In the postmodern world of possibility, innovation and exploration, skyscrapers have redefined construction technology. Architectural marvels of today’s world are the mega tall, massive buildings that instill a sense of wonder in the minds of the people.
The skylines of most urban cities today are adorned by towering buildings that are both beautiful and costly. Construction is a costly affair, and the construction of skyscrapers comes with the added responsibility of technological innovation, stability, and gravity-defying engineering.
Ultimately, skyscrapers embody the evolution of architecture and technology. Some of the most expensive skyscrapers in the world are listed below along with their cost of construction adjusted to today’s inflation.
1. Mercury City, Moscow: $1 billion
Designed by architects Frank Williams & Associates and M.M.Posokhin, the unique copper coloured skyscraper stands tall at 339 meters, in Moscow, Russia. The tallest tower in Europe from 2012-2014; it was constructed at a cost of 1 Billion USD.
The building has a media façade made up of 2 million LED light, making it the tallest media façade in Europe. The mammoth skyscraper was made using almost 130,000 cubic meters of concrete and 35,000 tonnes of reinforcement.
2. Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai: $1 billion
The Shanghai World Financial Center is designed by architects Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and Mori Building, and its structural engineers are Leslie E. Robertson Associates. Standing tall at 492 meters, it is the second tallest building in Shanghai, built at a cost of 1 Billion USD.
The Shanghai World Financial Tower is the beacon of commerce and culture that pronounced Shanghai’s emergence as the world’s financial capital. It is a mixed-use building, having 62 office floors, conference facilities, urban retail and dining spaces and the Park Hyatt Hotel at the top.
3. St. Regis Tower (formerly Vista Tower), Chicago: $1 billion
St. Regis Tower is the tallest building in the world designed by a female architect. At 363 meters tall, it is designed by Jeanne Gang, of Studio Gang. Constructed at the cost of 1 Billion USD, the skyscraper comprises penthouses that offer 360-degree views of the city.
Completed in 2016, the skyscraper presents itself as a bundle of three separate elements. On the ground floor, the building creates a pedestrian connection between the Chicago Riverwalk and the neighbouring community spaces. At the top level, the tower consists of hotel facilities and high-end residential units.
4. Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg: $1 billion
A very unusual tall building in Hamburg, the Elbphilharmonie is a soaring concert hall constructed at the cost of 1 Billion USD. Standing at 108 meters tall, it is designed by the architecture firm Herzog and de Meuron.
The building complex includes a philharmonic hall, a chamber music hall, shops, bars, a panoramic terrace with views of Hamburg and the harbour, residences, a hotel and parking facilities.
5. New York Times Tower, New York: $1 billion
The Iconic New York Times Building by Renzo Piano Architects was completed in 2002 in New York, USA. The 318.8 meter tall building cost 1 Billion USD to construct, with 52 floors of glass and steel, displaying the culture of transparency of the New York Times.
The New York Times covers the first 28 floors of the slender structure, all floors with high ceilings, and the top 24 floors occupied by real estate and law firms. The modern skyscraper has a large internal garden on the ground floor, with a paper birch, a fern and a moss accessible from the street.
6. United States Embassy, London: $1 billion
Designed by architecture firm Kieran Timberlake, the United States Embassy in London opened to the public in 2018. The 65-meter tall structure cost 1 Billion USD for construction. The “transparent crystalline cube” is intended to symbolise “transparency, openness, and equality”, according to the architects.
Known for his sustainable buildings, Keiran Timberlake used a facade of laminated glazing enveloped on two sides with a transparent film of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) to minimise solar gain and glare, while allowing natural light to enter the building.
The embassy consists of public areas, work areas, symbolic and ceremonial areas, and dining spaces.
7. Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago: $1 billion
The condo-hotel building in downtown, Chicago is designed by the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) at the cost of One Billion USD. Named after Donald Trump, the Trump Tower is a complex that includes retail spaces, a parking garage, condominiums, and a hotel. The building stands tall at 415 meters and was completed in 2009.
8. Wilshire Grand Center, Los Angeles: $1.2 billion
The tallest building in Los Angeles, USA, the Wilshire Grand Center was constructed at the cost of 1.2 Billion USD. The skyscraper soars high at 335.3 meters and includes the InterContinental Hotel on the top floors. AC Martin Partners designed the building which has floor-to-ceiling glass windows to maximise the view of the city. The building is a mixed-use complex and has restaurants at the street level to activate the public spaces around the building, and hotels and commercial spaces at the top.
9. Niagara Falls Hilton Tower 2, Ontario: $1.2 billion
Designed by Stanford Downey Architects Inc. the Niagara Falls Hilton Tower was completed in 2009 at the cost of 1.2 billion USD. The skyscraper is the tallest hotel building in Canada and the complex consists of two towers- the North and South Block. The hotel was meant to be 58 floors high but was later scaled back to 53 floors, or 162 meters tall.
10. 220 Central Park South, New York: $1.3 billion
A timeless addition to Manhattan’s skyline, the preeminent 220 Central Park designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects stands tall above the Central Park. Consisting of residential units, all having magnificent views of the city, the 289-meter tall skyscraper has additional amenities like private dining rooms, entertaining spaces, an athletic club, and a spa.