In almost every major city in the world you'll find one of not half a dozen steel giants cascading upwards into the heavens. Skyscrapers are a tribute to our 21st century achievements and are a sign of a world on the rise. If you're an architectural student, hobbyist or working on the next steel giant you'll find these works of art inspiring.

The first skyscraper to go up Chicago in 1884 was only a mere 10 stories, but it was the first step in a long line of buildings to come. Architect Major William Le Baron Jenney is credited with the first use of a load-bearing structural frame used in the Chicago tower. It wasn't until 1891 that the first true skyscraper was erected in St. Louis using steel frames. This skyscraper was one of the first steel buildings to go up this high and would quickly start spreading around the world including New York, London and Chicago.

Azrieli Center

The Azrieli Center is a complex of amazing skyscrapers in Tel Aviv that were started in 1996 and fully completed in 1999. The center sits on a 35,000 square foot site and was named after the developer Mr David Azrieli. The Azrieli center was originally designed by Israeli-American architect Eli Attiyah, but had a falling out with Mr Azrieli. The project was then completed by the Tel Aviv firm of Moor Yaski Sivan. The center is a mix of shopping centers, restaurants, offices and hotels and makes for an amazing set of skyscrapers.

Beetham Tower

This is one of several skyscrapers named after the Beetham Organization and is a work of architectural art....each and every on of them. The Beetham Towers are mainly used for residential housing, but two of them also have hotels situated in them.

Chicago Trump Towers

This behemoth is located in downtown Chicago and you could almost guess who has their hands in this amazing tower. This is the Trump Tower Chicago and was designed by architect Adrian Smith who works for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. The Trump Tower is one part hotel, one part luxury residents and one part shopping zone. You can rack this building up onto my all time favorites list!

CIS Tower

This CIS Tower is the second largest building in Manchester, England. The tower stands 118 meters into the sky and was designed by Gordon Tait and G.S. Hay. The CIS tower was built in 1962 and its design was inspired by that of the buildings in New York City.

john hancock

This could be either a skyscraper or a beacon for alien spaceships visiting the beautiful city of Chicago. This is the 100 story John Hancock Center which was completed in 1969, and was at that time the largest building outside of New York. This is the handy work of the well known Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. The 95th floor is home to a restaurant which has spectacular views of the city and Lake Michigan.

Potsdamer Platz

On the right here you can see the Kollhoff Tower which is located in Berlin, in the Potsdamer Platz(Potsdamer Square) to be exact. The building is named after the architect, Hans Kollhoff. Hans Kollhoff's architecture is characterised by a classical building-style and the use of solid, traditional materials, such as stone and brick, worked according to traditional methods. This is not the only building Mr. Kollhoff has designed but it still remains my favorite piece of work.

Royal Bank Toronto

So why does the Royal Bank Plaza have a tinge of gold in this picture you ask? Well every one of its 14,000+ windows is coated with a layer of 24 karat gold. At a cost of about $70 per window, the total value of gold in the windows is over $1,000,000 but, due to the manufacturing technique used to make the glass, the gold is unrecoverable. So hopefully that deters any of you troublemakers from thinking about grabbing some gold!

US Steel Tower

Some of you may already know this well known building out in Pittsburgh. This is the US Steel tower and it reaches upwards of 256 meters into the Pennsylvanian skies. The original plans for this building was to make it the worlds tallest, but eventually ended up only going 64 floors...not too shabby. US Steel still occupies over half a million square feet of office space and has a commanding view of the downtown core from every angle.

Vero Center

New Zealand is home to this building which resides in Auckland, and was the first major tower built here since the 80's! The Vero Centre is used purely for office space and has a handful of retail shops in the lower levels. As of 2005, it is New Zealand's tallest "and most technologically advanced" landmark office tower. It is easily found by looking out for its halo atop the roof which makes it an easy spot.

chelsea tower

Dubai is home to the upcoming largest building in the world, and it is also home to some of the most unique designed towers. The Chelsea Tower is no except. This building stands 250 meters tall and has 49 floors of residential and hotel rooms. The Chelsea Tower was completed in 2005 and managed to hold the title of 5th tallest building, but as of today it is sitting at number 8.

I hope you enjoyed the selection I chose, but I'd like to see links to more amazing skyscrapers posted in the comments. There were so many different types of buildings to choose from that I hope these will do for now.