Humans have always had a fascination with making big things such as tall mountains. From the earliest civilizations building the Tower of Babel and the Pyramids, mankind has always wanted to build upwards.
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, is currently the tallest building in the world. It comes in at an architectural height of 2,717 feet (828 meters) and 163 floors. However, residents of the building can only use 154 floors. Floors 155 to 163 are mechanical, broadcasting, and communication floors. To help people get up and down, the Burj Khalifa has 57 elevators and 8 escalators. However, if you are looking to take the stairs, you will be climbing a lot. In fact, there are 2,909 stairs from the ground floor to the 160th floor. Construction started in 2004 and finished in 2009. However, the official grand opening was in 2010.
The Shanghai Tower is in Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai and is the second tallest building in the world. It comes in at an architectural height of 2,073 feet (632 meters) and 128 floors. Construction started in 2008 and finished in 2015. However, between July and September of 2016, the building went through a soft opening.
Architects built the Shanghai Tower with the purpose “to provide higher quality office and shopping space. It also contributes to the completeness of the city skyline’s and the entire region’s functionality”. It does this through its tiered construction. Furthermore, this design is energy efficient and provides plenty of space for work, living, and pleasure.
The China Zun is located in Beijing, China. It is the ninth largest building in the world coming in at an architectural height of 1,732 feet (528 meters) and 108 floors. The China Zun tower gets its name from the shape of the Chinese ceremonial vessel called a “zun”, which it mimics. Builders started construction in 2011 and will finish in 2018. Designers intend for the building to be a mixed use building with space for office spaces, luxury apartments, a hotel, and a rooftop garden. In fact, it is intended to be the flagship building in Beijing’s meticulously planned business district.
Ping An Finance Centre
The Ping An Finance Centre is located in Shenzhen, China. It is the fourth largest building in the world coming in at an architectural height of 1,965 feet (599.1 meters) and 115 floors. Builders started construction in 2010 and finished in 2016. It is the second tallest building in China behind the Shanghai Tower. However, there were talks to build a 196.9 feet (60 meter) antenna on the top the building to beat the Shanghai Tower. But, due to concerns that it would obstruct flight paths, designers scrapped the plan. Architects designed the building to embody the history of its name sake the Ping An Insurance company, who use the building as their headquarters.
One World Trade Center
The One World Trade Center is located in New York City, USA. It is the sixth largest building in the world. However, it is the tallest building in the US. It comes in at an architectural height of 1,792 feet (546.2 meters) and 94 floors. It stands on the previous site of the World Trade Center buildings that fell in the infamous 9/11 terrorist attacks. Builders started construction in 2006 and finished in 2013. However, the building officially opened in 2014. Architects designed the building and the whole complex as a memorial to the original Twin Towers as well as to rebuild and revitalize the area.
Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower
The Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower (officially known as the Abraj Al-Bait Endowment) is located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the third largest building in the world coming in at an architectural height of 1,972 feet (601 meters). On top of this honor, it also has the world’s largest clock face(s) on its exterior. There is one clock on each of its four sides. They each measure at 141 feet (43 meters) in diameter. They are so big that people can see them from as far as 16 miles (25 kilometers) away.
Lotte World Tower
The Lotte World Tower is located in Seoul, South Korea. It is the fifth largest building in the world (and the 3rd largest in Asia) coming in at an architectural height of 1,823 feet (555.7 meters) and 123 floors. After 13 years of planning, builders started construction in 2011 and finished in 2016. While many of the other countries on this list that have built some of the tallest building in the world have size or natural resources that help, South Korea is a small peninsular nation.