Most of the tallest skyscrapers in the world are located right here in Asia, with the tallest of them being in Dubai. The current record holder, Burj Khalifa, succeeded Taipei 101 in 2010, the latter took over the tallest building in the world record from Malaysia’s Petronas Twin Towers in 2004. More skyscrapers have since topped the latter two but Burj Khalifa, being a ‘megatall’-certified building, is only expected to be surpassed in 2020 by the Jeddah Tower, currently being built in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Planning to visit these superstructures that stand at dizzying heights? Here are some of the must-visit skyscrapers in Asia:
Burj Khalifa (United Arab Emirates)
(Photo source: deartravel.ru)
Standing at 2,715 feet high, this megatall skyscraper, located in the new development called Downtown Dubai in the populous city of Dubai, is currently the tallest building in the world. It is designed by Adrian Smith, who was then part of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the firm responsible of designing One World Trade Center and the Willis Tower. Named after Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi, features of the tower include The Dubai Fountain, a 900 feet long fountain with 6,600 lights and 50 coloured projectors; At The Top, an observation deck located on the 124th floor; a 304-room Armani Hotel and more. It is also a popular spot for BASE jumpers.
Pop culture mentions: Hollywood disaster movie “Independence Day: Resurgence” (2016), the impressive leaping stunt in “Fast and Furious 7” (2015), Tom Cruise-starrer “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” (2011)
Taipei 101 (Taiwan)
(Photo source: digitalmode.net)
Formerly known as Taipei World Financial Center, the tower stands 101 floors above ground with 5 more floors located at the basement levels. The 1,671 feet postmodern structure is located in Xinyi District, Taipei. Since Taiwan is often hit by earthquakes, it is built to withstand the typhoon winds and earthquake tremors. The double-paned and glazed blue-green glass curtain walls can withstand up to 95 millimeters of seismic lateral displacements. The tower is also certified as the tallest green building in the world, since 20 to 30 percent of its water needs can be met by the roof and façade’s recycled water system. Each evening from 6 to 10pm, the tower’s lights display either the colour red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet or purple, depending on the day (starting with red on Monday).
Pop culture mention: Scarlett Johansson-starrer “Lucy” (2014)
Tokyo Sky Tree (Japan)
(Photo source: mistersuite.com)
Currently the tallest tower in the world (‘tower’ here defined as a tall man-made structure that is taller than it is wide and used for regular operational access by humans but not for occupancy or office work), tis steel tower is also the second tallest structure in the world after Burj Khalifa. Antenna spire included, it stands at 2080 feet. Located in Sumida, Tokyo, it is used for both television and radio broadcasting. During the night, LED lights illuminates two alternating patterns, Iki or chic, stylish sky blue and Miyabi, which means elegance and refinement, purple. The patterns alternate daily. Like the previous entry, this tower is also designed to withstand earthquakes. Other features of the towers include a restaurant and an observation deck with a spiral, glass-covered skywalk.
Pop culture mention: It has yet to appear in feature films but it often crops up in photographs due to it being a popular photo-taking spot.
Shanghai Tower (China)
(Photo source: ibtimes.co.uk)
This megatall building located in Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai, is the second tallest building in the world, with a height of 2,073 feet. Though opened to the public in 2015, its observation deck was only opened in July this year. This deck, however, bested the height of even Burj Khalifa’s observation deck, located at 561 meters as opposed to the latter’s 555.70 meters. Being the newest on this list, not much has taken place at the tower. 2014 did prove to be an eventful year for the then under construction building, as it was a popular spot for urban exploration. In February that year, two Russian urban explorers climbed on top and released footage taken from the top. Two months later, a Malaysian photographer did a similar feat, except his was for photography.
Pop culture mention: Too relatively new to appear in any pop culture fodder yet.
Petronas Twin Towers (Malaysia)
(Photo source: cholontourist.com.vn)
They may no longer be the tallest buildings in the world (a record they held from 1998 to 2004) but they are still the tallest twin towers at 1,483 feet. Located at Malaysia’s national capital’s Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), the postmodern style architecture was a design by Argentine architect Cesar Pelli. One distinction the towers still hold over other looming structures is the fact that they hold the record for the world’s deepest foundation. Attractions at the towers include the Skybridge, which connects the 41st and 42nd floors, making this the highest 2-story bridge in the world; KLCC Park, where at night lights shows are held at the fountain; and Suria KLCC, where shoppers can splurge on high end brands.
Pop culture mentions: Hollywood movie “Independence Day: Resurgence” (2016), Hong-Kong Chinese movie “Viral Factor” (2012), Bollywood movie “Don: The Chase Begins Again” (2006), animated series “Totally Spies” and “Phineas and Ferb”