5 Extreme City Makeovers

July 24th, 2013

We’re big fans of tall buildings because we love seeing skylines and cities evolve. We believe that tall buildings are one of the key things that make up a global city.

There are many cities around the globe that fit that description and within the next decade, we’ll be seeing plenty more skylines flourish and turn into global cities. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that nearly 600 tall (at least 656 feet) buildings are currently in construction or in the plans across the globe. This includes majorly high-rise buildings, wood buildings and creatively designed structures.

In Toronto alone, there are currently 170 high-rises under construction, and 201 in the pre-construction phase. We’re eager to see how Toronto’s skyline will look once Exhibit, E Condos and Emerald Park make their mark!

But in the meantime, let’s take a look at 5 striking skylines that have evolved rapidly into major global metropolises. These cities have undergone many changes to their skyline and will continue to experience changes in their architectural and global landscapes.



Dubai 1990


Dubai 2011

It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago Abu Dhabi had a pretty boring skyline. Under 10 years ago, many of the buildings that dominate Dubai’s skyline were just in their initial stages of construction, including the now-famous Burj Khalifan. Since its completion in 2010, the Burj Khalifa has held the record for the tallest building in the world and stands at 2,717 feet.

We can expect the skyline in Dubai to change dramatically over the next few decades: hundreds of high-rises are currently in construction or planned. Sustainability, energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly buildings will also be entering the scene in the future, as 79 new compulsory construction regulations will be implemented at the start of 2014.



Lagos 1970


Lagos 2013

Lagos is one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa and the seventh-fastest in the world. With a growing population and economy, it only makes sense that the skyline is also evolving. There are currently only 89 buildings making up Lagos’ skyline with several more under construction.

Last month, Lagos welcomed the tallest building in West Africa, with the opening of the InterContinental Hotel – standing tall at 328 feet.

Lagos has undergone substantial development and has experienced a growth in local industries in the past several years. With a growing Gross Domestic Product and a population to match, we’re confident that Lagos’ skyline is sure to continue growing for years to come.



Singapore  1990


Singapore 2009

It was a period of rapid industrialization in the 1980s that pushed Singapore into becoming the global city it is today. With the economy booming, high rises soon followed well into the new century and now Singapore ranks in the top five countries with the most high-rises in the world. It’s a mix of office and residential buildings: almost 90% of those living in city are in high-rises due to Singapore being one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

As Singapore continues to develop at an exceptional rate, so does the architecture.  Plans for Singapore’s tallest high-rise were unveiled earlier this year; the Tanjong Pagar Centre is set to grace Singapore’s skyline in 2016, at 951 feet.

Hong Kong


Hong Kong 1890


Hong Kong 2012

Hong Kong’s impressive skyline is often voted as one of the best in the world, but it wasn’t always the case. Once known for being just a small fishing village, Hong Kong’s economy and infrastructure has evolved dramatically in the last several years and now boasts nearly 8000 high-rises!

There are currently 112 buildings that stand taller than 180 metres in the the world’s ‘international finance centre.’ The tallest building in Hong Kong is the 118-storey International Commerce Centre, which was completed in 2010 and rises 1588 feet. It is the 6th tallest building in the world, but not the only claim to fame: Hong Kong is home to four of the 15 tallest buildings in the world.


Toronto 1970

Toronto 1970


Toronto 2012

Last but definitely not least, Toronto.

Our great city is now known as “North America’s new high-rise boomtown” because of the high amount of high-rises currently under construction. At the moment, Toronto has double the high-rises under construction as New York City, the high-rise haven of North America.   Accordingly, Toronto’s high rise construction simply continues to grow.

By the year 2015, Toronto will be home to 44 high-rises exceeding 150 metres, more than triple the 13 skyscrapers that reigned our skyline in 2005. Toronto is constantly being praised for the fact that these buildings aren’t simply office buildings but are also “homes in the heavens” which we at Bazis can certainly understand.


What is your favourite skyline?