World’s Most Expensive and Iconic Buildings: Architectural Marvels Across the Globe

Structures that are often a testament to wealth, power, and ingenuity

The world is graced with buildings that are impressive feats of engineering and architectural ingenuity. However, the list of the most expensive buildings warrants special attention.

These constructs are not merely feats of design and construction genius. Likewise, they also represent substantial investments in creating landmarks that define the identity and significance of their locations.

In this article, we talk about some of the most expensive buildings worldwide.

Masjid Al-Haram, Saudi Arabia

Topping the list of the most expensive buildings, the Masjid Al-Haram, more commonly known as the Grand Mosque, holds a dual claim to fame. Found in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, this monumental structure is the most important pilgrimage site in the Islamic world. Additionally, it also takes the crown as the most expensive construction on earth today.

Decades of expansions and renovations have culminated in investments amounting to around $100 bn in this sacred edifice. However, real worth is recognized not by financial measures but rather by the cultural and religious values attached to it.

Remarkably, the Masjid Al-Haram strikes a balance between grandeur and capacity. Spanning a total area of 400,800 square meters, it provides both indoor and outdoor praying areas. With a capacity to accommodate up to four million worshippers, it serves as a spiritual epicenter for Muslims globally.

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Abraj Al-Bait, Saudi Arabia

As we traverse the list of the most expensive buildings, we arrive at another awe-inspiring structure from Saudi Arabia, the $16 bn Abraj Al-Bait. Constructed as part of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project, its goal was to modernize Mecca while catering to the thousands of Muslim pilgrims arriving annually.

The towering Makkah Royal Clock Tower, which sits at the center of this complex, is the fourth-tallest freestanding structure worldwide. It has the largest and highest clock face in the world, perched at a height of 1,300 feet. Further, it was developed by the Saudi Binladin Group and sits just a few meters away from the highly revered Masjid al-Haram.

This expansive complex includes 76 floors housing seven five-star hotels, elevating the hospitality experience for the faithful. In addition, it features restaurants serving varied cuisines and a large shopping center meeting a wide range of needs.

With its impressive design, religious significance, and hospitality services, Abraj Al-Bait rightfully stakes a claim among the most expensive buildings globally.

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Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

The journey through the most expensive buildings now leads us to Singapore, the home of the Marina Bay Sands. Completed in 2010, this nearly $5.7 bn iconic structure stands as a beacon of wealth and opulence in the city-state.

In particular, it encompasses a hotel, convention center, shopping mall, casino, museum, and an array of entertainment facilities. Accommodating 2,561 rooms within its premises, the Marina Bay Sands certainly does not shy away from offering a grand hospitality experience.

One notable architectural feat within this marvel is the 340-meter-long SkyPark, which straddles the three towers. Additional features encompass a massive 120,000-square-meter convention-exhibition center and a 74,000-square-meter mall.

Certainly, these facilities further uplift the stature of Marina Bay Sands in the league of the most expensive buildings worldwide.

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SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, United States

The list featuring the world’s most expensive buildings unfolds further with the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. This masterpiece of modern architecture serves as the home for the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.

Moreover, its groundbreaking design includes a transparent roof and an iconic open-air structure, both playing their part in redefining the future of stadiums. Clocking in at $5.5 bn, the SoFi Stadium proudly holds the record for the most expensive stadium ever constructed.

In recognition of its architectural and engineering marvels, it has received numerous awards, including “Outstanding Architectural Engineering Project” of 2021 by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Apple Park, California, United States

Another piece of grandeur is Apple Park, the landmark headquarters of tech powerhouse Apple Inc. This avant-garde facility in Cupertino, California, showcases the company’s investment in innovative design and sustainability.

Furthermore, it was conceived by Norman Foster and often referred to as the spaceship for its futuristic circular design. With a construction cost of approximately $5 bn, it has managed to include itself on the list of the world’s most expensive buildings.

The structure’s eco-friendly design comes to life with the installation of solar panels that fuel its operation with 100 percent renewable energy. A spacious underground parking facility and the world’s largest panels of curved glass further enhance its unique appeal and functionality.

With every meticulous detail reflecting Apple’s ethos, this 2.8-mn-square-foot main building stands as an embodiment of ingenuity and progressive construction.

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Source: economymiddleeast

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