Top 10 best buildings in the world

5 min


10 award-winning skyscrapers from around the world that show height isn’t all that matters

1a. MGM Cotai Exterior_(c)H.G. Esch_Courtesy of KPF
The Emporis Skyscraper Awards just announced its 2019 winners.
  • Emporis, a database for building and construction projects, has hosted an annual Skyscraper Awards since 2000.
  • It just announced the top 10 skyscrapers for 2019, which were picked by a jury of architecture experts from around the world.
  • The buildings had to be a minimum of 328 feet tall (100 meters). Close to 500 buildings were considered.
  • The MGM Cotai skyscraper in Macau, China, topped the list because of its unique stacked look inspired by Chinese jewelry boxes.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Skyscrapers usually conjure images of tall, thin structures – but the newest developments in architecture are proving that’s not always the reality.

The real estate research company Emporis conducts an annual Skyscraper Awards to celebrate the newest innovations in vertical design, and it just announced the top 10 buildings for 2019 after receiving close to 500 nominations.

Take a look at some of the most impressive skyscrapers in the world.

10. 414 Lightstreet Apartments in Baltimore, Maryland

This sleek skyscraper is an innovative apartment complex that rethinks vertical living.

It stands at 500 feet and features 44 stories, according to an Emporis press release. Inside the development, you will find 394 units, 11 of which are penthouses.

Architect Solomon Cordwell Buenzv drew inspiration from Baltimore’s historic skyline when designing the building, aiming to usher the city’s downtown into the modern era with his project, according to the 414 website.

9. China Zun in Beijing, China

China Zun is the tallest finalist on the list, measuring in at 1,732 feet. It’s also Beijing’s tallest skyscraper, according to the architecture website Dezeen.

With its curved design and dramatic height, China Zun is a focal point of the Beijing skyline.

The building was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox AssociatesTFP Farrells Limited, and Beijing Institute of Architectural Design.

8. ARO in New York, New York

The 738-foot ARO isn’t the tallest building in New York (the One World Trade Center is more than double its size), but the new luxury apartment building stands out against the myriad of other buildings in the Manhattan skyline due to its curved structure and webbed exterior.

The skyscraper is located in the city’s new Hudson Yards development, offering New Yorkers a luxury residence in a previously underdeveloped area of the city. It has over 60 stories and 426 units, according to its website.

CetraRuddy, Inc. designed the building.

7. Vincom Landmark 81 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vincom Landmark 81 stands at 1,513 feet, making it the second tallest on the list.

The 81-story building is the tallest in Vietnam, according to Atkins, the firm that designed the structure.

The skyscraper features layered floors and 360-degree glass windows, creating a distinct textured appearance. The building holds a shopping center, a hotel, and apartments.

6. Monde in Toronto, Canada

Designed by Moshe Safdie & Associates and Quadrangle Architects Ltd., the 492-foot Monde features 44 floors of condominiums.

The tiered roof flows into numerous porches, giving residents the ability to simultaneously enjoy the outdoors and city life.

The Monde website says the building adds 553 energy-efficient living units to Toronto.

5. 1144 Fifteenth in Denver, Colorado

This 603-foot building in Denver, Colorado, is an office building that offers similar amenities to a hotel.

Along with abundant office spaces, the building features a fitness center, lounge, and terraces that give tenants areas within the workspace to relax.

Pickard Chilton Architects, Inc. and Kendall/Heaton Associates Inc. worked together to create the curved, glass structure.

4. Nan Shan Plaza in Taipei, Taiwan

Designed by Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc. and Archasia Design Group, the Nan Shan skyscraper, which stands at 892 feet, is actually part of a larger plaza that features a variety of office and shopping facilities.

The 48-story building features a clawed top in which the two sides arch towards one another. According to the Mitsubishi Jisho website, the spires are intended to look like praying hands.

3. 52 Lime Street in London, England

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, this angular office building was created with historic London in mind.

The tower disappears behind the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral when it’s viewed from certain angles in order to provide innovation without disrupting the city’s classic look.

The London skyscraper boasts a height of 624 feet, as well as 42 stories, according to an Emporis press release.

2. La Marseillaise in Marseillaise, France

La Marseillaise’s height of 443 feet is impressive, but it’s really the innovative color scheme that makes it a stand-out in the skyscraper world.

The exterior is painted with 30 different hues, and it features awnings that jut out from the building. The colorful and textured appearance breaks the mold of smooth, modern architecture.

Ateliers Jean Nouvel and Tangram Architects designed the building.

1. MGM Cotai in Macau, China, exterior

The Emporis Skyscraper Awards just announced its 2019 winners.

The 495-foot MGM Cotai isn’t the tallest building on the list. Instead, it uses layers to offer space and dimension.

The pieces of the building were inspired by Chinese jewelry boxes, and they actually form two interconnected towers, which were built as a resort for $3.4 billion by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and Wong Tung & Partners Limited.

“The unusual shape and color scheme of the building immediately catches the eye. The skyscraper does not fall in line with the typical expectations for high-rise architecture in any way,” Daniel Schuldt, Emporis’ managing director, said in a company press release of the structure.

1. MGM Cotai in Macau, China, interior

The inside of the MGM Cotai is just as glamorous as the exterior, featuring luxury hotel rooms and a casino.

The building is also home to the world’s largest free-span, grid-shaped glass roof called “Spectacle.”


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