Design and Analysis

Top 10 Tallest (Completed) Buildings in the World

12 January 2018

If you are anything like me, walking through major cities from NYC to LA feels like you are surrounded by the tallest buildings in the world. Every time I visit New York, I see 432 Park which is currently New York City’s tallest apartment building. This building basically looks like the long Tetris piece. I have (kind of lovingly) nicknamed it “That Ugly Tetris Building.”

While my feelings about that building are not exactly warm, I am still amazed by just how tall it is. The building seems to tower over everything else in the city. I was convinced that 432 Park is in the top 10 tallest buildings in the world. With a simple Google search, I was proven very wrong. 432 Park doesn’t even make it to the top 20. It is the 21st tallest building in the world, at 1,396 ft tall and 88 floors.

I have a deep fear of heights, so reading just how tall the top 10 tallest buildings in the world are both terrified and astonished me. So I have compiled this list so you can be just

(WikiCommons)(WikiCommons)as stunned as I am!

1) Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE

Coming in at number one is the enormous Burj Khalifa. This building measures at 2,717 feet tall with 163 floors. Construction on this building started in 2004 and finished in 2009 with the official opening in 2010. The Burj Khalifa is part of Downtown Dubai, a mixed-use development in the city. This building has broken 17 world records since its opening.

(Source: Colin Capelle/Flickr)(Source: Colin Capelle/Flickr)

2) Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, China

Number two on the list is 2,073 feet tall with 128 floors. Construction on the Shanghai Tower started in 2008 and was completed in 2014 with an official opening in 2015. Like the Burj Khalifa, it is also a mixed-use building. This building is amazing for a few reasons. In addition to being the second tallest building in the world, it has the world’s highest observation deck within a building and the world’s fastest elevators which travel at 46 miles per hour. I feel like you would get motion sickness from elevators that are that fast!

(Source: Wikicommons)(Source: Wikicommons)

3) Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

This clock tower measures at 1,971 feet with 120 floors. Construction started in 2004 and was completed and opened in 2011. This building consists of a hotel and residential apartments. This building is close to the world’s largest mosque, the Great Mosque of Mecca. This building has a world record as the world’s most expensive building with construction costs at $15 billion.

4) Ping An Finance Centre in Shenzhen, China

(Source: Flickr)(Source: Flickr)

The Finance Center measures at 1,965 feet tall with 115 floors. This is a very recently opened building. Construction started in 2010 and the official opening was just last year in 2017. This building holds offices and retail. Ping An is the tallest building in Shenzhen, surpassing the KK100 Tower. It is also the second tallest building in China. There were plans to add an antenna at the top, but this idea was scrapped because officials feared that it would obstruct flight paths.

(Source: Pixabay)(Source: Pixabay)

5) Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea

Number five measured at 1,819 feet tall and has 123 floors. Construction started in 2010 and it was officially finished and opened in 2017. Look out for this building in the video clips from around Korea during the 2018 Winter Olympics that are being held in PeyongChang, South Korea. Lotte World Tower is mixed use, with a hotel and residential apartments being held in the building.

(Source: Michael Vadon/Flickr)(Source: Michael Vadon/Flickr)

6) One World Trade Center, New York City, United States

This one is close to home. One World Trade Center measures at 1,776 feet tall with 104 floors. This building holds offices and an observation deck and is mainly used for communications. Construction started on this building in 2006. The architectural firm of this building also built the Burj Khalifa and the Willis Tower, the first and seventeenth tallest buildings in the world. One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

(Source:Wikicommons)(Source:Wikicommons)

7) Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in Guangzhou, China

This building measures at 1,739 feet tall and has 111 floors. It is the tallest completed building in Guangzhou. Guangzhou CTF houses a shopping mall, offices, apartments and a hotel. Construction started in 2009 and it was officially opened in 2016. This is part of a pair called the Guangzhou Twin Towers. The twin tower is called the Guangzhou International Finance Center and is nicknamed the “West Tower.” Because of this, the CTF Finance Centre is nicknamed the “East Tower.”

8) Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan

(Source: Wikicommons)(Source: Wikicommons)

Taipei 101 measures at 1,667 feet tall with 101 floors. Construction on this building started in 1999 and was completed in 2004. This tower was the tallest building in the world in 2004 until the Burj Khalifa was completed in 2010. Although this tower has been knocked way down from its number one spot in the last seven years, it still makes it into the top 10. Taipei 101 holds commercial offices. It was awarded platinum certification from the Leadership in Energy in Environmental Design (LEED) in 2011. This award made this building the tallest and largest green building in the world. It also used to have the fastest elevator in the world, which traveled at 38 mph, until Shanghai Tower won the title in 2016.

(Source: Wikicommons)(Source: Wikicommons)

9) Shanghai World Financial Center in Shanghai, China

Shanghai World Financial Center is 1,614 feet tall with 101 floors. This is a mixed-use structure that holds offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks and ground-floor shopping malls. Park Hyatt Shanghai finds its home in this building. Construction on this building started in 1997 and was completed and opened in 2008. When it was completed, the Park Hyatt was the highest hotel in the world, taking up space on the 79th through 93rd floors. It is now the third highest hotel after the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, which takes up the 102nd through 108th floors in the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong, the 11th tallest building in the world.

10) International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong, China

(Source: Wikicommons)(Source: Wikicommons)

And last, but certainly not small in any case, is the International Commerce Centre, which was mentioned above. This building measures 1,588 feet tall with 118 floors. Building on this skyscraper was started in 2002 and it was completed and opened in 2010. When it was completed, it was the fourth tallest building in the world and third tallest building in China in 2010. It holds the title of the tallest building in Hong Kong and fifth tallest building by number of floors in the world.

These buildings are amazing skyscrapers. I, for one, will never be traveling to the top of these buildings. Because of my extreme fear of heights, my knees get weak when I just look at the photos of these buildings. But they are beautiful and breathtaking. What do you think about these buildings? Would you ever travel to the top of one of these? Let me know in the comments!

To contact the author of this article, email Siobhan.Treacy@ieeeglobalspec.com


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Discussion – 1 comment

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Re: Top 10 Tallest (Completed) Buildings in the World
#1
2018-Jan-16 9:15 AM

I'm with you about heights. I made it to the top of the Empire State Building once and that was enough.

Interesting article ... I wonder what innovations in materials and designs made these buildings possible -- including how to make an elevator go over 40 mph!

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