List of tallest buildings and structures in the world

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The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The world's tallest artificial structure is the 829.8 m (2,722 ft) tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The building gained the official title of "Tallest Building in the World" at its opening on January 4, 2010. It is followed by the Tokyo Skytree, as the tallest tower, and the KVLY-TV mast.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an organization that certifies buildings as the "World's Tallest", recognizes a building only if at least fifty percent of its height is made up of floor plates containing habitable floor area.[1] Structures that do not meet this criterion, such as the CN Tower, are defined as "towers".

There are dozens of radio and television broadcasting towers which measure over 600 metres (about 2,000 ft) in height, and only the tallest are recorded in publicly available information sources.

Debate over definitions[edit]

The assessment of the height of artificial structures has been controversial. Various standards have been used by different organisations which has meant that the title of world's tallest structure or building has changed depending on which standards have been accepted. The aforementioned Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat have changed their definitions over time. Some of the controversy regarding the definitions and assessment of tall structures and buildings has included the following:

  • the definition of a structure, a building and a tower
  • whether a structure, building or tower under construction should be included in any assessment
  • whether a structure, building or tower has to be officially opened before it is assessed
  • whether structures built in and rising above water should have their below-water height included in any assessment.
  • whether a structure, building or tower that is guyed is assessed in the same category as self-supporting structures.

Within an accepted definition of a building further controversy has included the following factors:

  • whether only habitable height of the building is considered
  • whether communication towers with observation galleries should be considered "habitable" in this sense
  • whether rooftop antennas, viewing platforms or any other architecture that does not form a habitable floor should be included in the assessment
  • whether a floor built at a high level of a telecommunications or viewing tower should change the tower's definition to that of a "building"

Tallest structures[edit]

Warsaw radio mast, the height record holder from 1974 to 1991.
The CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was the world's tallest freestanding structure from 1975 to 2007.

This category does not require the structure to be "officially" open.

The tallest artificial structure is Burj Khalifa, a skyscraper in Dubai that reached 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in height on January 17, 2009.[2] By April 7, 2008 it had been built higher than the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, USA.[3] That September it officially surpassed Poland's 646.38 m (2,120.7 ft) Warsaw radio mast, which stood from 1974 to 1991, to become the tallest structure ever built. Guyed lattice towers such as these masts had held the world height record since 1954.

The Petronius Platform stands 610 m (2,000 ft) off the sea floor leading some, including Guinness World Records 2007, to claim it as the tallest freestanding structure in the world. However, it is debated whether underwater height should be counted, in the same manner as height below ground is ignored on buildings. The Troll A platform is 472 m (1,549 ft), without any part of that height being supported by wires. The tension-leg type of oil platform has even greater below-water heights with several examples more than 1,000 m (3,300 ft) deep. However, these platforms are not considered constant structures as the vast majority of their height is made up of the length of the tendons attaching the floating platforms to the sea floor. Despite this, Guinness World Records 2009 listed the Ursa tension leg platform as the tallest structure in the world with a total height of 1,306 m (4,285 ft). The Magnolia Tension-leg Platform in the Gulf of Mexico is even taller with a total height of 1,432 m (4,698 ft).

Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, set records in three of the four skyscraper categories at the time it opened in 2004; at the time the Burj Khalifa opened in 2010 it remained the world's tallest inhabited building 509.2 m (1,671 ft) as measured to its architectural height (spire). The height of its roof 449.2 m (1,474 ft) and highest occupied floor 439.2 m (1,441 ft) had been surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center with corresponding heights of 487 and 474 m (1,598 and 1,555 ft). Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) was the highest in the final category: the greatest height to top of antenna of any building in the world at 527.3 m (1,730 ft).

Burj Khalifa broke the height record in all four categories for completed buildings.

Tallest structure by category[edit]

Due to the disagreements over how to measure height and classify structures, engineers have created various definitions for categories of buildings and other structures. One measure includes the absolute height of a building, another includes only spires and other permanent architectural features, but not antennas. The tradition of including the spire on top of a building and not including the antenna dates back to the rivalry between the Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street. A modern-day example is that the antenna on top of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is not considered part of its architectural height, while the spires on top of the Petronas Twin Towers are counted.

Note: The following table is a list of the tallest completed structure in each of the categories below. There can only be one structure in each category, unless the title for the tallest is a draw.

Category Structure Country City Height (metres) Height (feet) Year built Coordinates
Mixed use Burj Khalifa  United Arab Emirates Dubai 829.8 2,722 2010 25°11′50.0″N 55°16′26.6″E / 25.197222°N 55.274056°E / 25.197222; 55.274056 (Burj Dubai)
Self-supporting tower Tokyo Skytree  Japan Tokyo 634 2,080 2011 35°42′36.5″N 139°48′39″E / 35.710139°N 139.81083°E / 35.710139; 139.81083 (Tokyo Skytree)
Clock building Abraj Al Bait Towers  Saudi Arabia Mecca 601 1,972 2011 21°25′08″N 39°49′35″E / 21.41889°N 39.82639°E / 21.41889; 39.82639 (Abraj Al Bait Towers)
Military structure Large masts of INS Kattabomman  India Tirunelveli 471 1,545 2014 8°22′42.52″N 77°44′38.45″E / 8.3784778°N 77.7440139°E / 8.3784778; 77.7440139 (INS Kattabomman, Large Mast West) ; 8°22′30.13″N 77°45′21.07″E / 8.3750361°N 77.7558528°E / 8.3750361; 77.7558528 (INS Kattabomman, Large Mast East)
Mast radiator Lualualei VLF transmitter  United States Lualualei, Hawaii 458 1,503 1972 21°25′11.87″N 158°08′53.67″W / 21.4199639°N 158.1482417°W / 21.4199639; -158.1482417 (VLF transmitter Lualualei, Mast 1) ; 21°25′13.38″N 158°09′14.35″W / 21.4203833°N 158.1539861°W / 21.4203833; -158.1539861 (VLF transmitter Lualualei, Mast 2)
Twin towers Petronas Twin Towers  Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 452 1,482 1998 3°09′27.45″N 101°42′40.7″E / 3.1576250°N 101.711306°E / 3.1576250; 101.711306 (Petronas Tower 1); 3°09′29.45″N 101°42′43.4″E / 3.1581806°N 101.712056°E / 3.1581806; 101.712056 (Petronas Tower 2)
Residential World One  India Mumbai 442 1,450 2016

18°59′43″N 72°49′48″E / 18.99528°N 72.83000°E / 18.99528; 72.83000 (World Towers)

Chimney Ekibastuz GRES-2 Power Station  Kazakhstan Ekibastuz 419.7 1,377 1987 52°1′26.3″N 75°28′34.5″E / 52.023972°N 75.476250°E / 52.023972; 75.476250 (GRES-2 Power Station)
Radar Dimona Radar Facility  Israel Dimona 400 1,312 2008 30°58′6.93″N 35°05′49.64″E / 30.9685917°N 35.0971222°E / 30.9685917; 35.0971222 (Dimona Radar Facility) ; 30°58′32.46″N 35°05′55.25″E / 30.9756833°N 35.0986806°E / 30.9756833; 35.0986806 (Dimona Radar Facility)
Lattice tower Kiev TV Tower  Ukraine Kiev 385 1,263 1973 50°28′16.49″N 30°27′11.97″E / 50.4712472°N 30.4533250°E / 50.4712472; 30.4533250 (Kiev TV Tower)
Electricity pylon Zhoushan Island Overhead Powerline Tie  China Zhoushan 370 1,214 2009 29°56′2.78″N 122°2′10.12″E / 29.9341056°N 122.0361444°E / 29.9341056; 122.0361444 (Zhoushan Island Overhead Powerline Tie, 370 metres tower) ; 29°54′41.39″N 122°1′26.38″E / 29.9114972°N 122.0239944°E / 29.9114972; 122.0239944 (Zhoushan Island Overhead Powerline Tie, 370 metres tower)
Partially guyed tower Gerbrandy Tower  Netherlands IJsselstein 366.8 1,203 1961 52°00′36.24″N 05°03′12.87″E / 52.0100667°N 5.0535750°E / 52.0100667; 5.0535750 (Gerbrandy Tower)
Guyed tubular steel mast TV Tower Vinnytsia  Ukraine Vinnytsia 354 1,161 1961 49°14′30.04″N 28°25′25.25″E / 49.2416778°N 28.4236806°E / 49.2416778; 28.4236806 (TV Tower Vinnytsia)
Bridge pillar Millau Viaduct  France Millau 342 1,122 2004 44°05′09.97″N 03°01′17.94″E / 44.0861028°N 3.0216500°E / 44.0861028; 3.0216500 (Viaduc de Millau)
Observation Tower Sky Tower New Zealand Auckland 328 1,076 1997 36°50'54.4596''S 174°45'48.0096''E
Scientific research tower Amazon Tall Tower Observatory  Brazil 160 km NE of Manaus 325[4] 1,066 2015 02°29′06″S 59°35′33″W / 2.48500°S 59.59250°W / -2.48500; -59.59250 (Amazon Tall Tower Observatory)
Blaw-Knox Tower Lakihegy Tower  Hungary Szigetszentmiklós 314 1,031 1968 47°22′23″N 19°00′16″E / 47.37306°N 19.00444°E / 47.37306; 19.00444 (Lakihegy Tower)
Observation Tower Sydney Tower  Australia Sydney 309 1,013 1981 33°52′13.64″S 151°12′32″E / 33.8704556°S 151.20889°E / -33.8704556; 151.20889
Dam Jinping-I Dam  China Liangshan 305 1,001 2013 28°11′07″N 101°37′42″E / 28.18528°N 101.62833°E / 28.18528; 101.62833 (Jinping-I Dam)
TV Tower Samatra TV Tower  India Bhuj, Gujarat 300 984 1999 23°11′31″N 69°28′37″E / 23.191859°N 69.476877°E / 23.191859; 69.476877 (Samatra TV Tower)
University Moscow State University  Russia Moscow 240 787.4 1953 55°42′11″N 37°31′49″E / 55.70306°N 37.53028°E / 55.70306; 37.53028 (Moscow State University)
Minaret Hassan II Mosque  Morocco Casablanca 210 689 1993 33°36′28.71″N 7°37′58.16″W / 33.6079750°N 7.6328222°W / 33.6079750; -7.6328222 (Hassan II Mosque)
Wind turbine Vestas V164-8.0  Denmark Thisted-Østerild 222[5] 728 2014 57°04′44.41″N 8°53′0.87″E / 57.0790028°N 8.8835750°E / 57.0790028; 8.8835750 (Østerild Wind Turbine Test Field, Vestas V164-8.0)
Cooling tower Kalisindh Thermal Power Station  India Jhalawar 202[6] 663 2012 24°32′04.97″N 76°05′57.89″E / 24.5347139°N 76.0994139°E / 24.5347139; 76.0994139 (Kalisindh Power Station cooling tower) ; 24°31′58.33″N 76°06′06.81″E / 24.5328694°N 76.1018917°E / 24.5328694; 76.1018917 (Kalisindh Power Station cooling tower)
Monument Gateway Arch  United States St. Louis, Missouri 192 630 1965 38°37′28.62″N 90°11′5.87″W / 38.6246167°N 90.1849639°W / 38.6246167; -90.1849639 (Gateway Arch)
Water tower Main tower of Kuwait Towers  Kuwait Kuwait City 187 614 1979 29°23′22.75″N 48°00′11.57″E / 29.3896528°N 48.0032139°E / 29.3896528; 48.0032139 (Kuwait Towers)
Wooden structure ATLAS-I at Kirtland Air Force Base  United States Albuquerque 180 600 1980 35°01′48″N 106°33′27″W / 35.029898°N 106.557574°W / 35.029898; -106.557574 (ATLAS-I)
Masonry tower Anaconda Smelter Stack  United States Anaconda, Montana 178.3 585 1919 46°06′36.53″N 112°54′48.8″W / 46.1101472°N 112.913556°W / 46.1101472; -112.913556 (Anaconda Smelter Stack)
Inclined structure,
Olympic Stadium  Canada Montreal 175 574 1976 45°33′33.53″N 73°33′7.61″W / 45.5593139°N 73.5521139°W / 45.5593139; -73.5521139 (Montreal Olympic Stadium)
Obelisk San Jacinto Monument  United States La Porte, Texas 173.7 570 1939 29°44′59.46″N 95°04′50.52″W / 29.7498500°N 95.0807000°W / 29.7498500; -95.0807000 (San Jacinto Monument)
Church building Chicago Temple Building  United States Chicago 173 568 1924 41°52′58.81″N 87°37′50.25″W / 41.8830028°N 87.6306250°W / 41.8830028; -87.6306250 (Chicago Temple Building)
Ministry of foreign affairs Ministry of foreign affairs of Russia  Russia Moscow 172 564 1953 55°44′46″N 37°35′4″E / 55.74611°N 37.58444°E / 55.74611; 37.58444 (Ministry of foreign affairs)
Ferris wheel High Roller  United States Las Vegas 167.6 550 2014 36°07′03″N 115°10′05″W / 36.117402°N 115.168127°W / 36.117402; -115.168127 (High Roller)
Masonry building Mole Antonelliana  Italy Torino 167 548 1889 45°04′8.45″N 7°41′35.62″E / 45.0690139°N 7.6932278°E / 45.0690139; 7.6932278 (Mole Antonelliana)
Masonry building Philadelphia City Hall  United States Philadelphia 167 548 1901 39°57′9.79″N 75°09′48.72″W / 39.9527194°N 75.1635333°W / 39.9527194; -75.1635333 (Philadelphia City Hall)
Flagpole Jeddah Flagpole  Saudi Arabia Jeddah 171[7] 561 2014
Church tower Ulmer Münster  Germany Ulm 162 530 1890 48°23′55″N 9°59′30.78″E / 48.39861°N 9.9918833°E / 48.39861; 9.9918833 (Ulmer Münster)
Industrial hall Vehicle Assembly Building  United States Kennedy Space Center, Florida 160 525 1966 28°35′9.64″N 80°39′2.11″W / 28.5860111°N 80.6505861°W / 28.5860111; -80.6505861 (Vehicle Assembly Building)
Dome Dome of the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro  Ivory Coast Yamoussoukro 158 518 1990 6°48′40″N 5°17′47″W / 6.81111°N 5.29639°W / 6.81111; -5.29639 (Dome of Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro)
Memorial cross Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos  Spain El Escorial 152.4 500 1957 40°38′31.46″N 4°9′19.6″W / 40.6420722°N 4.155444°W / 40.6420722; -4.155444 (Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos)
Telescope Arecibo Telescope  United States Arecibo, Puerto Rico 150 492 1963 18°20′39″N 66°45′10″W / 18.34417°N 66.75278°W / 18.34417; -66.75278 (Arecibo Telescope)
Roller coaster Kingda Ka  United States Jackson, New Jersey 138.98 456 2005 40°08′26.54″N 74°25′59.83″W / 40.1407056°N 74.4332861°W / 40.1407056; -74.4332861 (Kingda Ka)
Tomb Great Pyramid of Giza  Egypt Giza 138.8 455.2 2560 BC 29°58′44.93″N 31°08′3.09″E / 29.9791472°N 31.1341917°E / 29.9791472; 31.1341917 (Great Pyramid of Giza)
Lighthouse Jeddah Light  Saudi Arabia Jeddah 133 436 1990[8] 21°28′07.14″N 39°08′58.98″E / 21.4686500°N 39.1497167°E / 21.4686500; 39.1497167 (Jeddah Light)
Air traffic control tower Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 Control Tower  Malaysia Sepang 141.3 463.6 2013[9]

2°44′26″N 101°40′45″E / 2.740486°N 101.679069°E / 2.740486; 101.679069 (Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 Control Tower)

Statue (incl. pedestal) Spring Temple Buddha  China Lushan 128 420 2002 33°46′31″N 112°27′04″E / 33.775150°N 112.451016°E / 33.775150; 112.451016 (Spring Temple Buddha)
Stupa Phra Pathom Chedi  Thailand Nakhon Pathom 127 417 1870 13°49′11″N 100°3′37″E / 13.81972°N 100.06028°E / 13.81972; 100.06028 (Phra Pathom Chedi)
Sculpture Spire of Dublin  Ireland Dublin 121.2 393 2003 53°20′59.28″N 6°15′36.93″W / 53.3498000°N 6.2602583°W / 53.3498000; -6.2602583 (Spire of Dublin)
Wooden lattice tower Gliwice Radio Tower  Poland Gliwice 118 387 1935 50°18′48.12″N 18°41′20.26″E / 50.3133667°N 18.6889611°E / 50.3133667; 18.6889611 (Gliwice Radio Tower)
Storage silo Schapfen Mill Tower  Germany Ulm 115 377 2005 48°25′57″N 9°58′58″E / 48.43250°N 9.98278°E / 48.43250; 9.98278 (Schapfen Mill Tower)
Aerial tramway support tower Pillar of third section of Gletscherbahn Kaprun  Austria Kaprun 113.6 373 1966 47°11′58.62″N 12°41′16.96″E / 47.1996167°N 12.6880444°E / 47.1996167; 12.6880444 (Glacial Aerial Tramway Kaprun III Support Pillar)
Sphere Ericsson Globe  Sweden Stockholm 85 279 1989 59°17′36.92″N 18°04′58.79″E / 59.2935889°N 18.0829972°E / 59.2935889; 18.0829972 (Ericsson Globe)
Brick lighthouse Lighthouse of Genoa  Italy Genoa 77 253 1543 44°24′16.25″N 8°54′16.67″E / 44.4045139°N 8.9046306°E / 44.4045139; 8.9046306 (Torre della Lanterna)
Gopuram Murudeshwara Temple  India Murudeshwara 76 249 2008 14°05′39″N 74°29′07″E / 14.094197°N 74.485163°E / 14.094197; 74.485163 (Murudeshwara Temple)
Wooden church Church of the Holy Archangels[10]  Romania Șurdești 72 236 1766 47°35′49.11″N 23°45′52.54″E / 47.5969750°N 23.7645944°E / 47.5969750; 23.7645944 (Church of the Holy Archangels)

Tallest destroyed structures by category, not surpassed by existing structures[edit]

There are some destroyed architectural structures which were taller than the tallest existing structure of their type. There are also destroyed structures omitted from this list that had been surpassed in height prior to being destroyed.

Category Structure Country City Height (metres) Height (feet) Coordinates Remarks
Guyed mast Warsaw Radio Mast  Poland Gąbin 646.38 2,121 52°22′3.74″N 19°48′8.73″E / 52.3677056°N 19.8024250°E / 52.3677056; 19.8024250 (Konstantynow Radio Mast (destroyed)) completed in 1974, collapsed on August 8, 1991
Scientific research tower BREN Tower  United States Nevada Test Site 462 1,516 36°46′50.23″N 116°14′36.9″W / 36.7806194°N 116.243583°W / 36.7806194; -116.243583 (BREN-Tower) completed in 1962, destroyed on May 23, 2012[11]
Guyed tubular steel mast Shushi-Wan Omega Transmitter  Japan Tsushima 389 1,276 34°36′53″N 129°27′13″E / 34.61472°N 129.45361°E / 34.61472; 129.45361 (Shushi-Wan Omega Transmitter (dismantled)) completed in 1973, dismantled in 1998
Structure for scientific experiment Smoky Shot Tower  United States Nevada Test Site 213 700  ??? Guyed mast, which carried 44 kt yield nuclear bomb "Smoky" (part of operation Plumbbob) on top until its explosion on August 31, 1957
Wooden structure Mühlacker Wood Radio Tower  Germany Mühlacker 190 623 48°56′27.67″N 8°51′8.24″E / 48.9410194°N 8.8522889°E / 48.9410194; 8.8522889 (Mühlacker Wood Radio Tower (replaced by guyed mast)) completed in 1934, destroyed on April 6, 1945, by the Germans to prevent usage by the Allies, replaced by mast radiator
Masonry building Mole Antonelliana Nome Spain  Italy Torino 167.5 549.5 45°04′8.45″N 7°41′35.62″E / 45.0690139°N 7.6932278°E / 45.0690139; 7.6932278 (Mole Antonelliana) spire destroyed by a tornado in 1953 (Rebuilt since then).
Pre-Industrial Era building Lincoln Cathedral  United Kingdom Lincoln 160 524 53°14′3.26″N 0°32′10.54″W / 53.2342389°N 0.5362611°W / 53.2342389; -0.5362611 (Lincoln Cathedral) completed in 1311, spire blown off in 1549
Storage silo Henninger Turm  Germany Frankfurt 120 394 50°05′50.18″N 8°41′36.81″E / 50.0972722°N 8.6935583°E / 50.0972722; 8.6935583 (Henninger Turm) constructed in 1961, demolished in 2013
Lighthouse Lighthouse of Alexandria  Egypt Alexandria 115-135 377-443 31°12′51″N 29°53′06″E / 31.21417°N 29.88500°E / 31.21417; 29.88500 (Lighthouse of Alexandria) completed in 279 BC, destroyed by an earthquake in 1323
Twin Towers One & Two World Trade Center  United States New York City 417/415 1368/1362 40°42′42″N 74°00′45″W / 40.71167°N 74.01250°W / 40.71167; -74.01250 (World Trade Center) completed in 1970 and 1971,destroyed by the September 11 attacks

Tallest building by function[edit]

Category Structure Country City Architectural top (metres) Architectural top (feet)
Mixed-Use* Burj Khalifa  United Arab Emirates Dubai 830 2,722
Office, Observation One World Trade Center  United States New York City 541 1,776
Residential Princess Tower  United Arab Emirates Dubai 414 1,358
Hotel JW Marriott Marquis Dubai  United Arab Emirates Dubai 355 1,166
Educational Moscow State University  Russia Moscow 240 787
Mosque Hassan II Mosque  Morocco Casablanca 210 690
Pagoda Tianning Temple  China Changzhou 154 505
Hospital Guy's Hospital  United Kingdom London 149 488

* Mixed-Use is defined as having three or more real estate uses (such as retail, office, hotel, etc.) that are physically and functionally integrated in a single property and are mutually supporting.[12]

Tallest buildings[edit]

Prior to 1998, the tallest building status was determined by the height of the building to the top of its architectural elements including spires, but not including "temporary" structures (such as antennas or flagpoles), which could be added or changed relatively easily without requiring major changes to the building's design. Other criteria for height measurement were not used. For this reason, the originally 1,451-foot (442-meter) to rooftop or 1518 feet with original antennas[13] Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) was generally accepted as being the tallest building continuously after its completion in 1973, and being taller than both World Trade Center towers, in spite of the fact the 1 World Trade Center Tower (North Tower) possessed a higher pinnacle absolute height after it added its 360-foot (110 m) radio antenna (total height of 1730 feet or 527.3 meters) in 1978. The 1 World Trade Center building maintained a higher absolute height to antenna top until the Sears Tower enlarged its own radio antenna in 2000 to a total height of 1730 feet.[13] However, the Willis Tower was always considered the taller building because it still possessed a greater height to its architectural top (1451 feet vs. 1362 feet), and thus its status as the world's tallest was generally not contested.

Other historic cases in which a building with a taller absolute pinnacle height was not considered the tallest building include, in 1905 when the former New York Times building or The Times Square Building (at 229 West 43rd Street in New York) was completed at 111 m (364 ft) to the roof with 128 m (420 ft) including a flagpole. That building was never considered to be taller than the 119 m (390 ft) high then-current record-holder Park Row Building of New York because a flagpole is not an integral architectural part of a building.[14]

Prior to 1998 the tallest building status had been contested on occasion, but the disputes did not result in a change of the criteria used to determine the world's tallest building. A famous historical case of this discrepancy was the rivalry between The Trump Building (then known as the Bank of Manhattan Building) and the Chrysler Building. The Bank of Manhattan Building employed only a short spire and was 927 ft (283 m) tall and had a much higher top occupied floor (the second category in the 1996 criteria for tallest building). In contrast, the Chrysler Building employed a very large 125-foot (38 m) spire secretly assembled inside the building to claim the title of world's tallest building with a total height of 1,048 feet (319 m), despite having a lower top occupied floor and a shorter height when both buildings' spires are not counted in their heights. Upset by Chrysler’s victory, Shreve & Lamb, the consulting architects of Bank of Manhattan building, wrote a newspaper article claiming that their building was actually the tallest, since it contained the world's highest usable floor. They pointed out that the observation deck in the Bank of Manhattan Building was nearly 100 feet (30 m) above the top floor in the Chrysler Building, whose surpassing spire was strictly ornamental and essentially inaccessible.[15] However, the Chrysler Building was generally accepted as the tallest building in the world despite their protests.

The Petronas Towers remain the tallest twin towers in the world.

However, none of the previous discrepancies or disputes in criteria to measure height (spires vs antennas, absolute pinnacle height vs. architectural height, height of highest occupied floor, etc.) resulted in the controversy that occurred upon the completion of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998. The Petronas Towers possessed a higher architectural height (spires, but not antennas), but a lower absolute pinnacle height and lower top occupied floor than the previous record-holder Willis Tower in Chicago, United States. Counting buildings as structures with floors throughout, and with antenna masts excluded, Willis Tower was still considered the tallest at that time. When the Petronas Twin Towers were built, controversy arose because their spires extended nine metres higher than the roof of Willis Tower. Excluding their spires, the Petronas Towers are not taller than Willis Tower. At their convention in Chicago, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) found the Willis Tower to be the third-tallest building, and the Petronas Towers to be the world's tallest buildings. This decision caused a considerable amount of controversy in the news media because this was the first time a country outside the United States had held the world’s tallest building record.[14] Therefore, the CTBUH revised their criteria and defined four categories in which the world's tallest building can be measured,[16] by retaining the old criterion of height to architectural top and added three new categories[14]

  1. Height to Architectural Top (including spires and pinnacles, but not antennas, masts or flagpoles). This measurement is the most widely used and is used to define the rankings of the 100 Tallest Buildings in the World.
  2. Highest Occupied Floor
  3. Height to Top of Roof (omitted from criteria from November 2009 onwards)[17]
  4. Height to Tip

The height-to-roof criterion was discontinued because relatively few modern tall buildings possess flat rooftops, making this criterion difficult to determine and measure.[18] The CTBUH has further clarified their definitions of building height, including specific criteria concerning subbasements and ground level entrances (height measured from lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance rather than from a previously undefined "main entrance"), building completion (must be topped out both structurally and architecturally, fully clad, and able to be occupied), condition of the highest occupied floor (must be continuously used by people living or working and be conditioned, thus including observation decks, but not mechanical floors) and other aspects of tall buildings.[18][19]

The height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance. At the time, the Willis Tower held first place in the second and third categories, the Petronas Towers held the first category, and the 1 World Trade Center building held the fourth with its antenna height to top of pinnacle.[14] In 2000, however, a new antenna mast was placed on the Willis Tower, giving it hold of the fourth category. On April 20, 2004, Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, was completed. Its completion gave it the world record for the first three categories. On July 21, 2007 it was announced that Burj Khalifa had surpassed Taipei 101 in height, reaching 512 m (1,680 ft).

Since being completed in early 2010, Burj Khalifa leads in all categories (the first building to do so). With a spire height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft), Burj Khalifa surpassed Taipei 101 as the tallest building to architectural detail and the Willis Tower as the tallest building to tip. It also leads in the category of highest occupied floor.

Before Burj Khalifa was completed, Willis Tower led in the fourth category with 527 m (1,729 ft), previously held by the World Trade Center until the extension of the Chicago tower's western broadcast antenna in 2000, over a year prior to the World Trade Center's destruction in 2001. Its antenna mast included, One World Trade Center measured 527.3 m (1,730 ft). The World Trade Center became the world's tallest buildings to be destroyed or demolished; indeed, its site entered the record books twice on September 11, 2001, in that category, replacing the Singer Building, which once stood a block from the World Trade Center site.[citation needed] A different superlative for skyscrapers is their number of floors. The World Trade Center set that at 110, and this was not surpassed for nearly four decades until the Burj Khalifa, which opened in 2010.

Structures such as the CN Tower, the Ostankino Tower and the Oriental Pearl Tower are excluded from these categories because they are not "habitable buildings", which are defined as frame structures made with floors and walls throughout.[1]

History of record holders in each CTBUH category[edit]

Date (Event) Architectural top Highest occupied floor Roof Tip
2010: Burj Khalifa completed Burj Khalifa Burj Khalifa Burj Khalifa
2009: CTBUH omits Height to Roof category Taipei 101 Shanghai World Financial Center Willis Tower
2008: Shanghai World Financial Center completed Taipei 101 Shanghai World Financial Center Shanghai World Financial Center Willis Tower
2003: Taipei 101 completed Taipei 101 Taipei 101 Taipei 101 Willis Tower
2000: Willis Tower antenna extension Petronas Towers Willis Tower Willis Tower Willis Tower
1998: Petronas Towers completed Petronas Towers Willis Tower Willis Tower World Trade Center
1996: CTBUH defines categories Willis Tower Willis Tower Willis Tower World Trade Center

Tallest freestanding structures on land[edit]

Freestanding structures must not be supported by guy wires, the sea or other types of support. It therefore does not include guyed masts, partially guyed towers and drilling platforms but does include towers, skyscrapers (pinnacle height) and chimneys. (See also history of tallest skyscrapers.)

The world's tallest freestanding structure on land is defined as the tallest self-supporting artificial structure that stands above ground. This definition is different from that of world's tallest building or world's tallest structure based on the percentage of the structure that is occupied and whether or not it is self-supporting or supported by exterior cables. Likewise, this definition does not count structures that are built underground or on the seabed, such as the Petronius Platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Visit world's tallest structure by category for a list of various other definitions.

As of May 12, 2008, the tallest freestanding structure on land is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The building, which now stands at 829.8 m (2,722 ft), surpassed the height of the previous record holder, the 553.3 m (1,815 ft) CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, on September 12, 2007. It was completed in 2010, and was topped out at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in January 2009.[2]


The following is a list of structures that have held the title as the tallest freestanding structure on land. (See also Timeline of three tallest structures in the world until Empire State Building).

Tallest historical structures
Record from Record held (years) Name and location Constructed Height (metres) Height (feet) Coordinates Notes
c. 11,500 BC 9,000 Göbekli Tepe, Turkey c. 11,500 BC 15 49
c. 2650 BC 40 Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt c. 2650 BC 62 203 29°52′16.53″N 31°12′59.59″E / 29.8712583°N 31.2165528°E / 29.8712583; 31.2165528 (Pyramid of Djoser)  
c. 2610 BC 5 Meidum Pyramid in Egypt c. 2610 BC 93.5 307 29°23′17″N 31°09′25″E / 29.38806°N 31.15694°E / 29.38806; 31.15694 (Meidum Pyramid) Shortly after completion Meidum Pyramid collapsed due to bad design/instability and is now 65 m (213 ft).
c. 2605 BC 5 Bent Pyramid in Egypt c. 2605 BC 101.1 332 29°47′25″N 31°12′33″E / 29.79028°N 31.20917°E / 29.79028; 31.20917 (Bent Pyramid) Angle of slope decreased during construction to avoid collapse.
c. 2600 BC 40 Red Pyramid of Sneferu, Egypt c. 2600 BC 105 345 29°48′31.39″N 31°12′22.49″E / 29.8087194°N 31.2062472°E / 29.8087194; 31.2062472 (Red Pyramid)  
c. 2560 BC 3871 Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt c. 2560 BC 146 481 29°58′44.93″N 31°08′3.09″E / 29.9791472°N 31.1341917°E / 29.9791472; 31.1341917 (Great Pyramid of Giza) By 1647, the Great Pyramid had eroded to a height of approximately 139 m (456 ft).
 1311 238 Lincoln Cathedral in the United Kingdom. 1092–1311 160 525 53°14′3.26″N 0°32′10.54″W / 53.2342389°N 0.5362611°W / 53.2342389; -0.5362611 (Lincoln Cathedral) The central spire was destroyed in a storm in 1549. While the reputed height of 525 ft (160 m) is accepted by most sources,[20][21][22][23][24][25] others consider it doubtful[26]
1549 98 St. Mary's Church in Stralsund, Germany 1384–1478 151 495 54°18′36.01″N 13°5′14.81″E / 54.3100028°N 13.0874472°E / 54.3100028; 13.0874472 (St. Mary's church, Stralsund) The spire burnt down after a lightning strike in 1647. The height is 104 m (341 ft) .
1647 227 Strasbourg Cathedral in France 1439 142 469 48°34′54.22″N 7°45′1.48″E / 48.5817278°N 7.7504111°E / 48.5817278; 7.7504111 (Strasbourg Cathedral) By 1647, the Great Pyramid had eroded to a height of approximately 139 m (456 ft) hence Strasbourg Cathedral was higher. During this period an attempt was made to construct a taller tower at Beauvais Cathedral, but this collapsed in 1573 before completion.
1874 2 St. Nikolai in Hamburg, Germany 1846–1874 147 483 53°32′50.94″N 9°59′26.12″E / 53.5474833°N 9.9905889°E / 53.5474833; 9.9905889 (St. Nikolai, Hamburg)
1876 4 Cathédrale Notre Dame in Rouen, France 1202–1876 151 495 49°26′24.54″N 1°5′41.85″E / 49.4401500°N 1.0949583°E / 49.4401500; 1.0949583 (Rouen Cathedral)  
1880 4 Cologne Cathedral in Germany 1248–1880 157 515 50°56′28.08″N 6°57′25.73″E / 50.9411333°N 6.9571472°E / 50.9411333; 6.9571472 (Cologne Cathedral, Tower South) ;50°56′29.11″N 6°57′25.85″E / 50.9414194°N 6.9571806°E / 50.9414194; 6.9571806 (Cologne Cathedral, Tower North)
1884 5 Washington Monument in Washington D.C., United States 1884 169 555 38°53′22.08″N 77°2′6.89″W / 38.8894667°N 77.0352472°W / 38.8894667; -77.0352472 (Washington Monument) The world's tallest all-stone structure, as well as the tallest obelisk-form structure.
1889 41 Eiffel Tower in Paris, France 1889 300 986 48°51′29.77″N 2°17′40.09″E / 48.8582694°N 2.2944694°E / 48.8582694; 2.2944694 (Eiffel Tower) First structure to exceed 300 metres in height. The addition of a telecommunications tower in the 1950s brought the overall height to 324 m (1,063 ft).
1930 1 Chrysler Building in New York, United States 1928–1930 319 1,046 40°45′5.78″N 73°58′31.52″W / 40.7516056°N 73.9754222°W / 40.7516056; -73.9754222 (Chrysler Building)
1931 36 Empire State Building in New York, United States 1930–1931 381 1,250 40°44′54.95″N 73°59′8.71″W / 40.7485972°N 73.9857528°W / 40.7485972; -73.9857528 (Empire State Building) First building with 100+ stories. The addition of a pinnacle and antennas later increased its overall height to 448.7 m (1,472 ft). This was subsequently lowered to 443.1 m (1,454 ft).
1967 8 Ostankino Tower in Moscow, Soviet Union 1963–1967 537 1,762 55°49′10.94″N 37°36′41.79″E / 55.8197056°N 37.6116083°E / 55.8197056; 37.6116083 (Ostankino Tower) Remains the tallest in Europe. Fire in 2000 led to extensive renovation.
1975 32 CN Tower in Toronto, Canada 1973–1976 553 1,815 43°38′33.22″N 79°23′13.41″W / 43.6425611°N 79.3870583°W / 43.6425611; -79.3870583 (CN Tower) Remains the tallest in the Western Hemisphere
2007 7 Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2004–2009 829.8 2,722 25°11′50.0″N 55°16′26.6″E / 25.197222°N 55.274056°E / 25.197222; 55.274056 (Burj Dubai) Holder of world's tallest freestanding structure. Topped out at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in 2009.
Diagram of the Principal High Buildings of the Old World, 1884.

Notable mentions include the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria, built in the third century BC and estimated between 115–135 m (377–443 ft). It was the world's tallest non-pyramidal building for many centuries. Another notable mention includes the Jetavanaramaya stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, which was built in the third century, and was similarly tall at 122 m (400 ft). These were both the world's tallest or second tallest non-pyramidal buildings for over a thousand years.

The tallest secular building between the collapse of the Pharos and the erection of the Washington Monument may have been the Torre del Mangia in Siena, which is 102 m (335 ft) tall, and was constructed in the first half of the fourteenth century, and the 97 m (318 ft) tall Torre degli Asinelli in Bologna, also Italy, built between 1109 and 1119.

World's highest observation deck[edit]

Main article: Observation deck

Timeline of development of world's highest observation deck since inauguration of Eiffel Tower.

Record from Record held (years) Name and location Constructed Height above ground Notes
m ft
1889 42 Eiffel Tower, Paris 1889 275 902 Two lower observation decks at 57 and 115 m (187 and 377 ft).
1931 42 Empire State Building, New York City 1931 369[27] 1,250 On the 102nd floor - a second observation deck is located on the 86th floor at 320 m (1,050 ft).
1973 1 World Trade Center, New York City 1973 399.4 1,310 Indoor observatory on the 107th floor of South Tower opened on April 4, 1973. Destroyed on September 11, 2001
1974 1 Willis Tower, Chicago 1974 412.4 1,353 103rd floor Skydeck opened on June 22, 1974
1975 1 World Trade Center, New York City 1973 419.7 1,377 Outdoor observatory on the South Tower rooftop opened on December 15, 1975. Destroyed on September 11, 2001
1976 32 CN Tower, Toronto 1976 446.5 1,464.9 Two further observation decks at 342 and 346 m (1,122 and 1,135 ft).
2008 3 Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai 2008 474 1,555 Two further observation decks at 423 and 439 m (1,388 and 1,440 ft).
2011 3 Canton Tower, Guangzhou 2011 488 1,601 The rooftop outdoor observation deck opened in December 2011. There are also several other indoor observation decks in the tower, the highest at 433.2 m (1,421 ft).
2014 present Burj Khalifa, Dubai 2010 555 1,821 Opened on October 15, 2014 on the 148th floor. There is another observation deck at 452.1 m (1,483 ft) on the 124th floor, which has been open since the building was opened to the public.

Higher observation decks have existed on mountain tops or cliffs, rather than on tall structures. For example, the Royal Gorge Bridge in Cañon City, Colorado, USA, was constructed in 1929 spanning the Royal Gorge at a height of 321 m (1,053 ft) above the Arkansas River. The Grand Canyon Skywalk, constructed in 2007, protrudes 21 m (70 ft) over the west rim of the Grand Canyon and is approximately 1,100 m (3,600 ft) above the Colorado River, making it the highest of these types of structures.[citation needed]

Timeline of guyed structures on land[edit]

As most of the tallest structures are guyed masts, here is a timeline of world's tallest guyed masts, since the beginning of radio technology.

As many large guyed masts were destroyed at the end of World War II, the dates for the years between 1945 and 1950 may be incorrect. If Wusung Radio Tower survived World War II, it was the tallest guyed structure shortly after World War II.

Record from Record held (years) Name and location Constructed Height Coordinates Notes
m ft
1913 7 Central mast of Eilvese transmitter, Eilvese, Germany 1913 250 820 52°31′40″N 9°24′24″E / 52.52778°N 9.40667°E / 52.52778; 9.40667 (Eilvese transmitter (demolished)) Mast was divided in 145 m by an insulator, demolished in 1931
1920 3 Central masts of Nauen Transmitter Station, Nauen, Germany 1920 260 853 52°38′56″N 12°54′30″E / 52.64889°N 12.90833°E / 52.64889; 12.90833 (Nauen transmitter) 2 masts, demolished in 1946
1923 10 Masts of Ruiselede transmitter, Ruiselede, Belgium 1923 287 942 51°4′44″N 3°20′6.9″E / 51.07889°N 3.335250°E / 51.07889; 3.335250 (Zendmast Ruiselede (destroyed) (location unclear))? 8 masts, destroyed in 1940
1933 6 Lakihegy Tower, Lakihegy, Hungary 1933 314 1,031 47°22′23.45″N 19°0′17.21″E / 47.3731806°N 19.0047806°E / 47.3731806; 19.0047806 (Lakihegy Radio Tower) Blaw-Knox Tower, insulated against ground, destroyed in 1945, afterwards rebuilt
1939 7 Deutschlandsender Herzberg/Elster, Herzberg (Elster), Germany 1939 335 1,099 51°42′59.76″N 13°15′51.5″E / 51.7166000°N 13.264306°E / 51.7166000; 13.264306 (Deutschlandsender III (dismantled)) Insulated against ground, dismantled 1946/1947
1946 2 Lakihegy Tower, Lakihegy, Hungary 1946 314 1,031 47°22′23.45″N 19°0′17.21″E / 47.3731806°N 19.0047806°E / 47.3731806; 19.0047806 (Lakihegy Radio Tower) Blaw-Knox Tower, Insulated against ground, rebuilt after destruction in 1945
1948 1 WIVB-TV Tower, Colden, New York, USA 1948 321.9 1,056 42°39′33.19″N 78°37′33.91″W / 42.6592194°N 78.6260861°W / 42.6592194; -78.6260861 (WIVB-TV Tower)
1949 1 Longwave transmitter Raszyn, Raszyn, Poland 1949 335 1,099 52°4′21.72″N 20°53′2.15″E / 52.0727000°N 20.8839306°E / 52.0727000; 20.8839306 (Raszyn Radio Mast) Insulated against ground
1950 4 Forestport Tower, Forestport, New York, USA 1950 371.25 1,218 43°26′41.9″N 75°5′9.55″W / 43.444972°N 75.0859861°W / 43.444972; -75.0859861 (Forestport Tower (demolished)) Insulated against ground, demolished
1954 2 Griffin Television Tower Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA 1954 480.5 1,576 35°32′58.59″N 97°29′50.27″W / 35.5496083°N 97.4972972°W / 35.5496083; -97.4972972 (Griffin Television Tower Oklahoma)  
1956 3 KOBR-TV Tower, Caprock, New Mexico, USA 1956 490.7 1,610 33°22′31.31″N 103°46′14.3″W / 33.3753639°N 103.770639°W / 33.3753639; -103.770639 (KOBR-TV Tower) Collapsed in 1960, afterwards rebuilt
1959 1 WGME TV Tower, Raymond, Maine, USA 1959 495 1,624 43°55′28.43″N 70°29′26.72″W / 43.9245639°N 70.4907556°W / 43.9245639; -70.4907556 (WGME TV Tower)
1960 2 KFVS TV Mast, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, USA 1960 511.1 1,677 37°25′44.5″N 89°30′13.84″W / 37.429028°N 89.5038444°W / 37.429028; -89.5038444 (KFVS TV Mast)
1962 1 WTVM/WRBL-TV & WVRK-FM Tower, Cusseta, Georgia, USA 1962 533 1,749 32°19′25.09″N 84°46′45.07″W / 32.3236361°N 84.7791861°W / 32.3236361; -84.7791861 (WTVM/WRBL-TV & WVRK-FM Tower)
1963 0 WIMZ-FM-Tower, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA 1963 534.01 1,752 36°08′05.49″N 83°43′28.01″W / 36.1348583°N 83.7244472°W / 36.1348583; -83.7244472 (WIMZ-FM-Tower)
1963 11 KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, USA 1963 628.8 2,063 47°20′31.85″N 97°17′21.13″W / 47.3421806°N 97.2892028°W / 47.3421806; -97.2892028 (KVLY-TV mast)
1974 17 Warsaw Radio Mast, Gąbin, Poland 1974 646.4 2,121 52°22′3.74″N 19°48′8.73″E / 52.3677056°N 19.8024250°E / 52.3677056; 19.8024250 (Konstantynow Radio Mast (destroyed)) Mast radiator insulated against ground, collapsed in 1991
1991 23 KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, USA 1963 628.8 2,063 47°20′31.85″N 97°17′21.13″W / 47.3421806°N 97.2892028°W / 47.3421806; -97.2892028 (KVLY-TV mast)

Tallest Towers[edit]

Towers include observation towers, monuments and other structures not generally considered to be "habitable buildings", they are meant for "regular access by humans, but not for living in or office work, and are self-supporting or free-standing, which means no guy-wires for support", meaning it excludes from this list of continuously habitable buildings and skyscrapers as well as radio and TV masts.

Bridge towers or pylons, chimneys, transmission towers, and most large statues allow human access for maintenance, but not as part of their normal operation, and are therefore not considered to be towers.

The Tokyo Skytree, completed in February 2012, reaches a height of 634 m (2,080 ft), making it the tallest tower, and second tallest free standing structure in the world.[28][29][30]

History of tallest tower[edit]

The following is a list of structures that have historically held the title as the tallest towers in the world.

Tallest historical towers
From To Tower Country Town Pinnacle height
280 BC 1180 AD Pharos Lighthouse  Egypt Alexandria 122 m
1180 1240 Malmesbury Abbey Tower  United Kingdom Malmesbury 131.3 m
1240 1311 Tower of Old St Paul's Cathedral  United Kingdom London 150 m
1311 1549 Tower of Lincoln Cathedral  United Kingdom Lincoln 159.7 m
1549 1647 Tower of St Mary's church  Germany Stralsund 151 m
1647 1874 Tower of Strasbourg Cathedral  France Strasbourg 142 m
1874 1876 Tower of St. Nikolai  Germany Hamburg 147 m
1876 1880 Tower of Rouen Cathedral  France Rouen 151 m
1880 1889 Tower of Cologne Cathedral  Germany Cologne 157.38 m
1889 1958 Eiffel Tower  France Paris 312.3 m
1958 1967 Tokyo Tower  Japan Tokyo 332.6 m
1967 1976 Ostankino Tower  Russia Moscow 540.1 m
1976 2010 CN Tower  Canada Toronto 553.33 m
2010 2011 Canton Tower  China Guangzhou 600 m
2011 2013 Tokyo Skytree  Japan Tokyo 634 m

Tallest structures, freestanding structures, and buildings[edit]

Burj Khalifa and other tallest structures

The list categories are:

  • The structures (supported) list uses pinnacle height and includes architectural structures of any type that might use some external support constructions like cables and are fully built in air. Only the three tallest are listed, as more than fifty US TV masts have stated heights of 600–610 metres (1,970–2,000 ft).
  • The structures (media supported) list uses pinnacle height and includes architectural structures of any type that are not totally built in the air but are using support from other, denser media like salt water. All structures greater than 500 metres (1,640 ft) are listed.
  • The freestanding structures list uses pinnacle height and includes structures over 400 metres (1,312 ft) that do not use guy-wires or other external supports. This means truly free standing on its own or, in similar sense, non-supported structures.
  • The building list uses architectural height (excluding antennas) and includes only buildings, defined as consisting of habitable floors. Both of these follow CTBUH guidelines. All supertall buildings (300 m and higher) are listed.


  • Eight buildings appear on the freestanding structures category list with heights different from another category. This is due to the different measurement specifications of those lists.
  • Only current heights and, where reasonable, target heights are listed. Historical heights of structures that no longer exist, for example, for having collapsed, are excluded.
Rank Name and location Year
Architectural top[31]
Architectural top
Structures (supported)
1 KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, United States 1963 629 2,064
2 KXJB-TV mast, Galesburg, North Dakota, United States 1998 628 2,060
3 KXTV/KOVR Tower, Walnut Grove, California, United States 2000 625 2,051
Structures (media supported)
1 Petronius Platform, Gulf of Mexico 2000 610 2,000
2 Baldpate Platform, Gulf of Mexico 1998 580 1,900
3 Bullwinkle Platform, Gulf of Mexico 1989 529 1,736
Freestanding structures
1 Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2010 829.8 2,722 163
2 Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo, Japan 2011 634 2,080
3 Abraj Al Bait, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 2011 601 1,972 120
4 Canton Tower, Guangzhou, China 2010 600 1,969
5 CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1976 553 1,814
6 One World Trade Center, New York City, USA 2013 546.2 1,792 104
7 Ostankino Tower, Moscow, Russia 1967 540 1,770
8 Willis Tower, Chicago, United States 1974 527 1,729 108
9 Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan 2004 509 1,670 101
10 Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China 2008 492 1,614 101
11 International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong 2010 484 1,588 118
12 Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai, China 1994 468 1,535
13 John Hancock Center, Chicago, United States 1969 457 1,499 100
14 Petronas Tower I, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 452 1,483 88
Petronas Tower II, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 452 1,483 88
15 Zifeng Tower, Nanjing, China 2009 450 1,480 89
16 Empire State Building, New York City, United States 1931 443 1,453 102
17 Milad Tower, Tehran, Iran 2007 435 1,427
18 Kuala Lumpur Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1995 421 1,381
19 Jin Mao Building, Shanghai, China 1998 421 1,381 88
20 Chimney of GRES-2 Power Station, Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan 1987 420 1,380
21 Two International Finance Centre, Hong Kong 2003 415 1,362 88
22 Tianjin Radio and Television Tower, Tianjin, China 1991 415 1,362
23 Central TV Tower, Beijing, China 1992 405 1,329
1 Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2010 828 2,717 163
2 Abraj Al Bait, Mecca, Saudi Arabia 2011 601 1,972 120
3 One World Trade Center, New York City, USA 2013 541.3 1,776 104
4 Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan 2004 509 1,670 101
5 Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China 2008 492 1,614 101
6 International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong 2010 484 1,588 118
7 Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 452 1,483 88
8 Zifeng Tower, Nanjing, China 2009 450 1,480 89
9 Willis Tower, Chicago, United States 1974 442 1,450 108
10 Jin Mao Building, Shanghai, China 1998 421 1,381 88
11 Two International Finance Centre, Hong Kong 2003 415 1,362 88
12 CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou, China 1997 391 1,283 80
13 Shun Hing Square, Shenzhen, China 1996 384 1,260 69
14 Empire State Building, New York City, United States 1931 381 1,250 102
15 Central Plaza, Hong Kong 1992 374 1,227 78
16 Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong 1990 367 1,204 70
17 Bank of America Tower, New York City, United States 2008 366 1,201 54
18 Almas Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2008 360 1,180 74
19 Emirates Office Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2000 355 1,165 54
20 Tuntex Sky Tower, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 1997 348 1,142 85
21 Aon Center, Chicago, United States 1973 346 1,135 83
22 The Center, Hong Kong 1998 346 1,135 73
23 John Hancock Center, Chicago, United States 1969 344 1,129 100
24 Rose Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2007 333 1,093 72
Shimao International Plaza, Shanghai, China 2006 333 1,093 60
25 Minsheng Bank Building, Wuhan, China 2007 331 1,086 68
25 Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea (topped out) 1992 330 1,080 105
China World Trade Center Tower 3, Beijing, China 2008 330 1,080 74
27 Q1, Gold Coast, Australia 2005 323 1,060 78
28 Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 1999 321 1,053 60
29 Chrysler Building, New York City, United States 1930 319 1,047 77
Nina Tower I, Hong Kong 2007 319 1,047 80
New York Times Building, New York City, United States 2007 319 1,047 52
32 Bank of America Plaza, Atlanta, United States 1992 312 1,024 55
33 U.S. Bank Tower, Los Angeles, United States 1989 310 1,020 73
34 Menara Telekom, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2001 310 1,020 55
35 Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2000 309 1,014 56
36 One Island East, Hong Kong 2008 308 1,010 70
37 AT&T Corporate Center, Chicago, United States 1989 307 1,007 60
38 The Address Downtown Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2008 306 1,004 63
39 JPMorgan Chase Tower, Houston, United States 1982 305 1,001 75

Source: Emporis

Under construction[edit]

Numerous supertall skyscrapers are in various stages of proposal, planning, or construction. Each of the following are under construction and, depending on the order of completion, could become the world's tallest building or structure in at least one category:

  • Jeddah Tower is currently under construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, scheduled to be completed in 2019. It will be the first building to exceed 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) with a planned height of 1,007 metres (3,304 ft). Once completed it will become the tallest building and tallest freestanding structure in the world.
  • Baoneng Shenyang Global Financial Center is a supertall skyscraper under construction in Shenyang, Liaoning, China. It is planned to be 565 metres (1,854 ft) tall. Construction started in 2014 and is expected to be completed in 2018.
  • Gezhouba International Plaza Is a supertall skyscraper under-construction in Wuhan, China.[2] The mixed-use tower is set to rise 350 metres (1,150 ft) and contain 69 floors.
  • Ping An Finance Centre is a 115-story megatall skyscraper which is under construction in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China.
  • KL118 is a 610 metres (2,000 ft) tall skyscraper with 118 storeys, which is currently under construction in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The construction has a budget of RM5 billion.[3] When completed in 2020, it will be the tallest building in Malaysia, succeeding the Petronas Twin Towers, which has 88 stories and consists of 400,000 square metres (4,300,000 sq ft) of residential, hotel and commercial space.
  • China Zun is a supertall skyscraper under construction in the Central Business District of Beijing, capital of the People's Republic of China.
  • Suzhou IFS is a 92-floor, 452-meter skyscraper under construction in SIP, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China.
  • Goldin Finance 117 is a skyscraper under construction in Tianjin, China. The tower is expected to be 597 metres (1,959 ft) with 117 stories.
  • Suzhou Zhongnan Center is a megatall skyscraper under construction in SIP, Suzhou, Jiangsu.
  • Wuhan Greenland Center is a 636-metre (2,087 ft) 125-storey skyscraper currently under construction in Wuhan, China.
  • 53W53 also known as the MoMA Expansion Tower and 53 West 53rd Street, and formerly known as Tower Verre is a supertall skyscraper currently under construction by the real estate company Hines to rise in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.
  • 111 West 57th Street is a supertall residential project by JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group in midtown Manhattan in New York City.
  • 30 Park Place is a new tower currently under construction in Tribeca, Manhattan, New York City.
  • Federation Tower is a complex of skyscrapers being built on the 13th lot of the Moscow International Business Center in Moscow, Russia.
  • Lakhta Center is a large mixed-use non-residential construction project in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
  • Dalian Greenland Center is a skyscraper under construction in Dalian, Liaoning, China. It is expected to have 88 floors and be 518 metres (1,699 ft) tall. The anticipated completion date is 2018.
  • Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Binhai Center is a skyscraper under construction in Tianjin, China. It is expected to be completed in 2018.
  • 225 West 57th Street is a supertall residential project being developed by the Extell Development Company in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The building will rise 1,479 feet (451 m) to its roof, and 1,775 feet (541 m) to the tip. The height of the spire is 1 foot (0.30 m) less than that of the United States' tallest building, the 1,776-foot (541 m), One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan; upon completion, 225 West 57th Street will become not only the second tallest building in the city, but also in the country. The building will also be the tallest by roof height in the United States, surpassing the Willis Tower, and the tallest residential building in the world both by roof height and architectural height, and will surpass 432 Park Avenue for world's tallest residential building.
  • Jinan Center Financial City is a supertall skyscraper under construction in Jinan, Shandong, China. It will be 333 metres (1,093 ft) tall. Construction started in 2014.
  • Nanjing Olympic Suning Tower is a skyscraper under construction in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. It is expected to be completed in 2017.
  • Huaguoyuan Tower 1 is a supertall skyscraper under construction in Guiyang, Guizhou, China. It will be 406 metres (1,332.0 ft) tall. Construction started in 2012 and is expected to be completed in 2017.
  • Huaguoyuan Tower 2 is a supertall skyscraper under construction in Guiyang, Guizhou, China. It will be 406 metres (1,332.0 ft) tall. Construction started in 2012 and is expected to be completed in 2017.

On hold[edit]

  • Tianjin R&F Guangdong Tower is a 91-story, 468 m (1,535 ft) supertall skyscraper that began construction in the city of Mumbai, India, in 2010. The tower was originally planned for completion in 2016, but construction work was put on hold in 2011 due to a dispute between the tower's developers and Mumbai's civic authorities.[32]
  • Construction of the Pentominium, in Dubai, is currently on hold. If construction resumes, the building is expected to be 516 m (1,693 ft) tall with 120 floors, making it the tallest all-residential building in the world. Construction began in 2007, but was halted in August 2011.[33]
  • Qatar National Bank Tower is a supertall skyscraper to be built in Doha, Qatar. The tower is planned to be 510 m (1,673 ft) tall and will have 101 floors. When completed, it will be become the tallest building in Qatar, and one of the tallest buildings in the world. The tower will also become the second tallest all-office building in the world after One World Trade Center in New York City, and surpassing the Taipei 101.It is designed by Peddle Thorp Architects. Construction is on-hold since May 2010.
  • Al Quds Endowment Tower is a multipurpose skyscraper on hold in Doha, Qatar. The foundations were laid down in 2009 but construction was halted in Spring 2010.[34]


Many proposed structures may never be built

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "CTBUH Criteria for Defining and Measuring Tall Buildings". Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Retrieved August 19, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "Burj Dubai all set for 09/09/09 soft opening". Emirates Business24/7. Retrieved January 17, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Burj Dubai surpasses KVLY-TV mast to become the world’s tallest man-made structure" (Press release). Emaar. Retrieved May 28, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Brazil builds giant Amazon observation tower". BBC News. 
  5. ^ Kasper Brøndgaard Andersen (18 February 2014). "DONG vælger Vestas' kæmpemølle" ['Dansk Olie og Naturgas' choose Vestas' huge wind turbine] (in Danish). EnergiWatch. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Comansa Jie builds the world’s highest cooling towers". Construcciones Metálicas COMANSA S.A. August 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Tallest Unsupported Flagpole". Guinness Book of World Records.  External link in |website= (help);
  8. ^ Jeddah Port Control Tower on
  9. ^ "Tower West". Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Surdesti, the tallest wooden church in the world. VIRTOURIST.COM". Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  11. ^ McCord, Keith (May 23, 2012). "Tallest structure in West demolished". KSL-TV. Salt Lake City, UT. Retrieved September 29, 2012. 
  12. ^ Schwanke D. et al. (2003). Mixed-use Development Handbook, 2nd edition. Washington: Urban Land Institute ISBN 978-0-87420-888-7
  13. ^ a b "Willis Tower, Chicago -". Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c d "History of Measuring Tall Buildings". Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  15. ^ Binders, George (August 2006). 101 of the World's Tallest Buildings. p. 102.
  16. ^ "CTBUH Criteria for Defining and Measuring Tall Buildings". Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  17. ^ "CTBUH changes height criteria, Burj Khalifa height increases". Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. November 17, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2009. 
  18. ^ a b "CTBUH Changes Height Criteria". Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ Haughton, Brian(2007),Hidden History: Lost Civilizations, Secret Knowledge, and Ancient Mysteries,p.167
  21. ^ Michael Woods, Mary B. Woods(2009), Seven Wonders of the Ancient World,p.41
  22. ^ "Lincoln Cathedral". Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  23. ^ Darwin Porter, Danforth Prince(2010), Frommer's England 2010,p.588
  24. ^ Mary Jane Taber(1905), The cathedrals of England: an account of some of their distinguishing characteristics,p.100
  25. ^ A Brief History of the World's Tallest Buildings Time magazine
  26. ^ Kendrick, A. F. (1902). "2: The Central Tower". The Cathedral Church of Lincoln: A History and Description of its Fabric and a List of the Bishops. London: George Bell & Sons. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-178-03666-4. The tall spire of timber, covered with lead, which originally crowned this tower reached an altitude, it is said, of 525 feet; but this is doubtful. This spire was blown down during a tempest in January 1547-8. 
  27. ^ "The Empire State Building". Wired New York. Retrieved December 23, 2007. 
  28. ^ "Tokyo Sky Tree construction ends: World's tallest tower prepares to open". Cable News Network. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  29. ^ Danielle Demetriou (1 March 2012). "Tokyo unveils world's tallest communications tower". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  30. ^ "Tokyo Skytree website" (in Japanese). Tobu Railway Co., Ltd. & Tobu Tower Skytree Co., Ltd. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  31. ^ height for inhabited buildings with floors; does not include TV towers and antennas
  32. ^ "R&F Tower at CTBUH Skyscraper Database". 
  33. ^ "Pentominium at CTBUH Skyscraper Database". 
  34. ^ Al Quds Endowment Tower

External links[edit]