Its viewing floors, called The View from The Shard, offer views twice as high as any other viewing platform in London.
The Shard, Joiner Street; open 9 a.m.-10 p.m. daily (closed December 25); £24.95 ($38) for adult (£29.95 purchase on the day); £18.95 for child between 4-15 (£23.95 purchase on the day), free for infants younger than 4; +44 (0) 0844 499 7111
Elephant Tower, Bangkok
Height: 102 meters
Cost to build: NA
Completion date: 1997
Fast fact: The elephant is Thailand's national animal, having appeared on the national flag when the country was known as Siam.
It's no big shock then that someone would erect a pachyderm-inspired building in the big beast's honor.
Hanging out in northern Bangkok's Lad Phrao district, this 102-meter-high jumbo building, with eyes and tusks, towers above a busy junction.
As well as highlighting the importance of elephants in Thai culture and history, the Elephant Tower also nods toward Thailand's coming-of-age.
The creation of Thai engineer Arun Chaiseri, at the time of its completion it was cutting edge, offering high-tech offices, a shopping plaza and a floor of luxury residential suites.
This one would never make a list of the most beautiful skyscrapers, but there's no denying the Elephant Building's place in local hearts.
Elephant Tower, 369/38 Phaholyothin 26 Chatuchak, Bangkok
Chrysler Building, New York
Height: 320 meters
Cost to build: $15-20 million
Completion date: May 1930
Fast fact: The building became the tallest in the world when architect William van Alen added a surprise 186-foot spire to the top, beating the Eiffel Tower and another skyscraper being built at the same time on Wall Street.
It kept its title of world's tallest building for just 11 months (being beaten by the Empire State Building), but the Chrysler Building's enduring legacy comes from its design.
William van Alen's design for the art deco tower is often acclaimed as the most beautiful in New York, winning plaudits from experts and the public as a favorite building.
That it came about due to auto mogul Walter P. Chrysler's ego -- he financed the build himself and requested that his toilet be the highest in Manhattan, so, according to one observer, he could "s**t on Henry Ford and the rest of the world" -- only adds to the legend.
The building pays more than a cursory nod to the Chrysler cars of the day, with gargoyles and other features on the building inspired by the hood ornaments and radiator caps on the automobiles.
Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Ave., New York
Bitexco Financial Tower, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Height: 262 meters