The World’s Tallest Buildings [Infographic]

You’ve heard it said that the sky is the limit, but perhaps wondered what that meant, or looked like. What form does that saying take when translated to real life?

While there may not be a concrete answer, the infographic below shows that humans have tried to test that theory. Spending billions of dollars and millions of man hours dating back to 2550 BC, human kind has been trying to reach the sky.

From office high-rises to great tombs of the past, the race has been and is still on. These construction marvels have no rivals but each other, yet in the future, more will undoubtedly come.

The World’s Tallest Buildings [infographic]
Sourced from Maxwell Systems

The infographic gives a detailed look at the buildings, costs, completion times, heights and construction dates, but many of them have stories of their own. Check out just a few below.

Burj Khalifa

Without a doubt, the Burj Khalifa stands out among its competition. Completed in 2010, this residence, office complex, indoor park, fitness centre and hotel hybrid is the tallest building in the world. It’s also broken numerous other records. To date it stands as:

  • The tallest free-standing structure ever built,
  • The building with the most functional stories in the world,
  • The structure with the highest-occupied floor level in the world,
  • The highest observation deck in the world (which is outside), and
  • The highest elevator in the world.

The building is also a work of art. Designed to look like an abstract version of the Humenocallis flower, known for long petals extending from its centre and found in tropical and subtropical locations in the world, it’s meant to mimic beauty and will remain a must-see attraction for decades to come.

One World Trade Center

Currently under construction and also known as the Freedom Tower, One World Trade Centre is set to be the highest building in the United States by the end of 2014. However, what many are not aware of is that this building is being built with security in mind to ease the minds and security of New Yorkers following the attacks of 9/11/2001.

The 40,000 metric tons of structural steel will provide a strong spine to bolster the building’s engineering strength. Inside this frame, concrete walls one-meter in thickness will encase elevators and stairwells preventing future collapse – designed to mimic a nuclear power plant – and a state of the art communication system will enhance the built-in features.

Eiffel Tower

Built in 1889 as the entrance to the World’s Fair hosted in Chicago, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognised man-made structures in the world. Constructed of pure iron and weighing it at over 10,000 tons, the tower requires yearly upkeep in the form of inspections and new coats of paint to maintain its elegance.

This work of beauty is not just art, it’s also an engineering feat. Designed to withstand gale-force winds, it’s well-equipped to handle the millions of visitors that climb its stairs each year. With imitations around the world, it’s also known for being one of the most replicated structures in existence.


While these are just a few facts and figures about some of the most impressive structures in the world, there is more to learn about each. The history behind the construction of each yields individual, fascinating stories that make one thing clear: man’s mission to build to the sky is far from complete.

About the author


James is a freelance writer/designer for Maxwell Systems and blogger at Infobros.

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