Tallest Buildings in the world
The Tallest Buildings in the World | © Council on Tall Buildings

For nearly half a century, from 1931 through 1972, the 1,454-foot Empire State Building held the title of the tallest building in the world.

Since then, the world has come a long way — in the rankings of today’s tallest artificial structures, the Empire State Building doesn’t even crack the top 40.

Humanity has always been obsessed with breaking its limits, creating new records only to break them again and again. Those in power have always defined our cities’ skylines during every period in history. At one point, churches left their mark, followed by public institutions, and in the last few decades, it’s commercial skyscrapers that continue to stretch taller and taller. 

Historically, the world’s tallest man-made structure was the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, which held the position for over 3,800 years until the construction of Lincoln Cathedral in 1311. In France, the Strasbourg Cathedral, completed in 1439, was the world’s tallest building until 1874.

The first skyscraper was pioneered in Chicago with the 138 ft (42.1 m) Home Insurance Building in 1885. The United States held the position of the world’s tallest building throughout the 20th century until 1998, when the Petronas Towers were completed. Since then, two other buildings have gained the title: Taipei 101 in 2004 and Burj Khalifa in 2010. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the Middle East, China, and Southeast Asia have experienced booms in skyscraper construction.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has developed its system for classifying tall buildings, stating that the Burj Khalifa (828 m.) is the world’s tallest building.

This list of tallest buildings includes skyscrapers with continuously occupiable floors and at least 350 meters (1,150 ft). Non-building structures, such as towers, are not included. Read on for the 50 tallest buildings in the world today. 

54. Elite Residence, Dubai

Dubai Elite Residence tallest building world - Tallest Buildings in the world
Elite Residence | © Giggel CC BY 3.0

Elite Residence comprises luxury apartments, ranging from one-bedroom units to four-bedroom penthouses. Situated on the Dubai Marina, panoramic views of the surrounding landscape are offered, including the Palm Jumeirah and the Arabian Gulf.

  • Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Height: 1,248 ft (380,5 m)
  • Floors: 87
  • Architects: Eng. Adnan Saffarini
  • Building Function: Residential
  • Completion: 2012

53. Empire State Building, New York

Empire State Building tallest world christian ladewig - - Tallest Buildings in the world
Empire State Building | © Christian Ladewig

As the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1971, the Empire State Building is the ancestor of all supertall skyscrapers and makes a lasting impression in the minds of all who have stood beneath, or atop, this international icon. Among the accolades and achievements that this tower claims, perhaps the most impressive is that it took less than 14 months to construct, an unimaginable timeline for a building of similar height today. Marveling at the ability of steel-framed buildings to support the added weight, architects tested the material at a supreme scale. The art deco style of the building is appropriately capped with an ornamental spire, one that urban legend claims was designed as an anchorage point for dirigibles but was built to ensure the building would be taller than the Chrysler Building. With its thousands of programmable LED lights, it has become one of the most striking features of the building.

  • Location: New York City, United States
  • Height: 1,250 ft (381 m)
  • Floors: 102
  • Architects: Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates
  • Building Function: Offices
  • Completion: 1931

52. Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid, Abu Dhabi

Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Abu Dhabi foster partner - Tallest Buildings in the world
Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid | © Foster + Partners

The Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid is located in the heart of Abu Dhabi at the site of the old Central Market, a traditional crossroads and meeting point in the city. The Tower’s central location provides residents with easy access to significant points of interest, including the nearby Mall at the World Trade Center and the Corniche. This waterfront promenade runs along the coast. As part of the larger World Trade Center complex, Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid is just one element of a 700,000-square-meter mixed-use development, including an office building and a hotel. The site also includes a traditional souk, up to seven levels of retail in the podium, a green roof above the market, and a bridge system linking these areas together.

  • Location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Height: 1,251 ft (381,2 m)
  • Floors: 88
  • Architects: Foster + Partners
  • Building Function: Residential
  • Completion: 2014

51. Nanning Logan Century One, Nanning

Nanning Logan Century One  - Tallest Buildings in the world
Nanning Logan Century One

Nanning Logan Century 1 is a highly organized mix-use development that incorporates a wide variety of programs without overcomplicating the building’s structure. The Tower’s shape recalls that of a blossoming flower. The rectangular building appears to be divided into four parts representing a flower petal beginning to bloom. At the top of the structure, a helipad joins the petals together. Along with the height of the building, layers of secondary petals mimic the motif at the zenith of the structure.

  • Location: Nanning, China
  • Height: 1,251 ft (381,3 m)
  • Floors: 82
  • Architects: Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects & Engineers (HK) Ltd. (DLN)
  • Building Function: Hotel + Office
  • Completion: 2018

50. Autograph Tower

Autograph Tower Jakarta ID – July
© Azurevanilla Ash

Autograph Tower, also known as Thamrin Nine Tower 1, became Indonesia’s first supertall building upon its topping off in October 2020. As part of a twin tower complex, it connects to its counterpart through a retail podium spanning the lower four floors. Standing at an architectural height of 385 meters and comprising 75 floors above ground plus an additional 6 below, the tower features a three-story observation deck between floors 56 and 58, alongside a Sky Garden. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the lower levels are dedicated to office space, while the upper floors host the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

  • Location:  Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Height: 1,256 ft | 383 m
  • Floors: 75
  • Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
  • Building Function: Hotel + Office
  • Completion: 2022

49. Eton Place Dalian Tower One, Dalian

Eton Place Dalian Tower One tallest building
Eton Place Dalian Tower One

At its heart, Eton Place Dalian Tower 1, also known as Supertower One, functions as the central unifying element of the Eton Place complex, which itself is designed to operate as the focal point of Dalian’s fast-expanding central business district (CBD). Located on the western edge of the CBD, the Tower will offer breathtaking views of the surrounding area, including the city skyline, the harbor port at Dalian Bay, and a nearby mountain range. It is well integrated into the surrounding city, as it is placed on a major thoroughfare running from the airport to the central Dalian Station. The Tower shares a podium with Eton Place Dalian Tower 2, or Supertower Two, a high-end residential project offering serviced apartments and small office/home office (SOHO) accommodations.

  • Location: Dalian, China
  • Height: 1,257 ft (383,2 m)
  • Floors: 80
  • Architects: NBBJ
  • Building Function: Hotel + Office
  • Completion: 2016

48. Shun Hing Square, Shenzhen

shun hing square skyscraper
Shun Hing Square, Shenzhen

Shun Hing Square, which is also known as the Diwang Building, is built on a triangular site on Shenzhen’s main east-west corridor, Shennan Road, and is a crucial feature of the area known as Shenzhen’s Special Economic Zone. The Tower and its nearby annex, which share a variety of visual cues, are juxtaposed in a “T” formation to accommodate mutual sightlines. The main Tower holds 144,200 square meters of Grade A office space, while the accompanying 35-floor annex contains 330 high-end apartments, a parking garage, and a five-story shopping arcade podium. The wedge-shaped annex building holds a swimming pool in a 22-meter-wide opening between the towers, allowing sunlight to brighten the façade.

  • Location: Shenzhen, China
  • Height: 1,260 ft (384 m) 
  • Floors: 69
  • Architects: American Design Associates; K.Y. Cheung Design Associates
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 1996

47. PIF Tower, Riyadh

PIF Tower biggest buildings
PIF Tower | © HOK Architects

The PIF Tower is designed as the centerpiece of this new office district and symbolizes the beginning of a new era of financial development within Riyadh. A primary requirement for the building’s design was that it be both efficient and iconic. Architects were constrained by an oddly-shaped building site, with many surfaces around it that needed to be accommodated. This informed the prismatic shape of the building, with its many diamond-shaped facets that allow the sun to be captured in a variety of ways. The base of the hexagonal building is on a podium structure, which integrates public and private spaces, including dining facilities and a two-story auditorium.

  • Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Height: 1,263 ft (385 m)
  • Floors: 72
  • Architects: HOK, Inc.; Omrania & Associates
  • Building Function: Hotel + Office
  • Completion: 2021

46. 30 Hudson Yards, New York City

hudson yards kpf
30 Hudson Yards | © KPF Architects

30 Hudson Yards will anchor the Hudson Yards development, touted as the most significant private real estate development in United States history. Located on the west side of Manhattan, Hudson Yards is to become a new center for retail, commerce, and culture for the area. The whole development is intended to be an integrated “city within a city,” incorporating residential and office buildings, streets, parks, utilities, and commercial space into one complete whole. Hudson Yards will be thoroughly integrated into the larger urban fabric, built on top of an active rail yard and located steps away from a recent subway extension.

  • Location: New York City, USA
  • Height: 1,270 ft (387,1 m) 
  • Floors: 73
  • Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 2019

45. Shum Yip Upperhills Tower One, Shenzhen

shen ye upper hills SOM tall
Shum Yip Upperhills | © SOM Architects

Located just north of Shenzhen’s main central business district, Shum Yip Upperhills Tower 1 is the tallest building within a large complex of six towers and a series of low-rise buildings surrounding an elevated pedestrian space linking two large parks directly to the east and west. From the onset, Shum Yip Upperhills Tower 1 was designed as a pair of towers, drawing inspiration through the power of having two buildings rather than one to reinforce the landmark status of the highly visible project.

  • Location: Shenzhen, China
  • Height: 1,273 ft (388,1 m)
  • Floors: 80
  • Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  • Building Function: Hotel + Office
  • Completion: 2020

44. Citymark Centre

N construction hero scaled
Citymark Centre | © Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Citymark Tower, towering at 388 meters, serves as the centerpiece of the Citymark Center master plan, becoming a significant landmark in northeast Shenzhen. The tower’s design, inspired by the aerodynamics of automobiles and airplanes, not only nods to the client’s luxury vehicle background but also accommodates the diverse uses within. Its symmetrical tapering, resembling a pyramid, enhances its connection to the earth and sky, optimizing the space for efficient office use at the base and luxury serviced apartments above. The design introduces spacious private terraces for residential units through cutback corners, adding a unique feature to the façade. The glass curtain wall evolves from a faceted base to smooth, flat surfaces above, unified by a triangular pattern that ties the structure’s elements together.

  • Location: Shenzhen, China
  • Height: 1,274 ft | 388 m
  • Floors: 70
  • Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
  • Building Function: Residential + Office
  • Completion: 2022

43. CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou

CITIC Plaza Guangzhou highest building
CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou

CITIC Plaza is the centerpiece of the Tien He development in Guangzhou and acts as a centralizing hub for the neighborhood. The tower complex is at the center of a four-kilometer-long axis of gardens and boulevards stretching between Guangzhou East Railway Station, Guangzhou’s main railway station in the north, and Haixinsha Island to the south. The symmetry of the CITIC Plaza development complements the formality of the surrounding urban axis, with the main Tower being the first sight that visitors see as they emerge from the main railway station.

  • Location: Guangzhou, China
  • Height: 1,280 ft (390,2 m)
  • Floors: 80
  • Architects: Maunsell AECOM Group
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 1996

42. 23 Marina, Dubai

marina tower - tallest skyscrapers in the world
23 Marina, Dubai

23 Marina is a supertall luxury residential skyscraper in the ever-expanding metropolis of Dubai. Located in a burgeoning commercial area of the city, the condominium tower is located next to a metro station and the Emirates Golf Club, offering incredible views of the marina, the Dubai International Marine Club, Sheik Zayed Road, Dubai Media City, and the extraordinary Dubai skyline.

  • Location: Dubai
  • Height: 1,287 ft (392,4 m)
  • Floors: 88
  • Architects: KEO International Consultants
  • Building Function: Residential
  • Completion: 2012

41. China Resources Tower, Shenzhen

China Resources tower kpf highest building Tim Griffith
China Resources Tower, KPF Architects | © Tim Griffith

The China Resources Tower is located in the center of the Houhai District in Shenzhen. The supertall tower anchors the master-planned China Resources Business District, bordered by Shenzhen Bay to the east, the Shenzhen Sports Complex to the north, and a linear greenbelt to the south. Strategically positioned to overlook Shenzhen Bay, the Tower is thoroughly enmeshed in its built environment through underground links to public transportation. The experience of the building is enriched by the addition of a vegetated park to the north, where a small glass pavilion transitions into a sunken plaza that functions as a hub space connecting the office lobby at the mezzanine level, a museum, retail space, performance hall, and auditorium.

  • Location: Shenzhen, China
  • Height: 1,288 ft (392,5 m)
  • Floors: 68
  • Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, CCDI Group
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 2018

40. Guiyang International Financial Center T1

Guiyang International Financial Center T1 - 38th tallest building
Guiyang International Financial Center T1

Guiyang International Financial Center is a skyscraper complex in Guiyang, China. The complex consists of two buildings with 401 m (tower 1) and 275 m (tower 2) in height. The complex was completed in 2020. Tower 1 of the complex is currently the tallest building in Guiyang. It is 66 m higher than Huaguoyuan Tower 1 and Huaguoyuan Tower 2

  • Location: Guiyang, China
  • Height: 1,316 ft (401 m)
  • Floors: 79
  • Architects: Architectural Design and Research Institute of South China University of Technology
  • Building Function: Hotel + Office
  • Completion: 2020

39. Guangxi China Resources Tower

Located in the fast-growing city of Nanning, the Guangxi China Resources Tower tower acts as both the literal and symbolic anchor for a larger master plan development that includes retail, residential, and commercial projects along Minzu Avenue; the primary east-west artery for the city’s future expansion. The project is composed of a compound massing that represents a marriage of programmatic efficiency with sculptural expression, providing an identifiable silhouette for the city as it aggressively grows to the east from its historic center. The Tower will establish a new standard for sustainability and sophisticated detail as it attracts international attention.

  • Location: Nanning, China
  • Height: 1,321 ft (402,7 m)
  • Floors: 86
  • Architects: Goettsch Partners
  • Building Function: Hotel + Office
  • Completion: 2020

38. LCT The Sharp Landmark Tower, Busan

Haeundae LCT The Sharp is a major urban development project in Jung-dong, Busan, South Korea. Located in front of Haeundae Beach, it consists of a 411.6 m, 101-floor supertall landmark tower and two 85-floor tall residential skyscrapers. It has an urban entertainment complex at the base housing a shopping mall, a hot spring spa, and a water park. The landmark tower will house luxury and residential hotels with a convention center and an observatory.

  • Location: Busan, South Korea
  • Height: 1,350 ft (411,6 m)
  • Floors: 101
  • Architects: Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects & Engineers (HK) Ltd. (DLN)
  • Building Function: Hotel + Residential
  • Completion: 2019

37. Two International Finance Centre, Hong-Kong

projects permasteelisa two international finance centre crown
Two International Finance Centre, Hong-Kong

The International Finance Centre is an integrated commercial development on the waterfront of Hong Kong’s Central District, which is designed to complement the natural beauty of its surroundings. It is located at the narrowest crossing of Victoria Harbour, with Victoria Peak in the background. Part of the Hong Kong Central Station Development, the complex includes One International Finance Centre, Two International Finance Centre, and a retail podium with a public roof garden. The Tower stands apart from the cluster of other high-rise buildings, distinguished by its unique configuration and its proximity to the water.

  • Location: Hong-Kong, China
  • Height: 1,352 ft (412 m)
  • Floors: 88
  • Architects: Cesar Pelli & Associates
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 2003

36. Al Hamra Tower, Kuwait

Al Hamra Tower stands as an icon symbolizing Kuwaiti national pride. The form of the building appears to be cut from a prism, a void taken from the center, with each floor plate rotating counter-clockwise around the core. The result is a spiraling geometry that unravels to the top. The void, which shifts from west to east, exposes the solid southern core wall, which is visually distinct from the other glazed and transparent walls wrapping around the rest of the building. Two solid “flared walls” provide the transition between these two conditions, covering the complex geometry of the rotating floor plates.

  • Location: Kuwait City, Kuwait
  • Height: 1,354 ft (412,6 m)
  • Floors: 80
  • Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 2011

35. Princess Tower, Dubai

Princess Tower set a precedent for all-residential towers, both in Dubai and worldwide. Its prime location puts it near a number of amenities, including several malls, entertainment venues, and cultural attractions. An adjacent tram connects the Tower to the rest of the sprawling city. At the time of its completion in 2012, the building was the tallest all-residential tower in the world. This title is destined to change hands rapidly in the coming years, given the number of tall residential towers due for completion.

  • Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Height: 1,356 ft (413,4 m)
  • Floors: 101
  • Architects: Eng. Adnan Saffarini
  • Building Function: Residential
  • Completion: 2012

34. Jin Mao Tower, Shangai

The Jin Mao Tower, a mixed-use complex containing offices, convention space, and a hotel, and in 2013 became the tallest and the longest-operated building in China to receive a LEED-EB: OM (Existing Buildings: Operations + Management) Gold certification. Its high performance has been achieved with the assistance of a computerized energy management system, which has been in place since the building opened and is integrated with the broader enterprise asset management (EAM) system.

  • Location: Shangai, China
  • Height: 1,380 ft (420,5 m)
  • Floors: 88
  • Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  • Building Function: Hotel + Office
  • Completion: 1999

33. Minying International Trade Center T2, Dongguan

The Minying International Trade Center T2 presents a special concept that merges advanced building practices with modern technology and natural forms. This mixed-use development in the heart of Downtown Dongguan is situated to create a direct line of sight to the nearby Huanggi Mountain. It will be the tallest in a complex of five separate buildings, which will rise above a six-level retail complex of stores and restaurants. Though the project’s five towers feature distinctive shapes and designs, they are tied together by common thematic elements, such as their materials of reflective glass and metal paneling.

  • Location: Dongguan, China
  • Height: 1,386 ft (422,6 m)
  • Floors: 85
  • Architects: 5+design
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 2021

32. Trump International Hotel & Tower

trump international hotel tower chicago chicago il foto principal
Trump International Hotel & Tower

The Trump International Hotel & Tower stands at 401 North Wabash Avenue in Chicago, the former Chicago Sun-Times building site. The Tower includes the 339-room Trump International Hotel, 486 luxury condominium units, 9,300 square meters (100,000 sq ft) of riverfront retail space, 960 parking spaces, restaurant, banquet space, health club, spa, lounges, and a ground floor beautified by a landscaped riverfront public plaza and a riverfront promenade.

  • Location: Chicago, USA
  • Height: 1,389 ft (423,2 m)
  • Floors: 98
  • Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
  • Building Function: Residential + Hotel
  • Completion: 2009

31. Marina 101, Dubai

Marina 101 stands out in a city full of supertall structures with architectural elements reminiscent of art-deco design. Located in the tightly packed Dubai Marina district, the building is steps away from the Persian Gulf and is surrounded by several major high-rise complexes, as well as the famed Palm Jumeirah Island development. The Tower will accommodate serviced apartments and the Middle East’s first Hard Rock Hotel.

  • Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Height: 1,394 ft (425 m)
  • Floors: 101
  • Architects: National Engineering Bureau
  • Building Function: Residential + Hotel
  • Completion: 2017

30. 432 Park Avenue, New York City

the world s tallest new buildings of park avenue x
432 Park Avenue, New York City | © dbox for CIM Group and Macklowe Properties

The pencil-thin 432 Park Avenue represents a new generation of supertall, superslim skyscrapers. Located in the ever-opulent Midtown neighborhood, the Tower is placed in the heart of Manhattan overlooking Central Park. The narrow design of the building is intentional; as Manhattan increases in density, it is becoming ever more important to maximize building heights relative to site area.

  • Location: New York City, USA
  • Height: 1,397 ft (425,7 m)
  • Floors: 85
  • Architects: Rafael Viñoly Architects
  • Building Function: Residential
  • Completion: 2015

29. One Vanderbilt Avenue, New York City

One Vanderbilt October Observation Deck
One Vanderbilt

One Vanderbilt is a 93-story supertall skyscraper at the corner of 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, the building was proposed by developer SL Green Realty as part of a planned Midtown East rezoning in the early 2010s. The skyscraper’s roof is 1,301 feet (397 m) high, and its spire is 1,401 feet (427 m) above ground, making it the city’s fourth-tallest building after One World Trade Center, Central Park Tower, and 111 West 57th Street.

  • Location: New York City, USA
  • Height: 1,401 ft (427 m)
  • Floors: 62
  • Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 2020

28. 111 West 57th Street, New York City

West th street New York City
111 West 57th Street, New York City | © SHoP Architects

In a bold move blending thoughtful design with urban sensitivity, 111 West 57th Street typifies the luxurious extreme of the superslim typology in New York City. Containing only 60 units, the Tower will offer an exclusive, centered perspective on Manhattan’s Midtown neighborhood, affording uninhibited views of the entire urban region.

  • Location: New York City, USA
  • Height: 1,428 ft (435,3 m)
  • Floors: 84
  • Architects: SHoP Architects
  • Building Function: Residential
  • Completion: 2021

27. Guangzhou International Finance Center

Guangzhou International Finance Center
Guangzhou International Finance Center | © WilkinsonEyre

Guangzhou International Finance Center is a landmark tower that defines the emerging international strength of China’s third-largest city and serves as a landmark for Guangzhou Zhujiang New Town’s main axis, which links the commercial district in the north with the Pearl River to the south. At its completion, it was the fourth-tallest building in China and the ninth tallest building globally. Its elegant simplicity belies the complex geometry of form and structure, which makes it possible. Each of the three façades of the curved triangular plan are also curved in section with a radius of 5.1km set out asymmetrically with the widest point at a third of the height, tapering to its narrowest point at the top. There is no spire, and the three curved façades continue up beyond the highest floor and, in some views, seems to disappear to infinity. The highest point is a helicopter landing pad that hovers over the central atrium, just overhanging the perimeter cladding. The inside of this atrium, with its crystalline geometry, sparkles with abundant daylight and is taller than the height of London’s St. Paul \’s Cathedral, including its dome.

  • Location: Guangzhou, China
  • Height: 1,439 ft (438,6 m)
  • Floors: 103
  • Architects: Wilkinson Eyre Architects
  • Building Function: Hotel, Office
  • Completion: 2010

26. KK100

KK TFP Farrells Image Carsten Schael
KK100 / TFP Farrells. Image © Carsten Schael

The KK100 development lies between the border of Shenzhen’s business and residential districts in a densely developed area. To facilitate more sustainable development for the fast-growing city, the mixed-use Tower was designed to be a hub for transit, provide amenities to the area, and provide an occupant density that would help to reduce urban sprawl and reliance on transportation.

  • Location: Shenzhen
  • Height: 1,449 ft (441,8 m)
  • Floors: 100
  • Architects: TFP Farrells
  • Building Function: Hotel, Office
  • Completion: 2011

25. Willis Tower

gautam krishnan willis tower
Willis Tower (former Sears Tower) | © Gautam Krishnan

The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago, with its signature black aluminum and bronze-tinted glare-reducing glass, was the tallest building in the world for nearly 25 years. Completed in 1974, Willis Tower set the standard for supertall skyscrapers around the globe, both in its innovative design and graceful styling. With approximately 424,000 square meters of gross floor area, the building is comparatively large for its height. Its foundation and the first 50 floors take up an entire city block before the building begins to narrow.

24. Wuhan Center Tower

Wuhan Center
Wuhan Center Tower (render). Image © ECADI

Inspired by a sailing vessel, Wuhan Center Tower is appropriately situated beside the Mengze Lake in Hubei province, along the Yangzhi River. The Tower is divided into five vertical sections, seamlessly integrating retail, office, residential spaces, and a hotel. It is easily accessible from public transportation, designed to serve the needs of residents and guests and the city’s burgeoning business community.

  • City: Wuhan, China
  • Height: 1,437 ft (443 meters)
  • Floors: 88
  • Architects: East China Architectural Design & Research Institute
  • Building Function: Hotel, Residential, Office
  • Completion: 2019

23. Zifeng Tower

china nanjing shi zifeng tower skyscraper
Zifeng Tower | SOM

Zifeng Tower is a mixed-use complex comprising several buildings resting on two sites, parcels A1 and A2. Parcel A1 contains a podium connecting two towers. The taller 450m (1,476ft) Tower consists of offices and hotels, and the Tower contains office space purely. The shape and placement of the buildings are designed to echo the geometry of the existing roads and maximize exterior views of the city. The buildings’ composition maintains the east-west viewing corridors along East Beijing Road and provides a visual link to the nearby historical drum and bell towers.

22. Suzhou IFS

Suzhou IFS | © Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)

Suzhou IFS aims to be a landmark on the city’s skyline in both form and function, drawing upon modern design practices to belay the area’s historical repertoire. Conceived as a mixed-use high-rise, the Tower will incorporate a number of disparate programs, embodying a modern 21st-century presence that is symbolically tied to the city’s identity.

  • Location: Suzhou, China
  • Height: 1,476 ft (450 m)
  • Floors: 95
  • Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
  • Building Function: Hotel, Office, Serviced Apartments
  • Completion: 2019

21. Petronas Twin Tower 2

petronas tower
Petronas Tower | © Wikimedia commons

The Petronas Towers, located in Kuala Lumpur, were designed to herald the emergence of Malaysia into the global economy and act as an easily identifiable symbol for the fast-growing country. The development’s scope, scale, and design reflect the desire to create a representative manifestation of local traditions and ingenuity. In particular, the design is based on Islamic geometry, a reflection of Malaysia’s cultural heritage. The buildings are perhaps most noteworthy for the skybridge that connects them on the 41st and 42nd floors. Although there is no structural benefit to the connection, it offers more than just an architectural flourish. By linking the two buildings together, the facilities of each tower around that level can be shared, including a conference room, prayer room, and executive dining room. Additionally, the skybridge is an integral part of the towers’ fire evacuation strategy.

  • Location: Kuala Lumpur
  • Height: 1,489 ft (451.9 m)
  • Floors: 88
  • Architects: Cesar Pelli & Associates
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 1998

20. Petronas Twin Tower 1

Location: Kuala Lumpur
1,489 ft (451.9 m)
Cesar Pelli & Associates
Building Function: 

19. Changsha IFS Tower T1

Changsha IFS Tower T
Changsha IFS Tower T1 | © Wong Tung & Partners

Ideally located in the prime area of Jiefang Road in Furong District, the Changsha IFS Tower T1 complex is well-positioned to achieve its primary purpose of attracting a myriad of financial institutions based in Hunan Province. This twin-tower development is based on Harbour City, a hyper-connected retail development in Hong Kong. The Changsha complex will sport an underground network of linkages to a future interchange hub (Wuyi Plaza Station) for metro lines 1 and 2. The same underground passageway will connect with one of the busiest pedestrian streets in China — Huang Xing Pedestrian Shopping Street.

  • Location: Changsha, China
  • Height: 1,483 ft (452.1 m)
  • Floors: 94
  • Architects: Wong Tung & Partners
  • Building Function: Hotel, Office
  • Completion: 2018

18. The Exchange 106

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The Exchange 106 | © Aniq Danial

The Exchange 106, previously known as the TRX Signature Tower, is a prominent supertall skyscraper in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a height of 453.6 meters (1,488 ft), making it the second-tallest in Malaysia and the third-tallest in Southeast Asia. Featuring a distinctive 11-story high illuminated crown, the building reaches its total height, standing as the second-largest skyscraper in Malaysia by floor area, encompassing 453,835 m2 (4,885,000 sq ft). With a net lettable area of 240,000 square meters (2.6 million square feet), The Exchange 106 serves as the focal point of the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) financial district.

  • Location: Kuala Lumpur,
  • Height: 1,488 ft | 454 m
  • Floors: 95
  • Architects: Mulia Group
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 2019

17. Vincom Landmark 81

Vincom Landmark
Vincom Landmark 81 | © Nick
  • Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Height: 1,513 ft (461.3 m)
  • Floors: 81
  • Architects: Atkins
  • Building Function: Hote, Residential
  • Completion: 2018

16. Lakhta Center

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Lakhta Center. Image © Ninara [Wikipedia] under license CC BY 2.0

The Lakhta Center constitutes the epicenter of St. Petersburg’s Primorsky District, employing a wide range of public functions alongside transportation infrastructure to anchor a sustainable economic zone. Initially planned for the city’s historic center, the project – then named Okhta Centre – garnered widespread media attention as stakeholders contended with the various impacts it would have on the image of the city. Ultimately, the Tower was moved to its present location, adopting a new name and a new context to inform the master-planned development. The Tower will provide space for offices and several public resources, including a planetarium, medical center, performance hall, and a bank.

  • Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Height: 1,516 ft (462 m)
  • Floors: 87
  • Architects: Gorproject
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 2019

15. Central Park Tower

Central Park Tower Image © Paul Clemence
Central Park Tower | © Paul Clemence

Central Park Tower, also known as the Nordstrom Tower, is a residential supertall skyscraper at 225 West 57th Street in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood of New York City, along Billionaires’ Row. Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the building rises 1,550 feet (472 m) with 98 above-ground stories and three basement stories, although the top story is numbered 136. Central Park Tower is the second-tallest building in New York City, the United States, and the Western Hemisphere; the 14th tallest building in the world; the tallest primarily residential building globally; and the tallest building outside Asia by roof height.

  • Location: New York, United States
  • Height: 1,550 ft (472,4 m)
  • Floors: 98
  • Architects: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
  • Building Function: Residential
  • Completion: 2020

14. Wuhan Greenland Center

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© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

The Wuhan Greenland Center is a skyscraper in Wuhan, China, with a height of 476 meters (1,562 ft), originally intended to reach 636 meters (2,087 ft) but was scaled down due to airspace regulations. Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and engineered by Thornton Tomasetti, it won a competition to be constructed for the Greenland Group, a real estate firm owned by Shanghai’s city government.

  • Location: Wuhan, China
  • Height: 1,560 ft | 476 m)
  • Floors: 101
  • Architects: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
  • Building Function: Hotel, Residential, Offices
  • Completion: 2023

13. International Commerce Centre

International Commerce Centre | © KPF

The International Commerce Centre is a 108-story, 484 m (1,588 ft) commercial skyscraper completed in 2010 in West Kowloon, Hong Kong. It is a part of the Union Square project on top of Kowloon station. It was the 4th tallest building globally (third in Asia) when its construction was completed in 2010. As of June 2019, it is the world’s 12th tallest building by height, the world’s ninth tallest building by a number of floors, as well as the tallest building in Hong Kong, and also the 6th tallest building within China if territories are included. International Commerce Centre compared with other tallest buildings in Asia. 

  • Location: Hong Kong
  • Height: 1,588 ft (484 m)
  • Floors: 108
  • Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
  • Building Function: Hotel, Office
    Completion: 2010

12. Shanghai World Financial Center

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Shanghai World Financial Center – Tallest Buildings | © Zhu under license CC BY 3.0

The Shanghai World Financial Center is a symbol of commerce and culture that speaks to the city’s emergence as a global capital. Located in Shanghai’s Pudong District, the mixed-used Shanghai World Financial Center is a vertical city, containing 62 office floors, conference facilities, urban retail and dining spaces, and a 174-room five-star Park Hyatt Hotel at the top—the world’s highest hotel from the 79th to 93rd floors. Above the hotel, on the 94th to 100th floors, is a visitors’ square and observatory.

  • Location: Shanghai
  • Height: 1,614 ft (492 m)
  • Floors: 101
  • Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) + Mori Building + Irie Miyake Architects and Engineers
  • Building Function: Hotel, Office
  • Completion: 2008

 11. TAIPEI 101

TAIPEI 101 – Tallest Buildings | © Chris

Standing in the Xinyi District of Taipei, an area known for its financial services and vibrant shopping malls, TAIPEI 101 represents a worldwide precedent for sustainable skyscraper development. It achieved a LEED Platinum certification for Operations and Maintenance in 2011, an impressive feat for a tower of its size and complexity.

  • Location: Taipei
  • Height: 1,667 ft (508 m)
  • Floors: 101
  • Architects: C.Y. Lee & Partners Architects/Planners
  • Building Function: Offices
  • Completion: 2004

10. CITIC Tower

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CITIC Tower – Tallest Buildings | © KPF

CITIC Tower will be the flagship building of Beijing’s comprehensively planned 30-hectare central business district core. The Tower’s gently rising and curving form resembles an ancient Chinese ceremonial vessel called the “zun.” The design concept is that of a transforming shell that gradually bends to create a dramatic form. This concept is also applied to other key elements of the Tower, including the entrances, ground-floor lobby, and observation deck. At the base, the Tower thrusts into the ground with massive corner supports, while the exterior shell is gently lifted up and stretched forward at the four sides. The design physically extends the lobby outward, forming dynamic drop-off spaces. At the top, the exterior envelope becomes more transparent at the observation deck and allows more visibility to the inner trumpet-shaped business center, which lights up at night, forming a beacon that will be visible throughout the city.

  • Location: Beijing
  • Height: 1,731 ft (527.7 m)
  • Floors: 109
  • Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (Design Architect) + TFP Farrells (Land Bid Concept)
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 2018

8. Tianjin CTF Finance Centre

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Tianjin CTF Finance Centre – Tallest Buildings | © SOM Architects

The Tianjin CTF Finance Centre is located in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area, an outer district of Tianjin, China. The Tower serves as an anchor for the larger area development, while housing office space, luxury serviced apartments, and a hotel. 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 façade 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. Research by the architect has the shown that lateral forces due to vortex shedding can be controlled by tapering the vertical profile of the Tower and softening any sharp corners in plan. The building’s aerodynamic shape greatly reduces this vortex shedding by “confusing the wind” and disrupting the opportunity for any resonating wind forces and loads on the structure.

  • Location: Tianjin
  • Height: 1,740 ft (530 m)
  • Floors: 97
  • Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
  • Building Function: Hotel, Serviced Apartments, Office
  • Completion: 2019

8. Guangzhou CTF Finance Center

Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre | © KPF

Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre is a mixed-use tower located across from Guangzhou International Finance Center and Canton Tower. The project is adjacent to a large central park and a subterranean retail concourse with transportation interchanges, integrating the project into the city and the wider region.

  • Location: Guangzhou
  • Height: 1,740 ft (530 m)
  • Floors: 111
  • Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
  • Building Function: Hotel, Residential, Office
  • Completion: 2016

7. One World Trade Center

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One World Trade Center | © SOM

One World Trade Center recaptures the New York skyline, reasserts downtown Manhattan’s preeminence as a business center, and establishes a new civic icon for the country. It is a memorable architectural landmark for the city and the nation and connects seamlessly to the city with linkages to an extensive underground transportation network. Extending the long tradition of American ingenuity in high-rise construction, the design solution is an innovative mix of architecture, structure, urban design, safety, and sustainability.

6. Lotte World Tower

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Lotte World Tower, 5th Tallest Building | © Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Taking inspiration from traditional Korean art forms in the design of the various interior program spaces, the sleek tapered form of Lotte World Tower will stand out from Seoul’s rocky, mountainous topography. The Tower is programmed with a greater variety of functions than is normally found in a tall building. It contains retail components, offices, a 7-star luxury hotel, and an officetel. Officetels, common in South Korean real estate, offer studio-apartment-style accommodations for people who work in the building and often feature certain services found in hotels, such as furnishings, a security desk, and gym access. The building’s top 10 stories are earmarked for extensive public use and entertainment facilities, including an observation deck and rooftop café.

  • Location: Seoul, South Korea
  • Height: 1,819 ft (554.5 m)
  • Floors: 123
  • Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
  • Building Function: Hotel, Office, Residential, Retail
  • Completion: 2017

5. Ping An Finance Center

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Ping An Finance Center, 4th Tallest Building | © Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Ping An Finance Center is located in the city’s Futian District and represents a new generation of the prototypical Asian skyscraper: very tall, very dense, and hyper-connected. Ping An Finance Center rises from a prominent location in the center of the city, connecting seamlessly to neighboring commercial and residential properties, as well as the Pearl River Delta’s high-speed rail corridor. At its final height, the Tower will symbolize a city which has witnessed unprecedented urban growth – from 300,000 people to approximately 10 million – in the 35 years since becoming China’s first Special Economic Zone.

  • Location: Shenzhen, China
  • Height: 1,965 ft (599 m)
  • Floors: 115
  • Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
  • Building Function: Office
  • Completion: 2017

4. Makkah Royal Clock Tower, the tallest building with a clock face in the world

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Makkah Royal Clock Tower

At the heart of the holiest Islamic city, Makkah Royal Clock Tower brings an air of modernization to the bustling historic center of Mecca. The Tower was developed as a component of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project and provides comfortable accommodations for devout Muslims that make the journey to the city every year during the Hajj period. It is conveniently located adjacent to the Grand Mosque, which can accommodate up to two million worshippers over the course of the event.

  • Location: Mecca, Saudi Arabia
  • Height: 1,972 ft (601 m)
  • Floors: 120
  • Architects: Dar al-Handasah Shair & Partners + SL Rasch
  • Building Function: Mixed Use
  • Completion: 2012

3. Shanghai Tower, the tallest twisted building in the world

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Shanghai Tower | © roadtripwithraj

As the third Tower in the trio of signature skyscrapers at the heart of Shanghai’s new Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Shanghai Tower embodies a new prototype for tall buildings. Placed in close proximity to Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center, the new Tower rises high above the skyline, its curved façade and spiraling form symbolizing the dynamic emergence of modern China. But its twisting form goes beyond just creating a unique appearance; wind tunnel tests confirm a 24 percent savings in structural wind loading when compared to a rectangular building of the same height.

  • Location: Shanghai, China
  • Height: 2,073 ft (632 m)
  • Floors: 128
  • Architects: Gensler
  • Building Function: Hotel, Offices
  • Completion: 2015

2. Merdeka 118 in Kuala Lumpur

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© Filipe Freitas

Merdeka 118, previously known as Menara Warisan Merdeka, is a 118-story mega tall skyscraper in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, standing at the height of 678.9 m (2,227 ft), making it the world’s second-tallest building, surpassed only by the Burj Khalifa. Named Merdeka, meaning “independence” in Malay, due to its location near Stadium Merdeka, the building reached its final height in December 2022. It is not only the tallest structure in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, outstripping both the Exchange 106 and Landmark 81, but it also sets a precedent as the first building in Malaysia to achieve a triple platinum rating from global sustainability certifications, including LEED.

  • Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Height: 2,227 ft | 679 m
  • Floors: 118
  • Architects: Fender Katsalidis Architects
  • Building Function: Hotel, Residential, Office
  • Completion: 2023

1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai. The Tallest Building in the World

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Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, SOM – Tallest Buildings | © ZQ Lee

Burj Khalifa has redefined what is possible in the design and engineering of supertall buildings. By combining cutting-edge technologies and cultural influences, the building serves as a global icon that is both a model for future urban centers and speaks to the global movement towards compact, livable urban areas. The Tower and its surrounding neighborhood are more centralized than any other new development in Dubai. At the center of a new downtown neighborhood, Burj Khalifa’s mixed-use program focuses on development density and provides direct connections to mass transit systems.