Since the first modern skyscraper rose ten stories above the Chicago skyline in 1884, towers have reached new heights, breaking records as they go. In the last two decades especially, structural advancements and innovative construction techniques have allowed architects’ imaginations to take flight. These projects serve as landmarks on skylines, showcasing ambition through striking design. Architectural Digest’s list of the 31 most beautiful skyscrapers in the world looks at the most successful of these supertalls.
The first KPF-designed project on the list is the Shanghai World Financial Center, the world’s 2nd tallest tower upon completion in 2008 (now 12th). The tower slightly tapers as the levels increase, culminating in a square sky portal in the building’s crown, which hosts an immersive observation experience on the 100th floor. In addition to office and retail programming, the project is home to the Park Hyatt Shanghai.
Also in China, Shenzhen’s China Resources Tower was included for its bamboo-inspired form. Completed in 2018, the 1,288-foot-tall tower tapers as it rises, an effect that’s facilitated by 56 exterior steel columns that allow column-free interiors. The article notes the conical, cathedral-like space in the building’s crown, which allows guests the rare opportunity to occupy a tower at its absolute highest point.
The third KPF project on the list is Lotte World Tower in Seoul. The world’s sixth tallest tower comprises 123 stories and includes the Lotte Hotel, office, residential units for office tenants, and an observation deck and outdoor attraction for thrill seekers, along with connection to the Lotte World Mall. The design takes inspiration from Korean ceramics, through an uninterrupted curvature and gentle tapered form.
Read the full article from Architectural Digest here.