Height: 508 meters
Cost to build: $1.8 billion
Completion date: 2004
Fast fact: The building is designed to resemble a growing bamboo stalk, a symbol of everlasting strength in Chinese culture.
Taiwan doesn't have many ostentatious records in its history, but Taipei 101, designed by local architect C.Y. Lee, brings one.
It was the first skyscraper to go past the half-kilometer mark and it sat at the pinnacle of the skyscraper world from 2004 to 2009.
Taipei 101 can also claim to have the world's fastest passenger elevator.
At an ear-popping 1,010 meters per minute, it takes 37 seconds to catapult passengers from the fifth floor to the highest point in Taiwan.
Taipei 101, No. 45, Shìf? Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan; open 9 a.m.-10 p.m. daily; tickets to the observatory NT$500 ($16.50) per person, children under 12 pay NT$450
Torre Agbar, Barcelona, Spain
Height: 142 meters
Cost to build: $130 million
Completion date: 2004
Fast fact: Torre Agbar's design is inspired by a geyser shooting up, touching the sky above Barcelona.
"It has become not only a cultural symbol for Barcelona, but also a magnet for groups looking to bring attention to political issues." -- A. Eugene Kohn.
The 144-meter-high building was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and has two cylindrical layers. One topped by polished aluminum and the second clear and translucent glass with 40 different colors.
With a total of 4,500 yellow, blue, pink and red lights placed over the facade, the building helps illuminate the city with floodlights at night, making it the most discernible figure for miles.
Torre Agbar, Avinguda Diagonal, 211, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Height: 828 meters
Cost to build: $1.5 billion
Completion date: January 2009
Fast fact: Not only is this currently the world's tallest building, it's home to the world's highest mosque, on the 158th floor.
The tower is more than twice the height of the Empire State Building in New York.
Standing 828 meters high and weighing half a million tons, Burj Khalifa towers above its city like a giant redwood in a field of daisies.