10 Fascinating Facts About the World’s Tallest Buildings Constructed in 2016

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One of the most viewed articles on all of Architizer is this 10-fact guide to the next world’s-tallest building, theJeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, set for completion in 2020. This feature’s long-standing popularity is symbolic of our collective fascination with building tall, which has been something of an obsession for the human race since civilization began. From the Great Pyramids and the Eiffel Tower to the Empire State Building and the Burj Khalifa, our desire to reach for the skies transcends culture, geography and even economic pragmatism: Whatever the reason, we can’t help but be awestruck by architecture of outlandish scale and verticality.

Given this fact, it comes as no surprise that 2016 saw more skyscrapers constructed than ever before, and many of those were classed as “supertall,” reaching a monumental 300 meters (984 feet) or more into the sky. The statistics accompanying these mega-projects are inevitably mind-boggling, but help is here in the form of a new “Year in Review” publication by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The paper is packed with infographics, charts and facts that highlight the trends emerging within this lofty typology over the past 12 months. Below are some of the standout facts that encapsulate the global story of building tall in 2016.

© Alfonso Merchand LBR&A. Click the image for an enlarged version.

1. The 128 tall buildings over 200 meters (656 feet) tall completed in 2016 beat every previous year on record, including the previous record high of 114 completions in 2015.

2. This brings the total number of 200-meter-plus buildings in the world to 1,168, marking a 441 percent increase from the year 2000, when only 265 existed.

Total number of tall buildings constructed each year from 1960 to 2016, with projections for 2017 and 2018; chart © Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Click the image for an enlarged version.

3. There were 18 200-meter-plus buildings completed that became the tallest in a city, country or region.

4. A total of 10 supertalls — buildings of 300 meters (984 feet) or higher — were completed in 2016. This was fewer than anticipated this time last year, partly as a result of construction delays typical of buildings in this height range. Nonetheless, 2016 still saw the third-largest number of supertall completions of any year, trailing only 2015, which saw 14; and 2014, which saw 11.

Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre under construction; via SkyscraperCity

5. The tallest building to complete in 2016 was Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre by Kohn Pedersen Fox, which stands as the tallest building in Guangzhou, the second-tallest building in China and the fifth-tallest building in the world at 530 meters (1,739 feet).

6. Asia retained its status as the world’s skyscraper epicenter in 2016, completing 107 buildings, representing 84 percent of the 128-building total.

Left: distribution of tall buildings completed in 2016 by region; right: distribution by program; charts © Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

7. The Middle East matched its 2015 numbers with nine completions in 2016, with North America experiencing a slight increase this year, up from four completions in 2015 to seven in 2016.

8. For the ninth year in a row, China had the most 200-meter-plus completions, with a record 84, overtaking by 24 percent its previous annual record of 68 in 2015.

Tall buildings completed in 2016 by country and by city; charts © Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

9. The United States completed the second-most 200-meter-plus buildings with seven, a notable increase over the two buildings completed in 2015. Meanwhile, South Korea made the list with six completions, with Indonesia seeing five, and both the Philippines and Qatar completing four.

10. Shenzhen had the highest number of 200-meter-plus completions of any city in 2016 with 11 (more than any country other than China managed to complete). The total height of buildings in this category completed in Shenzhen is 2,608 meters (8,556 feet).

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