Skyscrapers are status symbols, but they have to pay off for the builder. At astronomical land prices – for example in Manhattan – it is only natural to build as high as possible to maximize profit. However, extremely tall buildings have their own challenges and costs. In addition to the statics, this includes the simple question: How do people get to the 150th floor? On the one hand, penthouse residents shouldn’t have a half-hour “journey”, on the other hand, elevator shafts take up a lot of valuable space.
The corona crisis has again brought the sense or nonsense of mega skyscrapers into focus. In China, on the other hand, a construction boom has broken out, which reflects the economic upswing in the world’s most populous country. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a Chicago-based non-profit organization, maintains a database of the tallest buildings currently under construction. 18 of the 25 leaders are therefore in China.
So we widened our view and looked at which other countries are still building skyscrapers over 350 meters. These are the tallest buildings currently being built.
@imago images / Xinhua
# 22 Tallest building under construction: Iconic Tower
The Iconic Tower in Cairo deserves its name. After its completion in 2023, the skyscraper is expected to measure around 385 meters. This would make it almost three times as high as the highest building in the Egyptian capital to date, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (143 meters). In an international comparison, it is only enough for the office building in the ranking of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat for 22nd place. Places 21 to 19 go to skyscrapers in China. We ignore the People’s Republic up to the top 10 and continue with rank 18.
@imago images / ITAR-TASS
# 18 Tallest building under construction: One Tower
The One Tower will also dominate the skyline of his city. With a planned 405.3 meters, it is around 30 meters higher than the previous leader in Moscow. The skyscraper should be ready for occupancy in 2024 and will house apartments and offices.
# 12 Tallest building under construction: 111 West 57th Street
After five skyscrapers in China, 111 West 57th Street moves into the ranking. This new building will rank third in the skyscraper stronghold of New York City. 111 West 57th Street is slated to measure around 435.3 meters by 2021. The apartment skyscraper with its 84 floors would only have to admit defeat to the One World Trade Center and the Central Park Tower.
@imago images / agefotostock
# 10 tallest building under construction: One Bangkok O4H4
One Bangkok O4H4, however, does not want to give the competition a chance. The skyscraper is expected to house hotel rooms and offices on 92 floors from 2025. If everything goes as planned, at 436.1 meters it will be a full 120 meters higher than the previous top dog in Bangkok, Magnolias Waterfront Residences Tower 1.
@imago images / Imaginechina-Tuchong
# 9 to # 3 Tallest building under construction: China
Places nine to three go to skyscrapers in China. It starts with Tianshan Gate of the World Plots 27 and 28 in Shijiazhuang (450 meters, completion: 2025). The tallest building currently under construction in the People’s Republic is, according to the Skyscraper database, the Greenland Jinmao International Financial Center in Nanjing with 499.8 meters (completion: 2025). According to the current status, it would displace the Ping An Finance Center by only a few centimeters from second place of the tallest building in China, but would still be well behind the Shanghai Tower (632.0 meters). Despite the construction boom, the People’s Republic has to leave the two top positions in the ranking to other nations.
# 2 Tallest building under construction: Merdeka PNB118
So far, the Petronas Twin Towers have dominated the skyline of Kuala Lumpur. They are currently in 17th place of the tallest buildings in the world, but will be eclipsed by Merdeka PNB118 from 2022. The new mega-skyscraper in Malaysia’s capital is to be 644.0 meters high, almost 200 meters higher than the twin towers. Merdeka PNB118 will house apartments, hotel rooms and offices.
@imago images / Bo van Wyk
# 1 Tallest building under construction: Jeddah Tower
Only ten buildings worldwide are currently higher than 500 meters. The top two on this list join this exclusive circle, with number one creating its own category. The Jeddah Tower is to be one kilometer high. This would make the tower in the Saudi Arabian port city of Dschedda the new tallest building in the world. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai has held this title since 2010 at 828 meters. However, there seems to be a lot of air involved in this mega-skyscraper too. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the Burj Khalifa can only be used up to a height of 585.4 meters. It could look similar with the Jeddah Tower, which is crowned by a thin point. With 167 floors, it is only four floors more than the Burj Khalifa.