The last two decades were perhaps history’s most ambitious period for architecture. Multi-billion development projects across the globe fuel massive construction booms, pushing design boundaries as well as boosting local or national economies. While the financial crisis of 2008 seemed to have discouraged many developers, building mega-projects—such as skyscrapers—did not stop companies from making history. In Dubai alone, dozens of innovative and groundbreaking structures rose above empty deserts like mushrooms and forever changed the emirate’s cityscape. In the next couple of years, several more revolutionary skyscrapers will hit news headlines. Some of them are as follows:
When completed by the end of the decade, this Saudi super-structure will be the tallest skyscraper in the world. It will be more one kilometer tall and will be the centerpiece of a US$20 billion proposed development known as Jeddah Economic City. The project was designed by multi-awarded American architect Adrian Smith, who is also the genius behind the world’s current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Aesthetically, the structure will resemble desert plant shooting upwards, symbolizing Saudi Arabia’s growth and future.
Image source: stuff.co.nz
Consisting of 400,000 square meters (4,300,000 square feet) of residential and commercial space, KL118 will overtake the iconic Petronas Towers as Malaysia’s tallest structure when it opens in 2019. It is currently being constructed within the vicinity of a number of historic landmarks with little modern development.
Image source: skyrisecities.com
An aquatic city found right next to a cosmopolitan desert boomtown, this mega-project will be a magnificent underwater hotel that will once again put Dubai on the map. When completed, the hotel will cover an area of 260 hectares, which is roughly the size of Hyde Park in London. The central structure of the Hydropolis is the Lemniscate, a symbol of wisdom. A unique aspect of the underwater building is that it will comprise of different structures that represent various parts of the human body.
Image source: charismaticplanet.com
Baoneng Shenyang Global Financial Center
Currently under construction in Shenyang, Liaoning, China, this supertall skyscraper is notable for its design emphasis on both simplicity and iconicity. It has conical extrusions at its base, resembling canopies or nomadic tent entrances common during the Qing Dynasty. At the top is a “pearl” that would symbolize the Chinese wisdom, luxury, and purity. Located on a high seismic zone, the tower was designed to withstand strong ground shaking.
Image source: allday.com
These structures are highly impressive in their own right and will go down in historic as architectural marvels. However, regardless of how ambitious a building plan looks, its economic, cultural, and environmental value must be of the greatest importance. Man’s ingenuity must always be used for the greater good.