Humongous Buildings Dominating their Urban Landscape
There are countless lists on the internet talking about record-breaking buildings around the world. But this one in particular talks about such humongous buildings which may or may not be in the top highest buildings in the world. Rather, these here are the highest in the city they’re built in; utterly dominating the urban landscape they’re surrounded by. If a building is tall or wide, but it’s surrounded by others which come close to it, then it’s not here. With this in mind, and with no further introduction, we present the humongous buildings dominating the urban landscape.
The Burj Khalifa, UAE
Let’s properly start this list by talking about the tallest of them all. This is the Burj Khalifa in the UAE, the record-breaking 828 metres (2,716.5 feet) building. While Dubai doesn’t shy away from skyscrapers, the sheer size of this building in particular towers over all the others around it.
Sagrada Família, Barcelona
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated and proclaimed it a minor basilica, as distinct from a cathedral, which must be the seat of a bishop. It stands at 170 meters (557 feet) off the ground ad it completely dominates the urban landscape below.
The Palace of Parliament, Bucharest, Romania
By no means the tallest in the world, the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, surely towers over everything else in its immediate vicinity. Built during the 1980’s under the former communist regime, large areas of the old part of Bucharest were razed to the ground, in order to make room for this beast.
Though it’s still not finished according to the original plans, no further additions will be brought to this building. The rather cold and distant appearance it has on the outside, doesn’t give justice to the treasures “hidden” inside. Standing at 86 m (282 ft.) high, it also goes another 92 m (301 ft.) underground. It does however break the record for the heaviest building in the world and the second largest in terms of surface area, after the Pentagon.
Taipei 101, Taiwan
Taipei 101 and formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center – is a landmark supertall skyscraper in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. The building was officially classified as the world’s tallest in 2004, and remained such until the completion of Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2009. In 2011, the building was awarded the LEED platinum certification, the highest award according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, and became the tallest and largest green building in the world.
Upon its completion, Taipei 101 was the world’s tallest inhabited building, at 509.2 m (1,671 ft) as measured to its height architectural top (spire), exceeding the Petronas Towers, which were previously the tallest inhabited skyscraper at 451.9 m (1,483 ft).
The Eastern Gate of Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade is an old city and it doesn’t lack its fare share of gates, old and new. But this one in particular stands out from all the rest. And it’s not even an official gate per se, but rather a series of 3 identical apartment blocks. Officially known as the Rudo Apartment Complex, after a town in Bosnia, these humongous buildings can house over 2000 people. All three towers overshadow the surrounding buildings and landscape and can be easily seen from every corner of the city.
All of them have a height of 99 meters (325 ft.). They weren’t designed to greet anybody or act as a gate of any kind, but given their size and similar Socialist Realist architecture they share with the Genex Tower to the west of the city, these three massive towers were also called, though unofficially, “Gates of Belgrade”.
Zifeng Tower, Nanjing, China
Zifeng Tower (Greenland Center-Zifeng Tower or Greenland Square Zifeng Tower) is a 450-meter (1,480 ft) super tall skyscraper in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China and among the humongous buildings in this list. The 89-story building completed in 2010 comprises retail and office space in the lower section.
The floors near the top feature a hotel, numerous restaurants, and a public observatory. The building is currently the tallest in Nanjing and Jiangsu province, the sixth tallest in China and the 13th tallest in the world. Nevertheless, it utterly dominates the urban landscape it’s in.
Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea
The Ryugyong Hotel is an unfinished 105-story pyramid-shaped skyscraper in Pyongyang, North Korea. Its name (“capital of willows”) is also one of the historical names for Pyongyang. Construction began in 1987 but was halted in 1992 as North Korea entered a period of economic crisis after the fall of the Soviet Union. After 1992 the building stood topped out, but without any windows or interior fittings. In 2008 construction resumed, and the exterior was completed in 2011. It was planned to open the hotel in 2012, the centenary of Kim Il-sung’s birth, but this did not happen.
The Ryugyong Hotel has a height of 330 metres (1,080 ft), making it the most prominent feature of Pyongyang’s skyline and by far the tallest structure in North Korea. Construction of the Ryugyong Hotel was intended to be completed in time for the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students in June 1989; had this been achieved, it would have held the title of world’s tallest hotel.
Abraj Al Bait, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
The Abraj Al-Bait Towers, also known as the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, is a government-owned megatall building complex in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. These towers are a part of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project that strives to modernize the city in catering to its pilgrims. The central hotel building has the world’s largest clock face and is the third tallest building and fourth tallest freestanding structure in the world. The building complex is meters away from the world’s largest mosque and Islam’s most sacred site, the Masjid al-Haram.
The complex was built after the demolition of the Ajyad Fortress, the 18th-century Ottoman citadel which stood atop a hill overlooking the Grand Mosque. The destruction of the fort in 2002 by the Saudi government sparked Turkish and international outcry.