Awesome 8 Skyscrapers
Awesome 8 Skyscrapers

These spectacular skyscrapers are so much more than simply tall buildings. Meet some of the funkiest, roundest, cutest, and yes, tallest structures in the world. 


See more Awesome 8s!

The structure: Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort

Where it stands: Huzhou, China

How high: 335 feet / 27 stories

Picture of Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort

Nicknamed the “horseshoe hotel,” this luxury resort includes two floors underground that complete its oval shape. The inside is spectacular too—the lobby ceiling is covered in 20,000 crystal lamps meant to look like a rolling wave.

The structure: Flame Towers

Where it stands: Baku, Azerbaijan

How high: 770 feet / 39 stories

Picture of Flame Towers

The giant flames may make it seem as if these buildings are on fire. But there’s no need to call the fire department—it’s actually three supercool towers. LED screens covering the sides of these buildings flicker and flare, making the skyscrapers “burn” all night. 

The structure: PPG Place

Where it stands: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

How high: 635 feet / 40 stories

Picture of PPG Place

With its glass exterior and sky-high spires, this building looks like a castle from the future. No wonder it’s known as the “crown jewel in Pittsburgh’s skyline.”

The structure: Burj Khalifa

Where it stands: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

How high: 2,722 feet / 163 stories

Picture of Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world—it’s nearly three times as tall as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France! But that’s not all—here visitors can take in the view from the world’s highest outdoor observation deck, nearly 148 stories up.   


The structure: Lippo Centre

Where it stands: Hong Kong, China

How high: 610 feet / 46 stories

Picture of Lippo Centre

Nicknamed the “koala buildings,” these towers are covered in a geometric pattern that some people think looks like a whole bunch of the Australian marsupials clinging to two tree trunks. 

The structure: The Shard

Where it stands: London, England

How high: 1,016 feet / 95 stories

Picture of the Shard

With offices, restaurants, apartments, and a hotel, the Shard was built to be a vertical city. Forty-four elevators constantly move people through the building. Some of them are even double-decker elevators! 

The structure: Turning Torso

Where it stands: Malmö, Sweden 

How high: 623 feet / 54 stories

Picture of Turning Torso

This tower is a real head-turner—the top floor is twisted a complete 90 degrees from the ground floor. The skyscraper contains both offices and apartments, so for some residents, their morning walk to the office is a real spin!

The structure: Elephant Building

Where it stands: Bangkok, Thailand

How high: 335 feet / 32 stories

Picture of Elephant Building

You may come across an Asian elephant in Thailand, a country in Southeast Asia, but this elephant is unlike any you’ve seen before. It’d take 33 of the real Asian elephants standing on top of each other to reach the top of the building.






Text by Allyson Shaw, NGS Staff

Photo credits: sestevens, iStockphoto (PPG); Ramilaliyev79, Dreamstime (Flame Towers); Oceanfishing, Dreamstime (Sheraton Houzhou); Typhoonski, Dreamstime (Burj Khalifa); Lavendertime, Dreamstime (Lippo Center); Chris Hepburn, Robert Harding World Imagery, Corbis (The Shard); Adam Norén, Dreamstime (Turning Torso); justhavealook, iStockphoto (Elephant Tower)

Educators Dive Deeper

This Day in Geographic History

Awesome 8

See them all!

What kind of pet do you have?

On a roll!

Check out these cool rides.

Swimming Holes

You'll want to dive in!


Take a trip!