If you’re something of a sightseer, or just have a fascination with the history of luxury, then look no further than this glimpse into the most expensive buildings that have ever been built in South America, how much they cost, and what purpose they’re serving today.
Each of these structures offers a unique contribution to the ever-evolving culture of South America, making its own special commentary on its environment and the society that designed and built it.
10 Torre Oscar Niemeyer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Kicking off the list in the #10 spot is Torre Oscar Niemeyer, or Oscar Niemeyer Tower, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Coming in at $87,000,000, Torre Oscar Niemeyer has everything: “19 floors and a terrace, and a cultural center with a library, study area, and auditoriums,” in addition, of course, to the tower itself.
Not only that, but this high-performance building was also designed (and built!) with environmental sustainability in mind. The building even got the Green Seal and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification! The Tower was named for architect Oscar Niemeyer, who designed the original structure.
9 Torre Antel, Montevideo, Uruguay
Torre Antel, or Antel Tower, in Uruguay comes in at #9 on the list. Also known as Torre de las Telecomunicaciones, or Telecommunications Tower, this massive place has everything: 35 stories, the headquarters of ANTEL, Uruguay’s government-owned telecommunications company, and a rather high price tag.
The building is such a draw for visitors that Torre Antel actually hosts its own guided tours of the building for guests. Though much controversy surrounded the original plan for the building and its costs (which ended up totaling $100,000,000), the final product, designed by architect Carlos Ott, is not only the tallest building in all of Uruguay, but it is now the ninth most expensive building in South America.
8 Torre Almirante, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Déjà vu! Rio de Janeiro comes back, and with another tower: this time, it is Torre Almirante or Admiral Tower. Not to be confused with Torre del Almirante, or Tower of the Admiral, in Spain, this skyscraper is in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and this place has everything: views of Guanabara Bay, thirty-six stories, and 448,909 square feet.
The cost of this structure comes in at $102,000,000 and was built on the same plot of land where a huge fire killed twenty-one people on February 17th, 1986. The facade of that destroyed building, named the Andorinha Building, was incorporated into the new facade of Torre Almirante in memoriam of and in recognition for the memory of those lost in the tragedy.
7 Eldorado Business Tower, São Paulo, Brazil
Brazil just can’t stop making expensive masterpieces! Number #7 on the list is in Brazil, but not in Rio de Janeiro this time; no, Eldorado Business Tower is in São Paulo, Brazil, and it measures out to thirty-six stories high. Believe it or not, it's got everything: a helipad on the roof, an office tower, a massive entrance lobby, and six of the fastest elevators in Brazil.
In addition to all that, this massive Brazilian tower comes with a $117,187,500 price tag. Outpacing the last couple of buildings from Rio de Janeiro, this Business Tower surpasses them in luxury and towers over its neighbors at a total 462 feet tall.
6 Radisson Montevideo Hotel Torre Norte, Montevideo, Uruguay
Finally, something for the common people — a hotel for the proletariat to have a chance. The Radisson Montevideo Hotel’s Torre Norte, or North Tower, cost a total of $130,000,000 and shows off one of the most expensive hotel spaces in South America.
This place has everything: an exhibition area, a grand ballroom, and is walking-distance proximity to Montevideo. If you’re already out, you may as well go to Ciudad Vieja or the Rambla boardwalk, which are also within walking distance. Completed in 1996, this 377.30-foot tall postmodern structure is open to anyone who can afford to stay!
5 The Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center, Lima, Peru
Tying with the Radisson Montevideo Hotel Torre Norte in Montevideo, Uruguay is the Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center in Lima, Peru. For the same cost — $130,000,000 — this place, too, has everything: a modern fitness center, a wellness spa, and nineteen different event venues.
Located in the San Isidro district of Lima, Peru, the Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center was designed specifically to appear both modern and warm, both inviting and luxurious, and visitors tend to agree — especially since this place is eco-friendly.
4 Torre Repsol YPF, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Another day, another tower. This time, it’s #4 — Torre Repsol YPF, or Repsol-YPF Tower. YPF is referring to YPF S.A., or Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales, which translates to Fiscal Oilfields; they’re a company in the energy business, working in the petroleum and natural gas industry.
This massive, sleek, modern skyscraper stretches to 525 feet high, made entirely of concrete and stainless steel. This cold Tower has everything: forty-four floors, a location on the corner of Macacha Güemes and Juana Manso streets, and a price tag of $134,000,000. The tallest building on this list, Torre Repsol YPF is also the tallest office building in Argentina, and the third tallest building in Argentina, period.
3 Sede do BankBoston, São Paulo, Brazil
Entering the top three with #3, Sedo do BankBoston, São Paulo, Brazil, cost a jaw-dropping $150,000,000 — 150 million dollars. This thirty-five-story skyscraper has everything: a postmodern design, a green area, and a tower. It is not only one of the largest buildings in all of Brazil, but the Sedo do BankBoston is also one of the most modern high-rises in all of South America.
The Sedo do BankBoston boasts some of the most complex architecture on this list, with its geometric tower, its pedestrian areas, and the innovative cafeterias it has inside. The tower is a magnificent addition to São Paulo, striking a concrete, granite, metal, glass, chrome tribute to industry on the skyline.
2 Ventura Corporate Towers, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Staying in Brazil and moving on to #2 with the Ventura Corporate Towers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the first building on this list to break $200 million, coming in at a total cost of $220,000,000. The Ventura Corporate Towers have everything: LEED certification, natural lighting, and a heliport.
That LEED certificate is nothing to sneeze at, either; they got it for their intelligent use of water inside the building. The special glass that makes up the facade of the building not only provides that sweet, sweet natural lighting but helps balance the temperatures inside the 36-story-tall skyscraper.
1 Sede Administrativa da Petrobrás em Vitória, Vitória, Brazil
Here it is, the most expensive building ever built in South America: the Sede Administrativa da Petrobrás em Vitória, or Petrobrás Administrative Headquarters in Vitória. Known to be one of the most modern buildings in all of Brazil, this building was designed to make people feel comfortable and content.
This place truly has everything: a sustainable design, full use of natural resources, and their fully-automated Gray Water Treatment Plant and their Sewage Treatment Plant. The final cost of the most expensive building in South America? $270,000,000.