World’s tallest buildings
By Bethany Lyttle, Forbes.com
Few national milestones will mean more to Americans than the completion of One World Trade, the centerpiece of an effort to memorialize and rebuild after 9/11. Already the tallest building in New York City as of April 30, One World Trade’s final height will rise 1,776 feet into Manhattan’s skyline, a direct reference to 1776, the year the Declaration of Independence was signed. When construction is complete in 2013, the structure will be distinguished as the third-tallest building in the world and the tallest in the Western Hemisphere.
But until then, the record for tallest completed building on the western half of the globe goes to Chicago‘s Willis Tower, according to the official word from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats, which measures from the level of the lowest entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment.
The tallest building on the planet? The Burj Khalifa, an architectural marvel in the desert kingdom of Dubai. As for the rest of the top 10, Asia lays claim to all (five of them in China), save for the Willis Tower, the eighth-tallest building in the world.
China’s lion’s share of the world’s tallest buildings is led by the Shanghai World Financial Center, which towers over the Pudong district of Shanghai, China. Designed by American architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, the structure tops out at 1,614 feet and features shopping malls, office space, conference rooms, and a hotel in the clouds. The 174-room Park Hyatt Shanghai, which occupies 35 floors of the building, is ranked as the second-highest hotel in the world.
Still, it’s just a matter of time before the Shanghai World Financial Center will be overshadowed by another. The Shanghai Tower, currently under construction with completion scheduled for 2014, will be the second-tallest building in the world. It will stand an astounding 2,073 feet high. Getting to its top will require racing toward the clouds in one of the building’s 106 elevators, and this will happen at speeds that will clock in at about 3,281 feet per minute.
Plans for an even taller building are under way in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom Tower has been approved for construction on a site that overlooks the Red Sea. If completed as designed, it will be the first building in the world to surpass the 100-kilometer mark.