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World's tallest structures

There is much debate as to the ranking of the World's tallest structures, chiefly depending on the criteria used for selecting the structures admissible to the list.

In particular, there is debate about whether:

Table of contents
1 The World's tallest structures (of any sort)
2 The World's tallest structures (not supported by guy-ropes)
3 The World's tallest habitable buildings
4 Historical height records
5 Proposed record-breaking structures
6 Related articles
7 External references

The World's tallest structures (of any sort)

The tallest currently-standing structure is the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, at 629m (2,063 feet). It is a transmission antenna, consisting of a bare metal structure supported by guy-wires. There was once a taller such mast, the Warszawa radio mast near Warsaw, Poland at 645m (2,115 feet), but it collapsed in 1991.

The World's tallest structures (not supported by guy-ropes)

The Petronius Platform stands 610m (2,100 feet) tall, making it the tallest freestanding structure in the world. However, as this oil and natural gas platform is partially supported by buoyancy, some critics feel the below-water height should not be accounted for. The CN Tower in Toronto stands 553.33m (1,815 feet) tall, making it the tallest freestanding structure on land.

The World's tallest habitable buildings

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has defined four categories in which the "world's tallest building" can be measured:

  1. Height to the structural or architectural top (including spires, but excluding antennas).
  2. Height to the highest occupied floor.
  3. Height to the top of the roof.
  4. Height to the top of antenna.

The height is measured from the sidewalk level of the main entrance.

As of October 17, 2003, Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan leads in the first category with 508m (1,667ft), and in the third category with 448m (1,470ft). The first was formerly held by the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with 452m (1,483 feet). The second category is held by the Sears Tower in Chicago, with 435m (1,431 feet): when Taipei 101 is occupied in 2004, it will claim this category with an occupied floor at 438 m (1,437 ft). The third category was formerly held by the Sears Tower with 442m (1,445 feet).

The Sears Tower in Chicago also leads in the fourth category with 529m (1736ft), previously held by New York City's World Trade Center until its destruction in 2001; its antenna included, it measured 536m (1,758 feet). The World Trade Center became the world's tallest buildings to be demolished - indeed, its site entered the record books twice on September 11, 2001, in that category, replacing the Singer Building, which once stood a block from the WTC site.

The CN Tower is excluded from these categories because it is not a "habitable building", which is defined as a frame structure made with floors and walls throughout.

Historical height records

Name Type TopFloor Roof Top Antenna Floors Year Records

Warszawa radio mast Guyed radio mast - - - 645m - 1974-1991 1974-1991: Historical tallest structure

KVLY-TV mast Guyed radio mast - - - 629m - 1963- 1991- now: Tallest structure

Petronius Platform Deepwater oil rig - - 610m - - 1998- 1998- now: Tallest non-guyed structure

CN Tower Communications tower 457m - - 553m - 1976- 1976-now: Tallest freestanding land structure
1976-now: Highest number of stair landings (147)

Taipei 101 Office highrise 438m 448m 508m - 101 2004- 2003- now: Tallest floor
2003- now: Tallest roof
2003- now: Tallest top

Sears Tower Office highrise 435m 443m 443m 529m 108 1973- 1973-2003: Tallest floor
1973-2003: Tallest roof
1973-1998: Tallest top
2001- now: Tallest antenna
2001- now: Highest # of floors

One World Trade Center Office highrise 417m 417m 417m 536m 110 1972-2001 1972-1973: Tallest floor
1972-1973: Tallest roof
1972-1973: Tallest top
1972-2001: Tallest antenna
1972-2001: Highest # floors

Petronas Twin Towers Office highrise ? ? 452m - 88 1998- 1998-2003: Tallest top

Empire State Building Office highrise 381m ? ? 449m 102 1931- 1931-1972: Tallest floor
1931-1972: Tallest roof
1931-1972: Tallest top
1931-1972: Tallest antenna
1931-1972: Highest # floors

Proposed record-breaking structures

A Solar tower that has been proposed in Australia would be 1 km (0.62 miles) tall. Engineering feasibility has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of consulting engineers, and construction is a matter of financial viability.

The International Financial Center in Shanghai, China was proposed for completion in 2007, but has been put on hold pending evaluation of soil stability. The current on-going project for the world's tallest is Union Square Phase 7 in Hong Kong, also scheduled for completion in 2007.

Related articles

External references