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.

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet1
Mercury City_©

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.

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet2
Mercury City _©

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.

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet3
Shanghai World Financial Center _©Leslie E. Robertson Associates, CTBUH

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.

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet4
Shanghai World Financial Center _©

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.

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet5
St. Regis Tower _©Keith J Finks

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.

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet6
St. Regis Tower _©Magellan Development Group

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.

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet7
Elbphilharmonie _©Iwan Baan

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.

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet8
 Elbphilharmonie _©Iwan Baan

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.

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet9
New York Times Tower _©

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.

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet10
New York Times Tower _©

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.

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet11
US Embassy _©

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.

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet12
US Embassy _©

The embassy consists of public areas, work areas, symbolic and ceremonial areas, and dining spaces. 

7. Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago: $1 billion

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet13
Trump Tower _©

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 

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet14
Wilshire Grand Centre_©constructdtla

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. 

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet15
Wilshire Grand Centre _©

9. Niagara Falls Hilton Tower 2, Ontario: $1.2 billion

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet16
Niagara Falls Tower _©

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

30 World's most expensive skyscrapers - Sheet17
220 Central Park South _©

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.

1 2 3

"Shama Patwardhan, an Architect from Mumbai, is passionate about architecture and inquisitive about its implications on Social Equity. A human being with eternal panic, she is fond of poetry, art, literature and cat videos on the internet."