The most impressive skyscraper of 2018 has the fastest elevator in the world. Take a look.

Tim Griffith
  • The Lotte World Tower is the tallest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest building in the world.
  • The high-rise recently won the Emporis Skyscraper Award, which honours the top 10 skyscrapers that have been completed in the previous calendar year.
  • The tower has a number of record-breaking features, such as an elevator that delivers people from the bottom floor to the 121st floor in one minute.
  • It’s also built to withstand major disasters, such as a 9.0 magnitude earthquake or winds as strong as those seen during Hurricane Katrina.

The world is witnessing a massive boom in skyscraper construction, led by nations like China, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. This year alone, China built more skyscrapers than any country has ever built in a year.

Amid growing competition for the tallest and most innovative towers, one high-rise in South Korea managed to surpass all others.


Read more:
Stunning photos of the 10 best skyscrapers in the world

Earlier this week, the Lotte World Tower in Seoul received the Emporis Skyscraper Award, the world’s most renowned prize for high-rise architecture.

The tower’s sleek design pales in comparison to its record-shattering features, which include the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck and the world’s fastest elevator.

Take a look at how it was built – and what it looks like now.


The tower’s construction began in 2011, more than two decades after the land was procured.

Tim Griffith

The owner, Lotte Corp., also oversaw the construction of the world’s largest indoor theme park.


The structure is designed to withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty ImagesThe Lotte World Tower construction site on December 10, 2015.

It’s also intended to withstand gusts of wind as strong as those seen in Hurricane Katrina (around 180 miles per hour).


At more than 1,800 feet, it’s the tallest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest building in the world.

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty ImagesConstruction workers on site at the Lotte World Tower on December 10, 2015.

The structure, which opened in in April 2017, has 123 floors and 42,000 windows. Construction of the roof alone required 3,000 tons of steel.


The design, though modern, was inspired by the curvature of traditional Korean art and architecture.

The facade consists of pale glass, a nod to Korean ceramics.


One hundred days after it opened, the tower had already attracted 10 million visitors, or about 120,000 people a day.

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty ImagesFireworks celebrate the tower’s opening in April 2017.

The building contains offices, retail outlets, and some of the most expensive apartments in Korea, which sell for $US1,825 per square foot.

It also features a luxury hotel called Signiel Seoul. The hotel’s lowest floor is still higher than the city’s second tallest tower.

Source: Korea Bizwire


The tower’s standout features include a glass-bottomed observation deck and the world’s fastest elevator.

Tim Griffith

The double-decker elevator, known as the Sky Shuttle, travels at more than 22 miles per hour. That means it can deliver people from the first floor to the observation deck on the 121st floor in a single minute.


The tower hosted a “sky run” in 2018, which challenged people to climb its 2,917 steps to the top.

Vertical marathons take place in other countries as well, but the Lotte World Tower’s race is the longest and goes the highest.


The tower could have a $US3.8 billion economic impact.

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty ImagesThe chairman of Lotte Corp. holds the 2018 Winter Olympics torch in front of the Lotte World Tower.

The tower is also expected to receive about 60 million tourists a year – a goal that shouldn’t be hard to achieve, now that it’s been dubbed the best skyscraper completed in 2017.

Source: Lotte World Tower

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