Sky High! 5 Tallest Buildings In The World
Many buildings throughout the history of architecture have claimed the title of the tallest building in the world, from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, both in New York. But the “race to the sky” is a hot competition which is steadily being overtaken by ever more adventurous building enterprises as the materials and possibilities for engineering become ever more advanced and sophisticated. We look at the top five tallest buildings the world has to offer and the incredible feats of engineering that made building them possible. As you can see, they exist in locations around the world and date from 2010 onwards.
1. Burj Khalifa
At an incredible height of 2,717 feet, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, is, without a doubt, the tallest recorded building in the world. Amazingly, it is twice the height of the Empire State Building, once the tallest building in the world in 1930, less than 100 years ago. The colossal tower has 163 floors, along with restaurants, apartments, business suites and the tallest elevator shaft in the world, for those brave enough to ride to the top. The Chicago-based architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) designed the building.
2. Merdeka 118
The almost-completed Merdeka 118 is the second-tallest building in the world and the tallest building in South East Asia. It towers 2,220 feet into the sky, overlooking the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Once opened, visitors will be able to climb to the very top of the building’s spire. Designed by Australian architect Fender Katsalidis alongside the local architectural firm RSP Architects Sdn Bhd, the building is set to officially open in mid to late 2023. The name Merkeda means Independence Day in Malaysia, and it will have 118 floors in total.
3. Shanghai Tower
Set in Shanghai, China, Shanghai Tower is now the third tallest building in the world, measuring 2,073 feet. Completed in 2015, the impressive structure took nearly 20 years to complete after several funding issues arose during its construction. It was designed by the American architectural firm Gensler, who won the Architectural Design of the Year award for the tower in 2016. The tower has one of the world’s fastest elevators, which travels at 20.5 meters per second, whizzing visitors up to the top of the building’s incredible 128 floors. While Burj Khalifa is the tallest construct in the world, Shanghai Tower has the tallest number of usable floors inside.
4. Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower
Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower is in the heart of the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It was designed by the Lebanese architectural firm Dar Al-Handasah, and completed in 2012, after six years of construction work. This building is a whopping 1,972 feet high, making it the fourth tallest building in the world as of 2023. However, it also contains some world-topping stats – Abraj Al-Bait’s clock face is the biggest in the world, at 43 meters in circumference, while the building’s entire floor area is bigger than any other man-made construction.
5. Ping An International Finance Centre
Ping An International Finance Centre holds some significant records: it is the tallest building in Shenzhen, the second tallest building in China, and the fifth tallest building in the world, measuring 1,966 feet high. New York architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates completed the building’s striking infrastructure, while another New York design firm, Thornton Tomasetti, designed the building’s structure, made from a composite of stainless steel and glass.
Self-identifies as a middle child between millennials and the gen Z, began writing as a 14 year-old. Born and raised in Lagos where he would go on to obtain a degree in the University of Lagos, he mainly draws inspiration from societal issues and the ills within. His "live and let live" mantra shapes his thought process as he writes about lifestyle from a place of empathy and emotional intelligence. When he is not writing, he is very invested in football and sociopolitical commentary on social media.