World Facts

The World's Tallest Towers

The Tokyo Skytree is the tallest free-standing tower in the world.

Engineers define a tower as any tall building that is invariably taller than its width, which is self-supporting, and was built not for inhabitation or office work but meant for regular access for operations by people. The term 'self-standing' in this case means that the structure does not have any support or guy-wires.

There are several reasons why we construct towers. Primarily, they are erected for the utilization of their height but some are used to be viewing platforms or for telecommunications purposes. The list below represents structures that are entirely self-supporting.

7. Kuala Lumpur Tower

#7 Kuala Lumpur Tower

The Kuala Lumpur is a pride of the Malaysian architectural enthusiasts. This tower is found in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The main use for its great height is communications. Construction on the tower was finished in 1995, and the tower has a height of 1,381 feet. The structure has five significant sections: foundation base, touristic building, tower shaft, tower head, and the mast for a cap.

6. Milad Tower

#6 Milad Tower

Sometimes called the Tehran Tower, it is a multipurpose structure in Tehran, Iran. Aside from a height of 1,427 feet from its base to its tip, it has 12 floors and six elevators. The tower was opened in the year 2009 with construction having started in the year 2000. The Milad is also a part of the International Trade Convention Centre of Tehran including a 5-star hotel, an IT park, as well as a world trade centre. It has five main parts: the foundation, lobby, shaft, antenna mast, and structure. With its 12 floors and its incredible height, it is the tallest in Iran and the sixth tallest tower used for telecommunication in the world. The head of the Milad is a robust steel structure having 12 floors and a weight of 25,000 tonnes.

5. Oriental Pearl Tower

#5 Oriental Pearl Tower

The Oriental Pearl Tower is purely a TV tower located in Shanghai, China. Construction work began on July 30, 1991, and the tower was completed in 1994. Its floor count stands at 14 with six elevators. It stands at 1,535 feet and held the record for the tallest tower in China from 1994 to 2007. It is rated as an AAAAA scenic centre by its tourism sector. The Oriental Tower has a total of 11 spheres (both small and big). The two biggest ones, which are along the length of the Oriental, have diameters of 164 feet and 148 feet for the lower and upper spheres respectively, and are linked by three columns with the uppermost one being 46 feet in diameter. LED lights do an incredible job of lighting up the tower in different sequences at night.

4. Ostankino Tower

#4 Ostankino Tower

The Ostankino Tower is found in Moscow, Russia and is used for television and broadcasting. It stands at 1,772 feet. It is the 4th tallest tower and 11th tallest free-standing building in the world. It was completed in 1967 with an equivalence of a 120 story building. At night, the tower’s lower levels glow a great bluish hue with the highest part a golden colour. The tower has remained the tallest building in Europe for 49 years.

3. CN Tower

#3 CN Tower

The CN Tower is 1,815.3 feet, made of concrete, and is used for observation and communications. It is located in Ontario, Canada and was completed in 1976. The CN Tower held the record for the tallest free-standing structure in the world for an astounding 32 years. If the building was constructed in 2016, the cost would be $260 million accounting for inflation. The idea for the tower’s design began in the year 1968 when the Canada National Railway wanted to construct a structure to serve as a TV and communication platform for the Toronto region. In addition, they wanted a structure that would demonstrate the might of the industry of Canada and particularly that of the CN. There were many designs, but they eventually settled for one continuous six-sided core to the SkyPod. The tower also has three supports that are blended seamlessly with the hexagonal tower below the main level. The result is a vast Y-shaped structure at the ground level. It also has several safety features. Incandescent lights were used previously but later replaced by LED lights in 2007.

2. Canton Tower

#2 Canton Tower

Otherwise referred to as the Guangzhou tower, the Canton tower stands at 1,982 feet. It is a multipurpose use structure found in Haizhu District of Guangzhou in Guandong, China. Maximum height was reached in 2009 and it started operations on September 29, 2010, during the Asia Games. It is second-tallest tower and the fourth-tallest structure on the planet that is free-standing with 37 floors and two basement floors. The construction cost was around $450 million. Generally, the Canton Tower has a twisting/winding shape which also has the highest and biggest roof observatory, stealing that title from the Burj Khalifa. The Khalifa later retook this title after opening its new rooftop observatory called At The Top SKY. The tower has many LED lights that can be operated individually allowing for the creation of animations.

1. Tokyo Skytree

#1 Tokyo Skytree

The Tokyo Skytree is a tower found in Sumida, Tokyo (Japan) whose three main uses are as an observation platform, a restaurant, and for broadcasting. Skytree is the tallest building in Japan which attained its maximum height at a whopping 2,080 feet in March 2011, making it the tallest tower in the world. The Skytree building has 32 floors above ground with three below. Skytree was officially opened on May 22, 2012, after its completion on February 29, 2012. Construction costs are estimated at $600 million. The design of the tower was based on three concepts namely; a promoter for the renaissance of Tokyo, to fuse a neo-futuristic style with Japan’s rich traditional beauty, and to contribute to preventing disaster. The tower is earthquake proofed. The exterior is painted in a colour called "Skytree White" and is lit up by Light-emitting diode lights making a great sight at night.

The World's Tallest Towers

RankNamePinnacle heightYearLocation
1Tokyo Skytree634 m (2,080 ft)2012Tokyo, Japan
2Canton Tower604 m (1,982 ft)2010Guangzhou, China
3CN Tower553.33 m (1,815.4 ft)1976Toronto, Canada
4Ostankino Tower540.1 m (1,772 ft)1967Moscow, Russia
5Oriental Pearl Tower468 m (1,535 ft)1994Shanghai, China
6Milad Tower435 m (1,427 ft)2007Tehran, Iran
7KL Tower421 m (1,381 ft)1994Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
8Tianjin Radio and Television Tower415.2 m (1,362 ft)1991Tianjin, China
9Central Radio and TV Tower405 m (1,329 ft)1992Beijing, China
10Zhongyuan Tower388 m (1,273 ft)2011Zhengzhou, China
11Tashkent Tower374.9 m (1,230 ft)1985Tashkent, Uzbekistan
12Liberation Tower372 m (1,220 ft)1996Kuwait City, Kuwait
13Almaty Tower371.5 m (1,219 ft)1983Almaty, Kazakhstan
14Riga Radio and TV Tower368.5 m (1,209 ft)1986Riga, Latvia
15Berliner Fernsehturm368 m (1,207 ft)1969Berlin, Germany

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