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The Tallest Skyscrapers as of 2013

There is something rather exhilarating in thinking about the wonder and achievement that makes up the world’s tallest skyscrapers.

Here is a list of the tallest skyscrapers in the world today. A skyscraper is considered a building in which at least 50% of the height is made up of habitable floors. Such structures that do not meet that standards are considered “towers” instead.

1) Burj Khalifa

This incredible skyscraper reaches 2,722 feet in height, makes it not only the tallest building, but the tallest man-made structure as well. This skyscraper was opened to the public on October 1st, 2010 and is the centerpiece of downtown Dubai. With an estimated total cost of $1.5 billion, the structure combines both office space and apartments. Although the initial renting of the space was limited at first, today roughly 80% of the apartments are now occupied.

2) Makkah Clock Royal Tower

Located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Makkah Clock Royal Tower, which was completed in 2012, hold several world records. It sports the largest clock face, it is the tallest clock tower in the world and it has the world’s largest floor area as well, surpassing even the Burj Khalifa. The clock tower itself is part of a large complex of buildings that surround the tower and can hold up to 100,000 people at one time. The four face clock tower is far more massive than the fabled Big Ben in London with the minute hand alone being 72 feet in length.

3) One World Trade Center

The single structure that replaces the famed Twin Towers in New York City became the tallest skyscraper in the US on May 10th, 2013, surpassing the Sears Tower in Chicago and the third tallest building in the world. Of note, the addition of the antenna at the top of the tower makes the building 1,776 feet tall, a reference to the independence of the United States, which was declared in 1776.

4) Taipei 101

Located in the Xinyi District of Taipei, Taiwan, this structure was formally known as the Taipei World Financial Center. From 2004 when the building was completed to 2010, it was the tallest building in the world. The emphasis on the utilizing “green” materials and construction practices was noted in the completion of this building. The 101 floors of the building are crafted into a symbol of Asian tradition and technology. The building itself is a reflection of past design elements, yet it is built to withstand typhoons and hurricanes.

5) Shanghai World Financial Center

Located in the heart of Shanghai, China, this massive structure holds many offices, hotels, conference rooms, ground floor shopping centers and observation decks. Currently, the second highest hotel in the world has rooms available on the 93rd floor of this structure. The building itself tapers to the top with an open “slit” that holds the second highest observation deck in the world. The construction of the building moved in fits and starts through the 1990s, but was finally completed in 2008 and opened to the public.

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