6 Of The Most Expensive Architectural Projects In The World

The grandeur of some modern marvels of architecture is sometimes not only measure by their physical magnificence, but also by the vast amount it cost to realized from a mere vision. The list may be surprising and you will for sure find some buildings you may not have heard of before. Here we have some of the most expensive buildings in the world, and all with good reason.

Capital Gate – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates

Capital Gate is a skyscraper in Abu Dhabi right next to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The building was designed with a remarkable inclination. It measures 160 m and is 35 stories tall. It is one of the tallest buildings in the city and it has an 18° inclination westward. In 2010, the Guinness World Records certified Capital Gate as the “World’s furthest leaning manmade tower”.

A technique called pre-cambered core, is used to counter the gravitational pressure caused by the 18° incline, as well as an anchor of 490 piles which are drilled underground. Capital Gate was designed by architectural firm Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall (RMJM) and was completed in 2011. Capital Gate is home to the 5-star Hyatt Capital Gate hotel and to many offices.

The Marina Bay Sands Hotel – Singapore

The Marina Bay Sands Hotel is an integrated resort located on the Marina Bay in Singapore. The building is considered the most expensive casino property and buildings in the whole world with a budget that surpasses the S$8 Billion (around US$6 Billion). The property includes a 2,561-room hotel, a 120,000-square-meter convention-exhibition center, the 74,000 m2 shopping center (The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall), a museum, two large theatres, seven “celebrity chef” restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, a skating rink, and the world’s largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. Moshe Safdie, who says he was inspired by card decks, designed the resort. Arup and Parsons Brinkerhoff (MEP/ELV) headed the engineering for the project.

The Helix Bridge at Marina Bay Sands_Architect wonders_Kenny Slaught
Image courtesy of Shutter wide shut at Flickr.com

Sunrise Kempinski Hotel – Beijing – China

This amazing hotel is located on the edge of a lake 60 kilometers outside the center of Beijing and it is among China’s most luxurious hotels. The design of the building holds much significance and symbolism to Chinese culture. It looks like a rising sun symbolic to the growing economy of China. The entrance is shaped like a fish, which symbolizes prosperity. From a side angle, the hotel takes on the appearance of a scallop, which represents fortune in Chinese tradition. The hotel is covered with glass exterior of 10,000 glass panels that stretch for 18,075 sq. meters. The glasses are arranged in such a manner that the top portion of the buildings reflects the color of the sky, the middle reflects the Yanshan Mountain and the bottom section reflects the lake.

City of Arts and Sciences – Valencia – Spain

The City of Arts and Sciences is an entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex in the city of Valencia, Spain. It is the most important modern tourist destination in the city of Valencia and one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. The building was designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela and built in 1996. The “city” is made up of a few different buildings: El Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofía — an opera house and performing arts centre; L’Hemisfèric — an Imax cinema; the Planetarium and Laserium; L’Umbracle — a walkway/garden; El Museu de Les Ciències Príncipe Felipe — the science museum; L’Oceanogràfic — an open-air aquarium; and Ágora — a versatile space where varied events normally take place.

Akshardham – New Delhi  – India

Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is a Hindu mandir, and a spiritual-cultural campus in New Delhi, India; displaying millennia of traditional Hindu and Indian culture, spirituality, and architecture. The temple attracts about three fourths of all visitors who arrive to New Delhi. The complex opened in 2005. This is the second monument inspired and developed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha. It was build along with 3,000 volunteers who helped and 7,000 artisans.

Akshardham_india_Kenny Slaught_Architect wonders
Image courtesy of John Nefastis at Flickr.com

The Antilia – South Mumbai – India

The Antilia is the world’s largest and most expensive family home ever built. It is owned by Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries and includes a staff of 600 to maintain the residence. It is considered the world’s second most expensive residential property, after Buckingham Palace, which is designated as a governmental property. It is therefore the world’s most expensive private residential property, valued at $1 billion. Chicago-based architects Perkins and Will designed Antilia, while the Australian-based company Leighton Holdings took charge of building it. The Antilia is 27 stories tall and it’s 568 feet high. In total, the Antilia has over 398,000 square feet of living space.

For more amazing architectural wonders, check out this post on Kenny Slaught’s Blog.

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