Top 7 Tallest Buildings On Every Continent
Top 7 Tallest Buildings On Every Continent

The world is full of architectural marvels, and our cities’ skylines offer iconic visualizations of their unique buildings and skyscrapers. Early on in history, pyramids and churches were the world’s tallest buildings, but in recent years, architects have been racing to build skyscrapers taller than the last. But how do the tallest buildings in the world compare to each other?

Owing to the fast growth of innovation and technological advancement, countries all over the world are in an ego-fueled race to construct the tallest skyscrapers. Having the tallest building not only increases tourism revenue but is also a symbol of glory and state power. Because skyscrapers are continuously being constructed all over the world, countries do not hold on to this title for long.

Take a look at these top 7 tallest buildings on every continent, according to World Atlas.

The List of Top 7 Tallest Buildings On Every Continent

7. Antarctica - Long Duration Balloon (LDB) Payload Preparation Buildings

6. Africa - Carlton Centre

5. South America - Gran Torre Santiago

4. Oceania - Q1

3. Europe - Lakhta Center

2. North America - One World Trade Center

1. Asia - Burj Khalifa

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What are the top 7 tallest buildings on every continent?

7. Antarctica - Long Duration Balloon (LDB) Payload Preparation Buildings

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

While there are no skyscrapers or towering luxury apartment buildings in Antarctica, the tallest buildings on the continent are the Long Duration Balloon Payload Preparation Buildings, which stand 49 feet (15 meters) tall.

The Long Duration Balloon (LDB) Payload Preparation Buildings are the tallest buildings in Antarctica. These two identical buildings are 49ft high. They are located in McMurdo Station City, a research center on the southern tip of Ross Island, in Antarctica. Completed in 2005, the buildings are part of a United States Research Centre, operated by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The LDB Payload Preparation Buildings are moveable buildings built on skis placed on a berm. This makes them the largest moveable structures in Antarctica. Being moveable prevents them from being covered by snow during winter which would otherwise require digging out for them to be usable again. The buildings do not have lifts.

6. Africa - Carlton Centre

 Structurae
Structurae

The Carlton Centre is a 50-storey skyscraper and shopping centre located in central Johannesburg, South Africa. At 223 metres (732 ft), it is the second tallest building in Africa after The Leonardo and the tallest office building. The foundations of the two buildings in the complex are 5 m (16 ft) in diameter and extend 15 m (49 ft) down to the bedrock, 35 m (115 ft) below street level. The building houses both offices and shops, and has over 46 per cent of the floor area below ground level.

The Carlton Centre is linked to the Carlton Hotel by a below-ground shopping centre with over 180 shops.

The building is the head office of transport parastatal Transnet, who purchased it in 1999 from Anglo American Properties (Amprop). In June 2007, then Transnet group chief executive Maria Ramos revealed the company's intention to offer the building for sale. The Carlton Centre had served as Transnet's headquarters since 2000; it had also been the headquarters of AECI in the 1980s and 1990s before the city's urban decay began, after the parastatal purchased it for R33 million from Anglo American Properties. The disposal of the property forms part of Transnet's restructuring programme, which includes the disposal of non-core assets. Due to the economic downturn that began in 2008, the parastatal announced it would not seek a buyer until markets recovered.

Although Transnet has given no indication of the price, the replacement cost of the building has been estimated at R1.5 billion.

The centre, after being almost empty, now has 93 percent occupancy of its office space and retail occupancy of 65 percent. Pick n Pay plans to take 3,000 square metres in the centre and the South African Revenue Service has moved from Rissik Street to its premises of 5,000 square metres in the centre. While there have been proposals to reinstate the Carlton Hotel at some stage, no official announcements to this end have been made.

The 50th and topmost floor of the Carlton Centre was called the Carlton Panorama and is known colloquially as the "Top of Africa". Once the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, the Carlton Centre opened with the 5-star and 30-storey Carlton Hotel taking up most of the floor space of the complex. The hotel was popular among the rich and famous, hosting many famous guests over the years. Urban decay in the inner city during the 1990s affected the hotel, which ceased operations in 1998 after nearly 25 years of operation.

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5. South America - Gran Torre Santiago

 Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The Costanera Center Torre 2, better known as Gran Torre Santiago (Great Santiago Tower), and previously known as Torre Gran Costanera, is a 62-story tall skyscraper in Santiago, Chile, the second tallest in Latin America (behind Mexico's T.Op Torre 1). It is the fourth-tallest building in the Southern hemisphere by highest architectural feature (behind New Zealand's Sky Tower, Australia's Q1 Tower and Australia 108) and third-tallest by highest occupied floor (after Australia's Australia 108 and Eureka Tower). It was designed by Argentine architect César Pelli, Chilean architects Alemparte Barreda & Asociados, and by the Canadian company Watt International.

Gran Torre Santiago is part of the Costanera Center complex, which includes the largest shopping mall in Latin America, two hotels and two additional office towers. Gran Torre Santiago is 300 metres (980 ft) tall and 64 storeys high plus 6 basement floors, with a floor pitch of 4.1 metres (13 ft) and 107.125 m2 in area.

The tower has nearly 700,000 square meters of building space available built on 47,000 square meters of land. Planners estimated that there would be some 240,000 people going to and from the site each day. The tower was designed by the Argentine architect Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, Chilean architects Alemparte Barreda & Asociados, and by the Canadian company Watt International. Structural engineering is performed by the Chilean company René Lagos y Asociados Ing. Civiles Ltda. Salfa Corp. was responsible for its construction.

Construction of the building began in June 2006 and was expected to be completed in 2010, but was put on hold in January 2009 due to the global financial crisis of 2008–2009. Construction on the project resumed on 17 December 2009.

In early November 2010, standing 205 m tall, it overtook the neighboring Titanium La Portada to become the tallest building in Chile. In February 2011, La Segunda daily reported that, at 226 m tall, the tower had overtaken Caracas's Twin Towers to become the tallest building in South America, while La Tercera newspaper reported in February 2012 that it had achieved that feat on 12 April 2011.

Structural work on the tower was completed in July 2011 and the maximum height of 300m was achieved on 14 February 2012, becoming the tallest building in Latin America. In 2013, the tower was completed.

4. Oceania - Q1

 Wikipedia
Wikipedia

Q1 Tower (an abbreviation of Queensland Number One) is a 322.5-metre (1,058 ft) Supertall skyscraper in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia. The residential tower on the Gold Coast was the world's tallest residential building from 2005 to 2011. As of 2021 it is the eleventh-tallest residential tower in the world, the tallest building in Australia, the second tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere, and the third-tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, behind the Autograph Tower in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand. The Q1 officially opened in November 2005.

The landmark building was recognised as one of Queensland's icons during the state's 150th-birthday celebrations.

At 322.5 metres (1,058 feet) and with a roof height of 245 m (804 ft), Q1 qualifies as the world's eleventh-tallest all-residential building when measured to the top of its structural point (spire), but is ranked lower behind buildings including Melbourne's Australia 108 (roof height of 316.7 m (1,039 ft)) and the Eureka Tower (roof height of 297.3 m (975 ft)) when measured to its roof height and highest inhabitable floor. However, according to the ranking system developed by the U.S.-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the main criterion by which buildings are ranked is the height of the top of the spire, qualifying Q1 as the taller.

When the Q1 was completed it overtook the 21st Century Tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to become the world's tallest residential tower. It is as of December 2011 in the top 50 tallest buildings in the world when measured to its structural point, dwarfing the Gold Coast skyline with the closest buildings to Q1's height being the 220-metre (720 ft) North Tower of Circle on Cavill and the 243-metre (797 ft) Soul building.

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3. Europe - Lakhta Center

 | AGC Yourglass
| AGC Yourglass

The Lakhta Center is an 87-storey skyscraper built in the outskirts of Lakhta in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Standing 462 m tall, the Lakhta Center is the tallest highrise building in Europe and the northernmost skyscraper in the world. Construction of Lakhta Center started on 30 October 2012; it was topped out on 29 January 2018. The center is designed for large-scale mixed-use development, consisting of public facilities and offices. On 24 December 2018, Lakhta Center was certified according to the criteria of ecological efficiency at LEED Platinum. The concrete pouring of the bottom slab of Lakhta Center’s foundation was registered by Guinness World Records as the largest continuous concrete pour; 19,624 m³ of concrete were used. The tower’s curtain wall is also the world’s largest cold-bent facade by area.

The Lakhta skyscraper foundation was laid in a record-breaking, uninterrupted 49 hours of pouring of 19,624 cubic meters of concrete. The construction of the reinforced concrete foundation employed a total of 9.2 thousand tons of iron. The metals used in this section of the project only would be sufficient to build a replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

20,000 people from 18 different countries worked at the project for 65 million man hours with zero deaths. The tower spire, the last constituent of the rough construction at Lakhta Center was installed using the tallest crane in Europe, without any helicopters involved.

Apart from the office floors, the 87-story skyscraper also features an observation deck. Positioned at around 370 meters, the observation deck offers a spectacular view which could have only been seen through the windows of an aircraft until now.

Lakhta Center is also named among the most important architectural projects in the world thanks to its state-of-the-art technology. The skyscraper has 34 high-speed elevators that can reach speeds of up to 8 meters per second. These elevators and the vertical transportation concept adopted in the project make sure to keep elevator waiting times in the skyscraper under 30 seconds, even during peak hours.

The skyscraper section is estimated to host an average of 100 to 140 people per floor and 5,000 in total. The smart façade design, the next-generation fire system, and the ‘suspended floor’ strategy enhance overall safety and energy efficiency while delivering superior sound insulation.

2. North America - One World Trade Center

 GetYourGuide
GetYourGuide

One World Trade Center is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City. One WTC is the tallest building in the United States, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-tallest in the world. The supertall structure has the same name as the North Tower of the original World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The new skyscraper stands on the northwest corner of the 16-acre (6.5 ha) World Trade Center site, on the site of the original 6 World Trade Center. The building is bounded by West Street to the west, Vesey Street to the north, Fulton Street to the south, and Washington Street to the east.

The building's architect is David Childs, whose firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) also designed the Burj Khalifa and the Willis Tower. The construction of below-ground utility relocations, footings, and foundations for the new building began on April 27, 2006. One World Trade Center became the tallest structure in New York City on April 30, 2012, when it surpassed the height of the Empire State Building. The tower's steel structure was topped out on August 30, 2012. On May 10, 2013, the final component of the skyscraper's spire was installed, making the building, including its spire, reach a total height of 1,776 feet (541 m). Its height in feet is a deliberate reference to the year when the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. The building opened on November 3, 2014; the One World Observatory opened on May 29, 2015.

The new World Trade Center complex will eventually include five high-rise office buildings built along Greenwich Street, as well as the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, located just south of One World Trade Center where the original Twin Towers stood. The construction of the new building is part of an effort to memorialize and rebuild following the destruction of the original World Trade Center complex.

1. Asia - Burj Khalifa

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Burj Khalifa, Khalifa also spelled Khalīfah, mixed-use skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that is the world’s tallest building, according to all three of the main criteria by which such buildings are judged (see Researcher’s Note: Heights of Buildings). Burj Khalifa (“Khalifa Tower”), known during construction as Burj Dubai, was officially named to honour the leader of the neighbouring emirate of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa ibn Zayed Al Nahyan. Although the tower was formally opened on January 4, 2010, the entirety of the interior was not complete at that time. Built to house a variety of commercial, residential, and hospitality ventures, the tower—whose intended height remained a closely guarded secret throughout its construction—reached completion at 162 floors and a height of 2,717 feet (828 metres). It was designed by the Chicago-based architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Adrian Smith served as architect, and William F. Baker served as structural engineer.

Upon its inauguration in January 2010, Burj Khalifa easily surpassed the Taipei 101 (Taipei Financial Center) building in Taipei, Taiwan, which measured 1,667 feet (508 metres), as the world’s tallest building. At the same time, Burj Khalifa broke numerous other records, including the world’s tallest freestanding structure, the world’s highest occupied floor, and the world’s highest outdoor observation deck.

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