The Tallest Building On Every Continent

Russia's Lakhta Center is the tallest building in Europe. Editorial credit: Eshma /
Russia's Lakhta Center is the tallest building in Europe. Editorial credit: Eshma /

Owing to the fast growth of innovation and technological advancement, countries all over the world are in an ego-fueled race to construct the tallest skyscrapers. Having the tallest building not only increases tourism revenue but is also a symbol of glory and state power. Because skyscrapers are continuously being constructed all over the world, countries do not hold on to this title for long. This article explores the tallest building on every continent.

7. Antarctica - Long Duration Balloon (LDB) Payload Preparation Buildings

The Long Duration Balloon (LDB) Payload Preparation Buildings are the tallest buildings in Antarctica. These two identical buildings are 49ft high. They are located in McMurdo Station City, a research center on the southern tip of Ross Island, in Antarctica. Completed in 2005, the buildings are part of a United States Research Centre, operated by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The LDB Payload Preparation Buildings are moveable buildings built on skis placed on a berm. This makes them the largest moveable structures in Antarctica. Being moveable prevents them from being covered by snow during winter which would otherwise require digging out for them to be usable again. The buildings do not have lifts. Due to the climate of Antarctica, they are the least visited buildings on our list.

6. Africa - Carlton Centre

The Carlton Centre is the tallest building in Africa. Located in Johannesburg, South Africa, the building is 740ft high. The skyscraper has 50 floors that house both offices and shops. Completed in 1973, the Carlton Centre was once the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. 46% of the floor area of the Carlton Centreis below the ground level. Together with the Carlton Hotel, the two buildings form the Carlton Centre Complex. The Carlton Centre and the Carlton Hotel are linked by below-ground shopping center with over 180 shops. Initially constructed and owned by the Anglo American Properties, the building is today owned by Transnet SOC Ltd, a large rail, port and pipeline company in South Africa. The headquarters of the Transnet SOC Ltd are in the Carlton Centre since 2000. Its design is similar to that of the One Seneca Tower in New York.

5. South America - Gran Torre Santiago

Editorial credit: Jose Luis Stephens /

Located in Santiago, Chile, the Gran Torre Santiago is the tallest building in South America. The Gran Torre Santiago is 980ft high. Completed in 2012, it is made up of 64 high floors and six basement floors. The building was designed by César Pelli an Argentinian architect. Together with two hotels, two office towers, and the largest shopping mall in Latin America, the Gran Torre Santiago forms the Costanera Center complex. The Gran Torre Santiago is the second tallest building in the entire southern hemisphere by highest occupied floor after Eureka Tower in Melbourne, Australia. It is also the second tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere by highest architectural feature after Q1 in Queensland, Australia. The 61st and 62nd floors of the skyscraper have an observation deck known as the Sky Costanera that offers a 360 degree view of Santiago.

4. Oceania - Q1

Queensland Number One (Q1) is located in Queensland, Australia. With a height of 1060 ft, Q1 is the tallest building in Oceania. Q1 has 78 floors. The residential tower was officially opened in 2005. Q1 is also the tallest building in Southern Hemisphere. Behind New Zealand’s Sky Tower in Auckland, Q1 is the second highest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Q1 has a roof height of 804 ft. After its completion, the tower overtook UAE’s 21st Century Tower in Dubai becoming the tallest residential tower in the world. The name of the building was given to honor the 1920-Q1 Australia’s Olympic rowing team. The Q1 was built by the Sunland Constructions having been developed by the Sunland Group. In 2005, the building won the Emporis Skyscraper silver award coming second after the Turning Torso of Sweden. The Q1 observation deck, known as QDeck, is on the 77th and 78th levels of the skyscraper.

3. Europe - Lakhta Center

The super tall skyscraper is located in Saint Peters-burg, Russia. With a height of 1516 ft, the building is the tallest in Europe. Lakhta Center has 86 floors. The mixed-use project stands on a 17-hectare plot. It was designed by Tony Kettle, a British Architect. In January 2018, Lakhtar Center reached its aim of becoming the tallest building in Europe and Russia. The skyscraper is the second tallest structure in Europe after the Ostankino Tower. The mixed-use facility has offices, sports facilities, co-working facilities, conference facilities, children science centers, and an indoor exhibition center. On the top of the skyscraper is an observation deck that provides a 360 degree view of the city.

2. North America - One World Trade Center

The One World Trade Center in New York City is the tallest building in North America. The 1,776 feet high skyscraper has 104 floors. Completed in 2014, the One World Trade Center is the main building of the World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. The super tall skyscraper is situated in the northwest end of the World Trade Center Site, a 6.5 hectare land which was previously occupied by the 6 World Trade Center. The height of the building in feet, i.e. 1,776 feet, is in deliberate reference to when signing of the US Declaration of Independence occurred. Despite having 104 floors, the One World Trade Center has 94 actual stories. The skyscraper was designed by David Childs, whose firm also designed the Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

1. Asia - Burj Khalifa

Editorial credit: RastoS /

Starting in the late 2008, the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest building in the Asia and in the world. The skyscraper is located in Dubai, UAE. Completed in 2010, the building is 2,717 feet high, with 160 floors. The building was initially called Burj Dubai. However the name was changed in honor of UAE’s president, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the ruler of the Abu Dhabi. The design of the building is borrowed from the Islamic architecture. The building has eight escalators and 57 elevators. The structure of the building features a cladding system which helps withstand the hot summer temperatures of Dubai.

The Tallest Building On Every Continent

RankContinentCountryCityBuildingHeight (ft)Height (m)FloorsCompleted
1AsiaUnited Arab EmiratesDubaiBurj Khalifa2,7178281602010
2North AmericaUnited StatesNew York CityOne World Trade Center1,776541.31042014
3EuropeRussiaSt. PetersburgLakhta Center1,516462862018
4OceaniaAustraliaGold CoastQ11,060323782005
5South AmericaChileSantiagoGran Torre Santiago980300642012
6AfricaSouth AfricaJohannesburgCarlton Centre740225.5501973
7AntarcticaAntarcticaMcMurdo StationLong Duration Balloon (LDB) Payload Preparation Buildings4915-2005

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