After Foster + Partners completed a pair of skyscrapers connected by a suspension bridge, Dezeen rounds up a dozen buildings that feature various types of skybridges.
Bridge structures that span buildings high up in mid-air are now a common trick for architects to show off in skyscraper projects.
Among the earliest examples are the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice, which was completed in 1600 but skybridges have become common and ambitious in recent thanks to advances in engineering technology.
Below are 12 of the most arresting contemporary skybridges around the world:
DJI Sky City, China, by Foster + Partners, 2022
British studio Foster + Partners’ Shenzhen headquarters for drone manufacturer DJI consists of two 200-metre-tall skyscrapers by an open-air suspension linked bridge.
The bridge itself, which is a dizzying 105 meters above the ground and 90 meters long, is attached to the vertically slatted cores of its guardian towers.
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Petronas Towers, Malaysia, by César Pelli, 1998
Designed by late Argentine-American architect César Pelli, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur arguably kicked off the wave of skybridges that have sprung up in the 21st century.
The towers were the tallest in the world between 1998 and 2004 at 451 metres, and remain the tallest twin towers on the globe.
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Tencent Global Headquarters, China, by NBBJ, 2018
Three large bridges clad in copper-colored aluminum louvres connect the towers of the Tencent Global Headquarters in Shenzhen, designed by NBBJ.
They were designed to encourage the tech company’s workers not to become siloed in their individual departments. Between them, the bridges house, a health centre, a library, a running track and a full-sized basketball court.
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Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, by Safdie Architects, 2011
Israeli-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie is the king of the skybridge, with his Marina Bay Sands resort now widely recognised as an architectural icon in Singapore.
The complex’s three 57-storey towers are topped by a sky garden that cantilevers out for 65 meters on one side. In an interview with Dezeen, Safdie said the project represented “a new kind of public realm”.
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Sky Habitat, Singapore, by Safdie Architects, 2016
Another Singapore project by Safdie Architects, Sky Habitats consists of a pair of balcony-covered apartment towers linked by three aerial walkways.
The white truss bridges are intended to provide communal outdoor space for residents in the form of sky gardens and include a vertiginous swimming pool on the highest bridge.
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The Crystal, China, by Safdie Architects, 2020
At the Raffles City complex in Chongqing, The Crystal skybridge connects four 250-metre-tall skyscrapers.
Described by Safdie Architects as a “horizontal skyscraper”, The Crystal is a 300-metre-long glass-and-steel tube containing gardens, bars, restaurants, a clubhouse and a hotel lobby, with a transparent-bottomed viewing deck at one end .
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CCTV Headquarters, China, by OMA, 2012
Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas sought to redefine the traditional form of skyscrapers with the deconstructivist CCTV Headquarters in Beijing.
The 234-metre-tall building’s two towers are connected on their upper floors by a 75-metre-long cantilevered linking element. This produces its distinctive overall shape, described as a “three-dimensional cranked loop”.
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American Copper Buildings, USA, by SHoP Architects, 2017
Floors 27 to 29 of these bent Manhattan skyscrapers designed by SHoP Architects are connected by a skybridge that is 30 meters long and sits 91 meters above the ground.
The three-storey bridge contains an indoor lap pool, a hot tub and a bar and lounge for residents of the luxury apartment complex.
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Sky Pool, UK, by HAL, 2021
The controversial Sky Pool is a transparent swimming pool bridge suspended 35 meters in the air between two buildings at the Embassy Gardens development in south-west London.
“It’s the transparency, the lightness of touch and the fact that it’s straddling two buildings that makes it unique – and it captures the imagination, the fact that swimmers can see the ground and people below can see the sky,” said HAL founder Hal Currey .
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ME Dubai, UAE, by Zaha Hadid Architects, 2020
Seen from the front, the ME Dubai hotel by Zaha Hadid Architects appears to be a giant cube with a large hole at its centre.
But the reverse view reveals it is in fact a pair of towers connected at the bottom and top, with a three-storey bridge suspended 71 meters in the air above the lower atrium.
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Collins Arch, Australia, by Woods Bagot and SHoP Architects (2020)
The tapered 164-metre-tall towers of Collins Arch, a mixed-use skyscraper in Melbourne designed by Woods Bagot and SHoP Architects, are linked at the top by an eight-story skybridge.
“The skybridge connecting the two buildings is not simply decorative,” said SHoP Architects founding principal Bill Sharples. “It maximizes views and sunlight for office, hotel and residential occupants of the two buildings that, on the ground, meet public space and commercial requirements.”
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Bundang Doosan Tower, South Korea, by Kohn Pedersen Fox (2021)
US firm Kohn Pedersen Fox designed the Bundang Doosan Tower to mimic Seoul’s historic city gates, with the two blocks topped by a 100-meter-high skybridge forming an open rectangle.
The “gateway” office building stands beside the Gyeongbu Expressway, a major arterial road leading into the city that is used by around 1.2 million drivers a day.
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