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10 Tallest Buildings in the World

Asian cities dominate the list of the world's tallest buildings, with two new additions on this list from 2016 and one from 2015.

Although the skyscraper sprawl of Hong Kong's skyline is astonishing, due to height building restrictions within the city, only one of Hong Kong's buildings makes this list.


The top ten tallest buildings worldwide according to data from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat are listed herein. The organization only measures the highest points of these buildings, regardless of non-architectural and architectural extensions. This highest point measure assists in determining air traffic obstruction. It also includes extensions that can be added, modified or removed from these buildings. The expansion of towns and cities has increased the rate of such tall buildings construction in the world due to land scarcity, and there seems to be a great deal of competition within and between cities, regions and countries alike in the construction of the tallest structures and most complex geometries in bids for recognition. These skyscrapers’ locations, building functions, and the materials used to build are also changing with time. North America used to have 75 percent of the tallest buildings 20 years ago, but this has shifted to Asia and Middle East.The cost of construction of these superstructures has also risen due to the complexity of the engineering approaches necessary to take them higher and higher.

10. International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong - 1588 Feet

The International Commerce Centre, located in Hong Kong, stands at 108 stories tall and was completed in 2010. At the time, it was the fourth tallest skyscraper in the world although its position has now slipped. Tenants include the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, home to the world's highest swimming pool and bar on the 108th floor of the building. Also in the building is an observation deck, shopping mall, and five star restaurants.

9. Shanghai World Financial Centre, China - 1614 feet

The Shanghai World Financial Centre was completed in 2008, and has a height of 1,614 feet with 101 floors. It 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, Taiwan - 1667 feet

Standing at 1667 feet tall, the 101-floored Tapei 101 is located in Taipei City. The structure is best known for having once held the position of world's tallest building after its construction in 2004, as well as for having a unique blue-green glass curtain tint. The building was designed and constructed by C. Y. Lee & Partners and KTRT Joint Venture and has the flexibility and resilience to withstand earthquake tremors and typhoon winds. This structure has also been awarded by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). It is an example of postmodern architecture.

7. CTF Finance Centre, China - 1739 feet

Located in the city of Guangzhou in southern China, the CTF Finance Centre is a mixed-use skyscraper that is a new addition to this list. It was completed in October 2016. It is notably home to one of the fastest elevators found in the world, which reaches speeds of 44.7 miles per hour. There are 111 floors in total. A shopping mall exists in the building, with the parking spots allotted for it numbering 1705. The building is also home to offices, although the highest sixteen floors are also home to a hotel with a total of 251 rooms, although it is not yet open.

6. One World Trade Center, United States - 1776 feet 

Standing at 1,776 feet tall and 104 stories, One World Trade Center is not only the tallest building in the city of New York City, and the United States, but also the entire Western Hemisphere. It was completed in 2014. It was built to act as a functional building commemorative to the 9/11 attacks, and was given the name of the North Tower of the original World Trade Center. The building has been noted for its renewable energy features, including the reuse of rainwater. Future plans for One World Trade Center include the construction of five high-rise office buildings, as well as the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

5. Lotte World Tower, South Korea - 1819 feet

The Lotte World Tower, found in South Korea, is one of the newest additions to this list, as its construction finished recently in March of 2016, giving it the status of fifth tallest building in the world. 13 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 with constructed with such a strength that it is designed to withstand earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 9 on the Richter scale.

4. Pang An International Finance Centre, China - 1965 ft


The Pang An International Finance Centre in Shenzhen stands and 1965 feet, and is one of the most recent entries on this list. Although the skyscraper officially topped off in 2015, construction is still ongoing and is expected to be completed in 2017. The building features a conference center, hotel, and retail spaces within a high-end shopping mall. It is also the home of its namesake, Pang An Insurance. The building uses a total of 33 double decker elevators to access its 115 floors. Originally, the building designs called for the inclusion of an antenna, although this plan was eventually called off citing concerns of flight interference.


3. Makkah Royal Clock Tower, Saudi Arabia - 1972 Feet

Also referred to as Abraj Al Baitis, the Makkah Royal Clock Tower is the third tallest building in the world at 1,972 feet tall. It is located in Saudi Arabian city of Mecca and is government-owned. It features a hotel with 120 floors, and was constructed by the Saudi Binladin Group, which is the largest construction firm in Saudi Arabia. Completed in the year 2012, the German architecture firm SL Rasch GmbH and the Mahmoud firm co-designed the clock tower. The clock dimensions have an area of 141 square feet, making it the largest worldwide. Besides hotel rooms, the tower features a conference center, an Islamic Museum, a prayer room that can be used by 10,000 people, a Lunar Observation Centre for watching the moon during the Holy Month, and a shopping mall with five stories. There are 21,000 green and white lights located on the top of the clock and signalize prayer times. These lights can be seen up to 19 miles away.

2. Shanghai Tower, China - 2073 Feet

The Shanghai Tower, with 121 floors that stand 2,073 feet tall, is the second tallest building in the world. The construction of Shanghai Tower began in 2006 and took eight years of work before its completion in March of 2014. It is home to the world's highest observation deck. The total cost of the building was $4.2 billion. The tower is located in Shanghai’s Luijiazui financial district, and even towers over the other two world-renowned skyscrapers in Shanghai: Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Centre. This building was designed to serve as a hotel and office by the American architectural company Gensler. It has a total of 1,100 parking spaces and 320 hotel rooms. The structure has a fascinating view of the unique Shanghai skyline.

1. Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates - 2717 Feet