Top 10 tallest skyscrapers around the world

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© Davis McCardle

Architecture and design are reaching new heights that an individual has never tried to cross the bridge or break the ice. Modern-day architecture is an example of how design with technology has evolved with time. Structures built taller are a solution to the lack of area and the overpopulation spurt. The buildings designed in the present-day are; Taller, smart overall, more efficient, and sustainable. Architects, Engineers, Construction engineers, structural engineers, MEP, and multiple facets of the construction industry come together to design an architectural marvel. Listed below are the top ten tallest skyscrapers around the world (until new skyscrapers build).

1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai

© Riyas Mohammed

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Design: Architect – Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM) Architects
Construction: Completed in 2010
Structure Height: 2717 Feet

Burj Khalifa located in Dubai is the tallest structure not only in Dubai but also in the world. This mixed-use (hotels, corporate suites, restaurants, and observatory decks) prominent structure has been the tallest skyscraper in the world since the year 2010. The design is the best example of an innovative design and structural system. It is made of structural steel and concrete and the design is in the form of a flower; To tackle the wind force on the structure as one reaches higher.

2. Merdeka 118, Malaysia

© Nafisah Faliq

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Design: Architect – Fender Katsalidis + RSP KL
Construction: Estimated to be completed in 2023 (January 2023 – 95% Completed)
Structure Height: 2227 Feet

Merdeka 118 (Formerly known as KL 118, Warisan Merdeka Tower) is the tallest in Malaysia and the second tallest tower in the world. This mega structure is a 118-story high tower referred to as the Merdeka hence it is close to the Stadium Merdeka. The tower is a mixed-use structure that consists of a shopping complex, offices, hotels, observation decks, housing properties, and Marete. The tower facade is designed in a diamond-shaped glass façade (To showcase Malaysian diversity). The structure is at the tail end of the construction stage (The structure is completed 95% at present).

3. Tokyo Skytree, Japan

© Spencer Chow

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Design: Architect – Nikken Sekkei
Construction: Completed in 2012
Structure Height: 2080 Feet

Tokyo Skytree located in Tokyo (Japan) is the third-tallest skyscraper in the world and one of the world’s tallest free-standing towers. The tower consists of an exterior lattice coated in Skytree white paint. The structure consists of a central reinforced concrete column core encasing the emergency staircase and elevator shafts. The tower is a fusion of modern and traditional design (Neofuturistic design and traditional Japanese beauty). The structure is earthquake resistant, due to the presence of an integrated mass damper to reduce structural vibrations.

4. Shanghai Tower, China

© Luca Deasti

Location: Shanghai, China
Design: Architect – Gensler 
Construction: Completed in 2015
Structure Height: 2073 Feet

The Shanghai tower stands 127 stories high which is the tallest skyscraper in China and among the ten tallest structures in the world. It is a landmark and an icon in the financial and trade center of China. The skyscraper is a mixed-use structure with offices, hotels, cultural facilities, and observation decks. The twisting form of the building gives stability, which helps reduce the structural wind load on it. The structure consists of a thick concrete core rather than a steel girder framework as a structural skeleton. It displays stability and energy efficiency (Helps maintain internal energy/heat – Double layer glass façade).

5. Canton Tower, China

© Shawn Rain

Location: Haizhu District of Guangzhou (Canton), China
Design: Architect – IBA: Mark Hemel & Barbara Kuit + Their Amsterdam firm
Construction: Completed in 2010
Structure Height: 1982 Feet

The Canton Tower (It was formally known as the Guangzhou TV Astronomical and sightseeing tower) located in China. This multifunctional tower designed by the Dutch architects Mark Hemel and Barbara Kuit is the fifth tallest free-standing tower in the world. The tower is designed in a twisted (Hyperboloid) form. The tower has a slender and sleek form hence it is also referred to as the “Super Model”.

6. Makkah Royal Clock Tower, Saudi Arabia

© Haidan

Location: Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Design: Architect – Dar al – Handasah Shair and Partners + SL Rasch
Construction: Completed in 2012
Structure Height: 1972 Feet

The Makkah Royal Clock Tower is a mixed residential and hotel complex located in Makkah Haram, Mecca, Saudi Arabia consists of 120 floors. It is also known as the Abraj Al-Bait Tower complex which consists of seven towers resting on a fifteen-story podium (115m high) situated adjacent to the Grand Mosque. The tallest tower located in the center of the seven towers is the Makkah Royal Clock Tower. The complex consists of residences, a five-star hotel, the Abraj Al Bait shopping mall, and resort accommodations (For Hajj pilgrims).

7. Ping An Finance Center, China

© Steve Tsang

Location: Shenzhen, China
Design: Architect – Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (US firm)
Construction: Completed in 2017
Structure Height: 1966 Feet

The 115-floor high skyscraper located in the Futian district, Shenzhen, China consists of hotels, high-end shopping malls, offices, retail, and conference centers. It is the second-tallest structure in China and the fourth-tallest structure in the world. The structure is built in a zone that is the iconic center of Shenzhen’s business district, which is a connection between neighboring commercial and residential districts. The tapered form at the topmost section of the skyscraper helps reduce wind load by forty percent and the lightning effect on the building by utilizing stainless steel piers.

8. Lotte World Tower, South Korea

© Felix Fuchs

Location: Seoul, South Korea
Design: Architect – Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Construction: Completed in 2017
Structure Height: 1819 Feet

Lotte World Tower is a 123-story-high skyscraper, one of South Korea’s iconic global business landmarks. The traditional and elegant Korean pottery is the concept for the fluid form of the skyscraper. The structure is designed to withstand wind and earthquake (Up to magnitude 9) forces on the building. This mixed-use skyscraper is the tallest structure in South Korea and consists of prime/private offices, luxury hotels, retail stores, residences, and observation decks. The foundation weight of the tower is seven times greater than the Eiffel Tower.

9. One World Trade Center, United States

© David Vives

Location: New York City, US
Design: Architect – Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill LLP (SOM) Architects
Construction: Completed in 2014
Structure Height: 1776 Feet

One World Trade Center (One WTC) also referred to as the Freedom tower located in New York City, US. The One WTC is an innovative icon amidst the fallen towers in the skyline in that zone. The façade of the skyscraper is composed of eight triangles creating a prismatic form, which tapers towards the highest section of the tower. The tower sits on a tall square podium (204 feet X 204 feet) with iron glass cladding that is laminated thrice.

10. Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, China

© K11

Location: Guangzhou, China
Design: Architect – Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Construction: Completed in 2016
Structure Height: 1739 Feet

Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, located in Guangzhou is the third tallest in China and the seventh tallest structure in the world. The 111-story high mixed-use tower consists of residences, offices, hotels, and sky terraces. The structure is designed with four sections by seamless design transition, as one moves higher the floor plate is reduced (Structure tapers – Floor plate).

Bonus: Tianjin CTF Finance Center, China

© Seth Powers

Location: Tianjin, China
Design: Architect – Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill LLP (SOM) Architects
Construction: Completed in 2019
Structure Height: 1739 Feet

Tianjin CTF Finance Center was designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill LLP in collaboration with Ronald Lu & Partners. The tower is located in China and is the best example of a sustainable and high-performance-rated skyscraper, with a LEED Gold-rated design. The structure has a square base that tapers from bottom to top, creating a polyline-shaped form. The soft curve design of the façade structure (Curved mega-columns) provides stability by manipulating the strong wind forces. The vertical stacking of floor plates reduces as we view higher. The structure was designed to provide maximum stability and resistance against harsh environmental conditions (Strong wind and Seismic forces).

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