There are very few marvels in the man-built world that still inflict an absolute sense of littleness to the human stature. Some can achieve that with their mare appearance and shape while others (maybe most commonly) excel in their grandeur and scale.
From Sullivan onwards the world seemed to race into elevating more and more imposing buildings that could quite literally touch the skyline and redefine the city’s appearance and importance; this is how skyscrapers started to dominate the most prominent city-lines in the world.
Below there are 10 such examples, listed in a backward manner and climaxing with the world’s fifth tallest high-rise.
1. 63 Building
Surprisingly or not, one of the tallest buildings in South Korea was completed in 1985, and by that time, it was listed as the tallest building outside North America. Spanning 60 floors that add up to a total of 249 meters, 63 Building was the tallest construction in Asia until 2003.
Even if today many other skyscrapers overpass its height, 63 Building still remains one of the most striking landmarks next to Han River.
2. Hyperion Tower
Named after the Greek titan, Hyperion Tower (A) was the first skyscraper in Seoul to overtop 63 Building, in 2003. Mokdong Hyperion refers, in fact, to a group of three buildings used for residential purposes. By the time of its completion, the tallest of the three towers, Tower A, featured 69 floors and 256 meters in height.
Today, however, the construction only occupies the fifteenth place on the South Korean list of high-rise buildings.
3. Samsung Tower Palace
Samsung Tower Palace also uses the same idea of grouping several skyscrapers into one enormous complex. This time, composed of 7 such towers (A-G) of variable heights (ranging from 42 to 72 floors), the project offers luxurious residential conditions to those able to afford the price.
Not only high-rise but high-tech as well, all skyscrapers are greatly automated featuring complex security systems and smartphone-controlled possibilities.
4. International Finance Center Seoul
Usually referred to as IFC Seoul, the project was one of the largest such developments in Korea. The complex was conceived as a mixed-use integrated commercial development in the country, offering both office spaces and retail areas, as well as hotel facilities.
Built in 5 years, the International Finance Center spans 284 meters and is divided into 55 floors.
5. Busan International Finance Center
Today the ninth tallest building in the country, Busan International Finance Center was -by the time of its completion in 2014- the third tallest high-rise in the city and the fourth in South Korea.
Although it is a skyscraper of about 298 meters in height, the building was designed to resist a 7.0 earthquake, which is fairly impressive. Sometimes not even smaller buildings withstand such an impact, yet Hyundai Engineering & Construction succeeded in making the 63-floor construction comply with these constraints.
6. Haeundae Doosan We’ve the Zenith
Still in Busan, yet in another district, named Haeundae District, there is another complex of three residential high-rise buildings known as Haeundae Doosan We’ve the Zenith. They were completed in 2011, after about six years of intensive work.
The tallest of the three, Tower A, occupies the 18th place on the world’s tallest residential buildings list, spanning its 80 stories over 301 meters.
7. Northeast Asia Trade Tower
Relatively close to Seoul, in Incheon, one can find another marvel in terms of high-rise buildings: Northeast Asia Trade Tower. Also known as Posco Tower-Songdo, the project completed in 2011 is—even today—the tallest in the city, measuring 305 meters and 68 floors.
The twisted skyscraper was conceived as an iconic silhouette of the Songdo International Business District. Among the facilities offered by the construction, one can list class A offices, a luxury hotel, serviced residences, and retail stores -to name but a few.
Back to Seoul, there is another high-rise marvel that imposes over the cityscape. Parc1 Tower was recently completed (last year) and it features 68 floors and a total height of 338 meters.
The project bears the signature of Lord Rochard Rogers and his design studio, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Primarily the building was conceived as an office complex, which also features new retail stores and accommodation units.
9. Haeundae LCT The Sharp
Number 2 in the top 10 tallest buildings in South Korea is Haeundae LCT The Sharp. The project is, in fact, an enormous urban development in Busan, located near the beach in Haeundae.
The complex is made of three towers, out of which the tallest reaches 411.6 meters (101 floors) above the ground level and 5 other stories below grade. The entire ensemble was designed by the internationally renowned architectural firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill (also known as SOM).
10. Lotte World Tower
The titan of today’s top 10 tallest buildings found on South Korea’s territory is Lotte World Tower. Measuring 555.7 meters, the 123-story skyscraper is undeniably the tallest building in the country.
The record-breaker was opened to the public on April 11, 2017, and it has occupied ever since privileged positions both nationally and internationally (as it is ranked as the fifth tallest building in the whole world, for now).