Skyscrapers and supertall buildings have made a lasting impression on city skylines for nearly the last hundred years. Many of the tallest buildings recorded are built in the United States and Asia. For a list of the highest skyscrapers, the measures of either the roof or the highest architectural feature are taken into account.
The current record for the tallest building worldwide is held by Dubai with its Burj Khalifa with a height of about 830m. It was officially opened in 2010 as part of the Downtown Dubai development project and cost about 1.5 billion US Dollars. The building houses a hotel, corporate suites as well as residential apartments. The skyscraper won numerous awards, although reception by the public and media was not always favourable: There was a large dispute about badly paid workers from Asia and one of the men working in the building committed suicide in 2011.
The first skyscrapers were built in England and the United States at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. The most important competitor cities for the tallest building were New York and Chicago. The skyscrapers in these two cities include the most notable examples of 20th century modern architecture. The Flatiron Building in New York, which was completed in 1902, is said to have been the first skyscraper in New York. The Woolworth Building in New York was the tallest building from 1913 to 1930, with a height of 241m. Then the Art Deco style Chrysler Building took over the title with 319m. The Empire State Building was labelled tallest man-made building in 1931 and retained it as long as 1972. The World Trade Center twin towers, which were destroyed by terrorists in 2011, were the world’s largest building for the year 1973. The Willis Tower, formerly called Sears Tower, surpassed it in 1974 with a height of 442m and was the last building in the United States to be awarded the title. The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, topped it in 1998, followed by Taipeh 101 in 2004. The future outlook is impressive: Several very tall buildings that will be completed in the next few years are in progress in Asia, India, Saudi Arabia, New York and London.