Offices are the canopies of our concrete jungle, and while we marvel at the towers which border our cities, the more incredible industrial giants are scattered all over the world.
The tallest in the world is recorded at 2723 ft, is the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai. The construction began in September 2004 with its official openning in January 2010. It was built originally for the private use of the CEO of Emaar, a holding company, and the chairman of the project’s development. It is located in “Downtown Dubai” near the main business district.
Taipei 101 held the number one spot until Burj Khalifa stole its crown. Formerly known as Taipei World Financial Center, it stands at 1667 ft. It was awarded the LEED (Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design) and became the tallest green building worldwide. It is known as the icon of modern Taiwan since its construction and appears often in international and travel media.
Shanghai World Financial Center is officially the third tallest building in the world, ever since Taipei 101’s birth. With offices reaching up to the 77th floor, and 1614 ft tall, it offers the workers some of the most incredible views of the city. As a mixed use building, it holds space for hotels, conference rooms, observation decks and shopping malls in the ground floor. It was credited by architects for being the 2008’s best completed skyscraper.
At number four, at 1588 ft tall, The International Commerce Center is the heart and soul of Hong Kong’s financial district, as well as being the tallest building in the city. Investment banks from all over the world, such as Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, favour ICC as the representative headquarters in the country. It was completed in 2010 and originally known as Union Square Phase 7. It opened in 2011.
The Petronas Towers, known also as the Petronas Twin Towers, are the landmarks of Kuala Lumpur. They were the tallest towers in the world from 1998 to 2004 until Taipei 101’s construction. Construction began in March 1993 and was completed in April the following year. Made mostly of reinforced concrete, the building holds a glass and steel façade – holding resemblance to designs seen in Islamic art – to reflect Malaysia’s Muslim religion. At 1483ft, and ranking number five in the world’s tallest buildings, they are no less impressive by design and function.
The Zifeng Tower in Nanjing, China makes quite an impression compared to the surrounding buildings. At 1476 ft, and resembling something similar to that of mutant Tetris blocks, the strange design is apparently a functional use to keep the towers’ numerous uses separate. As China’s third tallest tower, it holds offices, hotels, shopping malls and restaurants completely composed in one complex.
In at number seven is Willis Tower of Chicago. Formerly named and still referred to as Sears Tower, it is the tallest building in America. It had previously held the title of the tallest building in the world after its completion in 1973 – holding that reputation for almost 25 years. It is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in the States, and over one million people visit the observation deck every year. The renaming in 2009 was due to the London based insurance broker – Willis Group Holdings – leasing a part of the building and so gaining the right to change the name.
The Kingkey 100, at 1448 ft in Shenzhen, may not have the most professional names but it appears as professional as the others. It was formerly known as Kingkey Finance Center Plaza, and sat quite at home in the financial district of Luohu. Similar to most other buildings, it is of mixed use; 100 floors for office spaces, a business hotel and the top four floors host a garden and several restaurants. The lower level holds the KK mall, which also hosts Shenzhen’s first IMAX cinema. It currently ranks the tallest building in the city.
The Guangzhou International Finance Center comes in at number nine at 1439 ft. The construction, designed by Wilkinson Eyre, opened eyes in 2005 following its completion in 2010. It has the multi-use of a conference centre, hotel and an office building, as well as floors holding mechanical equipment and being used as observation decks. The tower was known beforehand as the Guangzhou West Tower, relating to the project of the sister east tower which would have been taller, however the project was awarded to a different designer. In the world of architecture, it is a very visually pleasing creation.
Lastly, but no means least, comes the baby of the industrial giants. Shanghai’s second competitor, the Jin Mao Tower (literally translating to “Golden Prosperity Building”), stands at 1380 ft. Set right next to the World Finance Center, it’s probably like looking onto two siblings staring each other out. These offices still offer some of the most amazing views in the world. It holds offices, the Hyatt hotel and until 2007 it was the tallest building in the PRC. It is created by advanced designs to stand against the wild weather of China, fortifying against typhoon winds of up to 200 km per hour and in-built shock absorbers to cushion forces enforced by earthquakes.