Tallest Building In The World | Top 10

We've got the list of the world's tallest buildings, but how many do you think have been climbed?

Unlike the highest mountain in Europe, there’s no question as to what the tallest building in the world is – it’s quite a black and white picture really (it’s the Burj Khalifa). The tallest building in the world doesn’t sit between two tectonic plates and can be clearly measured without taking into account the prominence of each building – just measure top to bottom.

With that being said, this is a list of the tallest buildings in the world (we’re not including out and out towers, like the 634 metre high Tokyo Skytree).

The tallest building in the world is something that will frequently change.There are buildings being constructed which will knock many buildings off this list. There is, for example, a new number one incoming – keep an eye out for the kilometre high Jeddah Tower due later this year (2020). Don’t worry, we’ll be sure to keep this list of the tallest buildings in the world updated as and when the buildings are built.

“The Burj Khalifa reaches … 8,020 metres short of the highest mountain in the world”

The most interesting thing about all of these buildings is that nine out of ten of them are in Asia, and all were built in the 21st century – showing the speed at which the eastern hemisphere are developing and building these skyscrapers.

It’s also interesting to look at the height of these buildings. The highest, the Burj Khalifa, reaches up to a height of 828 metres. That’s 8,020 metres short of the highest mountain in the worldMount Everest. Better luck next time, Burj.

1) Burj Khalifa

Pictured: Burj Khalifa, tallest building in the world

Height: 828 m
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Construction started: 6th January 2009
Construction completed: 1st October 2009

Coming in at an astonishing 1.5 million US dollars, the Burj Khalifa, the current tallest building in the world is also one of the most expensive buildings in this roundup. Consisting of over 160 floors, the building has a multi-purpose use ranging from ‘Armani Hotel’ to office spaces.

Because of the extremely weak underlying rock beneath the Burj Khalifa, over 43,000 metres cubed of concrete had to be used to construct the concrete and steel foundations. These foundations weigh more than 110,000 tonnes and are buried more than 50 metres deep. All of the foundations have been designed to support the astonishing total building weight of 450,000 tonnes.

Has the Burj Khalifa been climbed? Well-known ‘Spiderman’ Alain Robert spent six hours climbing the outside of the Burj Khalifa. Unlike many of his other attempts, Robert was assisted by a rope and harness in order to comply with UAE safety laws.

The Burj Khalifa has also been climbed to the top by three BASE jumpers, who then jumped from the summit of the world’s tallest building.

2) Shanghai Tower

Pictured: Shanghai Tower, second tallest building in the world

Height: 632 m
Location: Shanghai, China
Construction started: 29th November 2008
Construction completed: 6th September 2014

There’s a whopping 200 metre difference between the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world and this, the Shanghai Tower – the second tallest building in the world. Once the grounds of a golf driving range, this area of Shanghai now hosts a spiralling tower.

The most interesting thing about the Shanghai Tower is its green credentials. In 2013, close to the time of its completion, it was considered as one of ‘The greenest super high-rise buildings on earth.’ These credentials have been achieved by capturing rainwater for internal use, a 25% reduction in structural steel, and 270 wind turbines located near the top of the tower which have been used to generate up to 10% of the tower’s energy.

Has the Shanghai Tower been climbed? Our Russian friends over at On The Roofs created this stunning video as they ascended the Shanghai Tower in the evening fog and went one further than just climbing the building itself as they continued to climb to the top of a crane perched on the top of the building.

3) Makkah Clock Tower

Pictured: Makkah Clock Tower, third tallest building in the world

Height: 601 m
Location: Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Construction started: 2004
Construction completed: 2011

Not only is the Makkah Clock Tower the third tallest building in the world, it’s also the tallest clock tower in the world. Just look at it for goodness sake. It looks like Big Ben on steroids.

Although the clock tower only reaches the “measly” height of 530 metres, the 71 metre tall spire built on top of the clock tower brings the overall height up to 601 metres.

Has the Makkah Clock Tower been climbed? There haven’t yet been any recorded ascents of the Makkah Clock Tower.

4) Ping An Finance Centre

Pictured: Ping An Finance Centre, fourth tallest building in the world

Height: 599 m
Location: Shenzhen, China
Construction started: 2010
Construction completed: 2017

Next up is the 115 floor Ping An Finance Centre, which is host to the Ping An Insurance Group, funnily enough. Aside from insurance salesmen though, the Ping An Finance Centre also houses offices, hotels and retail spaces – alongside an entire conference centre.

Has the Ping An Finance Centre been climbed? The Ping An Finance Centre has seen numerous climbing attempts – the most notable of these has to be the successful attempt made by Russian urban explorers On The Roofs, who captured the spectacular footage below. The Russians believed that they were climbing the second highest building in the world at the time.

This was an easy mistake to make as the Ping An Finance Centre was originally planned to have a 60 metre high antenna on the top, making it the second tallest building in the world, but this was scrapped as it would’ve disrupted the local flight paths.

5) Lotte World Tower

Pictured: Lotte World Tower, fifth tallest building in the world

Height: 555 m
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Construction started: 1st February 2011
Construction completed: 22nd December 2016

With a similar look to that of The Shard in London, the Lotte World Tower took many years of planning to get the look just right – with alternate designs claimed to have completely ripped off the look of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Although the first designs of the buildings were being planned in 1989, construction on the building didn’t start until 2011.  The Lotte World Tower was finally finished in December 2016 and remains the tallest building in South Korea.

Has the Lotte World Tower been climbed? Again, our friends over at On The Roofs have completed a climb of the Lotte World Tower, which they dubbed as the “Most dangerous climbing in our experience”. The tower had not yet been fully completed, meaning that there was still a crane at the top, allowing them to climb higher.

6) One World Trade Center

Pictured: One World Trade Center, sixth tallest building in the world

Height: 541 m
Location: New York, United States
Construction started: 27th April 2006
Construction completed: 10th May 2013

Following the terrorist attack of the original World Trade Center, the One World Trade Center designs were soon put to the residents of New York, with the winning design being selected in 2002. However, it wasn’t until 2006 before the construction began.

Although only taking sixth spot on this list of the world’s tallest buildings, the One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and tallest building in the United States. Not only does it rank high on the list of the world’s tallest buildings, the One World Trade Center also comfortably takes the top spot for the most expensive building in this list – coming in at a final price tag of $3.9 billion, almost a billion dollars over their planned estimate.

Has the One World Trade Center been climbed? Aside from the obvious climbs frequently made my engineers as they scale the top spire, the building has been reportedly climbed by Justin Casquejo – a New York local who supposedly climbed the building before it had been opened.

7) Tianjin CTF Finance Centre

Height: 530 m
Location: Tianjin, China
Construction started: 2013
Construction completed: 2019

This skyscraper wouldn’t look out of place in a futuristic sci-fi thriller. There’s a good reason for this. Currently the youngest building on this list of the tallest buildings in the world, the Tianjin CTF Finance Centre has been designed with a square plan with rounded corners. Research has shown that this design can withstand huge lateral forces due to its aerodynamic properties.

Has the Tianjin CTF Finance Centre been climbed? Given its recent completion date, the Tianjin CTF Finance Centre has not been climbed, neither has there been a reported ascent whilst it was being built.

8) Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre

Pictured: Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, eighth tallest building in the world

Height: 530 m
Location: Guangzhou, China
Construction started: 29th September
Construction completed: October 2016

The Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre has been externally cladded in both glass and white terracotta – the latter was used as it has been historically used in indigenous craft in the city of Guangzhou.

The blocked shape of the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre may resemble something off a Tetris game, but it has been designed like this for a reason – with each block defining a different usage for the building; ranging from apartments to offices.

This building hasn’t really got much going for it, apart from the fact that it’s got the fastest elevator in the world – able to travel at a speed of 47 mph. Whoosh.

Has the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre been climbed? There haven’t been any reported ascents of the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre.

9) China Zun

Pictured: China Zun, ninth tallest building in the world

Height: 528 m
Location: Beijing, China
Construction started: 19th September 2011
Construction completed: 2018

Completed in 2018, the China Zun was the largest building in the world to be built in that year. Surpassing the China World Trade Center, China Zun is now the largest building in Beijing.

Following a report in the Hong Kong newspaper, the Ming Pao, it was reported that the top three floors of the China Zun gave clear sight into Beijing’s secretive central headquarters of the Communist Party of China. These floors were soon banned from the public.

Has the China Zun been climbed? No, there hasn’t yet been a reported climb of China’s China Zun building.

10) Taipei 101

Pictured: Taipei 101, tenth tallest building in the world

Height: 508 m
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Construction started: 1st July 1999
Construction completed: 31st December 2004

The oldest building in the roundup of the tallest buildings in the world, and one that’ll soon get knocked off this list.

Taipei 101 has been built with the largest dampener sphere in the world – a 660-tonne steel pendulum which sways to offset movements in the building caused by the strong gusts of typhoon wind and earthquake tremors that are so common in Taiwan.

The building has been designed to withstand gale force winds of 60 metres per second as well of some of the strongest earthquake tremors in the world.

Has the Taipei 101 been climbed? French Spiderman – Alain Robert – climbed Taipei 101 on Christmas Day back in 2004, taking four hours to complete the climb.

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