8. Taipei 101, Taiwan
Number 8 on the list, but, almost unbelievably, only the first after the Burj Khalifa to once have held the tallest building in the world crown. Finished in 2004, this Taiwan-based structure was intended as a deliberate statement, declaring the development of Asian technology and tradition.
Its style is postmodern in scope: a mishmash of the traditional and modern, all fitted to withstand the natural ravages, such as typhoons and earthquakes, to which Taiwan is particularly vulnerable.
As befits a building that was explicitly designed to be the tallest in the world, it is a complex web of symbols: its height of 101 floors was a statement of high ambitions, going one higher than 100 (a traditional number of perfection), that the main tower features eight sections of eight floors is because the number eight is a lucky number in China, while its inverted teared levels are meant to put people in mind of an Asian pagoda… turned on its head.