Skip to main content

The top 10 tallest buildings in the world

We take a look at the top ten tallest buildings on Earth, according to recent lists released by The Tower Info and The Skyscraper Center Database.

10 | Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Finance Center

Located in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin in China, the Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Finance Center began construction in 2013. As of 2018, the structure is architecturally topped out, and the project is expected to reach completion in 2020. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, the Tianjin CTF Center stands 1,739 ft tall, and contains 97 floors above ground and four below. Floor space is divided between office space, luxury serviced apartments, and a hotel containing 365 hotel rooms and 266 apartments, according to The Skyscraper Centre.

9 | Guangzhou CTF

The ninth space on the list is also occupied by a Chow Tai Fook Finance Center, this time located in the Tianhe district of Guangzhou, China.  Completed in 2016, the Guangzhou CTF also measures 1,739 ft tall, with a total of 97 floors above ground. The building contains five floors below ground, however, but only 355 apartments and 251 hotel rooms, instead dedicating more space to offices. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the Guangzhou CTF has a sharper external appearance and, at 4,284,036 sq ft, almost double the floorspace of the Tianjin development.

8 | One World Trade Center

Built in 2006 (completed in 2014) on the previous site of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, New York City’s One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. Standing a patriotic 1,776 ft tall, the building contains 94 floors above ground and five below, and was designed by CTF Tianjin architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. Costing $3.8bn, the development is the sixth most expensive building in the world, not including the Two and Three World Trade Center towers, due to be completed in 2022 and opened to the public in June 2018 respectively.

7 | Lotte World Tower

The tallest building in Seoul, South Korea is the Lotte World Tower, which stands 1,819 ft tall and contains 123 floors above ground and 6 below. The development, which began in 2011 and was completed in 2017, was overseen by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, along with Lotte Property & Development. In addition to 260 hyper-luxury hotel rooms and large areas of dedicated office space, the LWT also plays host to retail components, and the top ten floors, which are dedicated to public use, contain entertainment facilities and a rooftop cafe. The LWT also has the joint-smallest number of elevators in the top ten list, with a mere 58.

6 | Goldin Finance 117

Imminently expected to claim the title of Tianjin’s tallest building the Goldin Finance 117 project, currently on hold, but expected to reach completion in 2019. The final height of the tower will be 1,957 ft, with 128 floors above ground and eight below. Upon completion, the tower will be divided, with the lower floors being dedicated to office space, and the upper levels serving as a luxury hotel. According to the Skyscraper Center, “the surrounding Goldin Metropolitan development... [will contain]... a large high-end residential area, entertainment venues, two international standard polo fields, training facilities, retail outlets, and green spaces.” The report adds that, “a 200m office tower will be located nearby, satisfying the feng shui requirements set out for the development area.”

5 | Ping An Finance Center

Located in the Futian District of Shenzhen, China, the Ping An Finance Center is the tallest building in the city, and the second-tallest completed building in Asia. Construction finished in 2017, with the tower reaching 1,965 ft. The building contains 115 floors above ground and five below. According to The Skyscraper Center, Ping An Finance Center represents “a new generation of the prototypical Asian skyscraper: very tall, very dense, and hyper-connected”. The tower is situated in the center of the city and connects to neighbouring commercial and residential properties by means of the Pearl River Delta high-speed rail corridor.

4 | Abraj Al-Bait Endowment Complex

Completed in 2012, the Abraj Al-Bait Endowment Complex is, in terms of development size, the largest on the top ten list, covering 16,961,985 ft². Located less than a mile from Islam’s holiest site, the complex’s Makkah Royal Clock Tower stands 1,972 ft tall, claiming the record for both tallest clock tower and tallest hotel in the world. In 2016, the Abraj Al-Bait Endowment Complex was named by the Daily Telegraph as the second most expensive building in the world, with a total construction cost of $15bn.

3 | Wuhan Greenland Center

With construction currently on hold, and no scheduled completion date, the Wuhan Greenland Center is indefinitely in waiting to officially claim the title of second-tallest building in Asia. When the mega-skyscraper opens, however, it will join a select list of buildings whose uppermost points breach the coveted 2,000 ft marker, in the Greenland Center’s case, by a single foot. Construction began in 2012, and the final development is projected to 186 apartments, 292 hotel rooms, and over 1,000 parking spaces.

2 | Shanghai Tower

Wearing the crown of tallest building in Asia is the Shanghai Tower, located in the heart of the city’s Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone. The tower stands 2,073 ft tall, and contains 128 floors above ground, and five below. The building’s distinctive twisting shape, according to The Skyscraper Center, both symbolises the emergence of China into the modern world, and also channels wind around the structure, reportedly reducing stress on the structure by 24%. Inside, the building is separated into nine zones divided into leisure, office, residential, and retail space. It also contains the highest number of elevators in the top ten, with 106.

1 | Burj Khalifa

Completed in 2010, the Burj Khalifa (otherwise known as the Burj Dubai) stands 2,723 ft tall and has retained its title of world’s tallest building for eight years. It is likely to retain that title until the 3,000-plus ft tall Jeddah tower, which began construction in 2013, is completed. The Burj Khalifa contains 163 floors above ground, with only one below. These floors are divided between office, retail, and residential space, with 900 apartments and 304 hotel rooms. The tower was also designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. Unexpectedly, the Burj Khalifa is tied with the Lotte World Tower in Seoul for the smallest number of elevators in the top 10, with a mere 58 cars travelling 10 m/s, less than half the speed of those in the Shanghai tower. 

1 of 10

10 | Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Finance Center

Located in the Binhai New Area of Tianjin in China, the Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Finance Center began construction in 2013. As of 2018, the structure is architecturally topped out, and the project is expected to reach completion in 2020. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, the Tianjin CTF Center stands 1,739 ft tall, and contains 97 floors above ground and four below. Floor space is divided between office space, luxury serviced apartments, and a hotel containing 365 hotel rooms and 266 apartments, according to The Skyscraper Centre.

9 | Guangzhou CTF

The ninth space on the list is also occupied by a Chow Tai Fook Finance Center, this time located in the Tianhe district of Guangzhou, China.  Completed in 2016, the Guangzhou CTF also measures 1,739 ft tall, with a total of 97 floors above ground. The building contains five floors below ground, however, but only 355 apartments and 251 hotel rooms, instead dedicating more space to offices. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the Guangzhou CTF has a sharper external appearance and, at 4,284,036 sq ft, almost double the floorspace of the Tianjin development.

8 | One World Trade Center

Built in 2006 (completed in 2014) on the previous site of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, New York City’s One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western hemisphere. Standing a patriotic 1,776 ft tall, the building contains 94 floors above ground and five below, and was designed by CTF Tianjin architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. Costing $3.8bn, the development is the sixth most expensive building in the world, not including the Two and Three World Trade Center towers, due to be completed in 2022 and opened to the public in June 2018 respectively.

7 | Lotte World Tower

The tallest building in Seoul, South Korea is the Lotte World Tower, which stands 1,819 ft tall and contains 123 floors above ground and 6 below. The development, which began in 2011 and was completed in 2017, was overseen by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, along with Lotte Property & Development. In addition to 260 hyper-luxury hotel rooms and large areas of dedicated office space, the LWT also plays host to retail components, and the top ten floors, which are dedicated to public use, contain entertainment facilities and a rooftop cafe. The LWT also has the joint-smallest number of elevators in the top ten list, with a mere 58.

6 | Goldin Finance 117

Imminently expected to claim the title of Tianjin’s tallest building the Goldin Finance 117 project, currently on hold, but expected to reach completion in 2019. The final height of the tower will be 1,957 ft, with 128 floors above ground and eight below. Upon completion, the tower will be divided, with the lower floors being dedicated to office space, and the upper levels serving as a luxury hotel. According to the Skyscraper Center, “the surrounding Goldin Metropolitan development... [will contain]... a large high-end residential area, entertainment venues, two international standard polo fields, training facilities, retail outlets, and green spaces.” The report adds that, “a 200m office tower will be located nearby, satisfying the feng shui requirements set out for the development area.”

5 | Ping An Finance Center

Located in the Futian District of Shenzhen, China, the Ping An Finance Center is the tallest building in the city, and the second-tallest completed building in Asia. Construction finished in 2017, with the tower reaching 1,965 ft. The building contains 115 floors above ground and five below. According to The Skyscraper Center, Ping An Finance Center represents “a new generation of the prototypical Asian skyscraper: very tall, very dense, and hyper-connected”. The tower is situated in the center of the city and connects to neighbouring commercial and residential properties by means of the Pearl River Delta high-speed rail corridor.

4 | Abraj Al-Bait Endowment Complex

Completed in 2012, the Abraj Al-Bait Endowment Complex is, in terms of development size, the largest on the top ten list, covering 16,961,985 ft². Located less than a mile from Islam’s holiest site, the complex’s Makkah Royal Clock Tower stands 1,972 ft tall, claiming the record for both tallest clock tower and tallest hotel in the world. In 2016, the Abraj Al-Bait Endowment Complex was named by the Daily Telegraph as the second most expensive building in the world, with a total construction cost of $15bn.

3 | Wuhan Greenland Center

With construction currently on hold, and no scheduled completion date, the Wuhan Greenland Center is indefinitely in waiting to officially claim the title of second-tallest building in Asia. When the mega-skyscraper opens, however, it will join a select list of buildings whose uppermost points breach the coveted 2,000 ft marker, in the Greenland Center’s case, by a single foot. Construction began in 2012, and the final development is projected to 186 apartments, 292 hotel rooms, and over 1,000 parking spaces.

2 | Shanghai Tower

Wearing the crown of tallest building in Asia is the Shanghai Tower, located in the heart of the city’s Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone. The tower stands 2,073 ft tall, and contains 128 floors above ground, and five below. The building’s distinctive twisting shape, according to The Skyscraper Center, both symbolises the emergence of China into the modern world, and also channels wind around the structure, reportedly reducing stress on the structure by 24%. Inside, the building is separated into nine zones divided into leisure, office, residential, and retail space. It also contains the highest number of elevators in the top ten, with 106.

1 | Burj Khalifa

Completed in 2010, the Burj Khalifa (otherwise known as the Burj Dubai) stands 2,723 ft tall and has retained its title of world’s tallest building for eight years. It is likely to retain that title until the 3,000-plus ft tall Jeddah tower, which began construction in 2013, is completed. The Burj Khalifa contains 163 floors above ground, with only one below. These floors are divided between office, retail, and residential space, with 900 apartments and 304 hotel rooms. The tower was also designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP. Unexpectedly, the Burj Khalifa is tied with the Lotte World Tower in Seoul for the smallest number of elevators in the top 10, with a mere 58 cars travelling 10 m/s, less than half the speed of those in the Shanghai tower. 

1 of 10

Facebook Conversations

NEWSLETTER

Construction Global Weekly