Australia Has Two Of The Most Expensive Buildings Ever Built

The 9 Most Expensive Buildings Ever Aren't What You'd Expect

Buildings are expensive but they're nowhere near as expensive as incompetence, as we learned this week thanks to new revelations about the $US4 billion price tag of the World Trade Center transit hub. In the process, we uncovered a list of the most expensive structures ever built -- and some of them might surprise you.

Picture: Wikimedia

The building data website Emporis recently released an updated list of the world's most expensive skyscrapers. But there aren't a ton of surprises on the list -- tall buildings cost money. But what's interesting is Emporis' list of most expensive modern structures overall. While high costs correspond to high buildings, the reasons why some of these structures cost billions of dollars to built are more complicated.


9. Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort

The 9 Most Expensive Buildings Ever Aren't What You'd Expect

If you work out the maths, each of the 27 floors of this resort in Huzhou, China, would have cost $US55 million. The $US1.5 billion building, designed by MAD, cost as much as the 163-storey Burj Khalifa. The fact that the finished images look like renderings should tell you all you need to know about why the hotel was so costly: The plan's shape made for an incredibly complex structure, not to mention the challenge of building a tower in a lake.

Picture: Adam Rifkin/Flickr


8. Burj Khalifa

The 9 Most Expensive Buildings Ever Aren't What You'd Expect

Again, the Burj is really tied with the Sheraton Huzhou for this spot on the list -- but considering that the world's tallest building has 136 floors more than the hotel, it seems fair to list it second. As far as supertall buildings go, the Burj is actually not anywhere near as expensive as it could have been, costing only $US1.5 billion. There are two hospitals in Australia that cost more.

Picture: Chusico/Flickr


7. Gold Coast University Hospital

The 9 Most Expensive Buildings Ever Aren't What You'd Expect

With the arrival of modern medical machinery, the cost of building healthcare buildings has skyrocketed -- which helps to explain why two of the most expensive buildings, on a list populated by skyscrapers and vanity projects by dictators, are hospitals. The first of the two is Australia's Gold Coast University Hospital, a seven-building complex that cost $US1.55 billion ($1.8 billion).

The 9 Most Expensive Buildings Ever Aren't What You'd Expect

Picture: Simon Morris


6. Taipei 101

The 9 Most Expensive Buildings Ever Aren't What You'd Expect

Although it might already look dated to our eyes, Taipei 101 was really the vanguard of all the supertall skyscrapers we're seeing today. Completed in 2004, the building remained the world's tallest until the Burj Khalifa was finished in 2010. It cost $1.76 billion to build, and its cost can partially be attributed to the immense amount of structure was devoted to making the building earthquake-proof and typhoon-proof. Near the building's 90th floor, a massive tuned mass damper swings to counteract the motion of the swaying building -- it's the world's largest mass damper, and cost $US4 million alone.

Picture: AP/Chiang Ying-ying


5. The Shard

The 9 Most Expensive Buildings Ever Aren't What You'd Expect

London's $US1.9 billion Shard, like the World Trade Center train station, is a megaproject designed by a notable architect -- in this case, the brilliant Renzo Piano. But the building's crystalline design wasn't totally responsible for cost -- the building is massive, is built with extra structure to ensure its stability during high winds or attacks, and was built in an extraordinarily expensive neighbourhood for construction. Unfortunately, it's still trying to find tenants.

Picture: Davide D'Amico/Flickr


4. The Palazzo

The 9 Most Expensive Buildings Ever Aren't What You'd Expect

At 53 storeys, the Venetian's Palazzo is far from the tallest building on the list -- but what it lacks in height it makes up for in floor area. In fact, the $1.9 billion structure actually knocked the Pentagon out of first place in the rankings of largest American building.

Picture: CK Chung/Flickr

3. Royal Adelaide Hospital

The 9 Most Expensive Buildings Ever Aren't What You'd Expect

Again, hospitals are notoriously expensive structures to build, with plenty of pricey mechanical and electronic systems involved, but this hospital in South Australia will go far beyond any historical record for cost: At $2.1 billion, it will easily become the most expensive hospital ever built when it's completed next year.

Picture: Zaragmata/Flickr


2. Palace of the Parliament

The 9 Most Expensive Buildings Ever Aren't What You'd Expect

Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu reportedly directed the architect of his People's Palace to North Korean architecture for inspiration; the lavish structure that resulted is the largest government building in the world, and took 13 years and $US3 billion to build -- all while Romania suffered through economic turmoil and political upheaval. Rumour has it that the cavernous structure could eventually be turned into a shopping centre.

Picture: Dennis Jarvis/Flickr


1. One World Trade Center

The 9 Most Expensive Buildings Ever Aren't What You'd Expect

There's at least one unsurprising building on this list: One World Trade. In a blistering takedown of the building last week, the NYT's Michael Kimmelman says the $US3.9 billion structure cost so much because it "required unprecedented fortifications at astronomical costs, on an immensely difficult site."

Picture: GiGiNYC/Flickr

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Comments

    Absent from the list is Fiona Stanley hospital in Perth. 2billion -ish

      Actually would cost more than that after delays and changes, think it is $2.37b at last count

        No doubt their attempt to go 'paperless' will result in millions thrown at sweatshop developers in India, constant changes, no clear leadership and finally a decision that "tablets will not be replacing paper anytime in the next decade"

    Please do not fuel the argument for South Australians about the new RAH, there has been a small but incredibly vocal and extremely annoying minority that has bitched and moaned about the new hospital since day one, same with the Adelaide Oval redevelopment. For one i applaud the government for a new hospital, the old RAH is falling apart and would cost the same amount to fix as building a new one.

    Although, there is also the advanced medical research centre (i cant remember what its name is) that has been built so the $2 billion isn't spent on a single building. The picture is horribly out of date, the research centre has been finished for nearly a year and the hospital has been topped off.

    Last edited 05/12/14 11:13 am

      did they end up cleaning up the contaminated soil they were building on? or did it come back clear? im kinda glad Adelaide is investing in Adelaide oval and the hospital, despite a hit to the budget, we should be able to make it back.
      and hey look, top 10 ten list!

      SAHMRI is the other one and the building in the photo.

    Can you really claim that a hospital complex made of 7 buildings that cost 1.5billion as a "top 10 expensive building" ? I'm also not so sure you can count the medical equipment inside it.

    If you do count those why not count ITER at $50billion and LHC at $9billion ?

      You may have a point but as a Radelaidian I appreciate being on a top ten list. We aren't on many.

        You're top of the list for the saddest place to live. ;)
        Ex pat here now living in Melbourne.

        As a ex-adelaidian i do agree that its nice to see it in a top 10 that isn't negative.

        I withdraw my comment :P

    Sunshine Coast University Hospital is looking to make it on to this list eventually.
    $2.03billion estimated cost and it'll end up more than that.

    Renovations to my house felt like it cost a billion.

    Where is the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore? $3.85b to build, $1.2b for the reclaimed land.

    SAHMRI has been finished for a while and is gorgeous inside and out. The new RAH is coming along nicely, was there last week, some of the exterior glass is up. They've also nearly finished the convention centre upgrade, and they've started building a new building for uni SA next to SAHMRI. They've also finished the new uni SA buildings on the west end of Hindley St.

    http://i57.tinypic.com/2iqnvag.jpg

    Isn't the issue here the fact that other countries can build larger hospitals than we can for a fraction of the cost.... see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Elizabeth_Hospital_Birmingham

    I now wonder if the $400mn price tag for the new Northern Beaches Hospital in Sydney is perhaps unrealistic?

      Surely you jest.

      That is what they are spending on the road upgrades for the site.

    The real reason for hugely expensive hospitals: all those machines that go "Ping!"

    Isn't it intersting that the two Australian sites that made the list of most expensive buildings in the world are both government contracts? Is that simply that Australian governments are so willing to spend vast amounts of money on health care or could it be something else? Maybe a flawed tender process? Nah, it must be because our governments care for us so much. Right?

    Still can't find parking at any of them!!!! :)

    The Australian government overspends. Seriously; somehow they spend millions building simple roundabouts, and hundreds of thousands painting a zebra crossing.

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