Buildings have been a component of society ever since communities grew to create secure environments for them. The concept of tall buildings emerged as a result of the population’s exponential growth and the growing demand for housing close to urban centres. This in turn prompts cities to brag about possessing the tallest structures. The Empire State Building in New York City held the title of the tallest city in the world for more than 40 years. But soon after, even taller structures were constructed. CTBUH (the council on tall buildings and urban habitat) is an organization that explores the relationship between increased density in urban areas with the growth of vertical shelters and sustainability. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), 97 structures 200 metres or higher were completed by the year 2014, setting a new record.

The Biggest man-made structure on earth: 

The Burj Khalifa is currently the best man-made structure in the world, not only in Asia. The largest man-made edifice ever constructed. By exceeding the KVLY-TV mast in Blanchard, North Dakota, and the record for the tallest free-standing building, which was previously held by Toronto’s CN Tower, the construction of this tower set two remarkable records. The building, which stands 2,717 feet (828 metres) tall, was completed in 2010. The structure has 57 elevators, 8 escalators, and 2,099 steps.

The magnificent skyscraper in Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai called Shanghai Tower is ranked second with an architectural height of 2073 feet/ 632 metres. It was created by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, a Chicago-based architectural company. The structural engineer was William F. Baker, and Adrian Smith was the architect. A top “green building” in the entire world, this structure is being acclaimed. It boasts the world’s fastest elevator to the 546-meter floor, making it the world’s highest observation deck. It also attracts a lot of people for sightseeing because of the size of Shanghai and the feeling that one is standing in the sky.

Continent wise tallest buildings in the world:

Tallest buildings: Continent wide data - Sheet1
list of the tallest buildings in the world_©

Tall buildings are divided into continent-specific categories by the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). There is a specific structure that is the tallest on each continent. For instance, in Asia, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Taipai 101 in Taiwan, the Makkah Royal clock tower hotel, and the Golden Finance 117 all compete for the title of tallest structure. Similarly to this, some specific structures or skyscrapers have held the title of being the tallest among them on each continent.

Tallest buildings: Continent wide data - Sheet2
buildings that are tallest in Asia_©

The red building represents the fact that it has at least once been proclaimed the tallest structure in the world among all the other silhouetted skyscrapers. Speaking about tall structures, One World Trade Center, a reconstruction of the original building that was destroyed in the New York City terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, is the tallest structure in North America. The building’s 1,776-foot height is symbolic of the year that the declaration and the signing of independence took place. 

Tallest buildings: Continent wide data - Sheet3
buildings that are tallest in North America_©

For straight forty years, the buildings from Europe were designated as the world’s tallest structures, which includes. St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Mary’s Church and many more. The current tallest building is Federation Tower, Moscow, it was completed in 2015 and is  1227 feet/ 373.7 metres tall. Whereas in Africa, there’s only one building that was ever regarded as the tallest one, which was, the Light House of Alexandria, Alexandria, which is 450 feet/ 137 metres tall. Currently, the tallest one is Hassan II Mosque Minaret.

Tallest buildings: Continent wide data - Sheet4
buildings that are tallest in Europe_©
Tallest buildings: Continent wide data - Sheet5
Buildings that are tallest in Africa_©

The tallest building in South America is Gran Torre, which can be seen from Parque Central utilising the Torre Colpatria and the Parque Centralwest Tower. While in Oceania (Australia), Sky Tower, which is 1076 feet/328 metres tall, is the tallest building. Q1, located at 120 Collins Street, is used to watch the Sky Tower. The fact that none of the residences from South America or Oceania has ever been recognised as the tallest residences in the world is a stunning reality.

Tallest buildings: Continent wide data - Sheet6
Buildings that are tallest in South America_©
buildings that are tallest in Oceania_©

If one can follow the red buildings throughout the silhouettes, one can notice the economic history of the world. As Europe built the tallest buildings between 1240 – 1890, the Americans brought skyscrapers in the 20th century. However, the completion of Burj Khalifa took over world records in 2010, perhaps initiating the Asian century.There are many buildings that are under construction and may contribute to the new tallest building. Over the next century, the world might get completely changed and the buildings that look tall to us now might not look as tall in 2100.  

Since technology is advancing as the day passes, the ability to generate structures that are tall, sustainable and efficient can be built with great ease. Talking of the tall buildings that are under construction currently are, Jeddah Tower (Sudi Arabia, 3,281 feet tall), Merdeka 118 (Kuala Lampur, 2.227 feet tall), Greenland Jinmao International Financial Centre (Nanjing, 1,600 feet tall), Suzhou Zhongnan Centre (Suzhou, 1,638 feet tall), and Hexi Yuzui Tower A (Nanjing, 1,636 feet tall).


100 tallest completed buildings in the world – the skyscraper center. (n.d.). Retrieved November 6, 2022, from

Top 10 tallest buildings in Asia 2020. (2017, January 4). PropertyAsiaDirect.

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Carver, M., & Gerometta, M. (n.d.). An all-time record 97 buildings of 200 meters or higher completed in 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2022, from

Hole, T. (2020, July 28). Infographic: The tallest buildings on every continent. Born to Engineer.


Hole, T. (2020, July 28). Infographic: The tallest buildings on every continent. Born to Engineer.

Halcyon maps. (n.d.). Halcyon Maps. Retrieved November 6, 2022, from


Priyanka garg, born and raised in Delhi is a student who has developed interest in architecture. She likes writing, reading and designing. Also, she has a key interest in sustainable and eco-friendly measures for design and construction to make the world a better place to live.