The world’s tallest buildings understandably get a lot of attention. Their lofty natures alone are reason for this. Also of interest when it comes to the world’s tallest buildings are their architectural innovations, their overall design implements, and their functional purposes. Add it all up, and the tallest buildings on the planet are true symbols of mankind’s increasing ingenuity–showing just how far we’ve come within the architectural realms.
Topping the list of the 5 tallest buildings in the world is the Burj Khalifa skyscraper. You can find this high-rising structure in the booming United Arab Emirates city of Dubai, and it is certainly hard to miss. The Burj Khalifa rises to an impressive elevation of 2,717 feet and figures quite prominently on the Dubai skyline. In relation to its design, the skyscraper has a modern, bundled-tube design, and its sturdy core means that it stands up well to strong winds. Also of note is how the metal panels and fins on the exterior help to keep the desert heat at bay. As for other interesting facts about the Burj Khalifa, it boasts an observation deck on the 124th floor and is home to the first Armani Hotel to be unveiled anywhere on the planet.
Ranking second among the 5 tallest buildings in the world is the Abraj al-bait Towers. Also known as the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, this multi-faceted structure holds a few notable world records. It is both the tallest clock tower on the planet and used to be the world’s tallest hotel, for example (the world's tallest hotel is now the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai). The hotel tower, which features large clocks that are reminiscent of the Big Ben clocks in London, rises the highest among the collective structures of the Abraj al-Bait complex, and it is capped by a golden crescent that actually serves as an observation deck. The upper reaches of the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower top out at 1,972 feet, and it is interesting to note that the complex’s total floor area is around sixteen million square feet. In relation to function, the complex is home to a 5 star hotel, a large shopping mall, residential units, and a prayer room that can hold approximately 10,000 people. In case you are wondering about location, the Abraj al-Bait Towers calls the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca home, and it is interesting to note that it sits mere meters from the world-renowned Masjid al Haram mosque.
The third entry on the list of world’s tallest buildings is the Taipei 101 skyscraper. As the name implies, this soaring edifice can be found in the Chinese city of Taipei and offers no less than 101 stories. Counting the antenna spire at the top, the Taipei 101 tower reaches a height of approximately 1,670 feet. The top floor is set at an elevation of nearly 1,441 feet, and two observation decks provide visitors the opportunity to enjoy amazing views from on high. One of these observation decks is outdoors and can be found on the 91st floor, while the other is an interior observation deck that can be found on the 89th floor. The elevators that move people up and down the Taipei 101 skyscraper are among the fastest in the world, and it should be noted that art exhibitions are often on display at the 89th floor observatory. In relation to its design attributes, Taipei 101 resembles a bamboo stalk in some ways and is designed to withstand both strong winds and powerful earthquake tremors.
Shanghai World Financial Center
Shanghai World Financial Center
Number four on the list of World’s tallest buildings is the Shanghai World Financial Center in Shanghai, China. It tops out at an elevation of 1,614 feet and was actually the second-tallest building in the world for a time. As is true of other major world skyscrapers, this is very much a mixed-use property. Housed inside are hotel rooms, shops, offices, conference rooms, and observation decks that provide awe-inspiring views. An immaculate structure all around, the Shanghai World Financial Center has received plenty of praise since it was completed in 2008. Also worth highlighting is the fact that it stands next to the Jin Mao Tower. This neighboring building rises to an elevation of 1,381 feet if you count the antenna tower, and both structures present a mesmerizing architectural picture, to say the least.
Asia and the Middle East are the places to go if you wish to see the 5 tallest buildings in the world. Rounding out the list, after all, is the ICC Building in Hong Kong. More officially known as the International Commerce Centre, this skyscraper was completed in 2010 and reaches a height of 1,588 feet. The total floor count is 118, and occupying the upper realms is the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Another point of interest in relation to the ICC Building and its various features is the Sky100 observation deck. This observation deck opened in 2011 and has been a very popular Hong Kong attraction ever since.
Plenty of other buildings deserve mention when discussing the world’s tallest buildings. Examples of such buildings are the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the Petronas Towers. The Sears Tower calls the skyscraper birthplace of Chicago home, while you can find the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Both of these structures were actually the tallest buildings in the world at one time, and it is simply impressive to consider that they have been surpassed in height by the buildings that are mentioned above.