Beyond the Clouds: Discovering the World’s 10 Tallest Buildings
Written by Sanjay Kumar
As cities around the world continue to grow and urbanize, skyscrapers have become an increasingly common sight in skylines across the globe. These towering structures not only serve as symbols of human progress and achievement, but they also offer practical solutions for maximizing limited space in densely populated areas.
In this blog, we will be exploring the top 10 tallest buildings in the world, from Burj Khalifa in Dubai to the sleek Shanghai Tower in China. These remarkable structures represent the pinnacle of human engineering and design, and their construction has pushed the limits of what we thought was possible. So, let’s start the list with the tallest building in the world!
Top 10 Tallest Buildings in the world
01 – Burj Khalifa
- Located in: Burj Park by Emaar
- Departments: Burj Khalifa Pool Annex
- Height: 828 m, 830 m to tip CTBUH
- Floors: 163
- Owner: Emaar Properties
- Architects: Adrian Smith, George J. Efstathiou, Marshall Strabala
- Contractors: Samsung C&T Corporation, Turner Construction, Arabtec Holding PJSC, Besix, Laing O’Rourke
- Construction started: 6 January 2004
- Opened: 4 January 2010
Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, standing at a height of 828 meters (2,716 feet). Located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the tower has 163 floors and holds several world records, including the tallest freestanding structure, highest number of stories, and highest occupied floor. The construction of Burj Khalifa began in 2004 and was completed in 2009, with a total cost of around $1.5 billion. The tower has become an iconic landmark of Dubai and a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors every year. Its remarkable height and unique architecture continue to awe and inspire people from all over the world.
02 – Shanghai Tower
- Address: China, Shanghai, Pudong, Lujiazui, 501: 200120
- Height: 632 m CTBUH
- Floors: 128
- Opened: 2 February 2015
- Architects: Marshall Strabala, Arthur Gensler, Andy Cohen, Jun Xia
- Construction started: 29 November 2008
- Owners: Shanghai Municipal Investment Group, Shanghai Tower Construction and Development
- Architectural styles: High-tech architecture, Futurist architecture
Shanghai Tower is a supertall skyscraper located in Shanghai, China, and is currently the second-tallest building in the world, standing at a height of 632 meters (2,073 feet). The tower has 128 floors and features a unique twisting design that helps to reduce wind loads and improve overall structural stability. The construction of Shanghai Tower began in 2008 and was completed in 2015, with a total cost of around $2.4 billion.
The tower serves as a major hub for business and tourism, with a variety of offices, hotels, observation decks, and other amenities. Its impressive height and striking appearance have made it a prominent feature of the Shanghai skyline and a symbol of China’s growing economic power.
03 – Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower
- Address: Mecca Saudi Arabia
- Construction started: 2002
- Cost: US$15 billion
- Architect(s): SL Rasch GmbH and Dar Al-Handasah Architects
- Architectural style: Postmodern; New Classical
- Floor area: Tower: 310,638 m2 (3,343,680 sq ft); Development: 1,575,815 m2 (16,961,930 sq ft) (389.4 acres)
- Floor count: 120 (Clock Tower)
- Top floor: 494 m (1,621 ft)
Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower, also known as the Mecca Royal Clock Tower, is a skyscraper complex located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The tower stands at a height of 601 meters (1,971 feet) and has 120 floors. The clock face of the tower, which is the largest in the world, measures 43 meters (141 feet) in diameter and is illuminated by over two million LED lights.
The complex serves as a major hub for Muslim pilgrims visiting Mecca, with a variety of accommodations, shopping centers, and prayer facilities. The construction of Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower was completed in 2012, with a total cost of around $15 billion. Its impressive height and unique design have made it a prominent feature of the Mecca skyline and a symbol of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to modernization and development.
04 – Ping An International Finance Centre
- Address: China, Shenzhen, Futian District, 中心城 邮政编码: 518017
- Height: 555 m, 599 m to tip CTBUH
- Floors: 115
- Construction started: 2010
- Opened: 28 March 2017
- Province: Guangdong Province
- Architecture firm: Kohn Pedersen Fox
- Architectural style: Postmodern Architecture
Ping An International Finance Centre is a supertall skyscraper located in Shenzhen, China, and is currently the fourth-tallest building in the world, standing at a height of 599 meters (1,965 feet). The tower has 115 floors and features a distinctive, futuristic design that incorporates several sustainable features, including a double skin façade, rainwater harvesting system, and an energy-efficient HVAC system.
The construction of Ping An International Finance Centre began in 2010 and was completed in 2017, with a total cost of around $1.5 billion. The tower serves as a major hub for business and commerce, with a variety of offices, hotels, and retail spaces. Its impressive height and innovative design have made it a prominent feature of the Shenzhen skyline and a symbol of China’s rapid economic growth and technological advancement.
05 – Lotte World Tower
- Height: 555 m
- Floors: 123
- Opened: 3 April 2017
- Construction started: 2011
- Floor space: 304,081 m²
- Architecture firm: Kohn Pedersen Fox
- Architect: James von Klemperer
Lotte World Tower is a supertall skyscraper located in Seoul, South Korea, and is currently the fifth-tallest building in the world, standing at a height of 555 meters (1,819 feet). The tower has 123 floors and features a sleek, tapered design that is inspired by traditional Korean art and culture. The construction of Lotte World Tower began in 2011 and was completed in 2017, with a total cost of around $3.4 billion.
The tower serves as a major hub for business, tourism, and entertainment, with a variety of offices, hotels, observation decks, and shopping centers. Its impressive height and unique design have made it a prominent feature of the Seoul skyline and a symbol of South Korea’s growing economic and cultural influence.
06 – One World Trade Center
- Located in: Westfield World Trade Center
- Address: 285 Fulton St, New York, NY 10007, United States
- Height: 541 m, 546 m to tip CTBUH
- Floors: 104
- Construction started: 27 April 2006
- Architects: Daniel Libeskind, David Childs, T. J. Gottesdiener
- Founded: 3 November 2014
- Architecture firm: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
- Architectural styles: Modern architecture, Contemporary architecture
One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, is a skyscraper located in Lower Manhattan, New York City, and is currently the sixth-tallest building in the world, standing at a height of 541 meters (1,776 feet). The tower has 104 floors and features a modern, minimalist design that is meant to evoke a sense of strength and resilience in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
The construction of One World Trade Center began in 2006 and was completed in 2014, with a total cost of around $3.9 billion. The tower serves as a major hub for business, tourism, and cultural events, with a variety of offices, observation decks, and exhibition spaces. Its impressive height and symbolic significance have made it a prominent feature of the New York City skyline and a testament to the city’s enduring spirit and determination.
07 – Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre
- Address: China, Guangdong Province, Guangzhou, Tianhe District, Huacheng Blvd,: 510623
- Height: 530 m CTBUH
- Floors: 111
- Construction started: 29 July 2010
- Architecture firm: Kohn Pedersen Fox
- Owner: Chow Tai Fook
- Opened: October 2016
- Province: Guangdong Province
The Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre is a supertall skyscraper located in Guangzhou, China. It was completed in 2016 and is currently the seventh-tallest building in the world, with a height of 530 meters (1,739 feet). The building serves as a mixed-use development with a variety of functions, including offices, hotels, and retail spaces.
The design of the building features a triangular floor plan that tapers as it rises, giving it a distinctive shape. The height of the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre is a testament to China’s rapid economic growth and its desire to be at the forefront of modern architecture and design. It is a striking addition to the city’s skyline and a symbol of China’s aspirations to be a major player in the global economy.
08 – Tianjin CTF Finance Centre
- Height: 439 m, 530 m to tip CTBUH
- Floors: 97
- Opened: 22 September 2019
- Construction started: 3 January 2013
- Architecture firm: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
- Location: Binhai New Area, Tianjin, China
- Owner: Tianjin New World Huan Bo Hai Real Estate Development Co. Ltd
Tianjin CTF Finance Centre, also known as Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Binhai Centre, is a supertall skyscraper located in Tianjin, China. With a height of 530 meters (1,740 feet) and 98 floors, it is currently the fifth tallest building in the world and the third tallest in China.
The tower was designed by American architectural firm SOM and completed in 2019. It is a mixed-use building that includes office space, luxury residences, and a hotel. The building’s sleek, tapered design was inspired by the shape of a fish, a symbol of prosperity and good luck in Chinese culture. The Tianjin CTF Finance Centre is a stunning example of modern architecture and an impressive addition to the Tianjin skyline.
09 – China Zun
- Height: 528 m CTBUH
- Floors: 109
- Opened: 2018
- Architectural style: Modern architecture
- Construction started: 15 May 2012
- Location: Z15 plot, Guanghua Road, Beijing CBD, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
- Architecture firms: Kohn Pedersen Fox, Farrells
China Zun, also known as the CITIC Tower, is a skyscraper located in the central business district of Beijing, China. It is a stunning architectural marvel that stands at a height of 528 meters (1,732 feet), making it the tallest building in the city and the ninth tallest in the world. The tower’s design draws inspiration from traditional Chinese architecture, with a unique shape resembling a traditional Chinese ritualistic vessel.
The tower is home to offices, luxury apartments, and a hotel, and offers breathtaking views of the city from its observation deck. Its impressive height and iconic design make China Zun an important landmark of modern China, representing the country’s economic and technological development.
10 – Taipei 101
- Former names – Taipei World Financial Center
- Cost – NT$58 billion (US$1.895 billion)
- Owner – Taipei Financial Center Corporation
- Landlord – Taipei City Government
- Architect(s) – C.Y. Lee & C.P. Wang
- Structural engineer – Thornton Tomasetti
- Awards and prizes – Existing Buildings, LEED Platinum O+M
Taipei 101 is a super-tall skyscraper located in Taipei, Taiwan. When it was completed in 2004, it held the title of the tallest building in the world at a height of 509 meters (1,670 feet). It held this title until 2010, when it was surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Taipei 101 is famous for its distinctive design, which incorporates traditional Asian motifs with modern engineering techniques.
The building has 101 floors above ground and five floors below ground and serves as a hub for commercial, retail, and entertainment activities. The height of Taipei 101 is a symbol of Taiwan’s technological advancements and its aspirations to become a global player in the business world.
01. What are the top 10 tallest buildings in the world?
The top 10 tallest buildings in the world are:
- Burj Khalifa – Top Tallest Buildings in the World
- Shanghai Tower – Top Tallest Buildings in the World
- Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower – Top Tallest Buildings in the World
- Ping An International Finance Centre – Top Tallest Buildings in the World
- Lotte World Tower – Top Tallest Buildings in the World
- One World Trade Center – Top Tallest Buildings in the World
- Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre – Top Tallest Buildings in the World
- Tianjin CTF Finance Centre – Top Tallest Buildings in the World
- China Zun – Top Tallest Buildings in the World
- Taipei 101 – Top Tallest Buildings in the World
02. What are the top 20 tallest buildings in the world?
The top 20 tallest buildings in the world are:
|Burj Khalifa – 1st World’s tallest building||Dubai||828 m||163||Office / Residential / Hotel|
|Shanghai Tower – 2nd tallest building globally||Shanghai||632 m||128||Hotel / Office|
|Makkah Royal Clock Tower – 3rd tallest building globally||Mecca||601 m||120||Serviced Apartments / Hotel / Retail|
|Ping An Finance Center – 4th tallest building globally||Shenzhen||599.1 m||115||Office|
|Lotte World Tower – 5th tallest building globally||Seoul||554.5 m||123||Hotel / Residential / Office / Retail|
|One World Trade Center – 6th World tallest building||New York City||541.3 m||94||Office|
|Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre – 7th World tallest building||Guangzhou||530 m||111||Hotel / Residential / Office|
|Tianjin CTF Finance Centre – 8th World tallest building||Tianjin||530 m||97||Hotel / Serviced Apartments / Office|
|CITIC Tower – 9th World tallest building||Beijing||527.7 m||109||Office|
|TAIPEI 101 – 10th World tallest building||Taipei||508 m||101||Office|
|Shanghai World Financial Center – 11th World tallest building||Shanghai||492 m||101||Hotel / Office|
|International Commerce Centre – 12th World tallest building||Hong Kong||484 m||108||Hotel / Office|
|Central Park Tower – 13th World tallest building||New York City||472.4 m||98||Residential / Retail|
|Lakhta Center – 14th World tallest building||St. Petersburg||462 m||87||Office|
|Vincom Landmark 81 – 15th World tallest building||Ho Chi Minh City||461.2 m||81||Hotel / Residential|
|The Exchange 106 – World’s 16th tallest building||Kuala Lumpur||453.6 m||95||Office|
|Changsha IFS Tower T1 – World’s 17th tallest building||Changsha||452.1 m||94||Hotel / Office|
|Petronas Twin Tower 1 – World’s 18th tallest building||Kuala Lumpur||451.9 m||88||Office|
|Petronas Twin Tower 2 – World’s 19th tallest building||Kuala Lumpur||451.9 m||88||Office|
|Suzhou IFS – World’s 20th tallest building||Suzhou||450 m||95||Hotel / Office / Serviced Apartments|
03. What is the function of the buildings on the list of top 10 tallest buildings in the world?
The buildings on the list serve various functions, including office, hotel, residential, and mixed-use purposes.
04. How long did it take to construct the tallest building?
The Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest building on the list, took approximately 6 years to construct. Construction began in 2004 and was completed in 2010.
05. What is the cost of constructing the tallest building?
The cost of constructing the Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest building globally, was approximately 1.5 billion USD.
06. Are any of the buildings on the list open to the public for observation?
Yes, many of the buildings on the list have observation decks or other public areas for viewing the surrounding city or landscape.
07. What is the tallest building in the United States?
One World Trade Center, located in New York City, is currently the tallest building in the United States.
08. Are there any buildings currently under construction that may surpass the height of the buildings on the list?
Yes, there are several buildings currently under construction that may surpass the height of the buildings on the list, including the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia and the Dubai Creek Tower in the United Arab Emirates.
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