Asia-Pacific News

Celebrating World Skyscraper Day: Asia's tallest buildings

China Daily USA | Twitter

Most of us enjoy the view of, or from, an amazing skyscraper - and there is no where better to do it than in Asia, home to some of the tallest and most elaborately designed buildings of our time.

So, in commemoration of World Skyscraper Day - held on September 3 to mark the birthday of U.S. architect Louis H. Sullivan, who is credited with designing the first modern skyscrapers more than a 100 years ago - we bring to you Asia's finest skyscrapers, as well as a glimpse some soon-to-be-unveiled superstructures.

— by CNBC.com Staff
Posted 3 September 2015

International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong

Ian Trower | Getty Images

Located in West Kowloon, Hong Kong, the International Commerce Centre (ICC) is a 108-storey skyscraper, built in 2010 on top of Kowloon Train Station.

Standing at 1,588 feet (484 meters), ICC houses prominent financial institutions as well as the world's "highest hotel", The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong.

Not only is the ICC the tallest building in the country, it also has the world's highest swimming pool and cocktail lounge, located on the highest floor.


Shanghai World Financial Centre, China

Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

China's tallest skyscraper, the Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) symbolizes the mix of commerce and culture that helped the city emerge as a global financial capital.

The skyscraper measures 1,622 feet (494.3 meters). It is shaped by the intersection of two sweeping arcs and a square prism, representing ancient Chinese symbols of heaven and earth.

A mini replica of the SWFC is displayed in a park, in the Jing'an District of Shanghai, along with almost a 100 miniature copies of other landmark skyscrapers in China.

Taipei 101, Taiwan

Craig Ferguson | LightRocket | Getty Images

At 1,667 feet (508 meters), the Taipei 101 towers over the Xinyi District of Taipei and is the tallest skyscraper in the Asia-Pacific region.

Taipei 101 was awarded a LEED Platinum certification for Operations and Maintenance in 2011, an impressive feat considering its colossal size and complexity.

The skyscraper is a central component of New Year's celebrations in the country — all of the skyscraper's lights are turned off and each of the stack modules light up in sequential order, counting down before the New Year, followed by fireworks.

Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, Saudi Arabia

Fayez Nureldine | AFP | Getty Images

Situated at the heart of the holiest Islamic city, the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel offers Mecca's fanciest accommodation.

This 1,972 feet-high (601 meters) skyscraper is adjacent to the Grand Mosque, which can accommodate up to two million worshippers during the Hajj period.

The four colossal clocks mounted near the tower hold the record for both the largest and highest in the world. At night, the clock faces are illuminated by one million LED lights that transform the tower into a green and white beacon. Tipping the tower is a crescent made of fiberglass-backed gold mosaic, which weighs up to 35 tons.

Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates

Henglein And Steets | Getty Images

The Burj Khalifa holds the current record for the tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at 2,717 feet (828 meters). Situated in the still-developing Downtown Dubai neighborhood in the heart of the city, the tower was completed in 2010.

The building has over 160 stories of office space, hotels, and residential apartments, as well as the world's tallest service elevator. There are more than 1,000 pieces of art from prominent Middle Eastern and international artists on display.

Owned by Dubai-based real estate developer Emaar Properties, the Burj Khalifa was designed by renowned American architect Adrian D. Smith.

MahaNakhon Tower, Thailand

Pace Development Corporation

Still under construction, the MahaNakhon is located at the heart of Bangkok's Central Business District.

The most noticeable feature of the building is its unique design, envisioned by a team that includes famed German architect Ole Scheeren, that aims to give it a "pixelated" appearance in the sky.

The MahaNakhon towers over the Bangkok skyline at 1,030 feet (314 meters) above ground, and will become the tallest skyscraper in Thailand completed. The building will house hotels, retail outlets, as well as luxury apartments such as the Ritz-Carlton Residences.

Shanghai Tower, China

Andy Brandl | Getty Images

Standing at 2,073 feet (632 meters), in the heart of Shanghai's Lujiazui financial district, the Shanghai Tower will be the tallest building in China and second in the world, behind the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, when complete.

The tower was designed by a team of architects from the American firm Gensler. Once fully operational, the state-of-the-art building will house a mix of commercial outlets, office spaces, and hotels.

Construction for the tower began in 2008 and it is set to open to the public later this year.