The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. The Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. This site will look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Vertical Density


A seamless integration of architecture and engineering, the tower is developed from a 52-meter cube, which diminishes one quadrant at a time, terminating in a single triangular prism. The topping out ceremony was held on August 8, 1988 (8/8/88), considered by the Chinese to be the most auspicious date of the last century. Completed in 1990, at 1,205 to the tip of its twin antennas, it crested the Hong Kong skyline for only a few years, but it continues to stand out on the highly competitve skyline in its serene form and the myriad ways it catches the sky's light.

Bank of China Tower (1990)
Architect: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Design Principal: I.M. Pei
Engineer: Leslie E. Robertson Associates
Height: 305 meters / 1,001 feet | 367 meters / 1,205 feet with antennas
Floors: 70 | Size: 130,000 meters2 / 1,399,000 feet2


Two International Finance Centre (2IFC), designed by Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, is currently the tallest building in Hong Kong. Two towers --One IFC and the taller Two IFC sit above a retail mall and an MTR station. The MTR was a co-developer of the IFC, as well as the International Commerce Centre.

Architects: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
Design Principal: Cesar Pelli
Design Architect: Rocco Design Ltd.
Floors: 88
Height: 407 meters/ 1,335 feet | 416 meters / 1,364 feet with spire
GFA: 185,805 meters2 / 1,999,988 feet2


Rising 1,588 feet, the International Commerce Center will be the tallest building in Hong Kong and fourth tallest in the world upon its completion in 2010. Developed by Sun Hung Kai, the largest property developer in Hong Kong, in conjunction with the MTR, the International Commerce Centre (ICC) is the centerpiece of the Union Square complex, which comprises multiple residential towers, a major shopping mall, and an airport express train station and other rail links. It is also the visual counterpoint to the IFC2 across the water on Hong Kong Island --iconic towers that mark the entrance to Victoria Harbor.

The building's 118 stories house over 2.5 million square feet of offices and are crowned by a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which will become the highest hotel in the world. Like most tall buildings, the ICC is divided into zones by sky lobbies, which are served by both local and express elevators.

Designed by New York City architecture firm KPF, with William Pedersen as lead designer, assisted by the Hong Kong firm Wong & Ouyang, the building employs the metaphor of the dragon, an auspicious animal in traditional feng shui. The facade is composed of angled glass tiles, which suggest scales. Diagonally oriented on the site, the tower's main entrance is known as the "Dragon Tail." This feature forms the main lobby as well as an entrance for the retail mall and MTR station located directly below the tower.

Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Design Principal: William Pedersen, FAIA, FAAR
Design Architects: Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd.
Height: 484 meters / 1,588 feet
Floors: 118
Gross floor area: 262,176 meters2/ 2,822,039 feet2


One Island East, a new 70-story office tower developed by Swire Properties, is the most recent building in the company's investment in Quarry Bay on the eastern side of Hong Kong Island that includes the Taikoo Shing housing estate and the commercial complexes Taikoo Place and Cityplaza.

The Island East development comprises 12 office towers, many of which sit above the largest shopping mall on Hong Kong. All told, Island East contains eight million square feet of office space. Constructed in a rezoned industrial area, the property is an exceptionally dense collection of towers, integrated with the community through walkways, pedestrian bridges and two MTR stations.


Height: 308 meters / 1,011 feet
Floors: 70
Gross Floor Area: 141,000 meters2/ 1.5 million feet2
Architect: Wong & Ouyang Architects
Client: Swire Properties Limited