Steel has allowed mankind to reach the skies like never before, and since the first metal-framed tall building in the late 19th century, skyscrapers have grown to become more than just functional and efficient uses of land, but statements of prosperity, ingenuity and artistic expression.
As true fans of all things steel, we have compiled a short list of a few of the tallest, weirdest and more beautiful skyscrapers in the world today. This is by no means a complete list (as that would be a very long list!), but we feel that these buildings certainly deserve some recognition.
Evolution Tower – Russia
This 55 story spiralling monument towers a whopping 256 metres from the ground whilst rotating more than 150 degrees to give it a surreal, twisted appearance.
Burj Khalifa – UAE
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world today. Reaching 828m into the skies above Dubai, this building looks like something out of a science-fiction film. Its multiple towers make the Burj Khalifa look more like a stack of smaller skyscapers than one big one, which makes the building even more impressive against the stark desert backdrop.
Shanghai Tower – China
As the second tallest skyscraper in the world, the 632m tall Shangai Tower holds three Guinness World Records; one for the fastest lift which travels an insane 20.5 metres per second, another for the tallest elevator and another for the fastest double-deck elevator. The Shanghai Tower boasts more than just a fancy elevator, its 128 stories accommodates around 16,000 people each day and offers more than 4 million square feet of floor space.
Umeda Sky Building – Japan
The Umeda Sky Building is a building that looks more like shiny Lego than real life. Its twin towers, each reaching 40 storeys high, are connected at the top with what they call a “floating garden”. The shiny glass exterior makes it look strikingly different depending on the weather and the time of day, giving variety to the Osaka skyline.
Aqua – USA
The Aqua building in Chicago is a true work of art due to its balconies that jut out from the face of the building. Depending on how you interpret the curves of the Aqua, it may look like waves on the ocean, a landscape scattered with lakes, a sandy beach or something else entirely! Not matter how you interpret this beautiful building; it certainly looks more organic than your average skyscraper.
The Shard - UK
As the tallest building in the UK, The Shard stands 310m high in the heart of London, and due to it’s sharp, elegant design, The Shard resembles something like ice or crystal emerging from the River Thames. The Shard boasts impressive energy-efficiency, using natural gas to generate both heat and power, which makes it as clean running as it is clean looking.