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World's tallest structures

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World's tallest structures

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The world's tallest man-made structure is the 829.8 m (2,722 ft) tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The building gained the official title of "Tallest Building in the World" at its opening on January 4, 2010.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an organization that certifies buildings as the "World’s Tallest", recognizes a building only if at least fifty percent of its height is made up of floor plates containing habitable floor area.[1] Structures that do not meet this criterion, such as the CN Tower, are defined as "towers".

There are dozens of radio and television broadcasting towers which measure over 600 metres (about 2,000 ft) in height, and only the tallest are recorded in publicly available information sources.

Debate over definitions

When assessing the placings of structures, there is some debate about:

  • whether a building is actually a building
  • whether a structure under construction should be included in the list
  • whether a building or structure has to be officially opened before it is included on the list.
  • whether structures rising out of water should have their below-water height included.
  • what should be counted as a building or a tower, and what is being measured.
  • for towers, whether guy-wire-supported structures should be counted.

For buildings, there is debate over:

  • whether only habitable height is considered
  • whether communication towers with observation galleries should be considered "habitable" in this sense
  • whether rooftop antennas, viewing platforms or any other architecture that does not form floors, walls and rooms, i.e. not built as an occupiable room, should be considered towards height of building
  • what would stop a room built on top of a telecommunications or viewing tower from changing the tower's class to that of "building"
  • why a building that is not officially opened should be excluded from the ranks of tallest buildings
  • what counts as an official opening

Tallest structures

This category does not require the structure be "officially" opened.

The tallest man-made structure is Burj Khalifa, a skyscraper in Dubai that reached 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in height on January 17, 2009.[2] By April 7, 2008 it had been built higher than the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, USA.[3] That September it officially surpassed Poland's 646.38 m (2,120.7 ft) Warsaw radio mast, which stood from 1974 to 1991, to become the tallest structure ever built. Guyed lattice towers such as these masts had held the world height record since 1954.

The CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, standing at 553.3 m (1,815 ft), was formerly the world's tallest completed freestanding structure on land. Opened in 1976, it was surpassed in height by the rising Burj Khalifa on September 12, 2007.[4][5][6] It has the world's second highest public observation deck at 446.5 m (1,465 ft).

The Petronius Platform stands 610 m (2,000 ft) off the sea floor leading some, including Guinness World Records 2007, to claim it as the tallest freestanding structure in the world. However, it is debated whether underwater height should be counted in the same manner as height below ground is ignored on buildings. The Troll A platform is 472 m (1,549 ft), without any part of that height being supported by wires. The tension-leg type of oil platform has even greater below-water heights with several examples more than 1,000 m (3,300 ft) deep. However, these platforms are not considered constant structures as the vast majority of their height is made up of the length of the tendons attaching the floating platforms to the sea floor. Despite this, Guinness World Records 2009 listed the Ursa tension leg platform as the tallest structure in the world with a total height of 1,306 m (4,285 ft). The Magnolia Tension-leg Platform in the Gulf of Mexico is even taller with a total height of 1,432 m (4,698 ft).

Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, set records in three of the four skyscraper categories at the time it opened in 2004; at the time the Burj Khalifa opened in 2010 it remained the world's tallest inhabited building 509.2 m (1,671 ft) as measured to its architectural height (spire). The height of its roof 449.2 m (1,474 ft) and highest occupied floor 439.2 m (1,441 ft) had been surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center with corresponding heights of 487 m (1,598 ft) and 474 m (1,555 ft) respectively. Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) was highest in the final category: the greatest height to top of antenna of any building in the world at 527.3 m (1,730 ft).

Burj Khalifa broke the height record in all four categories for completed buildings by a wide margin.

Tallest structure by category

Due to the disagreements over how to measure height and classify structures, engineers have created various definitions for categories of buildings and other structures. One measure includes the absolute height of a building, another includes only spires and other permanent architectural features, but not antennas. The tradition of including the spire on top of a building and not including the antenna dates back to the rivalry between the Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street. A modern-day example is that the antenna on top of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is not considered part of its architectural height, while the spires on top of the Petronas Twin Towers are counted.

Note: The following table is a list of the tallest structure in each of the categories below. There can only be one structure in each category, unless the title for the tallest is a draw.


Category Structure Country City Height (metres) Height (feet) Year Built Coordinates
Skyscraper Burj Khalifa United Arab Emirates Dubai 829.8 2,722 2010 11|50.0|N|55|16|26.6|E|type:landmark name=Burj Dubai

}}

Self supporting tower Tokyo Sky Tree Japan Tokyo 634 2,080 2011 42|36.5|N|139|48|39|E|type:landmark name=Tokyo Skytree

}}

Guyed Mast KVLY-TV mast United States Blanchard 628.8 2,063 1963 20|31.85|N|97|17|21.13|W|type:landmark name=KVLY-TV mast

}}

Clock building Abraj Al Bait Towers Saudi Arabia Mecca 601 1,972 2011 25|08|N|39|49|35|E|type:landmark name=Abraj Al Bait Towers

}}

Mast radiator Lualualei VLF transmitter United States Lualualei 458 1,503 1962 25|11.87|N|158|08|53.67|W|type:landmark name=VLF transmitter Lualualei, Mast 1

}} ; 21°25′13.38″N 158°09′14.35″W / 21.4203833°N 158.1539861°W / 21.4203833; -158.1539861 (VLF transmitter Lualualei, Mast 2)

Twin towers Petronas Twin Towers Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 452 1,482 1998 09|27.45|N|101|42|40.7|E|type:landmark name=Petronas Tower 1

}}; 3°09′29.45″N 101°42′43.4″E / 3.1581806°N 101.712056°E / 3.1581806; 101.712056 (Petronas Tower 2)

Chimney Ekibastuz GRES-2 Power Station Kazakhstan Ekibastusz 419.7 1,377 1987 1|26.3|N|75|28|34.5|E|type:landmark name=GRES-2 Power Station

}}

Radar Dimona Radar Facility Israel Dimona 400 1,312 2008 58|6.93|N|35|05|49.64|E|type:landmark name=Dimona Radar Facility

}} ; 30°58′32.46″N 35°05′55.25″E / 30.9756833°N 35.0986806°E / 30.9756833; 35.0986806 (Dimona Radar Facility)

Lattice tower Kiev TV Tower Ukraine Kiev 385 1,263 1973 28|16.49|N|30|27|11.97|E|type:landmark name=Kiev TV Tower

}}

Electricity pylon Zhoushan Island Overhead Powerline Tie China Zhoushan 370 1,214 2009 56|2.78|N|122|2|10.12|E|type:landmark name=Zhoushan Island Overhead Powerline Tie, 370 metres tower

}} ; 29°54′41.39″N 122°1′26.38″E / 29.9114972°N 122.0239944°E / 29.9114972; 122.0239944 (Zhoushan Island Overhead Powerline Tie, 370 metres tower)

Partially guyed tower Gerbrandy Tower Netherlands IJsselstein 366.8 1,203 1961 00|36.24|N|05|03|12.87|E|type:landmark name=Gerbrandy Tower

}}

Guyed tubular steel mast TV Tower Vinnytsia Ukraine Vinnytsia 354 1,161 1961 14|30.04|N|28|25|25.25|E|type:landmark_region:UA name=TV Tower Vinnytsia

}}

Bridge pillar Millau Viaduct France Millau 342 1,122 2004 05|09.97|N|03|01|17.94|E|type:landmark name=Viaduc de Millau

}}

Tower for scientific research Obninsk Meteorological tower Russia Obninsk 315 1,034 1958 06|41.72|N|36|35|53.75|E|type:landmark name=Obninsk Meteorological tower

}}

Blaw-Knox Tower Lakihegy Tower Hungary Szigetszentmiklós-Lakihegy 314 1,031 1968 22|23|N|19|00|16|E|type:landmark name=Lakihegy Tower

}}

Dam Nurek Dam Tajikistan Nurek 300 984[7] 1980 22|17.09|N|69|20|53.57|E|type:landmark name=Nurek Dam

}}

Concrete dam Grande Dixence Dam Switzerland Val d'Hérens 285 935[8] 1965 4|49.89|N|7|24|13.13|E|type:landmark name=Grande Dixence Dam

}}

Minaret Hassan II Mosque Morocco Casablanca 210 689 1993 36|28.71|N|7|37|58.16|W|type:landmark name=Hassan II Mosque

}}

Wind turbine Nowy Tomyśl Wind Turbines[9] Poland Nowy Tomyśl 210 689 2012 17|39|N|16|09|00|E|type:landmark name=Nowy Tomyśl Wind Turbine

}} ; 52°17′41″N 16°09′22″E / 52.29472°N 16.15611°E / 52.29472; 16.15611 (Nowy Tomyśl Wind Turbine)

Cooling tower Kalisindh Power Station India Kalisindh 202[10] 663 2012 32|04.34|N|76|05|58.09|E|type:landmark name=Kalisindh Power Station

}}

Monument Gateway Arch United States St. Louis 192 630 1965 37|28.62|N|90|11|5.87|W|type:landmark name=Gateway Arch

}}

Water tower Main tower of Kuwait Towers Kuwait Kuwait City 187 614 1979 23|22.75|N|48|00|11.57|E|type:landmark name=Kuwait Towers

}}

Wooden structure ATLAS-I at Kirtland Air Force Base United States Albuquerque 180 600 1980 N|106.557574|W|type:landmark name=ATLAS-I

}}

Masonry tower Anaconda Smelter Stack United States Anaconda 178.3 585 1919 06|36.53|N|112|54|48.8|W|type:landmark name=Anaconda Smelter Stack

}}

Inclined structure,
Stadium
Olympic Stadium Canada Montreal 175 574 1976 33|33.53|N|73|33|7.61|W|type:landmark name=Montreal Olympic Stadium

}}

Obelisk San Jacinto Monument United States La Porte 173.7 570 1939 44|59.46|N|95|04|50.52|W|type:landmark name=San Jacinto Monument

}}

Church building Chicago Temple Building United States Chicago 173 568 1924 52|58.81|N|87|37|50.25|W|type:landmark name=Chicago Temple Building

}}

Masonry building Mole Antonelliana Italy Torino 167 548 1889 04|8.45|N|7|41|35.62|E|type:landmark name=Mole Antonelliana

}}

Masonry building Philadelphia City Hall United States Philadelphia 167 548 1901 57|9.79|N|75|09|48.72|W|type:landmark name=Philadelphia City Hall

}}

Ferris wheel Singapore Flyer Singapore Singapore 165 541.3 2008 17|22.27|N|103|51|47.6|E|type:landmark name=Singapore Flyer

}}

Flagpole, free-standing Dushanbe Flagpole Tajikistan Dushanbe 165[11] 541 2011 34|44.44|N|68|46|48.39|E|type:landmark name=Dushanbe Flagpole

}}

Church tower Ulm Minster Germany Ulm 162 530 1890 23|55|N|9|59|30.78|E|type:landmark name=Ulm Minster

}}

Industrial hall Vehicle Assembly Building United States Kennedy Space Center 160 525 1966 35|9.64|N|80|39|2.11|W|type:landmark name=Vehicle Assembly Building

}}

Dome Dome of the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro Côte d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro 158 518 1990 48|40|N|5|17|47|W|region:CI_type:landmark name=Dome of Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro

}}

Memorial cross Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos Spain El Escorial 152.4 500 1957 38|31.46|N|4|9|19.6|W|type:landmark name=Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos

}}

Telescope Arecibo Telescope United States Arecibo 150 492 1963 20|39|N|66|45|10|W|type:landmark name=Arecibo Telescope

}}

Roller coaster Kingda Ka United States Jackson 138.98 456 2005 08|26.54|N|74|25|59.83|W|type:landmark name=Kingda Ka

}}

Tomb Great Pyramid of Giza Egypt Giza 138.8 455.2 2560 BC 58|44.93|N|31|08|3.09|E|type:landmark name=Great Pyramid of Giza

}}

Lighthouse Jeddah Light Saudi Arabia Jeddah 133 436 1990[12] 28|07.14|N|39|08|58.98|E|type:landmark name=Jeddah Light

}}

Air traffic control tower Suvarnabhumi Airport control tower Thailand Bangkok 132.2 433.7 2006 41|47.05|N|100|44|58.8|E|type:landmark name=Suvarnabhumi Airport control tower

}}

Statue (including pedestal) Spring Temple Buddha China Lushan 128 420 2002 N|112.451016|E|type:landmark name=Spring Temple Buddha

}}

Stupa Phra Pathom Chedi Thailand Nakorn Pathom 127 417 1870 49|11|N|100|3|37|E|type:landmark_region:TH-73 name=Phra Pathom Chedi

}}

Sculpture Spire of Dublin Ireland Dublin 121.2 393 2003 20|59.28|N|6|15|36.93|W|type:landmark name=Spire of Dublin

}}

Storage silo Henninger Turm Germany Frankfurt 120 394 1961 05|50.18|N|8|41|36.81|E|type:landmark name=Henninger Turm

}}

Wooden lattice tower Gliwice Radio Tower Poland Gliwice 118 387 1935 18|48.12|N|18|41|20.26|E|type:landmark name=Gliwice Radio Tower

}}

Aerial tramway support tower Pillar of third section of Gletscherbahn Kaprun Austria Kaprun 113.6 373 1966 11|58.62|N|12|41|16.96|E|type:landmark name=Glacial Aerial Tramway Kaprun III Support Pillar

}}

Sphere Ericsson Globe Sweden Stockholm 85 279 1989 17|36.92|N|18|04|58.79|E|type:landmark name=Ericsson Globe

}}

Brick lighthouse Lighthouse of Genoa Italy Genoa 77 253 1128 24|16.25|N|8|54|16.67|E|type:landmark name=Torre della Lanterna

}}

Gopuram Murudeshwara Temple India Murudeshwara 76 249 2008 N|74.485163|E|type:landmark name=Murudeshwara Temple

}}

Wooden church Church of the Holy Archangels[13] Romania Şurdeşti 72 236 1766 35|49.11|N|23|45|52.54|E|type:landmark name=Church of the Holy Archangels

}}

Tallest destroyed structures by category, not surpassed by existing structures

There are some destroyed architectural structures which were taller than the tallest existing structure of their type. There are also destroyed structures omitted from this list that had been surpassed in height prior to being destroyed.

Category Structure Country City Height (Meters) Height (Feet) Coordinates Remarks
Guyed mast Warsaw Radio Mast Poland Gąbin 646.38 2,121 22|3.74|N|19|48|8.73|E|type:landmark name=Konstantynow Radio Mast (destroyed)

}} || completed in 1974, collapsed on August 8, 1991

Tower for scientific research BREN Tower United States Nevada Test Site 462 1,516 46|50.23|N|116|14|36.9|W|type:landmark name=BREN-Tower

}} || completed in 1962, destroyed on May 23, 2012[14]

Guyed tubular steel mast Shushi-Wan Omega Transmitter Japan Tsushima 389 1,276 36|53|N|129|27|13|E|type:landmark name=Shushi-Wan Omega Transmitter (dismantled)

}} || completed in 1973, dismantled in 1998

Structure for scientific experiment Smoky Shot Tower United States Nevada Test Site 213 700  ??? Guyed mast, which carried 44 kt yield nuclear bomb "Smoky" (part of operation Plumbbob) on top until its explosion on August 31, 1957
Wooden structure Mühlacker Wood Radio Tower Germany Mühlacker 190 623 56|27.67|N|8|51|8.24|E|type:landmark name=Mühlacker Wood Radio Tower (replaced by guyed mast)

}} || completed in 1934, destroyed on April 6, 1945, by the Germans to prevent usage by the Allies, replaced by mast radiator

Masonry building Mole Antonelliana Italy Torino 167.5 549.5 04|8.45|N|7|41|35.62|E|type:landmark name=Mole Antonelliana

}} || spire destroyed by a tornado in 1953 (Rebuilt since then).

Pre-Industrial Era building Lincoln Cathedral England Lincoln 160 524 14|3.26|N|0|32|10.54|W|type:landmark name=Lincoln Cathedral

}} || completed in 1311, spire blown off in 1549

Lighthouse Lighthouse of Alexandria Egypt Alexandria 115-135 377-443 12|51|N|29|53|06|E|type:landmark name=Lighthouse of Alexandria

}} || completed in 279 BC, destroyed by an earthquake in 1323

Tallest building by function

Category Structure Country City Architectural top (metres) Architectural top (feet)
Mixed-Use* Burj Khalifa United Arab Emirates Dubai 829.8 2,722
Office One World Trade Center United States New York City 541 1,776
Residential Princess Tower United Arab Emirates Dubai 414 1,358
Hotel JW Marriott Marquis Dubai United Arab Emirates Dubai 355 1,166
Educational Moscow State University Russia Moscow 240 787
Pagoda Tianning Temple China Changzhou 153.79 505
Church Ulm Minster Germany Ulm 143 469
Hospital Guy's Hospital United Kingdom London 143 468
Library Shanghai Library China Shanghai 106 348
Cinema Cineworld (Glasgow) United Kingdom Glasgow 62 203

* Mixed-Use is defined as having three or more real estate uses (such as retail, office, hotel, etc.) that are physically and functionally integrated in a single property and are mutually supporting.[15]

Tallest buildings

Prior to 1998, the tallest building status was determined by the height of the building to the top of its architectural elements including spires, but not including "temporary" structures (such as antennae or flagpoles), which could be added or changed relatively easily without requiring major changes to the building's design. Other criteria for height measurement were not used. For this reason, the originally 1451 foot (442.1 meter) to rooftop or 1518 feet with original antennas [16] Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) was generally accepted as being the tallest building continuously after its completion in 1973, and being taller than both World Trade Center towers, in spite of the fact the 1 World Trade Center Tower (North Tower) possessed a higher pinnacle absolute height after it added its 360-foot (110m) radio antenna (total height of 1727 feet or 526.3 meters) in 1978. The 1 World Trade Center building maintained a higher absolute height to antenna top until the Sears Tower enlarged its own radio antenna in 2000 to a total height of 1730 feet.[16] However, the Willis Tower was always considered the taller building because it still possessed a greater height to its architectural top (1451 feet vs. 1362 feet), and thus its status as the world's tallest was generally not contested.

Other historic cases in which a building with a taller absolute pinnacle height was not considered the tallest building include, in 1905 when the former New York Times building or The Times Square Building (at 229 West 43rd Street in New York) was completed at 111 m (363 ft) to the roof with 128 m (420 ft) including a flagpole. That building was never considered to be taller than the 119 m (391 ft) high then-current record-holder Park Row Building of New York because a flagpole is not an integral architectural part of a building.[17]

Prior to 1998 the tallest building status had been contested on occasion, but the disputes did not result in a change of the criteria used to determine the world's tallest building. A famous historical case of this discrepancy was the rivalry between The Trump Building (then known as the Bank of Manhattan Building) and the Chrysler Building. The Bank of Manhattan Building employed only a short spire and was 927 ft (283 m) tall and had a much higher top occupied floor (the second category in the 1996 criteria for tallest building). In contrast, the Chrysler Building employed a very large 125-foot (38 m) spire secretly assembled inside the building to claim the title of world's tallest building with a total height of 1048 feet (319 m), despite having a lower top occupied floor and a shorter height when both buildings' spires are not counted in their heights. Upset by Chrysler’s victory, Shreve & Lamb, the consulting architects of Bank of Manhattan building, wrote a newspaper article claiming that their building was actually the tallest, since it contained the world's highest usable floor. They pointed out that the observation deck in the Bank of Manhattan Building was nearly 100 feet (30 m) above the top floor in the Chrysler Building, whose surpassing spire was strictly ornamental and essentially inaccessible.[18] However, the Chrysler Building was generally accepted as the tallest building in the world despite their protests.

However, none of the previous discrepancies or disputes in criteria to measure height (spires vs antennae, absolute pinnacle height vs. architectural height, height of highest occupied floor, etc.) resulted in the controversy that occurred upon the completion of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998. The Petronas Towers possessed a higher architectural height (spires, but not antennae), but a lower absolute pinnacle height and lower top occupied floor than the previous record-holder Willis Tower in Chicago, United States. Counting buildings as structures with floors throughout, and with antenna masts excluded, Willis Tower was still considered the tallest at that time. When the Petronas Twin Towers were built, controversy arose because their spires extended nine metres higher than the roof of Willis Tower. Excluding their spires, the Petronas Towers are not taller than Willis Tower. At their convention in Chicago, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) found the Willis Tower to be the third-tallest building, and the Petronas Towers to be the world's tallest buildings. This decision caused a considerable amount of controversy in the news media because this was the first time a country outside the United States had held the world’s tallest building record.[17] Therefore, the CTBUH revised their criteria and defined four categories in which the world's tallest building can be measured,[19] by retaining the old criterion of height to architectural top and added three new categories[17]

  1. Height to Architectural Top (including spires and pinnacles, but not antennas, masts or flagpoles). This measurement is the most widely used and is used to define the rankings of the 100 Tallest Buildings in the World.
  2. Highest Occupied Floor
  3. Height to Top of Roof (omitted from criteria from November 2009 onwards)[20]
  4. Height to Tip

The height to roof criterion was discontinued because relatively few modern tall buildings possess flat rooftops, making this criterion difficult to determine and measure.[21] The CBTUH has further clarified their definitions of building height, including specific criteria concerning subbasements and ground level entrances (height measured from lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance rather than from a previously undefined "main entrance"), building completion (must be topped out both structurally and architecturally, fully clad, and able to be occupied), condition of the highest occupied floor (must be continuously used by people living or working and be conditioned, thus including observation decks, but not mechanical floors) and other aspects of tall buildings.[21][22]

The height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance. At the time, the Willis Tower held first place in the second and third categories, the Petronas Towers held the first category, and the 1 World Trade Center building held the fourth with its antenna height to top of pinnacle.[17] In 2000, however, a new antenna mast was placed on the Willis Tower, giving it hold of the fourth category. On April 20, 2004, Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, was completed. Its completion gave it the world record for the first three categories. On July 21, 2007 it was announced that Burj Khalifa had surpassed Taipei 101 in height, reaching 512 m (1,680 ft).

Since being completed in early 2010, Burj Khalifa leads in all categories (the first building to do so). With a spire height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft), Burj Khalifa surpassed Taipei 101 as the tallest building to architectural detail and the Willis Tower as the tallest building to tip. It also leads in the category of highest occupied floor.

Before Burj Khalifa was completed, Willis Tower led in the fourth category with 527 m (1,729 ft), previously held by the World Trade Center until the extension of the Chicago tower's western broadcast antenna in 2000, over a year prior to the World Trade Center's destruction in 2001. Its antenna mast included, One World Trade Center measured 526 m (1,726 ft). The World Trade Center became the world's tallest buildings to be destroyed or demolished; indeed, its site entered the record books twice on September 11, 2001, in that category, replacing the Singer Building, which once stood a block from the World Trade Center site. A different superlative for skyscrapers is their number of floors. The World Trade Center set that at 110, and this was not surpassed for nearly four decades until the Burj Khalifa, which opened in 2010.

Structures such as the CN Tower, the Ostankino Tower and the Oriental Pearl Tower are excluded from these categories because they are not "habitable buildings", which are defined as frame structures made with floors and walls throughout.[1]

History of record holders in each CTBUH category

Date (Event) Architectural top Highest occupied floor Roof Tip
2010: Burj Khalifa completed Burj Khalifa Burj Khalifa Burj Khalifa
2009: CTBUH omits Height to Roof category Taipei 101 Shanghai World Financial Center Willis Tower
2008: Shanghai World Financial Center completed Taipei 101 Shanghai World Financial Center Shanghai World Financial Center Willis Tower
2003: Taipei 101 completed Taipei 101 Taipei 101 Taipei 101 Willis Tower
2000: Willis Tower antenna extension Petronas Towers Willis Tower Willis Tower Willis Tower
1998: Petronas Towers completed Petronas Towers Willis Tower Willis Tower World Trade Center
1996: CTBUH defines categories Willis Tower Willis Tower Willis Tower World Trade Center

World's tallest freestanding structure on land

Freestanding structures include observation towers, monuments and other structures not generally considered to be "Habitable buildings", but excludes supported structures such as guyed masts and ocean drilling platforms. (See also history of tallest skyscrapers.)

The world's tallest freestanding structure on land is defined as the tallest self-supporting man-made structure that stands above ground. This definition is different from that of world's tallest building or world's tallest structure based on the percentage of the structure that is occupied and whether or not it is self-supporting or supported by exterior cables. Likewise, this definition does not count structures that are built underground or on the seabed, such as the Petronius Platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Visit world's tallest structure by category for a list of various other definitions.

As of May 12, 2008, the tallest freestanding structure on land is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The building, which now stands at 829.8 m (2,722 ft), surpassed the height of the previous record holder, the 553.3 m (1,815 ft) CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, on September 12, 2007. It was completed in 2010, and was topped out at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in January 2009.[2]

History

The following is a list of structures that have held the title as the tallest freestanding structure on land. (See also Timeline of three tallest structures in the world until Empire State Building).

Tallest Historical Structures
Record from Record to Name and Location Constructed Height (metres) Height (feet) Coordinates Notes
c. 2650 BC c. 2610 BC Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt c. 2650 BC 62 203 52|16.53|N|31|12|59.59|E|type:landmark name=Pyramid of Djoser

}}

 
c. 2610 BC c. 2605 BC Meidum Pyramid in Egypt c. 2610 BC 93.5 307 23|17|N|31|09|25|E|type:landmark name=Meidum Pyramid

}}

Shortly after completion Meidum Pyramid collapsed due to bad design/instability and is now 65 m (213 ft).
c. 2605 BC c. 2600 BC Bent Pyramid in Egypt c. 2605 BC 101.1 332 47|25|N|31|12|33|E|type:landmark name=Bent Pyramid

}}

Angle of slope decrease during construction to avoid collapse.
c. 2600 BC c. 2560 BC Red Pyramid of Sneferu, Egypt c. 2600 BC 105 345 48|31.39|N|31|12|22.49|E|type:landmark name=Red Pyramid

}}

 
c. 2560 BC c. 1311 AD Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt c. 2560 BC 146 481 58|44.93|N|31|08|3.09|E|type:landmark name=Great Pyramid of Giza

}}

By 1439, the Great Pyramid had eroded to a height of approximately 139 m (456 ft).
 1311 1549 Lincoln Cathedral in England 1092–1311 160 525 14|3.26|N|0|32|10.54|W|type:landmark name=Lincoln Cathedral

}}

The central spire was destroyed in a storm in 1549. While the reputed height of 525 ft (160 m) is accepted by most sources,[23][24][25][26][27][28] others consider it doubtful[29]
1549 1647 St. Mary's Church in Stralsund, Germany 1384–1478 151 495 18|36.01|N|13|5|14.81|E|type:landmark name=St. Mary's church, Stralsund

}}

The spire burnt down after a lightning strike in 1647. The height is 104 m (341 ft) .
1647 1874 Strasbourg Cathedral in France 1439 142 469 34|54.22|N|7|45|1.48|E|type:landmark name=Strasbourg Cathedral

}}

By 1439, the Great Pyramid had eroded to a height of approximately 139 m (456 ft) hence Strasbourg Cathedral was higher .
1874 1876 St. Nikolai in Hamburg, Germany 1846–1874 147 483 32|50.94|N|9|59|26.12|E|type:landmark name=St. Nikolai, Hamburg

}}

1876 1880 Cathédrale Notre Dame in Rouen, France 1202–1876 151 495 26|24.54|N|1|5|41.85|E|type:landmark name=Rouen Cathedral

}}

 
1880 1884 Cologne Cathedral in Germany 1248–1880 157 515 56|28.08|N|6|57|25.73|E|type:landmark name=Cologne Cathedral, Tower South

}} ;50°56′29.11″N 6°57′25.85″E / 50.9414194°N 6.9571806°E / 50.9414194; 6.9571806 (Cologne Cathedral, Tower North)

1884 1889 Washington Monument in Washington D.C., United States 1884 169 555 53|22.08|N|77|2|6.89|W|type:landmark name=Washington Monument

}}

The world's tallest all-stone structure, as well as the tallest obelisk-form structure.
1889 1930 Eiffel Tower in Paris, France 1889 300 986 51|29.77|N|2|17|40.09|E|type:landmark name=Eiffel Tower

}}

First structure to exceed 300 metres in height. The addition of a telecommunications tower in the 1950s brought the overall height to 324 m (1,063 ft).
1930 1931 Chrysler Building in New York, United States 1928–1930 319 1,046 45|5.78|N|73|58|31.52|W|type:landmark name=Chrysler Building

}}

1931 1967 Empire State Building in New York, United States 1930–1931 381 1,250 44|54.95|N|73|59|8.71|W|type:landmark name=Empire State Building

}}

First building with 100+ storeys. The addition of a pinnacle and antennas later increased its overall height to 448.7 m (1,472 ft). This was subsequently lowered to 443.1 m (1,454 ft).
1967 1975 Ostankino Tower in Moscow, Russia 1963–1967 537 1,762 49|10.94|N|37|36|41.79|E|type:landmark name=Ostankino Tower

}}

Remains the tallest in Europe. Fire in 2000 led to extensive renovation.
1975 2007 CN Tower in Toronto, Canada 1973–1976 553 1,815 38|33.22|N|79|23|13.41|W|type:landmark name=CN Tower

}}

Remains the tallest in the Western Hemisphere
2007 present Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2004–2009 829.8 2,722 11|50.0|N|55|16|26.6|E|type:landmark name=Burj Dubai

}}

Holder of world's tallest freestanding structure. Topped out at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in 2009.


Notable mentions include the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria, built in the third century BC and estimated between 115–135 m (383–440 ft). It was the world's tallest non-pyramidal building for many centuries. Another notable mention includes the Jetavanaramaya stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, which was built in the third century, and was similarly tall at 122 m (400 ft). These were both the world's tallest or second tallest non-pyramidal buildings for over a thousand years.

The tallest secular building between the collapse of the Pharos and the erection of the Washington Monument may have been the Torre del Mangia in Siena, which is 102 m (335 ft) tall, and was constructed in the first half of the fourteenth century, and the 97 m (318 ft) tall Torre degli Asinelli in Bologna, also Italy, built between 1109 and 1119.

World's highest observation deck

Main article: Observation deck

Timeline of development of world's highest observation deck since inauguration of Eiffel Tower.

Held record Name and Location Constructed Height above ground Notes
From To m ft
1889 1931 Eiffel Tower, Paris 1889 275 902 Two lower observation decks at 57 m (187 ft) and 115 m (377 ft).
1931 1973 Empire State Building, New York City 1931 369[30] 1,250 On the 102nd floor - a second observation deck is located on the 86th floor at 320 m (1,050 ft).
1973 1974 World Trade Center, New York City 1973 399.4 1,310 Indoor observatory on the 107th floor of South Tower opened on April 4, 1973. Destroyed on September 11, 2001
1974 1975 Willis Tower, Chicago 1974 412.4 1,353 103rd floor Skydeck opened on June 22, 1974
1975 1976 World Trade Center, New York City 1973 419.7 1,377 Outdoor observatory on the South Tower rooftop opened on December 15, 1975. Destroyed on September 11, 2001
1976 2008 CN Tower, Toronto 1976 446.5 1,464.9 Two further observation decks at 342 m (1,122 ft) and 346 m (1,135 ft).
2008 2011 Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai 2008 474 1,555 Two further observation decks at 423 m (1,388 ft) and 439 m (1,440 ft).
2011 present Canton Tower, Guangzhou 2011 488 1,601 The rooftop outdoor observation deck opened in December 2011. There are also several other indoor observation decks in the tower, the highest at 433.2 m (1,421 ft).

Higher observation decks have existed on mountain tops or cliffs, rather than on tall structures. For example, the Royal Gorge Bridge in Cañon City, Colorado, USA, was constructed in 1929 spanning the Royal Gorge at a height of 321 m (1,053 ft) above the Arkansas River. The Grand Canyon Skywalk, constructed in 2007, protrudes 21 m (70 ft) over the west rim of the Grand Canyon and is approximately 1,100 m (3,600 ft) above the Colorado River, making it the highest of these types of structures.

Timeline of guyed structures on land

As most of the tallest structures are guyed masts, here is a timeline of world's tallest guyed masts, since the beginning of radio technology.

As many large guyed masts were destroyed at the end of World War II, the dates for the years between 1945 and 1950 may be incorrect. If Wusung Radio Tower survived World War II, it was the tallest guyed structure shortly after World War II.

Held record Name and Location Constructed Height (m) Height (ft) Coordinates Notes
From To
 1913  1920 Central mast of Eilvese transmitter, Eilvese, Germany  1913 250 820 31|40|N|9|24|24|E|type:landmark name=Eilvese transmitter ( demolished)

}}

Mast was divided in 145 m by an insulator, demolished in 1931
 1920  1923 Central masts of Nauen Transmitter Station, Nauen, Germany  1920 260 853 38|56|N|12|54|30|E|type:landmark name=Nauen transmitter

}}

2 masts, demolished in 1946
 1923  1933 Masts of Ruiselede transmitter, Ruiselede, Belgium  1923 287 942 4|44|N|3|20|6.9|E|type:landmark name=Zendmast Ruiselede (destroyed) ( location unclear)

}}?

8 masts, destroyed in 1940
 1933  1939 Lakihegy Tower, Lakihegy, Hungary  1933 314 1,031 22|23.45|N|19|0|17.21|E|type:landmark name=Lakihegy Radio Tower

}}

Blaw-Knox Tower, insulated against ground, destroyed in 1945, afterwards rebuilt
 1939  1946 Deutschlandsender Herzberg/Elster, Herzberg (Elster), Germany  1939 335 1,099 42|59.76|N|13|15|51.5|E|type:landmark name=Deutschlandsender III ( dismantled)

}}

Insulated against ground, dismantled 1946/1947
 1946  1948 Lakihegy Tower, Lakihegy, Hungary  1946 314 1,031 22|23.45|N|19|0|17.21|E|type:landmark name=Lakihegy Radio Tower

}}

Blaw-Knox Tower, Insulated against ground, rebuilt after destruction in 1945
 1948  1949 WIVB-TV Tower, Colden, New York, USA  1948 321.9 1,056 39|33.19|N|78|37|33.91|W|type:landmark name=WIVB-TV Tower

}}

 1949  1950 Longwave transmitter Raszyn, Raszyn, Poland  1949 335 1,099 4|21.72|N|20|53|2.15|E|type:landmark name=Raszyn Radio Mast

}}

Insulated against ground
 1950  1954 Forestport Tower, Forestport, New York, USA  1950 371.25 1,218 26|41.9|N|75|5|9.55|W|type:landmark name=Forestport Tower ( demolished)

}}

Insulated against ground, demolished
 1954  1956 Griffin Television Tower Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA  1954 480.5 1,576 32|58.59|N|97|29|50.27|W|type:landmark name=Griffin Television Tower Oklahoma

}}

 
 1956  1959 KOBR-TV Tower, Caprock, New Mexico, USA  1956 490.7 1,610 22|31.31|N|103|46|14.3|W|type:landmark name=KOBR-TV Tower

}}

Collapsed in 1960, afterwards rebuilt
 1959  1960 WGME TV Tower, Raymond, Maine, USA  1959 495 1,624 55|28.43|N|70|29|26.72|W|type:landmark name=WGME TV Tower

}}

 1960  1962 KFVS TV Mast, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, USA  1960 511.1 1,677 25|44.5|N|89|30|13.84|W|type:landmark name=KFVS TV Mast

}}

 1962  1963 WTVM/WRBL-TV & WVRK-FM Tower, Cusseta, Georgia, USA  1962 533 1,749 19|25.09|N|84|46|45.07|W|type:landmark name=WTVM/WRBL-TV & WVRK-FM Tower

}}

 1963  1963 WIMZ-FM-Tower, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA  1963 534.01 1,752 08|05.49|N|83|43|28.01|W|type:landmark name=WIMZ-FM-Tower

}}

 1963  1974 KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, USA  1963 628.8 2,063 20|31.85|N|97|17|21.13|W|type:landmark name=KVLY-TV mast

}}

 1974  1991 Warsaw Radio Mast, Gąbin, Poland  1974 646.4 2,121 22|3.74|N|19|48|8.73|E|type:landmark name=Konstantynow Radio Mast (destroyed)

}}

Mast radiator insulated against ground, collapsed in 1991
 1991   KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, USA  1963 628.8 2,063 20|31.85|N|97|17|21.13|W|type:landmark name=KVLY-TV mast

}}

Tallest structures, freestanding structures, and buildings

The list categories are:

  • The structures (supported) list uses pinnacle height and includes architectural structures of any type that might use some external support constructions like cables and are fully built in air. Only the three tallest are listed, as more than fifty US TV masts have stated heights of 600–610 metres (1969–2000 ft).
  • The structures (media supported) list uses pinnacle height and includes architectural structures of any type that are not totally built in the air but are using support from other, denser media like salt water. All structures greater than 500 metres (1,640 ft) are listed.
  • The freestanding structures list uses pinnacle height and includes structures over 400 metres (1,312 ft) that do not use guy-wires or other external supports. This means truly free standing on its own or, in similar sense, non-supported structures.
  • The building list uses architectural height (excluding antennas) and includes only buildings, defined as consisting of habitable floors. Both of these follow CTBUH guidelines. All supertall buildings (300 m and higher) are listed.

Notes:

  • Eight buildings appear on the freestanding structures category list with heights different from another category. This is due to the different measurement specifications of those lists.
  • Only current heights and, where reasonable, target heights are listed. Historical heights of structures that no longer exist, for example, for having collapsed, are excluded.
Rank Name and location Year
completed
Architectural top[31]
(metres)
Architectural top
(feet)
Floors
Structures (supported)
1 KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, United States 1963 629 2,064
2 KXJB-TV mast, Galesburg, North Dakota, United States 1998 628 2,060
3 KXTV/KOVR Tower, Walnut Grove, California, United States 2000 625 2,051
Structures (media supported)
1 Petronius Platform, Gulf of Mexico 2000 610 2,000
2 Baldpate Platform, Gulf of Mexico 1998 580 1,900
3 Bullwinkle Platform, Gulf of Mexico 1989 529 1,736
Freestanding structures
1 Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2010 829.8 2,722 163
2 Tokyo Sky Tree, Tokyo, Japan 2011 634 2,080
3 Abraj Al Bait, Mecca, Saudi Arabia 2011 601 1,972 120
4 Canton Tower, Guangzhou, China 2010 600 1,969
5 CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1976 553 1,814
6 One World Trade Center, New York City, USA 2013 546.2 1,792 128
7 Ostankino Tower, Moscow, Russia 1967 540 1,770
8 Willis Tower, Chicago, United States 1974 527 1,729 108
9 Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan 2004 509 1,670 101
10 Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China 2008 492 1,614 101
11 International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong 2010 484 1,588 118
12 Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai, China 1994 468 1,535
13 John Hancock Center, Chicago, United States 1969 457 1,499 100
14 Petronas Tower I, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 452 1,483 88
Petronas Tower II, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 452 1,483 88
15 Zifeng Tower, Nanjing, China 2009 450 1,480 89
16 Empire State Building, New York City, United States 1931 443 1,453 102
17 Milad Tower, Tehran, Iran 2007 435 1,427
18 Kuala Lumpur Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1995 421 1,381
19 Jin Mao Building, Shanghai, China 1998 421 1,381 88
20 Chimney of GRES-2 Power Station, Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan 1987 420 1,380
21 Two International Finance Centre, Hong Kong 2003 415 1,362 88
22 Tianjin Radio and Television Tower, Tianjin, China 1991 415 1,362
23 Central TV Tower, Beijing, China 1992 405 1,329
Buildings
1 Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2010 828 2,717 163
2 Abraj Al Bait, Mecca, Saudi Arabia 2011 601 1,972 120
3 One World Trade Center, New York City, USA 2013 541.3 1,776 128
4 Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan 2004 509 1,670 101
5 Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China 2008 492 1,614 101
6 International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong 2010 484 1,588 118
7 Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 452 1,483 88
8 Zifeng Tower, Nanjing, China 2009 450 1,480 89
9 Willis Tower, Chicago, United States 1974 442 1,450 108
10 Jin Mao Building, Shanghai, China 1998 421 1,381 88
11 Two International Finance Centre, Hong Kong 2003 415 1,362 88
12 CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou, China 1997 391 1,283 80
13 Shun Hing Square, Shenzhen, China 1996 384 1,260 69
14 Empire State Building, New York City, United States 1931 381 1,250 102
15 Central Plaza, Hong Kong 1992 374 1,227 78
16 Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong 1990 367 1,204 70
17 Bank of America Tower, New York City, United States 2008 366 1,201 54
18 Almas Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2008 360 1,180 74
19 Emirates Office Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2000 355 1,165 54
20 Tuntex Sky Tower, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 1997 348 1,142 85
21 Aon Center, Chicago, United States 1973 346 1,135 83
22 The Center, Hong Kong 1998 346 1,135 73
23 John Hancock Center, Chicago, United States 1969 344 1,129 100
24 Rose Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2007 333 1,093 72
Shimao International Plaza, Shanghai, China 2006 333 1,093 60
25 Minsheng Bank Building, Wuhan, China 2007 331 1,086 68
25 Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea (topped out) 1992 330 1,080 105
China World Trade Center Tower 3, Beijing, China 2008 330 1,080 74
27 Q1, Gold Coast, Australia 2005 323 1,060 78
28 Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 1999 321 1,053 60
29 Chrysler Building, New York City, United States 1930 319 1,047 77
Nina Tower I, Hong Kong 2007 319 1,047 80
New York Times Building, New York City, United States 2007 319 1,047 52
32 Bank of America Plaza, Atlanta, United States 1992 312 1,024 55
33 U.S. Bank Tower, Los Angeles, United States 1989 310 1,020 73
34 Menara Telekom, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2001 310 1,020 55
35 Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2000 309 1,014 56
36 One Island East, Hong Kong 2008 308 1,010 70
37 AT&T Corporate Center, Chicago, United States 1989 307 1,007 60
38 The Address Downtown Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2008 306 1,004 63
39 JPMorgan Chase Tower, Houston, United States 1982 305 1,001 75

Source: Emporis

Under construction and on-hold

Numerous supertall skyscrapers are in various stages of proposal, planning, or construction. Each of the following are under construction and, depending on the order of completion, could become the world's tallest building or structure in at least one category:

  • India Tower is on-hold in Mumbai's Marine Lines, is expected to be 720 m (2,360 ft) tall. This tower will be used for hotel and residential. Construction was started in 2010[32] and expected to complete by 2016.[33][34]
  • The Pingan International Finance Centre, under construction in Shenzhen, is expected to be 648 m (2,126 ft). Completion is expected in 2015.
  • The Shanghai Tower, under construction in Shanghai, next to the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Jin Mao Building, is expected to be 632 m (2,073 ft). Completion is expected in 2014.
  • One World Trade Center, topped-out in New York City, at 1,776 ft (541 m) will become the tallest building in the United States. Also, it will become the world's tallest all-office building and the tallest outside the middle east.
  • Construction of the Pentominium, in Dubai, is currently on hold. If construction resumes, the building is expected to be 516 m (1,693 ft) tall with 120 floors, which would make it the tallest all-residential building in the world. Construction began in 2007, but was halted in August 2011.

Proposed

Many proposed structures have not yet been built, and many probably never will be built. See proposed tall buildings and structures for structures that have been or are being proposed.

See also

References

External links

  • Skyscraperpage
  • Tallest Building in the World information
es:Lista de rascacielos

fa:فهرست بلندترین ساختمان‌ها و سازه‌ها در جهان fr:Liste des plus hauts gratte-ciel mondiaux id:Struktur tertinggi dunia kk:Әлемнің ең биік құрылыстары nl:Lijst van hoogste bouwwerken ter wereld (chronologisch) no:Liste over skyskrapere nn:Liste over skyskraparar pl:Lista najwyższych budynków na świecie pt:Estruturas mais altas do mundo ru:Список самых высоких зданий и сооружений в мире sv:Lista över världens högsta byggnader tr:Dünyanın en uzun yapıları ur:بلند ترین عمارات vi:Những công trình cao nhất thế giới

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