 1,046 feet, it was considered an engineering marvel and the tallest building in 1931. However, it still remains the tallest brick building in the world. The tower is a beautiful stainless steel crown that supports the famous tower at its peak. The skyscraper Chrysler Building is a perfect example of Art Deco and has a lobby with different marble, onyx and amber.

Taipei 101

At a height of 1671 meters, this towering structure has surpassed everything and has become the tallest skyscraper today. Taipei 101 holds world records in three height categories of the Council on Tall Buildings and the Urban Environment: tallest to the top of the building, tallest to the roof, and tallest occupied floor. The 89th floor has an indoor observation deck while the 91st floor has an outdoor observation deck, known to be the highest in the world. The pagoda design of this building is inspired by traditional Chinese architecture. The split tower is also a symbol of the bamboo plant which represents strength, resistance and elegance. The tower’s design features are based on the number 8, which is considered lucky in Chinese culture.

Jin Mao building

This building in Shanghai shows the progress and development of the Chinese. It boasts of being the first tallest skyscraper in the country and the third tallest in the world. A great mix of East-West architecture it aptly defines Shanghai’s appearance as a modern global city. It follows the multipurpose model by offering retail at the base, offices above and the world’s tallest Grand Hyatt Hotel spanning 38 floors. The magnificently designed building combines elements of traditional Chinese architecture and a very Gothic influence.

Burj Al Arab

The Burj Al Arab rises to a height of 1053 feet, and is known as one of the tallest buildings in the world with a membranous surface, a 24 meter wide helipad. This is the tallest hotel building in the world and the design is influenced by the profile of an Arabian ship. Al Muntaha Restaurant is located 200 meters above the Persian Gulf and offers a panoramic view of Dubai while the atrium is at a height of 180 meters.

CN Tower

At a height of 1,815 feet, the CN Tower in Toronto is the tallest freestanding structure in the world. It is considered the signature symbol of the city and attracts almost two million visitors a year. The view from the observation deck with its outer glass floor, which is 342 meters above the ground, is as spectacular as it is exciting. There is also a 447 meter Space Deck, the world’s highest observation deck with a 160 km view and a 360 Degree revolving Restaurant.

Hancock Place

A reflective obelisk skyscraper in Boston is an architectural marvel. It is considered to be ‘magnificently icy’ with the surface changing as the day changes, each aspect reflecting the color of the sky it encounters. Moreover, this dramatic effect is highlighted by the parallelogram shape of the prism, which provides incredibly different reflections on adjacent surfaces.

The architectural structures mentioned above are famous creations and today are truly considered architectural masterpieces.

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