Top 10 tallest buildings in Europe
Top 10 tallest buildings in Europe

The tallest tower in the world is “Burj Khalifa” in Dubai, with an impressive height of 828m. Although Europe is a bit stricter when it comes to building skyscrapers, especially in comparison to other countries like the UAE or the USA, it still has some magnificently tall buildings. Here are the 10 tallest buildings in Europe today.

The List of top 10 tallest buildings in Europe

10. Intempo

9. Turning Torso

8. Tour Montparnasse

7. Tour First

6. Palace of Culture & Science

5. One Canada Square

4. Torre Cepsa

3. Messeturm

2. Commerzbank Tower

1. The Shard

***

What are the tallest buildings in Europe today?

10. Intempo

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Intempo is a 47-floor, 202-metre-high skyscraper building in Benidorm, Spain. The design of the building was officially presented on 19 January 2006 and work began in 2007. Originally scheduled for completion in 2009, work was significantly hampered by the economic crisis of 2008 which seriously affected the real estate sector in Spain. Construction was almost completed in March 2014, but the sponsoring undertaking went into bankruptcy. In 2018, the building was acquired by SVP Global, and was fully finished by mid-2021.

The building is the tallest in Benidorm and the fifth tallest in Spain.

In 2005 a 92-million-euro loan was obtained from Caixa Bank to begin the tower's construction. The building's inauguration was initially scheduled for 2009, then rescheduled to 2011.

The building consists of two parallel towers separated by a gap of 20 metres (66 ft) and connected by a cone-shaped structure between floors 38 and 44. Its frontal view, vaguely resembling the number 11 and the letter M, has led commentators to speculate about a possible reference to the terrorist attacks of 11 March 2004 in Madrid. It is one of the few skyscrapers in the world which has the shape of an arch (another in Europe being the Grande Arche in Paris). The façade of the building is of glass, a first for a residential building in Benidorm.

9. Turning Torso

Photo: E-Architect
Photo: E-Architect

In 1999, Calatrava was invited to design a mixed-use residential tower for a prominent site in Malmö's Western Harbor area and was planned to be exhibited during the European Housing Expo 2001 (Bo01). The project was envisioned as an important part of the transformation program of Malmö's Western Harbor near the A–resund Bridge connecting to Sweden and Denmark. Given the opportunity to enhance and enlarge a public area defined by the intersection of two main roads, Calatrava conceived his project as a free-standing sculptural element posed within the cityscape.

The form of the tower is based on one of his sculpture, the Turning Torso, where he abstract the form of human movement into a stack of cubes positioned elegantly around a core. In the original sculpture, seven cubes are set around a steel support to produce a spiraling structural effect. In the HSB Turning Torso, the building's form is composed of nine box units, shaped like cubes with triangular tips. Each unit houses five floors of about 2,000 square meters (21,500 square feet) and are in fact the 'sub-buildings' of the tower. The tower's nucleus containing the internal elevators and stairs, through which the units communicate is the equivalent of the sculpture's steel support. At 190 meters (623 square feet) high, the Turning Torso is the tallest residential building in Sweden and the second tallest residential building in Europe.

At the top of the tower, visitors can see Copenhagen to the west, Falsterbo to the south, the Skane plain to the east and Helsingborg to the north. Units one and two contain 4000 square meters (43,000 square feet) of office space. Units three through nine contain 147 apartments, varying in size from 45 to 190 square meters (484 to 2042 square feet), summing to a total of 13,500 square meters (145,125 square feet) of residential space. Served by three elevators, each residential floor accommodates one to five apartments with all wet spaces (kitchen, bathroom) allocated near the nucleus. The meeting rooms are allocated at the top of unit nine, on floors 53 and 54. Each of these meeting floors has two rooms and one of the room can be divided. The main load-bearing structure is a circular reinforced concrete core, whose center corresponds exactly to the rotation center of the floors.

8. Tour Montparnasse

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

Tour Maine-Montparnasse (Maine-Montparnasse Tower), also commonly named Tour Montparnasse, is a 210-metre (689 ft) office skyscraper located in the Montparnasse area of Paris, France. Constructed from 1969 to 1973, it was the tallest skyscraper in France until 2011, when it was surpassed by the 231-metre (758 ft) Tour First. It remains the tallest building in Paris outside of the La Défense business district. As of February 2020, it is the 14th tallest building in the European Union. The tower was designed by architects Eugène Beaudouin, Urbain Cassan, and Louis Hoym de Marien and built by Campenon Bernard. On September 21, 2017, Nouvelle AOM won a competition to redesign the building's facade.

Built on top of the Montparnasse – Bienvenüe Paris Métro station, the building has 59 floors.

The 56th floor, 200 metres from the ground, houses a restaurant called le Ciel de Paris, and the terrace on the top floor, are open to the public for viewing the city.

The view covers a radius of 40 km (25 mi); aircraft can be seen taking off from Orly Airport.

The guard rail, to which various antennae are attached, can be pneumatically lowered.

The Montparnasse tower was built between 1969 and 1973 on the site of the old Montparnasse station. The first stone was laid in 1970 and the inauguration took place in 1973.

The foundations of the tower are made up of 56 reinforced concrete pillars sinking 70 meters underground. For urban planning reasons, the tower had to be built just above a metro line; and to avoid using the same support and weakening it, the metro structures were protected by a reinforced concrete shield. On the other hand, long horizontal beams were installed in order to free up the space needed in the basement to fit out the tracks for trains.

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7. Tour First

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

Tour First (previously known as Tour UAP between 1974–1998, and as Tour Axa between 1998–2007) is an office skyscraper in Courbevoie, in La Défense, the business district of the Paris metropolitan area.

The tower was built in 1974 by Bouygues for the UAP insurance company. The building was 159 m (522 ft) at that time. Its ground shape was in the form of a three-pointed star whose branches were separated each by a 120° angle. This particular shape was chosen to symbolize the merger of the three French insurance companies that were at the origin of UAP. The tower was renamed Tour Axa when UAP was bought by the Axa insurance company in 1996.

Large-scale renovation of the tower began in 2007 and was completed in 2011. The exterior appearance of the building was completely changed, with extra height added to the tower. The renovated tower, now known as Tour First, is 225 m (738 ft) at roof height, and 231 m (758 ft) including its spire, with a total floor space of 86,707 m2 (933,310 sq ft). It is currently the tallest skyscraper in France, only surpassed in height by the Eiffel Tower.

Another Axa tower exists in New York City, US, which is 228.6 m (751 ft) tall; Tour AXA in Montreal, Quebec, Canada was completed in 1974 and is 104 m (341 ft).

6. Palace of Culture & Science

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Palace of Culture and Science is the most symbolic landmark in Warsaw. This symbol of the past has been turned into one of the largest attractions of today’s Warsaw. The palace is a gift from the Soviet Union to the people of Poland. Construction started in 1952 and took three years. Back then controversy erupted in Poland over the “gift” that society couldn’t refuse, as the whole country was dominated by Soviet Union.

Over 550 ornamental sculptures decorate the building. The monumental walls are topped with pieces of masonry copied from Renaissance houses and palaces of Krakow and Zamość. It took 3,500 Soviet workers to complete the 230 meter-tall building. Sixteen builders died during construction. Forty million bricks were used to build the Palace, which was also known as “the people’s castle”.

The architectural design of the Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science resembles other Soviet skyscrapers of that period. Today the palace stands out as one of the most photographed attractions in Warsaw.

The building hosts various fairs, exhibitions, art shows and music events. The Palace is used for business and educational activities. This monumental building also includes a swimming pool, a concert hall, theatres and museums. The tower can be seen from many parts of Warsaw. The Palace of Culture is located near the central train station and the Złote Tarasy shopping center. Most of the tourists visit the Palace of Culture and Science to check out the 30th floor viewing platform, a perfect spot to admire panoramic views of the city. The surrounding area is filled with hotels, offices, and shopping centers. One of the most notorious examples of Socialist Realist architecture in the world is now surrounded by modern skyscrapers that have appeared in the centre of Warsaw in recent years.

5. One Canada Square

Photo: CBRE
Photo: CBRE

One Canada Square is a skyscraper in Canary Wharf, London. It was completed in 1991 and is the third tallest building in the United Kingdom at 770 feet (235 m) above ground level containing 50 storeys.

One Canada Square was designed by César Pelli with Adamson Associates and Frederick Gibberd Coombes. The design and shape are based on earlier precedents buildings that include Brookfield Place and Elizabeth Tower. The building is clad with durable stainless steel. One of the predominant features of the building is the pyramid roof, which contains a flashing aircraft warning light, a rare feature for buildings in the United Kingdom. The distinctive pyramid pinnacle is 800 feet (240 m) above sea level.

One Canada Square is primarily used for offices, though there are some retail units on the lower ground floor. There is no observation floor. It is a prestigious location for offices and as of October 2017 was completely let. The building is recognised as a London landmark, and it has gained much attention through film, television, and other media as one of the tallest buildings in the United Kingdom.

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4. Torre Cepsa

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Torre Cepsa (renamed in June 2014, before was Torre Bankia)(English: Cepsa Tower) is a skyscraper located in the Cuatro Torres Business Area in Madrid, Spain. With a height of 248.3 m (815 ft) and 45 floors, it is the second tallest of the four buildings in the Cuatro Torres Business Area complex, surpassed by Torre de Cristal by less than a metre. It is the second tallest building in Spain and the 4th tallest building in the European Union.

Designed by Lord Foster, it was first known as Torre Repsol and would have served as headquarters for Repsol YPF oil and gas company. During the construction of the tower, Repsol decided to change the location of its future headquarters and the financial institution Caja Madrid purchased the building for €815 million in August 2007.

In 2016 it was bought by Amancio Ortega, Europe's richest man and founder of global fashion group and Zara owner Inditex (ITX.MC), for €490 million euros through his property investment arm, Pontegadea Inmobiliaria, one of the biggest property companies in Spain. He purchased the tower from Abu Dhabi tycoon Khadem al-Qubaisi, whose fund had exercised a last-minute purchase option from Spanish lender Bankia (BKIA.MC), its previous owner.

It was built by a joint venture of Dragados and Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas.

3. Messeturm

Photo: Wikidata
Photo: Wikidata

MesseTurm is a skyscraper and Frankfurt’s 2nd tallest high-rise building. It lies at Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage street and is bordering the exhibition grounds. MesseTurm was designed by Helmut Jahn for the American project developer Tishman Speyer. The tower is 256.5 meters tall and not publicly accessible to visitors. MesseTurm has a striking pyramid on the roof. The pyramid does not contain publicly usable space, but only supply facilities such as heating and cooling. The design of the top of the building goes back to the first draft for the roof pyramid of the Campanile high-rise (which was never realized). MesseTurm means “Exhibition Tower” in German language.

MesseTurm was built in 1990 in Art Deco style. The width and length of each floor is just 41 x 41 meters (135 x 135 feet). In the middle of the building is an elevator shaft with 24 lifts and space for the service core. Due to the arrangement of the elevators in the centre of the building, users only have an area of 8.30m to 8.60m of depth.

Unlike similar American models, the fair tower is not part of city life. For security reasons, no communicative or visitor-friendly use has been given. The lobby is not a hall with shops and restaurants, but a locked room, guarded by security. Tenants of MesseTurm include BNY Mellon, Flick Gocke Schaumburg and Oliver Wyman.

In front of MesseTurm stands the Hammering Man by US artist Jonathan Borofsky, erected in 1991. The work of art is regarded as a symbol for work, deed and also as a symbol for solidarity with all people who work. The sculpture can also be found in various versions in other major cities around the world.

2. Commerzbank Tower

Photo: Skylineatlas
Photo: Skylineatlas

Commerzbank Tower is a 56-story, 259 m (850 ft) skyscraper owned by Samsung of Korea since September 2016 in the banking district of Frankfurt, Germany. An antenna spire with a signal light on top gives the tower a total height of 300.1 m (985 ft). It is the tallest building in Frankfurt and the tallest building in Germany. It had been the tallest building in Europe from its completion in 1997 until 2003 when it was surpassed by the Triumph-Palace in Moscow. Since the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the tower has reclaimed its position as the tallest building in the European Union only to lose the title again in 2021 when Poland's Varso Tower topped out. The Commerzbank Tower is only two metres taller than the Messeturm, which is also located in Frankfurt and was the tallest building in Europe before the construction of the Commerzbank Tower.

Commerzbank Tower was designed by Foster & Partners, with Arup and Krebs & Kiefer (structural engineering), J. Roger Preston with P&A Petterson Ahrens (mechanical engineering), Schad & Hölzel (electrical engineering). Construction of the building began in 1994 and took three years to complete. The building provides 121,000 m2 (1,300,000 sq ft) of office space for the Commerzbank headquarters, including winter gardens and natural lighting and air circulation. The building is lighted at night with a yellow lighting scheme that was designed by Thomas Ende who was allowed to display this sequence as a result of a competition.

In its immediate neighbourhood are other skyscrapers including the Eurotower (former home of the European Central Bank), the Main Tower, the Silberturm, the Japan Center and the Gallileo. The area forms Frankfurt's central business district, commonly known as Bankenviertel.

1. The Shard

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

The Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, is a 72-storey skyscraper, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, in Southwark, London, that forms part of the Shard Quarter development. Standing 309.6 metres (1,016 feet) high, the Shard is the tallest building in the United Kingdom, and the seventh-tallest building in Europe. It is also the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, after the concrete tower of the Emley Moor transmitting station. It replaced Southwark Towers, a 24-storey office block built on the site in 1975.

The Shard's construction began in March 2009; it was topped out on 30 March 2012 and inaugurated on 5 July 2012. Practical completion was achieved in November 2012. The tower's privately operated observation deck, The View from The Shard, was opened to the public on 1 February 2013. The glass-clad pyramidal tower has 72 habitable floors, with a viewing gallery and open-air observation deck on the 72nd floor, at a height of 244 metres (801 ft). The Shard was developed by Sellar Property Group on behalf of LBQ Ltd and is jointly owned by Sellar Property (5%) and the State of Qatar (95%). The Shard is managed by Real Estate Management (UK) Limited on behalf of the owners.

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