Architects are continually vying to design a structure that will break records as the world’s tallest building. From the United States to Asia and the Middle East, there are some impressive super-skyscrapers across the globe. Here is a run-down of the top-ten tallest towers in the world.
10. Two International Finance Centre, Hong Kong
Completed in 2003, the Two International Finance Centre in Hong Kong is a stunning postmodern skyscraper with a futuristic glass façade. Standing at around 1,352 feet, it is one of only a handful of structures in the world housing double-decker elevators.
9. Willis Tower, Chicago
Previously known as The Sears Tower, The Willis Tower in Chicago is the tallest building in the United States, standing at a height of 1,353 feet. The foundation stone of this 110-storey tower was laid in August 1970 and building was completed in 1973. On the 103rd floor is a skydeck with unique protruding ledges which allow visitors to look down over the city of Chicago.
8. The Trump International Hotel, Chicago
The Trump International Hotel in Chicago is a sleek glass structure measuring an impressive 1,362 feet. Comprising 92 storeys, it became the world’s second-tallest building when it was topped out in 2009.
7. The Jin Mao Building, Shanghai, China
The Jin Mao Building in Shanghai, China, replaced King Tower as the tallest structure on the Shanghai skyline upon its completion in 1999. Measuring around 1,380 feet in height, this office, hotel and leisure complex has 88 storeys served by 130 elevators.
6. Guangzhou West Tower, China
Standing at 1,444 feet tall, Guangzhou West Tower in Guangzhou, China, is a 103-storey super-skyscraper housing offices, hotels and a conference centre. Opened in 2010, the tower is to form part of the Guangzhou Twin Towers Complex when it is joined by Guangzhou East Tower, due for completion in 2016.
5. Greenland Financial Center, Nanjing, China
Looming large over the skyline of Nanjing, the Greenland Financial Center in Nanjing, China, is a vast 1,476-feet-tall structure with 71 floors. Construction of this glass-clad building began in 2005 and was completed in 2010, when it was opened to the public as a hotel and office complex.
4. Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Measuring over 1,483 feet, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were completed in 1998 and held the record for the world’s tallest skyscraper until 2003. Connected by a skybridge weighing a massive 750 tons on the 42nd and 43rd floors, the Petronas Towers remain the world’s tallest twin towers.
3. Shanghai World Financial Center, China
At 1,614 feet, the Shanghai World Financial Center in China was envisaged to be a record breaker, surpassing the Petronas Towers to become the world’s tallest skyscraper. Construction of the building began in 1997 but was interrupted for several years due to funding problems. By the time the structure was completed, work had already begun on Taipei 101, relegating the Shanghai World Financial Center to second place in the list of the world’s tallest buildings.
2. Taipei 101, Taiwan
Located in the Hsin Yi district of Taipei in Taiwan, Taipei 101 broke the record for the world’s tallest structure in 2003 when an additional spire was fitted, completing the 1,676-foot Financial Center. With 91 floors, the building comprises offices, shops and is home to the world’s two fastest elevators.
1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai
January 2010 saw the opening of the Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai. Measuring an impressive 2,717 feet, the Burj Khalifa currently holds the title of the worlds tallest building. The skyscraper has 160 floors and is home to luxury apartments and hotels and fine restaurants, as well as offices and corporate suites. Boasting both the tallest service elevator and the highest observation deck in the world, the Burj Khalifa is a real record breaker.
Tall Buildings of the Future
Proposals for new skyscrapers to be built in Eurasia and the Middle East may strip the Burj Khalifa of its status as the tallest freestanding structure in the world. Let’s take a look at two of the latest contenders for the world’s tallest building.
Saudi Arabia is due to top the charts for the tallest building when The Kingdom Tower in Jeddah is completed. The proposed skyscraper is likely to measure around 3,280 feet in height, well over 550 feet taller than the Burj Khalifa. The Kingdom Tower is set to have an immense 275 floors and 59 elevators.
It looks as if The Kingdom Tower will not enjoy its status as the world’s tallest skyscraper for long. In January 2012, it was revealed that plans are afoot for an immense tower, measuring over 1km tall, to be constructed as part of a new development on the Khazar Islands in Azerbaijan. Due for completion in 2019, The Azerbaijan Tower will measure approximately 3,440 feet and is likely to have some 189 floors.