Five new skyscrapers – and why they matter

26 Jan 2010

Recognised as national icons, today’s skyscrapers serve many important commercial and residential purposes and provide the anchor of up-and-coming urban districts. Here are the latest to join that elite circle of world landmarks.


Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Height: 828 metres

Total number of floors: 160 floors are available for occupancy, while 50 floors are designated for the management and maintenance of the building

Opened when? January 4, 2010

Uses: Office space, hotel and private residences, restaurants, and fitness and recreational facilities

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa achieved several titles upon its showy debut some three weeks ago – tallest skyscraper, tallest structure ever built and tallest freestanding structure among others. It is the centrepiece of a large-scale development in the heart of the city’s main business district.

Corporate suites (offices) occupy 37 floors and there are 900 Burj Khalifa residences with a fitness and recreation annexe. The observation deck is located on the 124th floor.

Armani Hotel Dubai – with interiors by Giorgio Armani himself – takes up nearly all of the floors from the 39th and below. The hotel has 160 guestrooms and suites, while Armani Residences Dubai features 144 private residences.



China World Trade Centre Tower III, Beijing

Height: 330 metres

Total number of floors: 74

Opened when? In early 2009

Uses: Office space, hotel, retail (base levels) and restaurants

Located in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, the building is a stunning addition to this high-profile CBD. It now reigns as Beijing’s tallest structure. The first 55 floors are dedicated to offices, while the remaining higher levels are claimed by Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts for its uber-luxe China World Summit Wing.

The building’s interiors have been designed as column free, which allows flexibility in using the spaces.

Guangzhou International Finance Centre (GIFC)

Height: 432 metres

Total number of floors: 103

Opening when? Before the Asian Games in December 2010

Uses: Office space, hotel, retail, restaurants and a conference centre

Also known as Guangzhou West Tower, it is currently Guangzhou’s tallest. The first 66 floors are intended to offer A-grade office space, with floors 67 to 100 to be occupied by Four Seasons Hotel.

A future East Tower is part of the masterplan.


International Commerce Centre (ICC), Hongkong

Height: 484 metres

Total number of floors: 118

Opening when? Within the year

Uses: Office space, hotel and retail

Hongkong’s next architectural marvel forms an integral part of the West Kowloon development. Rushing for completion, ICC is already serving the public with retail options in the building’s basement floors. The viewing deck on the 100th floor will be open to the public.

The Ritz-Carlton hotel will fill levels 102 to 118 with 312 guestrooms, meeting facilities and F&B options including an alfresco bar. By then, you can bet it will be styling itself as the “highest hotel in the world”.

Once completed, it will bookend perfectly the city’s other design gem, the International Finance Centre (IFC) on Hongkong Island.

Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower

Height: 336 metres

Total number of floors: 70

Opening when? Early 2011

Uses: Offices, hotel and serviced apartments, retail and leisure facilities and meeting spaces

Located on Pham Hung Boulevard in Cau Giay District, it will be the country’s tallest building when completed. The complex,  which it is part of, also includes two 47-storey residence towers.

IHG will be managing the hotel component, the 383-room InterContinental Hanoi Landmark. The lobby, atrium and restaurants will be situated on the 60th floor, while the guestrooms will occupy floors 59 to 69. Club InterContinental lounge will occupy the top floor. A total of 300 serviced units are part of the accommodation inventory.


Hongzuo Liu

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