The skyline of a city visually defines not just how a city presents itself to its inhabitants and visitors, but it also serves as a representation of each urban expanse to rest of the world. However, skyscrapers don’t go up overnight. How a skyline comes to be and changes over time is a fascinating and never-ending journey to metropolitan greatness. NYC Design Agent and CEO of ABOVE The FOLD John Patrick talks about the top five changing skylines around the world, and why you might want to hop on a flight to go see them.
1. Mexico City – Mexico isn’t always thought to be synonymous with cities and skyscrapers, but its capital definitely enjoys an impressive and growing skyline. “Several new towers embrace the notion of density, including the tallest tower being designed by FR-EE, which will house the city’s first Ritz Carlton Hotel,” Patrick explains. “Several large-scale urban design projects currently underway will also contribute to a just-starting vertical construction boom in the federal district.”
2. Shenzhen – Situated in one of the most powerful industrial countries in the world, the ever-growing skyline view in Shenzhen, China effortlessly holds its own. “China dares to be tall. Shenzhen’s vertical growth began in the late 70’s and hasn’t stopped,” Patrick divulges. “Neighboring Hong Kong, one of the world’s biggest financial and commercial centers, Shenzhen continues to grow rapidly.”
3. Panama City – “As Latin America’s tallest city with the most skyscrapers, Panama City’s location on a narrow strip of land wedged between two continents affords it no other option but to build up.” One of its most prominent features is the odd yet eye-catching corkscrew-shaped F&F Tower. “Frank Gehry’s new museum completed last year and new resorts and hotels continues to attract investment,” Patrick adds.
4. Dubai – The largest city in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai boats the tallest skyline in the entire world with the Burj Khalika, the world’s tallest skyscraper standing at 2,717 feet. And the vista keeps growing. “The tallest in the world is never tall enough, so Dubai is steadily keeping up its pace in the race,” quips Patrick.
5. Miami – A city basking in the sun, Miami has joined the skyscraper game with it’s groundbreaking of SkyRise Miami, an open-air hurricane-proof building that will have a 5-star restaurant, three observation decks with 40-mile views and will no doubt redefine the city’s skyline. “It’s a city that’s not afraid to strut its stuff and have a good time,” Patrick says. “This mentality is reflected on the city’s numerous vertical structures in design and under construction.”
So whether it’s the tallest building in the world or plans to revolutionize the urban landscape, skylines are a defining attribute of any city, a symbol of pride and accomplishment. And with the continual growth of the globe’s urban jungles, skylines are more majestic than ever before. How many have you seen?
As the owner of the L.I.C. based company ABOVE THE FOLD, John Patrick personally curates a group of designers, architects and architectural photographers who are all his own. He helps meld and shape their careers as an agent, mentor and advocate. Though diverse in size and creative approach, the agency’s boutique sized roster presents a range of talent who push boundaries in the residential, hospitality, cultural, educational, commercial and urban design project typologies globally. From designing the real estate market in Sydney, to raising the sustainability benchmark for buildings worldwide, John Patrick’s clientele hold the vision, creativity and professionalism to take institutions, neighborhoods and cities to the next level.