Whether it be due to innovation or land scarcity, the expansion of towns and cities has increased at a very vertical rate in recent years. In fact, there seems to be a great deal of competition between cities to see who can build the world’s most impressive supertalls. Having the world’s tallest building can bring tourism revenue and glory to its host city, although it is not a title that many cities hold on to for very long. When it comes to skyscrapers, world trends are changing. North America used to have 75 percent of the tallest buildings 20 years ago, but this has shifted to Asia and the Middle East today. Thanks to the marvel of modern engineering that is ever-changing with the times, buildings keep growing higher, higher, and higher.

10. International Commerce Centre (Hong Kong) 1,588 feet/484 meters

Hong Kong’s International Commerce Centre is one of the most distinguishing buildings on the city’s skyline. A portion of the hotel is dedicated as a hotel (the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong). The Ritz Carlton is home to the world’s tallest swimming pool and bar on the 118th floor. There is also an observatory on the 100th floor that is open to tourists and offers stunning views of the city. A restaurant is available on the 101st floor.


9. Shanghai World Financial Center (Shanghai, China) 1,614 feet/492 meters

The Shanghai World Financial Center has a height totalling 492, which makes it the tenth tallest building in the world. Construction of the building was completed in 2008. It has a total of 101 floors. The Shanghai World Financial Center is located in Shanghai’s skyscraper-laden Pudong district and acts as an international finance and trade center. It is home to hotel rooms, offices, conferences, observation decks and shopping malls. Its tower has a trapezoid aperture towards the peak and has an air controlling feature called Variable Air Volume (VAV), and it is designed with a diagonal frame to mitigate bending and compressive forces from people inside the building, the wind, and heavy equipment on the ground alike. The design of the skyscraper has been very positively received by critics.


8. Tapei 101 (Taipei, Taiwan) 1,667 feet/508 meters

Like its name would suggest, Tapei 101 has a total of 101 stories. At 508 meters tall, it is among the world’s tallest buildings. Taipei 101 made great waves when it was constructed in 2004, as its design was quite revolutionary at the time. It held the title of the world’s tallest building for a six years before being surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. An example of postmodern architecture, Taipei 101 is well known for its unique green-blue hue. It dominates the skyline of Taipei and is a major tourist attraction, mainly thanks to its observatory at the top.


7. Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, China (Guangzhou, China) 1,739 feet/530 meters (Tie)

Located in the city of Guangzhou in southern China, the CTF Finance Centre is a mixed-use skyscraper whose construction was completed in October of 2016. It is 530 meters tall and is home to a shopping mall, offices, and a hotel. Guangzhou’s CTF Finance Centre is notably home to one of the fastest elevators in the world, which reaches speeds of 71 km (44.7 miles) per hour.


6. One World Trade Center (New York, United States) 1,776 feet/541.3 meters

Standing at 541.3 meters and 104 stories, One World Trade Center is the tallest building not only in New York City, but also in the United States, and the entire Western Hemisphere. Its construction was completed in 2014. Its namesake comes from the North Tower of the original World Trade Center. One World Trade Center was built as a functional building in commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The building has been lauded for its use of renewable energy, which includes the reuse of rainwater.

5. Lotte World Tower (Seoul, South Korea) 1,819 feet/554.5 meters

The Lotte World Tower is found in Seoul, South Korea. At 554.5 meters, it is the fifth tallest building in the world. Construction on the building was completed in March of 2016. A total of thirteen years of planning went into the preparation the the Lotte World Tower’s construction, which began in March 2011. The building features 123 floors, six of which are underground. The roof of the Lotte World Tower was constructed with such a strength that it is designed to withstand earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 9 on the Richter scale.


4. Ping An International Finance Centre (Shanghai, China) 1,965 feet/599 meters

The Ping An International Finance Centre, in Shenzhen, China, is 599 meters tall. It is the fourth tallest building in the world. Construction of the building topped out in 2015 before being finally completed in 2017. The Ping An International Finance Centre features a conference center, hotel, and a number of high-end retail spaces. It is also the home of its namesake, Ping An Insurance. The building uses an impressive total of 33 double decker elevators to access its 115 floors. Originally, the building designs called for the inclusion of an antenna. However, this plan was eventually called off due to concerns of flight interference.


3. Abraj Al-Bait (Mecca, Saudi Arabia) 1,971 feet/601 meters

Also referred to as Makkah Royal Clock Tower, the Abraj Al-Bait of Mecca, Saudi Arabia is the third tallest building in the world. It stands at a total of 601 meters. The government-owned complex features a hotel with 120 floors, as well as a conference center, an Islamic museum, and a prayer room with a capacity of 10,000 people. Other amenities inside the building include a five story shopping mall and a Lunar Observation Centre, which is used to watch the moon during the Holy Month. The Abraj Al-Bait was constructed by the Saudi Binladin Group, which is the largest construction firm in Saudi Arabia. The clock of the Makkah Royal Clock Tower is the largest clock face in the world.


2. Shanghai Tower (Shanghai, China) 2,073 feet/632 meters

The Shanghai Tower is the world’s second tallest building, with 121 floors and a height of 632 meters. The construction of Shanghai Tower began in 2006 and took a total of eight years. This building was designed by Gensler, an American architectural company. Its initial purpose was to to serve as a hotel and office building. Today, the Shanghai Tower has a total of 320 hotel rooms and 1,100 parking spaces. The view from the top of the building offers a stunning view of the area of Shanghai known as Pudong, which has seen a great amount of development over recent times. 


1. Burj Khalifa (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) 2,717 feet/828 meters

At 828 meters, the Burj Khalifa holds the title of the world’s tallest building. It towers above the skyline of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Primarily constructed from steel and concrete, the building was designed by the same architects responsible for other famous super-talls like the Willis Tower in Chicago and One World Trade Center in New York City. The construction of the building, which was completed in 2010, was part of an initiative by the government of the United Arab Emirates to shift the country’s economy from one that is solely oil-based to a more tourism and service based nation. The Burj Khalifa has 30,000 residences spread out over 19 residential towers, an artificial lake, nine hotels, and a shopping mall.



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