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List of tallest buildings and structures in the world

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Title: List of tallest buildings and structures in the world  
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Language: English
Subject: Zhongyuan Tower, CN Tower, Fuhrländer Wind Turbine Laasow, Willis Tower, Yangtze River power line crossings
Collection: Construction Records, Lists of Buildings and Structures, Lists of Tallest Structures
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List of tallest buildings and structures in the world

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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 [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 1
  • Tallest structures 2
    • Tallest structure by category 2.1
    • Tallest destroyed structures by category, not surpassed by existing structures 2.2
    • Tallest building by function 2.3
  • Tallest buildings 3
    • History of record holders in each CTBUH category 3.1
  • World's tallest freestanding structure on land 4
    • History 4.1
    • World's highest observation deck 4.2
    • Timeline of guyed structures on land 4.3
  • Tallest structures, freestanding structures, and buildings 5
  • Under construction and on-hold 6
  • Proposed 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Debate over definitions

The assessment of the height of man-made structures has been controversial. Various standards have been used by different organisations which has meant that the title of world's tallest structure or building has changed depending on which standards have been accepted. The aforementioned Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat have changed their definitions over time. Some of the controversy regarding the definitions and assessment of tall structures and buildings has included the following:

  • the definition of a structure, a building and a tower
  • whether a structure, building or tower under construction should be included in any assessment
  • whether a structure, building or tower has to be officially opened before it is assessed
  • whether structures built in and rising above water should have their below-water height included in any assessment.
  • whether a structure, building or tower that is guyed is assessed in the same category as self-supporting structures.

Within an accepted definition of a building further controversy has included the following factors:

  • whether only habitable height of the building 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 a habitable floor should be included in the assessment
  • whether a floor built at a high level of a telecommunications or viewing tower should change the tower's definition to that of a "building"

Tallest structures

Warsaw radio mast, the height record holder from 1974 to 1991.
The CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was the world's tallest freestanding structure from 1975 to 2007.
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 highest public observation deck at 555m 829.8 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 and 474 m (1,598 and 1,555 ft). Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) was the 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 completed 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
Self-supporting tower Tokyo Skytree Japan Tokyo 634 2,080 2011
Guyed mast KVLY-TV mast United States Blanchard, North Dakota 628.8 2,063 1963
Clock building Abraj Al Bait Towers Saudi Arabia Mecca 601 1,972 2011
Mast radiator Lualualei VLF transmitter United States Lualualei, Hawaii 458 1,503 1972 ;
Twin towers Petronas Twin Towers Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 452 1,482 1998 ;
Chimney Ekibastuz GRES-2 Power Station Kazakhstan Ekibastuz 419.7 1,377 1987
Radar Dimona Radar Facility Israel Dimona 400 1,312 2008 ;
Lattice tower Kiev TV Tower Ukraine Kiev 385 1,263 1973
Electricity pylon Zhoushan Island Overhead Powerline Tie China Zhoushan 370 1,214 2009 ;
Partially guyed tower Gerbrandy Tower Netherlands IJsselstein 366.8 1,203 1961
Guyed tubular steel mast TV Tower Vinnytsia Ukraine Vinnytsia 354 1,161 1961
Bridge pillar Millau Viaduct France Millau 342 1,122 2004
Tower for scientific research Obninsk Meteorological tower Russia Obninsk 315 1,034 1958
Blaw-Knox Tower Lakihegy Tower Hungary Szigetszentmiklós 314 1,031 1968
Dam Jinping-I Dam China Liangshan 305 1,001 2013
Minaret Hassan II Mosque Morocco Casablanca 210 689 1993
Wind turbine Vestas V164-8.0 Denmark Thisted-Østerild 222[7] 728 2014
Cooling tower Kalisindh Thermal Power Station India Jhalawar 202[8] 663 2012 ;
Monument Gateway Arch United States St. Louis, Missouri 192 630 1965
Water tower Main tower of Kuwait Towers Kuwait Kuwait City 187 614 1979
Wooden structure ATLAS-I at Kirtland Air Force Base United States Albuquerque, New Mexico 180 600 1980
Masonry tower Anaconda Smelter Stack United States Anaconda, Montana 178.3 585 1919
Inclined structure,
Olympic Stadium Canada Montreal 175 574 1976
Obelisk San Jacinto Monument United States La Porte, Texas 173.7 570 1939
Church building Chicago Temple Building United States Chicago, Illinois 173 568 1924
Ferris wheel High Roller United States Las Vegas 167.6 550 2014
Masonry building Mole Antonelliana Italy Torino 167 548 1889
Masonry building Philadelphia City Hall United States Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 167 548 1901
Flagpole, free-standing Jeddah Flagpole Saudi Arabia Jeddah 171[9] 561 2014
Church tower Ulm Minster Germany Ulm 162 530 1890
Industrial hall Vehicle Assembly Building United States Kennedy Space Center, Florida 160 525 1966
Dome Dome of the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro Côte d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro 158 518 1990
Memorial cross Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos Spain El Escorial 152.4 500 1957
Telescope Arecibo Telescope United States Arecibo, Puerto Rico 150 492 1963
Roller coaster Kingda Ka United States Jackson, New Jersey 138.98 456 2005
Tomb Great Pyramid of Giza Egypt Giza 138.8 455.2 2560 BC
Lighthouse Jeddah Light Saudi Arabia Jeddah 133 436 1990[10]
Air traffic control tower Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 Control Tower Malaysia Sepang 141.3 463.6 2013[11]
Statue (including pedestal) Spring Temple Buddha China Lushan 128 420 2002
Stupa Phra Pathom Chedi Thailand Nakorn Pathom 127 417 1870
Sculpture Spire of Dublin Ireland Dublin 121.2 393 2003
Wooden lattice tower Gliwice Radio Tower Poland Gliwice 118 387 1935
Storage silo Schapfen Mill Tower Germany Ulm 115 377 2005
Aerial tramway support tower Pillar of third section of Gletscherbahn Kaprun Austria Kaprun 113.6 373 1966
Sphere Ericsson Globe Sweden Stockholm 85 279 1989
Brick lighthouse Lighthouse of Genoa Italy Genoa 77 253 1128
Gopuram Murudeshwara Temple India Murudeshwara 76 249 2008
Wooden church Church of the Holy Archangels[12] Romania Șurdești 72 236 1766

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 completed in 1974, collapsed on August 8, 1991
Tower for scientific research BREN Tower United States Nevada Test Site 462 1,516 completed in 1962, destroyed on May 23, 2012[13]
Guyed tubular steel mast Shushi-Wan Omega Transmitter Japan Tsushima 389 1,276 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 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 spire destroyed by a tornado in 1953 (Rebuilt since then).
Pre-Industrial Era building Lincoln Cathedral England Lincoln 160 524 completed in 1311, spire blown off in 1549
Storage silo Henninger Turm Germany Frankfurt 120 394 constructed in 1961, demolished in 2013
Lighthouse Lighthouse of Alexandria Egypt Alexandria 115-135 377-443 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  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.[14]

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 antennas 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 1,451-foot (442-meter) to rooftop or 1518 feet with original antennas [15] 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 (110 m) 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.[15] 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 [16]

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 1,048 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.[17] 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 antennas, absolute pinnacle height vs. architectural height, height of highest occupied floor, etc.) resulted in the controversy that occurred upon the completion of the [16]

  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)[19]
  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.[20] 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.[20][21]

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.[16] 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]


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 held (years) Name and location Constructed Height (metres) Height (feet) Coordinates Notes
c. 2650 BC 40 Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt c. 2650 BC 62 203  
c. 2610 BC 5 Meidum Pyramid in Egypt c. 2610 BC 93.5 307 Shortly after completion Meidum Pyramid collapsed due to bad design/instability and is now 65 m (213 ft).
c. 2605 BC 5 Bent Pyramid in Egypt c. 2605 BC 101.1 332 Angle of slope decrease during construction to avoid collapse.
c. 2600 BC 40 Red Pyramid of Sneferu, Egypt c. 2600 BC 105 345  
c. 2560 BC 3871 Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt c. 2560 BC 146 481 By 1439, the Great Pyramid had eroded to a height of approximately 139 m (456 ft).
 1311 238 Lincoln Cathedral in England 1092–1311 160 525 The central spire was destroyed in a storm in 1549. While the reputed height of 525 ft (160 m) is accepted by most sources,[22][23][24][25][26][27] others consider it doubtful[28]
1549 98 St. Mary's Church in Stralsund, Germany 1384–1478 151 495 The spire burnt down after a lightning strike in 1647. The height is 104 m (341 ft) .
1647 227 Strasbourg Cathedral in France 1439 142 469 By 1439, the Great Pyramid had eroded to a height of approximately 139 m (456 ft) hence Strasbourg Cathedral was higher.
1874 2 St. Nikolai in Hamburg, Germany 1846–1874 147 483
1876 4 Cathédrale Notre Dame in Rouen, France 1202–1876 151 495  
1880 4 Cologne Cathedral in Germany 1248–1880 157 515 ;
1884 5 Washington Monument in Washington D.C., United States 1884 169 555 The world's tallest all-stone structure, as well as the tallest obelisk-form structure.
1889 41 Eiffel Tower in Paris, France 1889 300 986 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 1 Chrysler Building in New York, United States 1928–1930 319 1,046
1931 36 Empire State Building in New York, United States 1930–1931 381 1,250 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 8 Ostankino Tower in Moscow, Russia 1963–1967 537 1,762 Remains the tallest in Europe. Fire in 2000 led to extensive renovation.
1975 32 CN Tower in Toronto, Canada 1973–1976 553 1,815 Remains the tallest in the Western Hemisphere
2007 7 Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2004–2009 829.8 2,722 Holder of world's tallest freestanding structure. Topped out at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in 2009.
Diagram of the Principal High Buildings of the Old World, 1884.

Notable mentions include the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria, built in the third century BC and estimated between 115–135 m (377–443 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

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

Record from Record held (years) Name and location Constructed Height above ground Notes
m ft
1889 42 Eiffel Tower, Paris 1889 275 902 Two lower observation decks at 57 and 115 m (187 and 377 ft).
1931 42 Empire State Building, New York City 1931 369[29] 1,250 On the 102nd floor - a second observation deck is located on the 86th floor at 320 m (1,050 ft).
1973 1 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 1 Willis Tower, Chicago 1974 412.4 1,353 103rd floor Skydeck opened on June 22, 1974
1975 1 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 32 CN Tower, Toronto 1976 446.5 1,464.9 Two further observation decks at 342 and 346 m (1,122 and 1,135 ft).
2008 3 Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai 2008 474 1,555 Two further observation decks at 423 and 439 m (1,388 and 1,440 ft).
2011 3 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).
2014 present Burj Khalifa, Dubai 2010 555 1,821 Opened on October 15, 2014 on the 148th floor. There is another observation deck at 452.1 m (1,483 ft) on the 124th floor, which has been open since the building was opened to the public.

Higher observation decks have existed on 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.

Record from Record held (years) Name and location Constructed Height Coordinates Notes
m ft
1913 7 Central mast of Eilvese transmitter, Eilvese, Germany 1913 250 820 Mast was divided in 145 m by an insulator, demolished in 1931
1920 3 Central masts of Nauen Transmitter Station, Nauen, Germany 1920 260 853 2 masts, demolished in 1946
1923 10 Masts of Ruiselede transmitter, Ruiselede, Belgium 1923 287 942 ? 8 masts, destroyed in 1940
1933 6 Lakihegy Tower, Lakihegy, Hungary 1933 314 1,031 Blaw-Knox Tower, insulated against ground, destroyed in 1945, afterwards rebuilt
1939 7 Deutschlandsender Herzberg/Elster, Herzberg (Elster), Germany 1939 335 1,099 Insulated against ground, dismantled 1946/1947
1946 2 Lakihegy Tower, Lakihegy, Hungary 1946 314 1,031 Blaw-Knox Tower, Insulated against ground, rebuilt after destruction in 1945
1948 1 WIVB-TV Tower, Colden, New York, USA 1948 321.9 1,056
1949 1 Longwave transmitter Raszyn, Raszyn, Poland 1949 335 1,099 Insulated against ground
1950 4 Forestport Tower, Forestport, New York, USA 1950 371.25 1,218 Insulated against ground, demolished
1954 2 Griffin Television Tower Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA 1954 480.5 1,576  
1956 3 KOBR-TV Tower, Caprock, New Mexico, USA 1956 490.7 1,610 Collapsed in 1960, afterwards rebuilt
1959 1 WGME TV Tower, Raymond, Maine, USA 1959 495 1,624
1960 2 KFVS TV Mast, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, USA 1960 511.1 1,677
1962 1 WTVM/WRBL-TV & WVRK-FM Tower, Cusseta, Georgia, USA 1962 533 1,749
1963 0 WIMZ-FM-Tower, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA 1963 534.01 1,752
1963 11 KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, USA 1963 628.8 2,063
1974 17 Warsaw Radio Mast, Gąbin, Poland 1974 646.4 2,121 Mast radiator insulated against ground, collapsed in 1991
1991 23 KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, USA 1963 628.8 2,063

Tallest structures, freestanding structures, and buildings

Burj Khalifa and other tallest structures

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 (1,970–2,000 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.


  • 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
Architectural top[30]
Architectural top
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 Skytree, Tokyo, Japan 2011 634 2,080
3 Abraj Al Bait, Jeddah, 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 1,792 104
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
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 1,776 104
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:

  • Kingdom Tower is currently under construction in Saudi Arabia, scheduled to be completed in 2019. It will be the first building to ever reach a height of 1007 meters(3303 feet), and will also become the tallest building in the world.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lakhta Center in Saint Peterburg, Russia, is now under construction. When completed in 2018, the building is expected to be 462.7 m (1,518 ft) tall with 86 storeys. The skyscraper is to become the tallest building in Russia and Europe.


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


  1. ^ a b "CTBUH Criteria for Defining and Measuring Tall Buildings".  
  2. ^ a b "Burj Dubai all set for 09/09/09 soft opening". Emirates Business24/7. Retrieved January 17, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Burj Dubai surpasses KVLY-TV mast to become the world’s tallest man-made structure" (Press release). Emaar. Retrieved May 28, 2008. 
  4. ^ "CN Tower dethroned by Dubai building". Canada: CBC News. September 12, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Burj Dubai scales 150 storeys and is the world’s tallest free-standing structure" (Press release). Emaar Properties PJSC. September 13, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Dubai building surpasses CN Tower in height". (CTVglobemedia). September 13, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2008. 
  7. ^ Kasper Brøndgaard Andersen (18 February 2014). "DONG vælger Vestas' kæmpemølle" ['Dansk Olie og Naturgas' choose Vestas' huge wind turbine] (in Danish). EnergiWatch. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Comansa Jie builds the world’s highest cooling towers". Construcciones Metálicas COMANSA S.A. August 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Tallest Unsupported Flagpole". Guiness Book of World Records. 
  10. ^ Jeddah Port Control Tower on
  11. ^
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ McCord, Keith (May 23, 2012). video "Tallest structure in West demolished".  
  14. ^ Schwanke D. et al. (2003). Mixed-use Development Handbook, 2nd edition. Washington: Urban Land Institute ISBN 978-0-87420-888-7
  15. ^ a b
  16. ^ a b c d
  17. ^ Binders, George (August 2006). 101 of the World's Tallest Buildings. p. 102.
  18. ^ – CTBUH Criteria for Defining and Measuring Tall Buildings
  19. ^ "CTBUH changes height criteria, Burj Khalifa height increases".  
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^
  22. ^ Haughton, Brian(2007),Hidden History: Lost Civilizations, Secret Knowledge, and Ancient Mysteries,p.167
  23. ^ Michael Woods, Mary B. Woods(2009), Seven Wonders of the Ancient World,p.41
  24. ^ Skyscraper News
  25. ^ Darwin Porter, Danforth Prince(2010), Frommer's England 2010,p.588
  26. ^ Mary Jane Taber(1905), The cathedrals of England: an account of some of their distinguishing characteristics,p.100
  27. ^ A Brief History of the World's Tallest Buildings Time magazine
  28. ^ Kendrick, A. F. (1902). "2: The Central Tower". The Cathedral Church of Lincoln: A History and Description of its Fabric and a List of the Bishops. London: George Bell & Sons. p. 60.  
  29. ^ "The Empire State Building". Wired New York. Retrieved December 23, 2007. 
  30. ^ height for inhabited buildings with floors; does not include TV towers and antennas

External links

  • Collection of many record holders on Skyscraperpage
  • Tallest Building in the World information
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