Skyscrapers are injecting some serious height into skylines around the globe as architects and developers race to break the 1,000-metre mark.
As the economy recovers from the Global Financial Crisis, some of the most ambitious new skyscrapers are reaching incredible heights that would not have been deemed possible only a few years ago.
According to Emporis, the international provider of building data, the average height of the 10 tallest skyscrapers currently under construction is a whopping 114 metres higher than that of the 10 tallest completed over the last decade.
This astonishing statistic leads into Emporis’ latest compilation, a list of the 10 tallest skyscrapers currently under construction with China clearly in the lead, taking up seven places on the list.
Also represented in the top 10 are Korea, New York and one of the world’s most anticipated skyscrapers, Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill LLP, Kingdom Tower is set to break the magic 1,000-metre mark in 2018, far surpassing the world’s current tallest building, the 828-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
China dominates the next four places on the list, including the 660-metre Ping An International Finance Centre skyscraper in Shenzhen, China and the 636-metre Wuhan Greenland Centre building.
Following closely behind is Shanghai Tower, which recently topped out, reaching its full height of 632 metres.
Shanghai Tower is already gaining recognition as China’s tallest building and is also slated to be the world’s second tallest skyscraper. It was designed to represent the country’s boundless future according to Shangai Tower design leader Jun Xia.
In the Americas, only one skyscraper was able to party complete with the giants from the Far and Middle East - the 541-metre One World Trade Centre (formerly known as the Freedom Tower) in Lower Manhattan, New York. That building is due for completion this year.
One World Trade Centre’s height is symbolic, with its pinnacle height of 1,776 feet a reference to America’s Independence in 1776. Without its spire, the building reaches 417 metres, the height of the North Tower of the original World Trade Centre.
The tower’s spire has drawn consistent debate as to whether it should be considered in the buildings' official height as One World Trade Centre is expected to battle for recognition of New York's tallest skyscraper when Architect Rafael Viñoly's 426-metre project 432 Park Avenue residential tower is completed.
However, regardless of who lays claim to the tallest building in the Americas, Emporis has also predicted that with One World Trade Centre currently in in seventh place on the under-construction list, in a few years’ time the US - once a world leader in skyscraper construction - will no longer have even a single entry among the 10 tallest buildings in the world.
Another project which has dominated media reports recently is the Chinese skyscraper project, Sky City in Changsha.
Sky City is expected to rise 838 metres, surpassing the current tallest building in the world in terms of both height and construction time. At 828 metres,the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is currently the tallest building in the world, and that building took six years to construct.
Broad Sustainable Building, the developer of the ambitious Sky City tower, was behind the construction of a 30-storey skyscraper in Changsha built in just 15 days using prefabricated units. They are looking to use the same methods to build Sky City in just 90 days following roughly 10 months of on-site foundation and prefabrication work, making it the fastest-built skyscraper in the world.
Prefabrication is rapidly increasing speed to market of commercial and residential structures and if applied at towering heights, could change the construction of skyscrapers completely, making "tall" building reports also change rather frequently.
But for now, below is Emporis’ official list of the ten tallest skyscrapers of the future: