The 20 Most Ridiculously Tall Buildings Of The Future

Golin Tower

Photo: Courtesy of Arup

There was a time when all the tallest buildings were in America. The Sears Tower, World Trade centre, Empire State Building and Chrysler Building all successively held claim to being the world’s tallest building.But times are changing. By 2016, 11 of the world’s 20 tallest buildings will be in China. Only three will be in the U.S (via PKedrosky).

“There are cities in China that most Western people have never heard of that have bigger populations and more tall buildings than half the prominent cities in the U.S,” Illinois Institute of Technology’s Antony Wood tells the AP.

#20 Jin Mao Building

Height: 1379.69 feet

Location: Shanghai, China

Completion: 1999

Use: hotel/office

Hotel rooms begin on the 53 floor making this Hyatt home to some of the highest hotel rooms in the world.

Source: CTBUH

#19 Trump International Hotel and Tower

Height: 1388.52 feet

Location: Chicago, Ill.

Completion: 2009

Use: residential/hotel

The Trump International Hotel and Tower has many amenities including hotel rooms, a spa, meeting rooms, and a five star restaurant.

Source: CTBUH

#18 Guangzhou International Finance centre

Height: 1435.37 feet

Location: Gaungzhou, China

Completion: 2010

Use: hotel/office

The base of the Guangzhou International Finance centre has a diagrid structure reducing the amount of steel required to build it.

Source: CTBUH

#17 Kingkey Finance Tower

Height: 1447.77 feet

Location: Shenzhen, China

Completion: 2012

Use: hotel/office

The Kinkey Finance Tower will include a St. Regis hotel from the 75th to 98th floor.

Source: CTBUH

#16 Willis Tower

Height: 1450.59 feet

Location: Chicago, Ill.

Completion: 1974

Use: office

Formerly Sears Tower, the Chicago landmark got a new name in the summer of 2009. The name change came after a London based insurance company, Willis Group bought the naming rights as part of its lease.

Source: CTBUH

#15 Nanjing Greenland Financial centre

Height: 1476.38 feet

Location: Nanjing, China

Completion: 2010

Use: hotel/office

The viewing deck on the 72nd floor offers a panoramic view of Nanjing and the Yangtze River.

Source: CTBUH

#14 Petronas Tower 2

Height: 1482.61 feet

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Completion: 1998

Use: office

A flexible bridge connects the Petronas Tower 2 to its neighbouring Petronas Tower 1 at the 42nd floor. Each floor of the two buildings is shaped like an eight-pointed star.

Source: CTBUH

#13 Petronas Tower 1

Height: 1482.61 feet

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Completion: 1998

Use: office

Petronas Towers 1 and 2 have been called 'cosmic pillars that spiral heavenward.'

Source: CTBUH

#12 International Commerce centre

Height: 1587.93 feet

Location: Hong Kong, China

Completion: 2010

Use: hotel/office

The observation deck offers a 360 degree view of the entire city of Hong Kong.

Source: CTBUH

#11 Shanghai World Financial centre

Height: 1614.17 feet

Location: Shanghai, China

Completion: 2008

Use: hotel/office

The financial centre was redesigned with 12 fire proof refugee areas and 2 external elevators to withstand disaster after the events of September 11, 2001.

Source: CTBUH

#10 Taipei 101

Height: 1666.67

Location: Taiwan

Completion: 2004

Use: office

In 2009, many Taipei 101 employees donated a day's wages to disaster recovery.

Source: CTBUH

#9 Pentominium

Height: 1691.86 feet

Location: Dubai, UAE

Completion: 2013

Use: residential

Residents of Pentominium will live in pure luxury. Amenities will include an indoor pool, cigar room, sky lounge, observation desk, and business centre.

Source: CTBUH

#8 Chow Tai Fook centre

Height: 1738.85 feet

Location: Guangzhou, China

Completion: 2016

Use: hotel/residential/office

The Chow Tai Fook centre will be linked to a public railway underground and to nearby buildings with pedestrian bridges.

Source: CTBUH

#7 Freedom Tower (One World Trade centre)

Height: 1776.02

Location: New York City

Completion: 2013

Use: office

One World Trade centre will taper from its base in eight triangles to form a perfect octagon shape at its centre.

Source: CTBUH

#6 Goldin Finance 117

Height: 1958.66 feet

Location: Tianjin, China

Completion: 2015

Use: hotel/office

The building was named Goldin Finance 117 after the number of stories it will have at completion.

Source: CTBUH

#5 Ping An International Finance Tower centre 1

Height: 1968.5 feet

Location: Shenzhen, China

Completion: 2015

Use: office

One of the many amenities in this future office building is a roof top cafe where diners can enjoy a beautiful view of the city.

Source: CTBUH

#4 Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel

Height: 1971.78 feet

Location: Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Completion: 2011

Use: hotel

Guest rooms overlook either the Kaaba (House of God), the Haram, or the Holy City, all historical aspects of Makkah.

Source: CTBUH

#3 Shanghai Tower

Height: 2073.85 feet

Location: Shanghai, China

Completion: 2014

Use: hotel/office/exhibition/retail

The Shanghai Tower will be a sustainable building with a rain water recycling system and a series of wind turbines.

Source: CTBUH

#2 India Tower

Height: 2362.2 feet

Location: Mumbai, India

Completion: 2016

Use: office/residential/hotel

The India Tower will be the greenest building in the entire country. The building aims to receive a US LEED Gold rating.

Source: CTBUH

#1 Burj Kalifa

Height: 2716.54 feet

Location: Dubai, UAE

Completion: 2010

Use: office/residential/hotel

The grand vision of Burj Kalifa is to show Dubai's growing role in a changing world.

Source: CTBUH

In 1980 the skylines looked different...

The 20 tallest buildings were all in North America, and 19 were in the United States:

  1. Willis Tower -- Chicago, Ill. -- 1451 feet
  2. Empire State Building -- New York City -- 1250 feet
  3. Aon centre -- Chicago, Ill. -- 1136 feet
  4. John Hancock centre -- Chicago, Ill. -- 1128 feet
  5. Chrysler Building -- New York City -- 1047 feet
  6. First Bank Tower -- Toronto, Canada -- 978 feet
  7. American International Building -- New York City -- 952 feet
  8. The Trump Building -- New York City -- 927 feet
  9. Citigroup centre -- New York City -- 915 feet
  10. Renaissance Tower -- Dallas, Tex. -- 886 feet
  11. Water Tower Place -- Chicago, Ill. -- 859 feet
  12. Aon centre -- Los Angelos, Calif. -- 858 feet
  13. Transamerica Pyramid -- San Francisco, Calif. -- 853 feet
  14. GE Building -- New York City -- 850 feet
  15. Chase Tower -- Chicago, Ill. -- 850 feet
  16. U.S. Steel Tower -- Pittsburgh, Pa -- 841 feet
  17. One Chase Manhattan Place -- New York City -- 813 feet
  18. Met Life Building -- New York City -- 808 feet
  19. Woolworth Building -- New York City-- 792 feet
  20. IDS Tower -- Minneapolis, Minn. -- 792 feet

Source: CTBUH

As of 2010 China began its climb...

China took seven spots of the top 20 tallest buildings, while the US claimed only four in 2010.

  1. Burj Kalifa -- Dubai, UAE -- 2717 feet
  2. Taipei 101 -- Taiwan, China -- 1667 feet
  3. Shanghai World Financial centre -- Shanghai, China -- 1614 feet
  4. International Commerce Centre -- Hong Kong, China -- 1588 feet
  5. Petronas Tower 1 -- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- 1483 feet
  6. Petronas Tower 2 -- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- 1483 feet
  7. Nanjing Greenland Financial centre -- Nanjing, China -- 1476 feet
  8. Willis Tower -- Chicago, Ill. -- 1451 feet
  9. Guangzhou International Finance centre -- Guangzhou, China -- 1435 feet
  10. Trump International Hotel & Tower -- Chicago, Ill. -- 1389 feet
  11. Jin Mao Building -- Shanghai, China -- 1380 feet
  12. Two International Finance centre -- Hong Kong, China -- 1352 feet
  13. CITIC Plaza -- Guangzhou, China -- 1280 feet
  14. Shun Hing Square -- Shenzhen, China -- 1260 feet
  15. Empire State Building -- New York City -- 1250 feet
  16. Central Plaza -- Hong Kong, China -- 1227 feet
  17. Bank of China Tower -- Hong Kong, China -- 1205 feet
  18. Bank of America Tower -- New York City -- 1200 feet
  19. Almas Tower -- Dubai, UAE -- 1181 feet
  20. Emirates Tower One -- Dubai, UAE -- 1163 feet

Source: CTBUH

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