List of tallest buildings and structures in the world

While determining the world's tallest structure has generally been straightforward, the definition of the world's tallest building or the world's tallest tower is less clear. The disputes generally centre on what should be counted as a building or a tower, and what is being measured.

In terms of absolute height, the tallest structure is currently the Burj Dubai, followed by dozens of radio and television broadcasting towers which measure over 600 metres (about 2,000 feet) in height. There is, however, some debate about:

  • whether structures under construction should be included in the list
  • whether structures rising out of water should have their below-water height included.

For towers, there is debate over:

  • whether guy-wire-supported structures should be counted

For buildings, there is debate over:

  • whether communication towers with observation galleries should be considered habitable buildings.
  • whether only habitable height is considered.
  • whether roof-top antennas should be considered towards height of buildings; with particular interest in whether components that look like spires can be either classified as antennas or architectural detail.

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

Tallest structures

The tallest man-made structure is Burj Dubai, a skyscraper under construction in Dubai that reached in height on September 26, 2008. By 7 April 2008 it had been built higher than the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, USA, which is still the tallest completed structure at . In September it officially surpassed Poland's 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, Ontario, Canada, standing at , is the world's tallest completed freestanding structure on land. Opened in 1976, it was surpassed in height by the rising Burj Dubai on September 12, 2007. It has the world's second highest public observation deck at .

The Petronius Platform stands 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 if below-water height should not be counted, in the same manner as underground "height" is not taken into account in buildings. The Troll A platform is , without any part of that height being supported by wires.

Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan is currently the world's tallest inhabited building in only one of the four main categories that are commonly measured: at as measured to its architectural height (spire). Its roof height and highest occupied floor have recently been overtaken by the Shanghai World Financial Center (roof height ; highest occupied floor ). The Sears Tower is highest in the final category: the greatest height to top of antenna of any building in the world at .

On its completion, projected for 2009, Burj Dubai will break the height record in all four categories for completed buildings by a wide margin. While the final height has not been released to the public, Greg Sang, the construction manager, says that the building will rise to a minimum of . The developer, Emaar, is keeping structural details secret due to competition for the "world's tallest" with other proposed structures, including the nearby Al Burj. The Shanghai World Financial Center has the world's highest roof, highest occupied floor, and the world's highest public observation deck at . It will retain the latter record after the completion of Burj Dubai, as Burj Dubai's observation deck will be at .

Tallest structure by category

Due to the disagreements over how to measure 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 the Sears tower are not considered part of its architectural height, while the spires on top of the Petronas towers are counted.

Category Structure Country City Height (m) Height (ft)
Skyscraper (under construction) - all categories Burj Dubai United Arab Emirates Dubai 707 2,320
Guyed Mast KVLY-TV mast United States Blanchard, N.D. 628.8 2,063
Concrete Tower CN Tower Canada Toronto 553.3 1,815
Skyscraper - to top of antenna Sears Tower United States Chicago 527.3 1,730
Skyscraper - to top of spire Taipei 101 Taiwan Taipei 509.2 1,671
Skyscraper - to top of roof Shanghai World Financial Center China Shanghai 492 1,614
Tower for scientific research BREN Tower United States Nevada Test Site 462 1,516
Mast radiator, insulated against ground VLF transmitter Lualualei United States Lualualei, Hawaii 458.11 1,503
Twin towers Petronas Twin Towers Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 452 1,482
Chimney GRES-2 Power Station Kazakhstan Ekibastusz 419.7 1,377
Radar Dimona Radar Facility Israel Dimona 400 1,312
guyed tubular steel mast Belmont transmitting station United Kingdom Donington on Bain 387.7 1,272
Lattice tower Kiev TV Tower Ukraine Kiev 385 1,263
Partially guyed tower Gerbrandy Tower Netherlands IJsselstein 366.8 1,203
Electricity pylon Yangtze River Crossing, Jiangyin China Jiangyin 346.5 1,137
Bridge pillar Millau Viaduct France Millau 342 1,122
Iron tower Tokyo Tower Japan Tokyo 333 1,092
Five-sided building JPMorgan Chase Tower United States Houston 305 1,002
Dam Nurek Dam Tajikistan Nurek 300 984
Concrete dam Grande Dixence Dam Switzerland Val d'Hérens 285 935
Electricity pylon built of concrete Yangtze River Crossing, Nanjing China Nanjing 257 843
Clock tower NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building Japan Tokyo 240 790
Electricity pylon of HVDC-powerline Yangtze River Crossing, Wuhu China Wuhu 229 751
Minaret Hassan II Mosque Morocco Casablanca 210 689
Wind turbine Fuhrländer Wind Turbine Laasow Germany Laasow, Brandenburg 205 673
Cooling tower Niederaussem Power Station Germany Niederaussem 200 656
Monument Gateway Arch United States St. Louis, Missouri 192 630
90° twisted building Turning Torso Sweden Malmö 190 623
Masonry tower Anaconda Smelter Stack United States Anaconda, Montana 178.3 585
Inclined structure,
Le Stade Olympique Canada Montreal 175 574
Obelisk San Jacinto Monument United States Houston 173.7 570
Church building Chicago Temple Building United States Chicago 173 568
Masonry building Mole Antonelliana Italy Torino 167 548
Masonry building Philadelphia City Hall United States Philadelphia 167 548
Ferris wheel Singapore Flyer Singapore Singapore 165 541.3
Church tower Ulm Minster Germany Ulm 162 530
Industrial hall Vehicle Assembly Building United States Kennedy Space Center 160 525
Memorial cross Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos Spain El Escorial 152.4 500
Roller coaster Kingda Ka United States Jackson, New Jersey 138.98 456
Tomb Great Pyramid of Giza Egypt Giza, Cairo 138.8 455.2
Dome St Peter's Basilica dome Italy Vatican City, Rome 136.57 448.06
Air traffic control tower Suvarnabhumi Airport control tower Thailand Bangkok 132.2 433.7
Flagpole, free-standing Ashgabat Flagpole Turkmenistan Ashgabat 133 436.4
Equilateral Pentagon Baltimore World Trade Center United States Baltimore 123.5 405
Statue (including pedestal) Ushiku Daibutsu Bronze Buddha Statue Japan Ushiku 120 394
Storage silo Henninger Turm Germany Frankfurt 120 394
Sculpture Spire of Dublin Ireland Dublin 120 393
Light advertisement Bayer Cross Leverkusen Germany Leverkusen 118 387
Wooden structure Gliwice Radio Tower Poland Gliwice 118 387
Aerial tramway support tower Pillar of third section of Gletscherbahn Kaprun Austria Kaprun 113.6 373
Electricity pylon of powerline for single phase AC Bremen-Industriehafen Weser Powerline Crossing Germany Bremen 111 364
Lighthouse Yokohama Marine Tower Japan Yokohama 106 324
Sphere Stockholm Globe Arena Sweden Stockholm 85 279
Pre-modern Chinese pagoda Liaodi Pagoda China Ding County, Hebei 84 275
Lantern Tower Boston Stump United Kingdom Boston, Lincolnshire 83.05 272
Statue (not including pedestal) Mamayev Kurgan Russia Volgograd 82 269
Brick lighthouse Torre della Lanterna Italy Genoa 77 253
Brick minaret Qutub Minar India Delhi 72.5 237.8
Electricity pylon (concrete, prefabricated) Pylon 310 of powerline Innertkirchen-Littau-Mettlen Switzerland Littau 59.5 195
Monolithic obelisk Tuthmosis II Obelisk Italy San Giovanni in Laterano 36 118.1

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.

Category Structure Country City Height (m) Height (ft) Remarks
Guyed mast Warsaw Radio Mast Poland Gąbin 646.38 2,121 completed in 1974, collapsed on August 8, 1991
Guyed tubular steel mast Shushi-Wan Omega Transmitter Japan Shushi-Wan 389 1,276 completed in 1973, dismantled in 1998
Structure for destructive 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 31st, 1957
Wooden structure Mühlacker Wood Radio Tower Germany Mühlacker 190 623 completed in 1934, destroyed on April 6, 1945 by Germans to prevent usage by the Allies of World War II.
Masonry building Mole Antonelliana Italy Torino 167.5 549.5 spire destroyed by a tornado in 1953.
Pre-Industrial Era building Lincoln Cathedral United Kingdom Lincoln 160 524 completed in 1311, spire blown off in 1549

Tallest building by function

Category Structure Country City Architectural top
m ft
Mixed Use* Burj Dubai** United Arab Emirates Dubai 707 (of est. 818) 2,320 (of est. 2,684)
Office Taipei 101 Taiwan Taipei 509 1,671
Mixed Use* (completed only) John Hancock Center United States Chicago 344 1,127
Hotel Rose Tower*** United Arab Emirates Dubai 333 1,093
Residential Q1 Australia Gold Coast, Queensland 322.5 1,059
Hotel (in use only) Burj Al Arab United Arab Emirates Dubai 321 1,053
Educational Moscow State University Russia Moscow 240 787
Hospital Guy's Hospital United Kingdom London 143 468
Library W. E. B. DuBois Library United States Amherst, Massachusetts 116 381

* Mixed Use is defined as having both residential and office space.

** As Burj Dubai is still under construction and not yet inhabitable, it currently does not serve a specific function. Upon completion, it will serve as a mixed use building.

*** Although the Rose Tower is complete, it is not currently inhabited. Once the building's hotel opens (proposed date of April 2008 was not met), the tower will become the world's tallest building used exclusively as a hotel.

Tallest buildings

Up until 1998 the tallest building status was essentially uncontested. Counting buildings as structures with floors throughout, and with antenna masts excluded, the Sears Tower in Chicago was considered the tallest. When the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were built, controversy arose because the spire extended nine metres higher than the roof of the Sears Tower. Excluding the spire, the Petronas Towers are not taller than the Sears Tower. At their convention in Chicago, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) reduced the Sears Tower from world's tallest and pronounced it not second tallest, but third, and pronounced Petronas as world's tallest. This action caused a considerable amount of controversy, so CTBUH defined four categories in which the world's tallest building can be measured:

  1. Height to the architectural top (including spires and pinnacles, but not antennas, masts or flagpoles). This measurement is the most widely utilized 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
  4. Height to Tip

The height is measured from the pavement level of the main entrance. At the time, the Sears Tower held first place in the second and third categories. Petronas held the first category, and the original World Trade Towers held the fourth. Within months, however, a new antenna mast was placed on the Sears Tower, giving it hold of the fourth category. On April 20, 2004, the 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 Dubai had surpassed Taipei 101 in height, reaching 512 m (1,680 feet) tall. However Burj Dubai is still under construction.

Today, Taipei 101 leads in the first category with 509 m (1,671 feet), but has been surpassed in the second two categories by the Shanghai World Financial Center whose roof height is 492 m (1,614 feet) and whose highest occupied floor is at 474 m (1,555 feet). Before either of these buildings were completed, the first category was held by the Petronas Twin Towers with 452 m (1,483 feet), and before that by Sears Tower with 442 m (1,451 feet). The second and third categories were held by the Sears Tower, with 412 m (1,351 feet) and 442 m (1,451 feet) respectively.

The Sears Tower still leads in the fourth category with 527 m (1,729 feet), 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 Trade Center's destruction in 2001. Its antenna mast included, 1 World Trade Center measured 526 m (1,727 feet). 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 WTC site.

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.

History of record holders in each CTBUH category

Date (Event) Architectural top Highest occupied floor Rooftop Antenna
2008: Shanghai World Financial Center completed Taipei 101 Shanghai World Financial Center Shanghai World Financial Center Sears Tower
2003: Taipei 101 completed Taipei 101 Taipei 101 Taipei 101 Sears Tower
2000: Sears Tower antenna extension Petronas Towers Sears Tower Sears Tower Sears Tower
1998: Petronas Towers completed Petronas Towers Sears Tower Sears Tower World Trade Center
1996: CTBUH defines categories Sears Tower Sears Tower Sears 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 percent 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 12 May 2008, the tallest freestanding structure on land is the still under construction Burj Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The building, which now stands at , surpassed the height of the previous record holder, the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, on September 12, 2007. It is scheduled to be completed in 2009, and is planned to rise to a height of over .


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).

Held record Name and Location Constructed Height (m) Height (ft) Notes
From To
c. 2600 BC c. 2570 BC Red Pyramid of Sneferu, Egypt c. 2600 BC 105 345  
c. 2570 BC c. AD 1300 Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt c. 2570 BC 146 481 By AD 1439, the Great Pyramid had eroded to a height of approximately 139 m (455 ft).
c. 1300 1549 Lincoln Cathedral, England 1092–1311 160 525 The central spire was destroyed in a storm in 1549. While the reputed height of 525 ft is doubted by A.F. Kendrick, other sources agree on this height.
1549 1625 St. Olaf's Church, Tallinn, Estonia 1438–1519 159 522 The spire burnt down after a lightning strike in 1625 and was rebuilt several times. The current height is 123 m.
1625 1647 St. Mary's Church, Stralsund, Germany 1384–1478 151 495 The spire burnt down after a lightning strike in 1647. The current height is 104 m.
1647 1874 Strasbourg Cathedral, France 1439 142 469
1874 1876 St. Nikolai, Hamburg, Germany 1846–1874 147 483
1876 1880 Cathédrale Notre Dame, Rouen, France 1202–1876 151 495  
1880 1884 Cologne Cathedral, Germany 1248–1880 157 515
1884 1889 Washington Monument, United States 1884 169 555  
1889 1930 Eiffel Tower, Paris, France 1889 300 986 The addition of a telecommunications tower in the 1950s brought the overall height to 324 m.
1930 1931 Chrysler Building, New York, United States 1928–1930 319 1,046
1931 1967 Empire State Building, New York, United States 1930–1931 381 1,250  
1967 1975 Ostankino Tower, Moscow, Russia 1963–1967 537 1,762 Remains the tallest in Europe
1975 2007 CN Tower, Toronto, Canada 1973–1976 553 1,815 Remains the tallest in North America
2007 present Burj Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2004–2008 707.3* 2,321* Surpassed the CN Tower in September 2007. Estimated to rise higher than 800 m (2,625 ft) when completed in 2009.

Notable mentions include the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria, built in the third century BC, and estimated between 115 to 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 tall, and was constructed in the first half of the fourteenth century, and the 97 m tall Torre degli Asinelli in Bologna, also Italy, built between 1109 and 1119.

* This is the current height of Burj Dubai, as of 26 September 2008. When completed, it is expected to rise over

World's highest observation deck

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

Held record Name and Location Constructed Height of highest observation deck (m) Height of highest observation deck (ft) Notes
From To
 1889  1931 Eiffel Tower, Paris, France  1889 275 902 Two further observation decks 57 and 115 metres above ground.
 1931  1973 Empire State Building, New York City, USA  1931 369 1211 A second observation deck is located on the 86th floor at 320 metres above ground.
 1973  1976 World Trade Center, New York City, USA  1973 420 1378 Destroyed during the September 11, 2001 attacks
 1976  2008 CN Tower, Toronto, Canada  1976 446.5 1398 Two further observation decks 342 and 346 metres above ground.
 2008  present Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China  2008 474 1555 Other observation decks are 423 and 439 metres above ground.

Higher observation decks have existed on mountain peaks 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 (1095 ft.) above the Arkansas River.

Timeline of guyed structures on land

As most of the tallest structures are guyed masts and the absolute height record of architectural structures on land is since 1954 kept by them, 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) Notes
From To
 1913  1920 Central mast of Eilvese transmitter, Eilvese, Germany  1913 250 820 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 2 masts, demolished in 1946
 1923  1933 Masts of Ruiselede transmitter, Ruiselede, Belgium  1923 287 942 8 masts, destroyed in 1940
 1933  1939 Lakihegy Tower, Lakihegy, Hungary  1933 314 1,031 Blaw-Knox Tower, insulated against ground, destroyed in 1945, afterwards rebuilt
 1939  1945 Deutschlandsender Herzberg/Elster, Herzberg (Elster), Germany  1939 335 1,099 Insulated against ground, dismantled in 1945
 1945  1946 Blaw-Knox Tower Liblice, Liblice, Czech Republic  1936 280.4 920 Demolished on October 17, 1972 by explosives. Replaced in 1976 by 2 355 masts.
 1946  1948 Lakihegy Tower, Lakihegy, Hungary  1946 314 1,031 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
 1949  1950 Longwave transmitter Raszyn, Raszyn, Poland  1949 335 1,099 Insulated against ground
 1950  1954 Forestport Tower, Forestport, New York, USA  1950 371.25 1,218 Insulated against ground
 1954  1959 Griffin Television Tower Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA  1954 480.5 1,576  
 1956  1959 KOBR-TV Tower, Caprock, New Mexico, USA  1956 490.7 1,610 Collapsed in 1960
 1959  1960 WGME TV Tower, Raymond, Maine, USA  1959 495 1,624
 1960  1962 KFVS TV Mast, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, USA  1960 511.1 1,677
 1962  1963 WTVM/WRBL-TV & WVRK-FM Tower, Cusseta, Georgia, USA  1962 533 1,749 Located in Cusseta, Georgia
 1963  1963 WIMZ-FM-Tower, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA  1963 534.01 1,752
 1963  1974 KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, USA  1963 628.8 2,063
 1974  1991 Warsaw Radio Mast, Gąbin, Poland  1974 646.4 2,121 Mast radiator insulated against ground, collapsed in 1991
 1991   KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, USA  1963 628.8 2,063

Tallest structures, freestanding structures, and buildings

See also: Timeline of three tallest structures in the world

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 600-610m (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 are listed.
  • The freestanding structures list uses pinnacle height and includes structures over 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.


  • Seven buildings appear on the freestanding structures category list with different heights than of 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 e.g. did collapse are excluded.

Rank Name and location Year
Architectural top Floors
Structures (supported)
1 KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, United States 1963
2 KXJB-TV mast, Galesburg, North Dakota, United States 1998
3 KXTV/KOVR Tower, Walnut Grove, California, United States 2000
Structures (media supported)
1 Petronius Platform, Gulf of Mexico 2000
2 Baldpate Platform, Gulf of Mexico 1998
3 Bullwinkle Platform, Gulf of Mexico 1989
Freestanding structures
1 Burj Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (under construction) 2009
162 (predicted)
2 CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1976
3 Ostankino Tower, Moscow, Russia 1967
4 Sears Tower, Chicago, United States 1974 110
5 Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan 2003 101
6 Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, People's Republic of China 2008 101
7 Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai, People's Republic of China 1996
8 John Hancock Center, Chicago, United States 1969 457 m (1,500 ft) 100
9 Petronas Tower I, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 88
9 Petronas Tower II, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 88
11 Empire State Building, New York City, United States 1936 449 (1,472 ft) 102
12 Milad Tower, Tehran, Iran 2007
13 Kuala Lumpur Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1995
14 Jin Mao Building, Shanghai, People's Republic of China 1998 88
15 Chimney of GRES-2 Power Station, Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan 1987
16 Two International Finance Centre, Hong Kong 2003 88
17 Tianjin Radio and Television Tower, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China 1991
18 Central TV Tower, Beijing, People’s Republic of China 1992
1 Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan 2003 101
2 Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, People's Republic of China 2008 101
3= Petronas Tower I, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 88
3= Petronas Tower II, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 88
5 Sears Tower, Chicago, United States 1974 110
6 Jin Mao Building, Shanghai, People's Republic of China 1998 88
7 Two International Finance Centre, Hong Kong 2003 88
8 CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China 1997 80
9 Shun Hing Square, Shenzhen, People's Republic of China 1996 69
10 Empire State Building, New York, United States 1931 102
11 Central Plaza, Hong Kong 1992 78
12 Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong 1990 70
13 Bank of America Tower, New York, United States 2008 54
14 Almas Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2008 74
15 Emirates Office Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2000 54
16 Tuntex Sky Tower, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 1997 85
17 Aon Center, Chicago, United States 1973 83
18 The Center, Hong Kong 1998 73
19 John Hancock Center, Chicago, United States 1969 100
20= Rose Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2007 72
20= Shimao International Plaza, Shanghai, People's Republic of China 2006 60
22 Minsheng Bank Building, Wuhan, People's Republic of China 2007 68
23= Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea (topped out) 1992 105
23= China World Trade Center Tower 3, Beijing, People's Republic of China 2008 74
25 Q1 Tower, Gold Coast City, Australia 2005 78
26 Burj Al Arab, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 1999 60
27= Chrysler Building, New York, United States 1930 77
27= Nina Tower I, Hong Kong 2007 80
27= New York Times Building, New York, United States 2007 52
30 Bank of America Plaza, Atlanta, United States 1992 55
31 U.S. Bank Tower, Los Angeles, United States 1989 73
32 Menara Telekom, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2001 55
33 Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2000 56
34 One Island East, Hong Kong 2008 70
35 AT&T Corporate Center, Chicago, United States 1989 60
36 The Address Downtown Burj Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2008 63
37 JPMorgan Chase Tower, Houston, United States 1982 75
38 Baiyoke Tower II, Bangkok, Thailand 1997 85
39 Two Prudential Plaza, Chicago, United States 1990 64
40= Wells Fargo Plaza, Houston, United States 1983 71
40= Kingdom Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 2002 41

Source: Emporis

Future record-breaking structures

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

Under construction

  • Burj Dubai , under construction in Dubai, UAE, is expected to be tall. It is currently under construction, and as of 26 September 2008, it is tall, with 160 completed floors. It is currently taller than the CN Tower, the tallest completed freestanding structure. If completed, it will be the tallest manmade structure of any kind in history. Construction began in September 2004 and completion is expected in September 2009.
  • The Pentominium, under construction in Dubai, is expected to be tall and have 120 floors. If completed, it will be the tallest all-residential building in the world. Construction began in 2007 and completion is expected in 2011.
  • The Russia Tower, under construction in Moscow's International Business Centre, is expected to be 612.2 m (2,009 ft.) tall and have 118 floors. If completed, it will surpass the aforementionned Federation Tower East as the tallest building in Europe. Construction began in September 2007 and completion is expected in 2012.
  • Incheon Tower is a 151-floor, tower in Incheon, South Korea. It is estimated to be completed in 2012.
  • The Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower, under construction in Guangzhou, China, is expected to be tall. If completed, it will be tallest concrete tower, as well as the tallest structure in Asia. Construction began in November 2005 and completion is expected in 2009.
  • The Chicago Spire (formerly Fordham Spire), under construction in Chicago, is expected to be and have 150 floors. If completed, it would surpass the CN Tower as the tallest freestanding building in North America, and would be the second tallest all-residential building in the world (behind the aforementionned Pentominium). Construction began in June 2007 and completion is expected in early 2012.
  • The Jakarta Tower (Menara Jakarta) is currently on-hold in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is expected to be 558 m (1,831 ft.) tall up to the antenna, thus may be tallest concrete tower. It is expected to be completed in 2011.
  • The Federation Tower East, under construction in Moscow's International Business Centre, is expected to be 506 m (1,660 ft.) tall (to the tip of the spire) and have 93 floors. If completed, it will surpass the aforementionned Mercury City Tower as the tallest building in Europe. Construction began in 2003 and completion is expected in 2009.
  • The Mercury City Tower, under construction in Moscow's International Business Centre, is expected to be 380 m (1,247 ft.) tall and have 70 floors. If completed, it will be the tallest building in Europe as well as Europe's first supertall building. Construction began in late 2005 and completion is expected in by the end of 2008.


  • The X-Seed 4000 is the tallest building ever fully envisioned, meaning that the designs for construction have been completed. The X-Seed 4000 "was never meant to be built," says Georges Binder, managing director of Buildings & Data, a firm which compiles data banks on buildings worldwide. "The purpose of the plan was to earn some recognition for the firm, and it worked."[1] Its proposed 4,000 metres (13,123 ft) height, 6 km (3.7 mi) wide sea-base, and 800 floor capacity could accommodate five hundred thousand to one million inhabitants.
  • The Shimizu TRY 2004 Mega-City Pyramid is a proposed project for construction of a massive pyramid over Tokyo Bay in Japan. The structure would be 12 times higher than the Great Pyramid at Giza, and would house 750,000 people. If built, it will be the largest man-made structure on Earth. The structure would be 2,004 m (6,575 feet) high and would answer Tokyo's increasing lack of space.
  • The Mile High Tower (Arabic: برج الميل‎) is a proposed skyscraper currently planned for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia by British engineers Hyder Consulting. It is proposed to rise in height, and has already had its necessary funding set aside.
  • The Bionic Tower is a proposed vertical city, an extremely large building designed for human habitation, designed by Spanish architects Eloy Celaya, and Mª Rosa Cervera and Javier Gómez Pioz. It would have a main tower 1,228 metres (4,029 ft) high, with 300 stories that would house about 100,000 people.
  • Al Burj is a proposed skyscraper, also planned for Dubai, UAE, expected to be approximately tall.
  • Murjan Tower is a Swedish company's proposal for a supertall skyscraper in Bahrain. Designed by the Danish architect Henning Larsens Tegnestue A/S, it is expected to be in height and comprise 200 floors.
  • The proposed Mubarak al-Kabir Tower in Madinat al-Hareer (City Of Silk), (Kuwait) by British engineers Eric Kuhne and Associates is projected to be in height.
  • The proposed Sky City 1000 is a possible future urban supertall skyscraper project aimed at helping put an end to major congestion and lack of greenspace in the Tokyo, Japan metropolitan area. The plan consists of a building 1,000 metres (3,281 ft) tall and 400 m (1,312 ft) wide at the base, and a total floor area of 8 km² (3.1 sq mi).
  • DIB-200 is a possible mixed use supertall skyscraper project proposed by Japanese Kajima Construction, and designed by Sadaaki Masuda and Scott Howe, that if built, would be 800 metres (2,625 ft) tall.
  • Solar updraft tower, Ciudad Real, Spain, .
  • さっぽろテレビ塔#新テレビ塔構想 is a proposal in Sapporo, Japan for a height of planned to be completed in 2015.
  • In USA at several sites, broadcasting towers with heights between 600 and 610 metres are planned according to FCC-database. Some of them will be built close to existing towers of similar height, making them to the tallest tower twins in the world.

Name Town Height Coordinates FCC-Entry
Central Missouri State Broadcasting Tower Syracuse, Missouri 609.6 m 2000 ft
Hitchcock Univision Radio Tower Hitchcock, Texas 609.6 m 2000 ft
Agate American Media Tower Agate, Colorado 609.5 m 2000 ft
Busterville Vertical Properties Broadcasting Tower Busterville, Texas 609.5 m 2000 ft
Metcalf Pegasus Broadcasting Tower Metcalf, Georgia 609 m 1998 ft
Beasley Broadcasting Tower Immokalee , Florida 608.7 m 1997 ft
Hoyt KKDD-FM Tower Hoyt, Colorado 608.1 m 1995 ft
Wiliam Smith Broadcasting Tower Walker, Iowa 607 m 1991 ft
Plymouth Pappas Telecasting Tower 2 Plymouth County, Iowa 603.5 m 1980 ft

Never-built record-breaking structures

  • The Houston Tower was an envisioned skyscraper that would have been nearly 1.3 miles tall (6864 ft/2092 m) and taken up nine city blocks in Houston.
  • The Illinois, envisioned by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1956, was to be a mile high (1609 m / 5280 ft) skyscraper in Chicago.
  • Until late 1995, there were plans to rebuild the collapsed Warsaw Radio Mast to its previous height on the same site, using the basements of the old mast. Although some refurbishment of the basements started, work was canceled after violent protests by local residents, who feared harmful radiation effects from the high-power transmitter served by the antenna. A new transmission facility with two smaller masts measuring 330 and 289 m was built as a replacement in 1998-99 at Solec Kujawski.
  • The Miglin-Beitler Skyneedle in Chicago was to be tall in 1988.
  • Eaton's / John Maryon Tower was a planned (686m to spire) tall building in Toronto in 1971.
  • The Grant USA Tower was planned by developer Harry Grant, who started New York Apple Tours. The building was to be completed in 1986 in Newark, New Jersey and to be the tallest hotel, tallest building and tallest structure. Harry Grant went bankrupt and the building never broke ground.
  • The Palace of Soviets in Moscow, planned in 1932, was to be 415 m (including a 100 m Lenin statue), and would have been the tallest building in the world at the time if completed. Construction was halted during World War II, during which the uncompleted structure was partially dismantled; its foundations were later to serve as the world's largest open-air swimming pool before being razed in 1995.
  • During the Russian October Revolution of 1917, Vladimir Tatlin designed a structure named The Monument to the Third International, which was to serve as the international headquarters of the Komintern. Better known as the Tatlin Tower, the structure was to rise to a height of , which would have made it by far the tallest building in the world at that time, but the time and resource shortages that resulted from the Russian Civil War halted the project.
  • Watkin's Tower in Wembley, London was planned in 1891 to surpass the Eiffel Tower by , but construction stopped before that height was reached due to unstable land. The tower remnants were dismantled in the 1900s, and the site was redeveloped as Wembley Stadium.
  • 7 South Dearborn in Chicago was planned in 1999 to be .
  • Construction was scheduled to begin in 2006 on the now-canceled Strait of Messina Bridge. It would have been the world's largest suspension bridge as well as the tallest, as the proposed height of the two towers, , exceeded the of current record-holder Millau Viaduct in France.
  • Construction was cancelled on the Grollo Tower (named after the architect) in Melbourne's developing Dockland precinct in April 2001 after Melbourne's Docklands Authority ruled it out of the tender for development of the Batman Hill's precinct. The area is now occupied by a mixture of smaller commercial and residential buildings. The Grollo Tower would have been the world's tallest building at the time at 560m (1837ft) tall.
  • A series of super-tall sky-scrapers were planned for the major Australian cities of Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth from 1985-95 but were all cancelled. The plans included (in order of height) the Grollo Tower (mentioned above), Brisbane Central Tower (450m/1476ft, Brisbane), Minuzzo Tower (450m/1476ft, Brisbane), CBD-1 (445m/1459ft, Sydney), Melbourne Plaza (338m/1109ft, Melbourne), City Tower (305m/1000ft, Sydney) and the Westralia Tower (287m/941ft, Perth). The buildings would have been some of the tallest buildings in the world at the time, but were cancelled mainly due to their unnecessary heights which would have dwarfed all surrounding buildings
  • The Ultima Tower is a hypothetical two-mile high skyscraper by architect Eugene Tsui that would be 3,217 m (10,560 ft) tall and comprise 500 stories if built.
  • The Millennium Freedom Tower was a project to be located in Newport, Kentucky, United States was originally proposed in 1998 to be dedicated on Dec 31, 1999. The original height was a proposed 1,234 feet (376 m) and was later lowered to 1,103 ft (306 m). Pilings were driven in 1998, but construction never continued above ground.
  • The World Science Tower was to be one of the world's tallest buildings, proposed in 1964. It was to be located near Larkspur, Colorado, U.S.A. Its design would have had an amusement park at the base.


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