What are the 14 tallest buildings in the world?

Humanity has always strived to reach new heights, and this is no different when it comes to the tallest buildings in the world. But which one is the tallest building in the world and where is it located? In this article, we will explore the tallest skyscrapers built to date:

1. Burj Khalifa (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Completion date:


Function: Residential and hotel units, offices

Height: 828 meters

Architect: Adrian Smith

Burj Khalifa (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

The construction of Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, began in 2004, and the exterior was completed in 2009. The main structure is made of reinforced concrete, and some of the steel structures for the project come from the old East German parliament. The building was officially completed in 2010 as part of the reconstruction of downtown Dubai.

The plan to build the skyscraper is based on the government’s goal to diversify the economy, which is dependent on oil, and for Dubai to gain international recognition.

The design is inspired by the Islamic architecture of the region.

2. Shanghai Tower (Shanghai, China)

Completion date:


Function: Offices, hotel

Height: 632 meters

Architect: Marshall Strabala

Shanghai Tower (Shanghai, China)

The skyscraper consists of nine cylindrical towers, built one on top of the other (a total of 128 floors), all wrapped in the inner layers of a glass facade. Between it and the outer part, which bends as it rises, nine inner zones provide guests with free space. Each of these nine areas has its own atrium with grassy areas, restaurants, cafes, and shops, as well as breathtaking views of the city. Both parts of the facade are transparent, and the base of the tower includes a shop and event space.

Most structures have a single facade made of highly reflective glass to prevent heat absorption.

3. The Royal Clock Tower in Mecca (Mecca, Saudi Arabia)

Completion date:


Function: Mixed use

Height: 601 meters

Architect: Dar al-Handasah Shair

The Royal Clock Tower in Mecca (Mecca, Saudi Arabia)

The towers have sparked serious debate as they were built on the site of the famous 18th-century Ottoman fortress Ajyad, which was demolished to make way for them. The tower complex is just meters away from the Great Mosque of Mecca, the largest mosque in the world and the holiest shrine of Islam. The tallest tower of the building is the tallest skyscraper in Saudi Arabia.

The Abraj Al-Bait Towers include two huge prayer halls that can accommodate over 10,000 worshippers visiting the Kaaba.

4. Ping’An Financial Center (Shenzhen, China)

Completion Date:


Function: offices

Height: 599 meters

Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Ping'An Financial Center (Shenzhen, China)

The Ping’An Financial Center, located in the Futian district of the city, symbolizes a new version of the traditional Asian skyscraper: very tall, very dense, and extremely well-connected. This famous and iconic building rises from a prominent location in the city center, seamlessly connecting with other business and residential complexes, as well as the high-speed railway network of the Pearl River Delta. At its full height, the skyscraper will represent a metropolis that has undergone tremendous urban expansion – from 300,000 to around 10 million people – in the 35 years since it became China’s first special economic zone.

The tower is shaped like a stretched steel wire, extending both from the sky and from the ground.

5. Lotte World Tower (Seoul, South Korea)

Completion date:


Function: Hotel, shops, residences

Height: 554 meters

Architect: James von Klumperer

Lotte World Tower (Seoul, South Korea)

After 13 years of preparation and planning of the facility, the government gives final permission to start construction of the tower in November 2010, and in March the first revolutionary operations of pilings and frame assembly were observed at the construction site. The roof structure is designed to support its weight without the use of reinforcing supports.

This is a landmark in Seoul and the first 100-story building in Korea.

When the building was completed, it was declared the fourth tallest tower in the world, as well as the tallest in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries. The observation deck offers incredible panoramas, as well as a telescope and even a glass floor. After the completion of the building, the elevator, which can be found in Seoul Sky, became the highest observatory with a glass floor.

6. World Trade Center (New York, USA)

Completion date:


Function: offices

Height: 541 meters

Architect: Daniel Libeskind

World Trade Center (New York, USA)

The World Trade Center (WTC) is a dazzling light for the city’s newer center and a striking additional feature to the city’s skyline. It is sustainable, secure, and aesthetically exciting. With a height of 1,776 feet, it is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and an iconic landmark of New York.

With entrances from all four sides of the skyscraper, the World Trade Center is designed to seamlessly combine the activities of visitors and office tenants.

The size of the building’s base is exactly the same as that of the original Twin Towers. It has around 2,000 pieces of shimmering prism glass covering the surface of the base. The crown of the building is a spire composed of a mast and a communication platform ring. At night, the beacon at the top emits a horizontal beam of light that can be seen for miles.

7. Guangzhou CTF Financial Center (Guangzhou, China)

Completion Date:


Function: Offices, hotel

Height: 530 meters

Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox

Guangzhou CTF Financial Center (Guangzhou, China)

The Guangzhou Chow Tai Fook (CTF) Financial Center is a paradigm of sustainable high-density design, located in the city center, with a facade consisting of corrosion-resistant glass terracotta and metal, as well as glass. The terracotta columns lighten the building’s facade. The designers have used various approaches to make the center more environmentally friendly. For example, the skyscraper uses energy-efficient methods to reduce its environmental footprint, such as new coolers and a platform roof covered with solar panels.

8. Tianjin Financial Center (Tianjin, China)

Completion Date:


Function: Offices, hotel

Height: 530 meters

Architect: Ronald Lu & Partners

Financial Center Tianjin (Tianjin, China)

This skyscraper combines complex programmatic aspects and is surrounded by an intelligent facade that delicately depicts the interaction of light and structure. It is a breakthrough paradigm for physical and mechanical efficiency. The design of the tower combines stylistic, architectural, and functional criteria.

The geometry, which is square in plan with rounded corners, maximizes the efficiency of its three thematic applications – office, hotel, and apartments – which are arranged to meet the optimal distances for each of these functions.

The curved facade of the skyscraper is a result of structural efficiency techniques. Its crystalline glass panels extend from the lobby to the crown, giving the overall architecture of the building a powerful monolithic character.

9. China Zun Tower (Beijing, China)

Completion Date:


Function: offices

Height: 527 meters

Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox

China Zun Tower (Beijing, China)

According to the creators, the term China Zun comes from zun, an ancient Chinese wine cup, which has influenced the design of the building. The skyscraper will remain the tallest building in Beijing in the foreseeable future, as in 2018 the authorities restrict new developments in the central business district to no more than 180 meters in order to alleviate congestion.

10. TAIPEI 101 (Taipei, Taiwan)

Completion date:


Function: offices

Height: 508 meters

Architect: C.Y. Lee & C.P. Wang

TAIPEI 101 (Taipei, Taiwan)

In order to construct the entire building, the structural parts are connected to each other. This rhythmic aesthetic is new in skyscrapers. For protection against disasters and wind damage, the segmented TAIPEI 101 includes the Mega Structure System. The impact of the wind on the surface of tall structures is eliminated, as each eight floors are an autonomous zone. The design of the base ensures comfort and safety for pedestrians. The structure is a reflection of traditional Chinese architectural theory, similar to the flexible but persistent bamboo that rises towards the sky.

The semi-transparent and non-reflective screens are energy-efficient and heat-reflective, providing residents with a clear perspective of the world around them.

11. Shanghai World Financial Center (Shanghai, China)

Completion date:


Function: Offices, hotel

Height: 492 meters

Architect: William Pedersen

Shanghai World Financial Center (Shanghai, China)

In Shanghai, China, the Shanghai World Financial Center is a mixed-use skyscraper. The skyscraper is located in the Pudong sector of the city, next to the 88-story Jin Mao Tower. It has 101 floors and was designed by the American architectural company Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates from New York. After an 11-year development process, the building was opened in 2008. During its construction, it was the second tallest structure in the world, following only the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan. However, it was later surpassed by larger projects.

12. International Trade Center (Hong Kong, China)

Completion Date:


Function: Offices, hotel

Height: Hong Kong, China

Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox

International Trade Center (Hong Kong, China)

The ICC is a corporate tower in Hong Kong, opened in 2010. It is a key component of the Union Square development, located above the Kowloon Station. It is the fourth tallest skyscraper in the world at the time of its completion in 2010.

13. Central Park Tower (New York, USA)

Completion Date:


Function: Residential

Height: 472 meters

Architect: Adrian Smith

Central Park Tower (New York, USA)

The tallest residential skyscraper ever built is the culmination of a decade of planning and collaboration between architects. The sophisticated and distinctive facade reflects a dynamic range of colors and light as the sun moves across the surface of the building. Central Park Tower is the perfect residential building with its breathtaking views, magnificent architecture, elegant design, and hotel-like service.

The unique footprint of Central Park Tower allows for the construction of the most magnificent apartments in the city, filled with personalized decorations, the finest natural finishes, and the most spectacular views in New York.

The living and leisure areas are located in the corners of the apartments, in order to take advantage of diverse panoramas and views of the city.

14. Lakhta Center (Saint Petersburg, Russia)

Completion date:


Function: offices

Height: 462 meters

Architect: Tony Kettle


Lakhta Center (Saint Petersburg, Russia)

The design of the tower includes various green and energy-saving technologies. The spaces are heated using excess heat generated by the technical facilities. The building also uses low-noise technology, noise-reducing devices, and sound-insulating suspended facades.

The probability of structures icing up is quite high due to the characteristics of the excessively humid and windy environment in the northwestern region of Russia.

Engineers have used a metal mesh instead of glass to prevent the tower’s spire from completely freezing. The high glass will be heated to prevent the formation of ice and ensure optimal visibility. A new standalone power substation will be built to supply energy to the Lakhta Center and surrounding regions without overloading the existing infrastructure.

Photos: Pinterest

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