Jun 06, 2014

Top 10 Tallest Buildings

High-rise buildings
3 min
Burj Khalifa
10. Willis Tower- 442 metres Chicago is home to America’s second tallest building, which was known as Sears Tower unti...

10. Willis Tower- 442 metres

Chicago is home to America’s second tallest building, which was known as Sears Tower until 2009. In 1969, The Sears department store chain commissioned the tower to consolidate its large office operations under one roof. When completed in 1973, it was the world’s tallest building. 

9. Zifeng Tower- 450 metres

The 89-storey tower in Naneng, China houses a hotel, restaurants, retail and office space. From the public observatory, visitors can enjoy stunning views of Nanjing City, the Zijing mountain and Xuanwu river. It was completed in 2010 after five years of construction.

8. Petronas Towers (1and2)- 452 metres

The twin towers of oil and gas giant Petronas in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, provide the city with a fantastic landmark. They held the title of tallest building(s) in the world for six years, until the construction of entry number five, and are still the tallest twin buildings.

7. International Commerce Centre-484 metres

Opened in 2011, the 118-storey contains the luxury Ritz Carlton Hong Kong (occupying 16 of those floors) and the Sky 100 observatory on floor 100. The observatory is the finish line for the annual ‘Race to ICC 100’, in which competitors take on a daunting 2,120 steps.  

6. Shanghai World Financial Center- 492 metres

Constructed between 1997 and 2008 at a cost of US$1.2 billion, the center was China’s tallest building until the completion of entry number two last year. It has received several awards and much recognition for its architectural and structural design.

5. Taipei 101- 509 metres

A renowned landmark of the Xinyi District, the tower is known as the tallest green building in the world, having achieved platinum LEED certification in 2011. It also boasts the world’s fastest elevators, with top speeds of 1010 metres per minute taking visitors to the level 89 observation deck in just 39 seconds.    

4. One World Trade Center -541 metres

America’s new tallest building was completed last year and serves both as a functional powerhouse and as a fitting monument to the tragic event which necessitated its construction. It will house both office and retail space and connect to an expansive transport network upon opening later this year.

3. Abraj Al Bait (clock tower)- 601 metres

The Makkah Royal Clock Tower, topping out the five-star Fairmont Hotel, dominates the skyline of Islam’s holiest city, and forms the heart of the huge complex of hotels, shopping malls and offices known as Abraj Al Bait. It takes design inspiration from another famous clock tower in London’s Elizabeth Tower and was completed in 2012.

2. Shanghai Tower -632 metres

Following its topping out in August 2013, the Tower, located in the city’s Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, became China’s tallest building as well as the world’s second highest. Construction work on the 125-storey behemoth began in 2008 and included several green practices.

1  Burj Khalifa- 830 metres

Still seeing off the pretenders to a title it has held since 2010 is Dubai’s crown jewel. The Khalifa, located in the city’s Downtown commercial complex, is the tallest man-made structure ever built.


Its 160 storeys are home to the four-storey ‘Club’ fitness and recreation centre, an 11 hectare park, the 144 Armani residences and 160-room hotel, 37 floors of office space, the 900-strong ‘The Residence’ housing zone and the 124th-storey observation deck.    


Construction on the Khalifa began in 2004, and took just 1,325 days, costing in excess of US$1.5 billion. At the peak of construction, the project employed more than 12,000 workers from over 30 different contracting companies.        


The towering achievement is symbolic of Dubai’s own, in its transformation from a regional centre to a truly global one, with riches built not solely on oil, but ingenuity and vision.    

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