World Facts

Fastest Elevators In The World - Human Engineering Marvels

The world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa of Dubai, hosts the third fastest elevator in the world.

The first documented elevator was created in 236 B.C. by the Greek Archimedes by using manpower, ropes, and pulleys. Elevators had been around before and existed for thousands of years after, though they were mostly primitive devices that were operated using man or animal power, along with winches, counterweights, ropes and pulleys. By the mid-1800's, technology had developed where elevators could be powered by water or steam, but they were not safe for passenger travel as the rope supporting them did not hold up well over time. This scenario changed in 1852 when Elisha Graves Otis invented a safety brake that would prevent the elevator cart from crashing down in case the ropes supporting it broke. In 1857 his first commercial elevator using this safety brake launched and this revolutionary development allowed the development of skyscrapers in cities across the world.

The Fastest Elevators In The World

Jin Mao Tower

The Jin Mao Tower has the world's fifth fastest elevator, being able to move at 1,791 feet (545 meters) per minute and can move from the ground to the roof in 46 seconds. At 1,381 feet tall (420.5 meters), Jin Mao Tower is the ninth tallest building in China, having been the tallest in the country until 2008, and the 18th tallest building in the world. Construction of the skyscraper was completed in 1999, and it contains a food court, the Grand Hyatt Shanghai hotel, shopping malls, a nightclub and corporate offices.

John Hancock Center

The John Hancock Center has the world's fourth fastest elevator, being able to go 1,801 feet (548) meters a minute and can go from the ground to the roof in 38 seconds. At 1,129 feet tall (344 meters) it is the eighth tallest building in America and the 50th tallest building in the world. Construction of the building was completed in 1969, and it contains corporate offices, restaurants, the highest indoor swimming pool in America and condominiums.

China World Trade Center Tower III

The China World Trade Center Tower III is tied for having the world's third fastest elevator, being able to go 1968.5 feet (600 meters) a minute and can move from the ground to the roof in 33 seconds. At 1,083 feet tall (330 meters) it is the 23rd tall building in China and tied for the 63rd tallest building in the world. The base of the building contains retail shops, corporate offices, a car parking space, restaurants, the China World Summit Wing Hotel and a grand ballroom.

Shanghai World Financial Center

The Shanghai World Financial Center is tied for having the world's third fastest elevator, being able to go 1968.5 feet (600 meters) a minute and is able to reach the roof from the ground in just 49 seconds. At 1,614 (490 meters) tall it is the third tallest building in China, having been the tallest in the country until 2014, and the ninth tallest building in the world. Construction on the building was completed in 2008, and it contains a ground floor shopping mall, corporate offices and the Park Hyatt Shanghai, which is the world's second highest hotel.

Sunshine 60 building

The Sunshine 60 building is tied for having the world's third fastest elevator, being able to go 1968.5 feet (600 meters) a minute and can move from the ground to the roof in 24 seconds. At 787 (239 meters) tall it is tied for the 10th tallest building in Japan, having been the tallest in the Asia until 1985 and the tallest in the country until 1991. Construction on the building was completed in 1978, and it contains commercial space for various services, corporate offices, and restaurants.

Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is tied for having the world's third fastest elevator, being able to go 1968.5 feet (600 meters) a minute and can travel from the ground to the roof in 1 minute and 24 seconds. At 2,717 (828 meters) tall it is currently the tallest building in the world. Construction on the building was finished on New Year's Eve in 2009. The building is surrounded by its park, the Burj Khalifa Park, and its outdoor observation deck is the second highest in the world. The building contains corporate offices, private apartments, swimming pools, sky lobbies and the Armani hotel.

Yokohama Landmark Tower

The Yokohama Landmark Tower has the world's second fastest elevator, being able to go 2,460 feet (749 meters) a minute and can move from the ground to the roof in 24 seconds. At 971 (296 meters) tall it is the second tallest building in Japan and was the tallest in the country until 2014. Construction on the building was completed in 1993, and it contains commercial space for various services, restaurants, and a hotel.

Taipei 101

The Taipei 101 has the world's fastest elevator, being able to go 3,313 feet (1,009 meters) a minute and can reach the roof from the ground level in just 30 seconds. At 1,670 (509 meters) tall it is the tallest building in Taiwan and was the tallest one in the world until 2010. It is currently the eighth tallest building in the world. Construction on the building was completed in 2004, and it contains an adjoining shopping mall, sky lobbies, corporate offices and an observatory restaurant.

Elevators Of The Future

There are many ideas on how to innovate and improve elevators in the future. The German elevator company Thyssenkrupp has been working on a twin elevator system in which there would be multiple elevators in a shaft. How this system would fully work would depend on how a building and its elevator system are designed, but the system would theoretically save energy, make travel quicker, and leave more building space since there would be lesser elevator shafts. While this is a near future idea, Thyssenkrupp is also working on a more far-flung futuristic idea where elevators would move using magnetic levitation. This technology would allow the elevators to go any direction and even more at angles. This kind of technology would allow for buildings of various shapes and sizes, instead of just vertical skyscrapers.

Man-Made Engineering Marvels: The Fastest Elevators In The World

RankElevatorLocationSpeedHeightTime From Ground To Roof
1Taipei 101Taipei, Taiwan3,313 feet/min1,670 feet30s
2Yokohama Landmark Tower Yokohama, Japan2,460 feet/min971 feet24s
3Burj KhalifaDubai, United Arab Emirates1,968.5 feet/min2,717 feet1m 22s
3Sunshine 60 BuildingTokyo, Japan1,968.5 feet/min787 feet24s
3Shanghai World Financial CenterShanghai, China1,968.5 feet/min1,614 feet49s
3China World Trade Center Tower IIIBeijing, China1,968.5 feet/min1,083 feet33s
4John Hancock CenterChicago, USA1,801 feet/min1,129 feet38s
5Jin Mao TowerShanghai, China1,791 feet/min1,381 feet46s

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