If we turn the pages of world's history, we will find an interesting fact that man has been trying to build the 'tallest building', 'tallest tower' or 'tallest structure' in the world. It must be because man always wants to own the biggest thing! America used to own the local of the country with the biggest buildings but as we can see from the list below, this has definitely changed.
So lets go through the list!
Burj Dubai (818 m): Burj Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirates became the world's tallest high-rise building on July 24, 2007, and the world's tallest self-supporting structure on September 12, 2007. When completed, this building is intended to be the tallest in the world. The actual height of this building was a mystery for years. The people involved with the development and construction concealed its exact height to keep competitors guessing. When Samsung contractors placed a spire and a beacon on top of the building in late December, 2008 construction crews confirmed to local media that the spire reached the 818 meter height. Adrian Smith is the architecture. The foundation is made up of 192 concrete and steel pilings more than 164 feet (50 meters) deep. They are joined by a 12-foot-thick raft upon which the skyscraper rests. This building has about 30 setbacks and 16,000 underground parking spaces.
Taipei 101, Taipei in Taiwan (509 m): Taipei 101, whose pinnacle reached full height on Oct. 9, 2003, is currently the official world's tallest building in the categories of highest structurally, highest roof, and highest occupied floor. Taipei 101 was opened to the public on December 31, 2004. Taipei 101 holds the world record in three of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat's height categories: tallest to the structural top, tallest to the roof, and highest occupied floor. The 89th floor holds an indoor observation area, and an outdoor observation deck is located on the 91st floor. Total floors are 101.
Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China (492 m): The foundation stone was laid on August 27, 1997. On February 13, 2003, the Mori Group increased the buildings height to 492 meters and 101 stories from the initial plans for a 460-meter, 94 story building. The Shanghai World Financial Center was planned to be the tallest building in the world when it was designed in 1997. The 97 Story building would surpass the spires of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. However, Plans where changed but the Tower couldn't be built any higher than its present height at 492 meters since the already done foundation was meant to support a 460 meter tall building. At 480 meters, the Shanghai World Financial Center is the second tallest building in the world as of 2008. It is 16 meters shorter than the 508 meter Taipei 101 in Taiwan.
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (452 m) : Petronas Towers, twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that are the world's tallest twin towers. Standing 1,483 ft (452 m) high, they were designed by the Argentinean-American architect Cesar Pelli. Completed in 1997. The Petronas Towers rise to 452 meters high, formerly held the "official" World's Tallest Building titles for seven years, from 1998 to 2003, due to their decorative spires. However, this is only possible by the spires atop the two buildings.
Buildings were built on the world's deepest foundations. The 120-meter foundations were built by Bachy Soletanche, and required massive amounts of concrete. Supported by 23-by-23-metre concrete cores and an outer ring of widely-spaced super columns, the towers use a sophisticated structural system that accommodates its slender profile and provides from 1300 to 2000 square metres of column-free office space per floor. The towers feature a skybridge (constructed by Kukdong Engineering & Construction) between the two towers on 41st and 42nd floors. The bridge is 170 m high and 58 m long.
Nanjing Greenland Financial Center, Nanjing, China (450 m): Designed by architect Marshall Strabala, the Nanjing Greenland Financial Center (above) is a 297,290-square meters (3.2 million-square foot) mixed-use development including office space, hotel, retail and apartments in Nanjing, China. The form of the Nanjing Greenland Financial Center was derived from three central elements of the rich history of Nanjing: the Yangtze River which flows through the city, the lush, green garden landscape and the dragon and column iconography prevalent in Chinese culture. The tower's shape is also highly functional; its triangular form relates to shape and size of the site while maximizing views of the mountains, lake and historic Nanjing buildings. The building's spire soars to a height of 458 meters, making Nanjing Greenland Financial Center one of China's tallest structures.
Sears Tower, Chicago, USA (442 m): Until Taipei 101 was topped out in 2004; the Sears Tower held title to the world's highest roof and highest occupied floor. The structure is formed from 9 bundled square tubes, each 75 feet wide with no columns between the core and perimeter. Two of the tubes are 50 floors high, two are 66 floors, three are 90, and two are 108. This has been the tallest building in Chicago since 1974. For a timeline of Chicago's tallest building through history.
Guangzhou West Tower, Guangzhou, China (438 m): Guangzhou Twin Towers West Tower is a 432 meter tall skyscraper with 103 floors under construction at Zhujiang Avenue West in Tianhe District at Guangzhou, China. It will be when completed used as conference centre, hotel and office building. The lowest 69 floors of Guangzhou Twin Towers West Tower are planned to be used as office, the floors 70 to 98 as hotel and in floor 99 and 100 there will be an observation deck. Construction of Guangzhou Twin Towers West Tower, which was designed by Wilkinson Eyre, started in 2005. It will be completed in 2009 and than together with its twin one of the tallest high rise buildings in Guangzhou and China.
Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai, China (421 m): The tallest building in the People's Republic of China from 1999 to 2008, when it was replaced by Shanghai World Financial Center. The tower has an observatory (with a floor space of 1,520 square meters) on the 88th floor, at a height of 340.1 meters. It is the largest and highest observation deck in China. Admission is 50 rmb (about $6 US). The tower is designed to withstand an earthquake of 6 on the Richter scale and the strongest level of typhoon.
Two International Finance Centre, Hong Kong, China (415 m): This is the tallest building in Hong Kong, surpassing Central Plaza. This building is one of 18 buildings involved in the Hong Kong. Constructed in 2003, the IFC with its two skyscrapers overlooking the Victoria Harbor is a prominent landmark in Hong Kong, China. One International Finance Center is 38 storeys high. It has 88 storeys and has been designed to house financial firms with advanced telecommunications, raised floors for better cabling and floor plans that are almost without columns.
Trump International Hotel & Tower, Chicago, USA (415 m): The building was originally planned with a large office section on the lower floors, but sales of the residential portion performed so well that the office floors were dropped from the plan. When this project was originally announced, it was proclaimed as a future world's tallest building. After the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001 the plans were scaled down a few hundred feet. Designed by Adrian D. Smith, FAIA, RIBA Design Partner at Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP. As the tower rises, the floor plan tapers gradually in four steps at heights of 65, 121, 201 and 338 meters.
So, if you get a chance to visit the cities with tallest buildings, you must visit them as it would be certainly a life time experience and remember to take a photo so you can boost about it to your friends!
(Sources: emporis.com, dirjournal.com, tallestbuildingintheworld.com)