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Most iconic buildings in the world

Last updated on: October 15, 2013 14:35 IST

Most iconic buildings in the world

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Buildings define a city’s skyline. There are times when you see a building and it represent a place for you. If you look at Petronas Twin Tower, can’t help but think of Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia.

Such buildings are not only prime properties but also popular tourist attraction. In fact, some governments built tall buildings to attract tourists, get international recognition and in turn, investments.

Let’s look at the most iconic buildings in the world.

Source: CNN

Hotel & Casino Grand Lisboa

Location: Macau

Type: Hotel

Height: 856 ft

Floors: 52

The Grand Lisboa is the tallest building in Macau and the 118th Tallest Building in the World. The casino offers 800 mass gaming tables and 1000 slot machines. The hotel contains 430 hotel rooms and suites.

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Photographs: WiNG/Wikimedia Commons

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Empire State Building

Location: New York, US

Type: Commercial

Height: 1,454 ft

Floors: 102

The name from the building is derived from the nickname for New York - the empire state. It was the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1970.

Empire State Building is considered an American cultural icon and has been named among the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

Construction on the building started in 1929 and was completed in 1931. It is presently owned by 2,800 investors, which are part of Empire State Building Associates L.L.C.

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Photographs: Jiuguang Wang/Wikimedia Commons

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China Central Television Headquarters

Location: Beijing, China

Type: Commercial

Height: 768 ft

Floors: 44

The tower serves as headquarters for China Central Television (CCTV). The construction started in 2004 and the building was completed in 2012.

Because of its radical shape, the building is nicknamed ‘big boxer shorts’.

The building was built in three buildings that were joined to become one and a half buildings, according to Wikipedia.

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Photographs: Cmglee/Wikimedia Commons

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Commerzbank Headquarters

Location: Frankfurt, Germany

Type: Commercial

Height: 849 ft

Floors: 56

It is the tallest building in Frankfurt and one of the tallest in the European Union. It’s construction started in 1994 and finished in 1997. It serves as headquarter for Commerzbank.

The building was constructed in steel and was the first building in Germany to use the metal.

According to Wikipedia, Commerzbank Tower is shaped as a 60 metres (197 ft) wide rounded equilateral triangle with a central, triangular atrium. At nine different levels, the atrium opens up to one of the three sides, forming large sky gardens.

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Photographs: Heidas/Wikimedia Commons

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The Shard

Location: London, UK

Type: Commercial

Height: 998 ft

Floors: 87

Formerly known as London Bridge Tower, this skyscraper forms the part of the London Bridge Quarter development.

Tallest building in the European Union, the construction of the Shard started in 2009 and it was open in February 2013.

The architecture is inspired by the railway lines that run close to the tower.

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Photographs: Mariordo/Wikimedia Commons

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Elephant Tower

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Type: Mixed use

Height: 335 ft

Floors: 32

Also called as Chang Building, it comprises of two office buildings, a residential tower, and features swimming pool, gardens, and even a mall.

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Photographs: Jarcje/Wikimedia Commons

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Chrysler Building, New York

Location: New York, US

Type: Commercial

Height: 925 ft

Floors: 77

This was the world’s tallest building for 11 months before the Empire State Building was constructed. The construction for this building started in 1928 and was completed in 1930.

The Chrysler Building is a classic example of Art Deco architecture and considered by many contemporary architects to be one of the finest buildings in New York City, according to Wikipedia.

In 2007, it was ranked ninth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.

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Photographs: Misterweiss/Wikimedia Commons

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Bitexco Financial Tower

Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Type: Mixed use

Height: 861 ft

Floors: 68

The building is owned by Bitexco Group, a Vietnamese company. Architect Carlos Zapata, the creative mastermind behind tower, drew inspiration from Vietnam’s national flower, the Lotus.

It has a shopping mall, offices and also a restaurant.

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Photographs: Ngo Trung/Wikimedia Commons

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Ryugyong Hotel

Location: Pyongyang, North Korea

Type: Hotel

Height: 1,082.7 ft

Floors: 105

The building is known by many names. Translated in English, the name Ryugyong means capital of willows and is also referred to as 105 buildings because of the number of floors in it.

The construction of this building started in 1987 but was halted in 1992 when North Korea faced economic crisis. In 2008, the construction resumed and the exterior was completed in 2012.

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Photographs: Joseph Ferris/Wikimedia Commons

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Transamerica Pyramid

Location: San Francisco, US

Type: Commercial

Height: 850 ft

Floors: 48

Transamerica Pyramid is the tallest building in San Francisco. Initially, Transamerica Corporation has made the building its headquarters. But the company has now moved out of the building and the headquarters is now located in Baltimore.

Construction on the building started in 1969 and was completed in 1972. In 1999 Dutch insurance company Aegon acquired Transamerica and sold the tower to GE Capital after using it for a while.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Transamerica Corporation

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Bank of China Tower

Location: Hong Kong

Type: Commercial

Height: 1,033.5 ft

Floors: 72

The building is one of the most recognisable structure in Admiralty and is the headquarter of Bank of China (Hong Kong).

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Photographs: WiNG/Wikimedia Commons

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Kingdom Centre

Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Type: Mixed use

Height: 991.80 ft

Floors: 99

Kingdom Centre is the second tallest building in the country. Besides the shopping mall, Kingdom Tower contains the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh and state-of-the-art apartments.

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Photographs: King Eliot/Wikimedia Commons

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Petronas Twin Towers

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Type: Commercial

Height: 1,242 ft

Floors: 88

This the corporate headquarter of Petronas but a number of companies have offices in the Tower Two, including Huawei Technologies, AVEVA, and Al Jazeera English.

It had been the tallest building in the world from 1998 to 2004 until surpassed by Taipei 101. Until date, Petronas Twin Towers are the tallest twin towers in the world.

The builds have also remained landmark for the city if Kuala Lumpur.

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Photographs: Someformofhuman/Wikimedia Commons

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Tokyo Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Type: Educational facility

Height: 669 ft

Floors: 50

The building is home to three educational institutions including Tokyo Mode Gakuen (fashion vocational school), HAL Tokyo (special technology and design college), and Shuto Ikō (medical college).

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Photographs: Wiiii/Wikimedia Commons

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Shanghai World Financial Center

Location: Shanghai, China

Type: Mixed use

Height: 1,599.1 ft

Floors: 101

It is a mixed-use skyscraper, consisting of offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and ground-floor shopping malls. Park Hyatt Shanghai is the tower's hotel component, comprising 174 rooms and suites.

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Photographs: Fastily/Wikimedia Commons

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Bahrain World Trade Center

Location: Manama, Bahrain

Type: Commercial

Height: 787 ft

Floors: 50

The twin towers were built in 2008 by the architectural firm Atkins. It is the first skyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design.

It currently ranks as the second-tallest building in Bahrain, after the twin towers of the Bahrain Financial Harbour. The project has received several awards for sustainability.

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Photographs: Conor McCabe/Wikimedia Commons

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Two International Finance Center (2IFC)

Location: Hong Kong

Type: Commercial

Height: 1,335.3 ft

Floors: 88

The building is part of the integrated development. According to Wikipedia, IFC consists of two skyscrapers, the IFC Mall, and the 55-storey Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. Tower 2 is the second tallest building in Hong Kong.

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Photographs: WiNG/Wikimedia Commons

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Burj al Arab

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Type: Hotel

Height: 1,053 ft

Floors: 60

This is the fourth tallest hotel in the world though 39 per cent of its total height cannot be occupied. The building stands on an artificial island and is accessible by a bridge.

It was built to resemble the sail of a dhow, a type of Arabian vessel. Two "wings" spread in a V to form a vast "mast", while the space between them is enclosed in a massive atrium, according to Wikipedia.

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Photographs: Joi Ito/Wikimedia Commons

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Taipei 101

Location: Taipei, Taiwan

Type: Commercial

Height: 1,473.8 ft

Floors: 101

The building was architecturally created as a symbol of the evolution of technology. It was the tallest building in the world from 2004 to 2010 when Burj Khalifa surpassed it. It is also the tallest green building in the world that was awarded awarded LEED Platinum certification.

The tower has served as an icon of modern Taiwan ever since its opening. Fireworks launched from Taipei 101 feature prominently in international New Year's Eve broadcasts.

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Photographs: GREG/Wikimedia Commons

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Torre Agbar, Barcelona

Location: Spain

Type: Commercial

Height: 473.88 ft

Floors: 33

The multinational group Agbar owns the building and has its headquarter in Torre Agbar. The company takes up most of the office and a small portion is rented out.

The building was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and Spanish firm b720 Fermin Vazquez Arquitectos.

The shape of the building is inspired by a mountain near Barcelona called Montserrat and by the shape of a geyser rising into the air.

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Photographs: Diliff/Wikimedia Commons

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Burj Khalifa

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Type: Mixed-use

Height: 2,717 ft

Floors: 163

Burj Khalifa is the tallest man-made structure in the world. The building is part of a large-scale development called Dubai Downtown that features 30,000 homes, nine hotels parkland, at least 19 residential towers, the Dubai Mall, and the 30-acre man-made Burj Khalifa Lake.

The structure came into existence as the country wanted to diversify from an oil based economy to one that is service and tourism based. The government thought it was necessary to build projects like Burj Khalifa to get more tourists and get international recognition.

The building features a designer hotel, designer residences, sky lobby, corporate suites and an observatory.

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Photographs: Nicolas Lannuzel/Wikimedia Commons

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30 St. Mary Axe

Location: London

Type: Commercial

Height: 591 ft

Floors: 41

Also known as the Gherkin, the building has become an iconic symbol of London. It is one of the city's most widely recognised examples of modern architecture.

The building stands on the former site of the Baltic Exchange, the headquarters of a global marketplace for ship sales and shipping information.

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Photographs: Aurelien Guichard/Wikimedia Commons

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Turning Torso, Malmo

Location: Sweden

Type: Mixed-use

Height: 623 ft

Floors: 54

The tallest structure in Sweden, turning Torso features 147 apartments, lounge, spa, gym, and a wine cellar.

The design of the building is based on a sculpture called Twisting Torso created by Santiago Calatrava.

The lower floors of the building have office and the upper floors have residential units.

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Photographs: Mirko Junge/Wikimedia Commons

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One World Trade Center

Location: New York, US

Type: Commercial

Height: 1,368 ft

Floors: 104

Formerly known as the Freedom Tower, this is the primary building of the new World Trade Centre complex.

The construction is part of an effort to memorialise and rebuild following the destruction of the original World Trade Center complex during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, according to Wikipedia.

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Photographs: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons

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Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Location: Singapore

Type: Hotel

Height: 804

Floors: 70

Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort that had a casino. Developed by the Las Vegas Sands, it is considered as the most expensive casino property valued at $8 billion (including cost of the land).

The building features a 2,561-room hotel, a 1.3 million sq ft convention-exhibition centre, a mall, a museum, two large theatres, seven celebrity chef restaurants, an ice skating rink, and the world's largest atrium casino with almost 500 tables and over 2,500 slot machines.


Photographs: Someformofhuman/Wikimedia Commons

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