When it comes to skyscrapers, the United States seems to take the cake, boasting some of the tallest in the world – including some that reach a height of over half a mile high! Here are 10 of the biggest towers in the US, as well as some that reach even greater heights across the world. From The Shard in London to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, these giants will leave you speechless (aside from whoa).
1) The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Burj Khalifa, which is Arabic for the tower of Khalifa, is the tallest man-made structure in the world. Construction began on September 21, 2004 and was completed on January 4, 2010. The building has 163 floors and rises 829.5 meters (2,722 ft) high with a total surface area of 5.5 million square feet (500,000 m2). It is located at Downtown Dubai, near Sheikh Zayed Road.
2) The Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
The Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, which is also known as the Abraj Al-Bait Towers, is an iconic structure and considered to be one of the largest clock towers in the world. It’s made up of a group of five buildings, including a hotel and a shopping mall, and it’s situated on top of a mountain called Jabal Al-Nour.
3) The Shanghai World Financial Center in Shanghai, China
The Shanghai World Financial Center is one of the most recognizable skyscrapers in China. It is a mixed-use building, with offices, hotels and shopping malls. This mega-structure stands tall at 492 meters and has 128 stories. The Shanghai World Financial Center was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates from New York City and Leslie E Robertson Associates from New York City.
4) The International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong
The International Commerce Centre is a 1,588-foot skyscraper with 118 floors. The building was completed in 2010 and is used for both commercial and residential purposes. It has been ranked as one of the top six skyscrapers in the world by Emporis. The height was also enough to make it the second-highest tower on earth when it was finished, only surpassed by Burj Khalifa at 2,722 feet.
5) The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Known as Malaysia’s most famous tourist attraction, the Petronas Towers are a pair of skyscrapers and are by far the tallest buildings in Southeast Asia. Construction began on February 28th 1993 and continued for six years until July 4th 1998 when they were officially opened to the public.
6) The Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan
The Taipei 101 Tower is a skyscraper located in Taipei, Taiwan. It was built as an icon for Asian culture and innovation. Completed in 2004, it stands at 1,671 feet (508 meters) and contains 101 floors. The building has been ranked by Emporis as one of the world’s best high-rise buildings.
7) The Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, China
The Shanghai Tower is a 115-story skyscraper. It is not only the second-tallest tower in China, but also the second-tallest tower in Asia. The Shanghai Tower was designed by American architectural firm Gensler. The tower is built on a square base and features a curved body which tapers to a point at its top.
8) The Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
The Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower is the world’s third-tallest building and is situated on the eastern edge of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The tower was constructed as part of a multi-billion dollar development project called the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel Complex. Construction began on September 18, 2004 and was completed in 2007 with an estimated cost near $1 billion USD.
9) The Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois, USA
The Willis Tower is a 108-story skyscraper located in Chicago, Illinois. It was built by Fazlur Rahman Khan and opened on April 4, 1973 as the Sears Tower. It was renamed Willis Tower on July 16th, 2009. The tower has observation decks near the top which are open to public visitors – however they do not allow children under age 13 at any time due to safety concerns.
10) The One World Trade Center in New York City, New York, USA
The One World Trade Center is the tallest tower in North America and the third-tallest building in the world. The tower was designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, but not one as strong as Hurricane Sandy. The tower holds 104 floors, and its roof is 1,368 feet high.
One of the most notable features of One World Trade Center is its spire which reaches a symbolic height of 1,776 feet.