Historically, churches left their mark, then public institutions, and in recent decades commercial skyscrapers have been making a mark. A few decades ago, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure ever built, but today it seems like child’s play compared to the buildings that have risen since then. The fact that we have been able to learn and improve so quickly in the World of architecture shows our desire always to improve. Every year, there seems to be a new tower surpassing the last one, and make no mistake, it will not stop anytime soon because there are more on the horizon that surpass the tallest ones of today.

Here is a list of 15 Tallest buildings in the World, in descending order from the tallest building, followed by the others according to their height.

1. Burj Khalifa

Designed by: Architects Adrian Smith, George J. Efstathiou and Marshall Strabala from the design firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM).

Opened in 2010, Burj Khalifa stands tall at 2717 feet height and has been the tallest building in the world for a decade now. The building is striking due to its massive base that is necessary to support the thousands of feet of steel that become thinner as the height increases, eventually forming a spire that reaches into the sky.

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Burj Khalifa_©Wikipedia

2. Warisan Merdeke Tower

Designed by: Fender Katsalidis Architects

Located at 2227 feet in height, Merdeka Tower is the second tallest building in the world. Previously known as KL118, the Merdeka PNB 118 is a 118-floor skyscraper completed in 2022 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As Merdeka means Independence Day in Malaysia, the tower’s name commemorates Malaysia’s independence and is built on the former Merdeka Park site.

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Warisan Merdeke Tower_©Wikipedia

3. Tokyo Skytree

Designed by: Nikken Sekkei architectural firm

Tokyo Skytree is a broadcasting and observation tower with a height of 2080 feet in Sumida, Tokyo. At its base, the tower’s structure resembles a tripod; from 350 m (1,150 ft) and above, its structure is cylindrical, which provides a panoramic view of the river and city. The tower has two public observation areas, Tembo Deck and Tembo Gallery (or Galleria).

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Tokyo Skytree_©Wikipedia

4. Shanghai Tower

Designed by: Jun Xia, Marshall Straballa, Arthur Gensler and Andy Cohen from the architectural firm Gensler.

Shanghai Tower is a 128-story, 2073 feet tall skyscraper in Shanghai, being the tallest building in China. The Shanghai Tower provides innovative sky gardens stacked vertically, that set the building apart from any other high rise. Due to the tower’s asymmetrical shape, tapering profile, and rounded corners, it withstands the typhoon-force winds that are common in Shanghai. This building is not only a giant but a beautiful one, featuring a stunning curvature that makes it appear as though it is rotating.

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Shanghai Tower_©Wikipedia

5. Makkah Royal Clock Tower

Designed by: SL Rasch GmbH and Dar Al-Handasah Architects

Saudi Arabia’s Makkah Royal Clock Tower is the most unique of all the buildings listed, with a height of 1972 feet. It is a complex of seven skyscraper hotels owned and operated by the Saudi Arabian government in Mecca that was completed in 2012. It was built to provide comfortable accommodations for wealthy Muslim pilgrims making the Hajj. The complex sits just meters from the Great Mosque of Mecca, Islam’s holiest site.

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Makkah Royal Clock Tower_©Wikipedia

6. Ping’an International Financial Center

Designed by: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

China’s Ping An Finance Center is a 115-story, 1,965 feet tall skyscraper in Shenzhen. It includes office and hotel space, a conference center, and a high-end shopping mall. The tower’s tapered façade reduces wind loads by forty percent and its stainless steel piers form a lightning protection net. Ping An Finance Centre, completed in 2016, is now the tallest building in Shenzhen, and the second tallest in China.

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Ping’an International Financial Center_©Wikipedia

7. Lotte World Tower

Designed by: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Located in Seoul, South Korea, the Lotte World Tower is a 123-story skyscraper with a height of 1823 feet. Opened in 2017, it is currently the tallest building in South Korea. The tower’s vertical line alludes to the importance of pottery and calligraphy in Korean culture. Incorporating a variety of renewable alternatives such as geothermal, photovoltaics, and wind spire turbines in the building to meet its power demands, Lotte Tower has a LEED-gold certification.

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Lotte World Tower_©archdaily

8. One World Trade Center

Designed by: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) 

On the rebuilt site of the World Trade Center in New York City, One World Trade Center sits in that complex as the main building with a height of 1,776 feet. This architectural landmark represents the spirit of America through its simplicity and clarity of form. One World Trade Center will remain fresh and timeless for generations to come. Building’s crystalline form captures refracted light that changes throughout the day. The building’s sustainable design strategies, which include water conservation and energy efficiency, surpass LEED CS Gold standards. 

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One World Trade Center_©archdaily

9. Guangzhou CTF Finance Center

Designed by: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

As the city’s tallest building, the 1739 feet high Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre represents recent prosperity and urban development. It has 111 above-ground floors and five below-ground floors and contains a shopping mall, office space, apartments, and a hotel. Due to its mixed-use nature, the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre’s shape is derived from its floor sizes. Each use requires a different floor size, and the building is shaped accordingly. In a form reminiscent of a crystalline form that ascends to the sky, the Centre features a terracotta facade. 

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Guangzhou CTF Finance Center_©reddit

10. Tianjin CTF Finance Center

Designed by: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in collaboration with Ronald Lu & Partners

Located in the Binhai CBD of Tianjin, China, the Tianjin CTF Finance Center is a super-tall skyscraper. The building uses undulating curves to express three programmatic elements while presenting a bold monolithic expression. Besides enhancing the form of the tower, the façade creates a shimmering effect. Stacking reducing floor plates allows the tower to taper dramatically to minimize wind, sun, and moisture exposure. The building opened in 2019 and has a height of 1740 feet.

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Tianjin CTF Finance Center_©Wikimedia Commons

11. China Zun

Designed by: TFP Farrells (Land Bid Concept);. KPF (Concept & Design);. BIAD (Land Bid Concept & Architect of Record)

Beijing’s Central Business District is home to the CITIC Tower, a supertall skyscraper. China Zun takes its name from a Chinese wine vessel, the zun, which inspired the design of the building, according to the developers. The China Zun Tower has 60 floors of office space, 20 floors of luxury apartments, and 20 floors of a 300-room hotel. With 109 floors and a height of 1732 feet, the skyscraper was completed in 2018.

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China Zun_©archdaily

12. TAIPEI 101

Designed by: C.Y. Lee & Partners

Completed in 2004, with a height of 1667 feet, Taipei 101 is a skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan. The post-modern Architectural style of the building evokes traditional Asian aesthetics in a modern structure that uses industrial materials. Its design incorporates a number of features that allow the structure to withstand the earthquakes of the Pacific Ring of Fire and the tropical storms in the region.

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Taipei 101_©Wikimedia Commons

13. Shanghai World Finance Center

Designed by: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

The Shanghai World Financial Center is a skyscraper in the Pudong district of Shanghai. It is a mixed-use skyscraper that includes offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and first-floor shopping centers. A square prism, used by the ancient Chinese to symbolize the earth, is intersected by two cosmic arcs representing the sky, while the tower rises in a gesture to the heavens. The interaction between these two areas gives rise to the shape of the building, which has a square sky portal at the top of the tower that gives balance to the structure and connects the two opposing elements, heaven, and earth.

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Shanghai World Finance Tower_©Wikipedia

14. International Commerce Center

Designed by: Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (KPF) in association with Wong & Ouyang 

The International Commerce Centre is a 108-story, 1588 feet tall commercial skyscraper completed in 2010 in West Kowloon, Hong Kong. The subtly tapered, recessed corners of the tower and the gently sloping curves at its base were designed to optimize its structural performance. The International Commerce Centre represents a paradigm shift in high-rise buildings, encompassing not only achievements in height, design, and technology, but also pioneering steps towards connectivity for smart growth in a highly dense region.

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International Commerce Center_©archdaily

15. Central Park Tower

Designed by: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture 

Central Park Tower is a highly residential skyscraper located at 225 West 57th Street in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. The building is 1,550 feet tall and has 98 above-ground floors and three basement levels, with the top floor numbered 136. Central Park Tower is the second tallest building in New York City, in the United States, and in the Western Hemisphere, the fifteenth tallest building in the world, and the tallest residential building in the world.

Central Park Tower_©Wikipedia

References:

  1. Balderas, C. (2018) The world’s current 17 tallest buildings (5 about to overtake them), TheTravel. Available at: https://www.thetravel.com/the-worlds-current-15-tallest-buildings-5-about-to-overtake-them/ (Accessed: September 21, 2022).
  2. CTF Finance Centre (2015) KPF. Available at: https://www.kpf.com/project/ctf-finance-centre (Accessed: September 23, 2022).
  3. Hadhazy, A. (2015) The 31 tallest buildings in the world, Popular Mechanics. Available at: https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/g1705/21-tallest-buildings-in-the-world/ (Accessed: September 23, 2022).
  4. International Commerce Centre (2015) KPF. Available at: https://www.kpf.com/project/international-commerce-centre (Accessed: September 23, 2022).
  5. Lewis, R. (2019) “Tokyo Sky Tree,” Encyclopedia Britannica.
  6. Merdeka PNB 118 (KL 118) facts and information (no date) Thetowerinfo.com. Available at: https://thetowerinfo.com/buildings-list/merdeka-pnb-118/ (Accessed: September 23, 2022).
  7. One world trade center – (2021) SOM. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Available at: https://www.som.com/projects/one-world-trade-center/ (Accessed: September 23, 2022).
  8. Set to be one of the world’s tallest buildings (no date) Arup.com. Available at: https://www.arup.com/projects/merdeka-118 (Accessed: September 23, 2022).
  9. Shanghai World Financial Center (2015) KPF. Available at: https://www.kpf.com/project/shanghai-world-financial-center (Accessed: September 23, 2022).
  10. Wikipedia contributors (2022a) Central Park Tower, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Central_Park_Tower&oldid=1111465979.
  11. Wikipedia contributors (2022b) China Zun, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=China_Zun&oldid=1111700119.
  12. Wikipedia contributors (2022c) Shanghai world financial center, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shanghai_World_Financial_Center&oldid=1111026793.
  13. Wikipedia contributors (2022d) Taipei 101, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Taipei_101&oldid=1111786891.
Author

Shruti is an architect who loves to explore and travel through the stories of people, places and more. Her inquisitive and humane personality helps her to perceive an abstract of the design. With her interest in research and writing, she aspires to bring a social impact through her rigorous narratives.

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