Top 10 tallest buildings in the world 2021
The strides humans have made in architecture and engineering has been nothing short of amazing. Although the folks of years past deserve all the credit for setting the foundation and giving us the most incredible landmarks ever created, the people of today are taking it a level that is difficult to imagine at times.
It was only a mere twenty years ago that the Willis Tower in Chicago was the tallest building in the world. Since then, in the past two decades, twenty buildings have surpassed it, dropping it down to the 21st tallest. What’s even more incredible is the height these new towers have been able to reach during that span.
As of 2021, this list includes all 10 buildings which reach a height of 350 metres (1,150 ft) or more, as assessed by their highest architectural feature. This list of tallest buildings includes skyscrapers with continuously occupiable floors and a height of at least 350 m.
1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE – 2,717 Feet - the tallest building
Construction of the Burj Khalifa began in 2004, with the exterior completed five years later in 2009. Dubai’s Burj Khalifa has been the tallest building in the world for nearly a decade. The primary structure is reinforced concrete. The building was opened in 2010 as part of a new development called Downtown Dubai.
When it went up, it passed the Taipei 101 as the tallest by over 1,000 feet, enough to fit some of the tallest buildings ever built between them! Today, it is nearly 650 feet taller than the building listed at number two, proving just how massive the Burj Khalifa truly is at 2,717 feet.
There simply are no pictures that can truly do it the justice it deserves as it dwarfs anything in its surroundings. The building’s appearance is also unique with a base that is massive in size, necessary to support the thousands of feet of steel that thin out the higher it goes, ultimately forming a spire that stretches into the clouds.
2. Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China – 2,073 Feet
Shanghai Tower (simplified Chinese: 上海中心大厦; traditional Chinese: 上海中心大廈); is a 128-story, 632-meter (2,073 ft)-tall megatall skyscraper in Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai. It is the world’s second-tallest building by height to architectural top and it shares the record of having the world’s highest observation deck within a building or structure at 562 m. Construction work on the tower began in November 2008 and topped out on 3 August 2013.
Shanghai Tower was completed in 2015 and holds the record for being the tallest tower constructed without ever holding the title of tallest in the world, at a whopping 2,073 feet.
The Shanghai Tower is owned by Yeti Construction and Development, a consortium of state-owned development companies which includes Shanghai Chengtou Corp., Shanghai Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone Development Co., and Shanghai Construction Group. The tower had an estimated construction cost of US$2.4 billion.
3. Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower, Mecca, Saudi Arabia – 1,972 Feet
The tallest tower in the complex is the tallest building in Saudi Arabia, with a height of 601 metres (1,972 feet). At nearly 2,000 feet, it is the third tallest tower in the world, but what makes this building so compelling is its functionality. It is actually a complex made up of several connected towers, most of which are five star hotels, with the tallest reaching its incredible height, overlooking the city.
The building complex is metres away from the world’s largest mosque and Islam’s most sacred site, the Great Mosque of Mecca. The developer and contractor of the complex is the Saudi Binladin Group, the Kingdom’s largest construction company. It is the world’s second most expensive building, with the total cost of construction totaling US$15 billion, the first being the Great Mosque of Mecca.
4. Ping An Finance Centre, Shenzhen, China – 1,966 Feet
The Ping An International Finance Center (also known as the Ping An IFC) (Chinese: 平安国际金融中心) is a 115-story, 599 m (1,965 ft) supertall skyscraper in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. Completed only last year, China’s Ping An Finance Centre came up a mere 6 feets short of passing Saudi Arabia’s Clock Tower for third tallest in the world.
There were plans to add a spire to the top of the building to get it to second highest in the world behind only the Burj Khalifa, but the idea was ultimately scrapped because of the hazard it posed to flying planes above the busy city of Shenzhen.
5. Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea – 1,823 Feet
Lotte World Tower (Korean: 롯데월드타워) is a 555.7-metre (1,823 ft), 123-story skyscraper located in Seoul, South Korea. It opened to the public on April 3, 2017, and is currently the tallest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest in the world.
The tower is sectioned into different uses such as office space, residential apartments, a hotel and private offices. The tower’s sleek and slim design helps add to the already massive look it has on the city’s skyline.
6. One World Trade Center, New York City, USA – 1,776 Feet
One World Trade Center (also known as One World Trade, One WTC, or Freedom Tower) is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City.
At 1,776 feet, a symbolic number, marking the year of the United States’ independence, the Freedom Tower is an awe-inspiring, beautiful blue tower in Lower Manhattan which stands over the bay with its incredible spire adding to its massive girth.
On a typical weekday, a combined total of 50,000 people worked in the North and South Towers, with another 140,000 passing through as visitors. The Windows on the World restaurant, located on top of the North Tower, reported revenues of $37 million in 2000, making it the highest-grossing restaurant in the United States. The Twin Towers became known worldwide, appearing in movies, television shows, postcards, and other merchandise. The towers came to be seen as a New York City icon, much like the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Statue of Liberty.
7. Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, Guangzhou, China – 1,739 Feet
The Guangzhou Chow Tai Fook Finance Centre (also called East Tower) is a 530-metre (1,739 ft) tall mixed-use skyscraper in Guangzhou, Guangdong, which was completed in October 2016.
Although this building sits behind New York City’s World Trade Center Freedom Tower, it is actually much taller when considering only habitable space as it does not contain a spire of any sort. The structure is home to a shopping mall at ground level as well as offices, apartments and a hotel.
8. Tianjin CTF Finance Centre, Tianjin, China – 1,739 Feet
Tianjin CTF Finance Center is a super-tall skyscraper in Tianjin, China. Construction started in 2013 and was completed in 2019. The building’s façade is a blue glass and is nearing completion with only the tip of the building still looking like a construction zone while the rest of it already appears in all its intended beauty.
By stacking reducing floor plates, the tower tapers dramatically to minimize the surface area exposed to wind, sun, and moisture. The gently-undulating curves of the facade subtly denote the integration of the three distinct programs within a singular smooth object. Square in plan with rounded corners, the floor plate geometry enables unique interior fit-outs and customization options for occupants.
9. China Zun, Beijing, China – 1,732 Feet
CITIC Tower is a supertall skyscraper in the Central Business District of Beijing. It is popularly known as China Zun (Chinese: 中国尊). China Zun Tower is a mixed-use building, featuring 60 floors of office space, 20 floors of luxury apartments and 20 floors of hotel with 300 rooms, there will be a rooftop garden on the top floor at 524 m (1,719 ft) high.
The base starts off massive and begins to thin out the higher the building goes and then begins to expand back to the size of the base towards the roof making for a captivating architectural feat.
10. Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan – 1,667 Feet
The Taipei 101 (Chinese: 台北101). The oldest building on our list at a mere 14 years old, the Taipei 101 proves how quickly the world of architecture is changing in recent years. The tower is famous for its distinct style as a nod to Asian art, reminiscent of historic and traditional designs of Taiwanese culture with a modern twist.
Taipei 101’s postmodernist architectural style evokes traditional Asian aesthetics in a modern structure employing industrial materials. The tower houses offices and restaurants as well as both indoor and outdoor observatories. Taipei 101 is the site of many special events. Art exhibits, as noted above, regularly take place in the Observatory. A few noteworthy dates since the tower’s opening include these.
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