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What is the ‘tallest’ building in the world ?

Since the dawn of history man has been trying to build the ‘tallest building’, ‘tallest tower’ or ‘tallest structure’ in the world. There seems to be much prestige in being home to the worlds tallest. So much in fact that this is a major issue on the political agenda of many countries. Many towers claim the title, and many cities quarrel about who is the winner. The Tallest Building in the world pages will try to answer the question above, and welcomes you to the most complete article about this subject, anywhere to be found on the Internet.During the first 90 years of this century, the USA dominated the race for the title of the tallest building in the world, and constructed a range of famous buildings that, sometimes only for a few months, and sometimes for many years, were widely recognized as being the ‘tallest building’ in the world. In 1974 Chicago’s Sears Tower was completed, and generally seen as the ‘tallest building’ in the world. Sears held on to that title for over 20 years. But since the ninetees the USA gets some stiff competition from Asia. In 1996 this resulted in the completion of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. From that moment on a sort of media clash was unleashed. All over the world people debated about the question wich one was the tallest; Sears or Petronas. Now the answer to this question seems so easy. Just measure both buildings from bottom to top, and the tallest one gets the title. Question answered, case closed, no more debate needed? Forget it! As usual, life is not that simple. One could consider how to measure these buildings. For example, do we take in account spires and antennas? To end this discussion, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat made a compromise. They defined 4 categories for measuring tall buildings; - Height to the structural or architectural top.
- Height to the highest occupied floor.
- Height to the top of the roof.
- Height to the top of antenna.


Building, city Year Sto-
ries
Height
Rank m ft.
1. Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan 2004 101 508 1,667
2. Petronas Tower 1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 88 452 1,483
3. Petronas Tower 2, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1998 88 452 1,483
4. Sears Tower, Chicago 1974 110 442 1,450
5. Jin Mao Building, Shanghai 1999 88 421 1,381
6. Two International Finance Center, Hong Kong UC03 88 412 1,352
7. Citic Plaza, Guangzhou, China 1996 80 391 1,283
8. Shun Hing Square, Shenzhen, China 1996 69 384 1,260
9. Empire State Building, New York 1931 102 381 1,250
10. Central Plaza, Hong Kong 1992 78 374 1,227
11. Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong 1989 70 369 1,209
12. Emirates Tower One, Dubai 1999 55 355 1,165
13. The Center, Hong Kong 1998 79 350 1,148
14. T & C Tower, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 1997 85 348 1,140
15. Aon Centre, Chicago 1973 80 346 1,136
16. John Han*censored* Center, Chicago 1969 100 344 1,127
17. Burj al Arab Hotel, Dubai 1999 60 321 1,053
18. Chrysler Building, New York 1930 77 319 1,046
19. Bank of America Plaza, Atlanta 1993 55 312 1,023
20. Library Tower, Los Angeles 1990 75 310 1,018
21. Telekom Malaysia Headquarters, Kuala Lumpur 1999 55 310 1,017
22. Emirates Tower Two, Dubai 2000 56 309 1,014
23. AT&T Corporate Center, Chicago 1989 60 307 1,007
24. JP Morgan Chase Tower, Houston 1982 75 305 1,002
25. Baiyoke Tower II, Bangkok 1997 85 304 997
26. Two Prudential Plaza, Chicago 1990 64 303 995
27. Kingdom Centre, Riyadh 2001 30 302 992
28. Pyongyang Hotel, Pyongyang, N. Korea 1995 105 300 984
29. First Canadian Place, Toronto 1975 72 298 978
30. Wells Fargo Plaza, Houston 1983 71 296 972
31. Landmark Tower, Yokohama, Japan 1993 70 296 971
32. Bank of America Center, Seattle 1984 76 295 967
33. 311 South Wacker Drive, Chicago 1990 65 293 961
34. SEG Plaza, Shenzhen 2000 72 292 957
35. American International Building, New York 1932 67 290 952
36. Cheung Kong Center, Hong Kong 1999 70 290 951
37. Key Tower, Cleveland 1991 57 289 947
38. Plaza 66, Shanghai 2001 62 288 945
39. One Liberty Place, Philadelphia 1987 61 288 945
40. Sunjoy Tomorrow Square, Shanghai 1999 59 285 934
41. The Trump Building, New York 1930 72 283 927
42. Bank of America Plaza, Dallas 1985 72 281 921
43. Overseas Union Bank Centre, Singapore 1986 66 280 919
44. United Overseas Bank Plaza,
Singapore
1992 66 280 919
45. Republic Plaza, Singapore 1995 66 280 919
46. Citicorp Center, New York 1977 59 279 915
47. Hong Kong New World Building, Shanghai 2001 58 278 913
48. Scotia Plaza, Toronto 1989 68 275 902
49. Williams Tower, Houston 1983 64 275 901
50. Wuhan World Trade Tower, Wuhan 1998 60 273 896
51. Renaissance Tower, Dallas 1975 56 270 886
52. Dapeng International Plaza, Guangzhou UC03 56 269 883
53. Al Faisaliah Center, Riyadh 2000 30 267 876
54. 900 North Michigan Ave., Chicago 1989 66 265 871
55. Bank of America Center, Charlotte 1992 60 265 871
56. SunTrust Plaza, Atlanta 1992 60 265 871
57. Shenzhen Special Zone Daily Tower, Shenzhen 1998 42 264 866
58. Tower Palace Three, Tower G, Seoul UC04 73 264 865
59. BCE Place–Canada Trust Tower, Toronto 1990 51 263 863
60. Trump World Tower, New York 2001 72 262 861
61. Water Tower Place, Chicago 1976 74 262 859
62. Aon Center, Los Angeles 1974 62 262 858
63. Post & Telecommunication Hub, Guangzhou 2002 66 260 853
64. Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco 1972 48 260 853
65. G.E. Building, New York 1933 70 259 850
66. Bank One Plaza, Chicago 1969 60 259 850
67. Commerzbank Tower, Frankfurt 1997 56 259 850
68. Two Liberty Place, Philadelphia 1990 58 258 848
69. Philippine Bank of Communications, Makati 2000 52 258 848
70. Park Tower, Chicago 2000 67 257 844
71. Messeturm, Frankfurt 1990 70 257 843
72. USX Tower, Pittsburgh 1970 64 256 841
73. Sorrento 1, Hong Kong UC03 75 256 840
74.. Mokdong Hyperion Tower A, Seoul UC03 69 256 840
75. Rinku Gate Tower, Osaka 1996 56 256 840
76. Capital Tower, Singapore 2000 52 254 833
77. Highcliffe, Hong Kong 2003 73 253 831
78. Osaka World Trade Center, Osaka 1995 55 252 827
79. Jiali Plaza, Wuhan 1997 61 251 824
80. Rialto Tower, Melbourne 1985 63 251 823
81. One Atlantic Center, Atlanta 1987 50 250 820
82. Wisma 46, Jakarta 1995 46 250 820
83. Korea Life Insurance Company, Seoul 1985 60 249 817
84. Bear Stearns Headquarters Building, New York 2001 45 248 815
85. CitySpire, New York 1989 75 248 814
86. One Chase Manhattan Plaza, New York 1961 60 248 813
87. Bank One Tower, Indianapolis 1989 48 247 811
88. Royal Charoen Krung Tower, Bangkok 2001 68 247 810
89. Conde Nast Building, New York 1999 48 247 809
90. MetLife, New York 1963 59 246 808
91. JR Central Towers, Nagoya 2000 51 245 804
92. Shin Kong Life Tower, Taipei, Taiwan 1993 51 244 801
93. Malayan Bank, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 1988 50 244 799
94. The Tower, Dubai 2002 54 243 797
95. Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 1991 48 243 797
96. City Gate Tower, Ramat-Gan 2001 67 242 794
97. Dalian World Trade Center, Dalian 2000 55 242 794
98. Woolworth Building, New York 1913 57 241 792
99. Maxdo Centre, Shanghai 2002 55 241 792
100. Mellon Bank Center, Philadelphia 1991 54 241 792
101. Bank of China Mansion, Qindao 1999 54 241 791
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NOTES: Height is measured from sidewalk level of main entrance to structural top of building. Antennas and flag poles are not included. UC = under construction, number indicates year of expected completion.

1. World Trade Center twin towers of New York City ranked fifth and sixth (at 1,368 ft and 1,362 ft) on this list until their destruction on Sept. 11, 2001.
2. A building differs from a tower in that the latter is considered to be a structure that is designed for residential, business, or manufacturing purposes. Also, an essential characteristic of a building is that it has floors.
Source: Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Lehigh University, 2003.