5 – Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), Chicago, USA
When completed in 1973, the Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world. If the spires of the building are included, the building stands at 527 meters (1,730 feet) tall. Sears’ rights to the name of the building expired in 2003, although the building retained its name for several years. In 2009, Willis Group Holdings bought a portion of the building and took over its official name. Willis Tower remains the tallest building in the United States.
4 – Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Petronas Towers are the tallest twin buildings in the world and were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 until 2004. The buildings are 88 floors tall and have a steel and glass façade designed to resemble motifs found in Mulsim art, reflecting the culture of this largely Muslim nation’s official religion. The “Skybridge” affords visitors the opportunity to survey Kuala Lumpur’s skyline.
3 – Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China
When completed in 2008, the World Financial Center was the second tallest building in the world. It remains the tallest building in the People’s Republic of China (including Hong Kong). The building boasts the largest observation deck in the world and also has the highest hotel in the world incorporated on its 79th to 93rd floors, surpassing the neighboring Jim Mao Tower’s previous record-setting hotel.
2 – Taipei 101, Taipei, China (Taiwan)
Upon its completion in 2004, Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world. The building has 101 floors, as suggested by its name. The name also has symbolic meaning in Asian cultures. The building was quickly named one of the Seven New Wonders of the World by Newsweek Magazine in 2006. The tower is designed to withstand natural disasters and is connected to a large shopping mall at its base.
1 – Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
Burj Khalifa (originally known as Burj Dubai) is the largest free stranding structure ever constructed. The flagship of “Downtown Dubai” near Dubai’s business district, office space in the building has sold for thousands of dollars per square foot. The building opened in January 2010, after nearly six years of construction, and holds nearly every height-based record for building size that exists.