These are the Tallest Buildings on Every Continent (Including Antarctica)

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Stay up to date on the latest in BIM, Revit, and Architecture.

These are the Tallest Buildings on Every Continent (Including Antarctica)

Dylan Kleintop


With advances in materials and construction technology throughout the last several decades, countries all over the world are forgetting the space race to take on a new rivalry: building the world's tallest skyscrapers.

Having the tallest building in a region not only increases tourism revenue but is also a symbol of glory and power.  Because countries all over the world are building new buildings every day, it's tough to hold onto the "tallest skyscraper" title for very long.  

Here are the tallest buildings from every continent (including Antarctica). 

The Tallest Building in Africa: The Iconic Tower

With a structural height of 1,292 feet, and located in Egypt, The Iconic Tower is the tallest building in Africa.  Although it is yet to be officially completed, its height outpaces the second-tallest tower by more than 500 feet.   


Image source: Daily News Egypt

ImageImage source: KONE

The Iconic Tower consists of 40 office floors, 10 branded apartments, and 30 hotel rooms, and will cover more than 700,000 square feet.  The Iconic Tower's exterior design was inspired by the shape of a pharaonic obelisk, with the glass exterior representing the Egyptian god Amun's Shuti Crown.  

The Tallest Building in South America: Gran Torre Santiago

Standing at 980 feet tall and 64 stories high, the Gran Torre Santiago, located in Chile, is the largest tower in South America and the fifth-tallest in the southern hemisphere. 


Image source: Cities and Skyscrapers

ImageImage source: Alluring World

Construction was completed in 2013 and in 2015 an observation deck was opened to the public on floors 61 and 62.  The total cost of the building was around $1 billion and is so towering that it casts a shadow more than a mile long.  

The Tallest Building in Asia: Burj Khalifa

When anyone thinks of the world's tallest structures, the Burj Khalifa comes to mind.  Standing at 2,722 feet (or just over half a mile), the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure in Asia and the world since topping out in 2009.  


Image source: Luxury Travel Expert

The structure was designed by a team at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and holds 15 world records.  The Burj Khalifa houses 163 rooms including 3 sky lobbies, fitness facilities, swimming pools, restaurants, and an observatory deck on the 148th floor. 


Image source: Izkiz

The Tallest Building in North America: CN Tower 

Beating the One World Trade Center in New York City by 23 feet, the CN Tower, located in Toronto, is the tallest building in North America.  Completed in 1976 and featuring 147 rooms, the CN Tower cost $287 million to complete. 


Image source: Conde Nast Traveler

In 2011, the CN Tower opened the EdgeWalk, an amusement in which thrill-seekers can walk on and around the roof of the main pod of the tower (1,168 feet).  It is the world's highest full-circle, hands-free walk.   


Image source: Oddviser

Also featured at the CN Tower is 360 The Restaurant.  The restaurant is home to the world's highest wine cellar and completes a full rotation every 72 minutes. 

The Tallest Building in Europe: Ostankino Tower

Completed in 1967, the Ostankino Tower, located in Moscow, Russia is the tallest structure in Europe and the 12th tallest in the world topping out at 1,772 feet.  The tower features two observation decks; the glassed deck and the open observation deck.  


Image source: TripAdvisor

ImageImage source: MyLittleAdventure

The tower was primarily designed to enable radio and television broadcasts and is currently used by 11 television stations, 12 radio stations, and 17 satellite television programs. 

The Tallest Buildings in Antarctica: Long Duration Balloon Payload Preparation Buildings

Unsurprising to many, there are no skyscrapers in Antarctica, but there are many permanent structures there.  At 49 feet tall, the Long Duration Balloon (LDB) Payload Preparation Buildings are identical structures located at the tip of Ross Island and form part of a United States Research center. 


Image source: Shawn O'Boyle Photography

ImageImage source: StratoCat

The LDB Payload Preparation Buildings are moveable buildings built on skis placed on a berm.  Due to the climate of Antarctica, there is no surprise that they are the least visited buildings on the list. 

The Tallest Building in Australia: Queensland Number One

Queensland Number One, also referred to as the Q1 Tower, is a supertall residential skyscraper standing at 1,058 feet.  Completed in 2005, the Q1 Tower offers 526 modern apartments, two lagoon swimming pools, a lap pool, a small theater, a ballroom, and a gymnasium. 


Image source: Must Do Gold Coast

ImageImage source: Flickr

The Q1 Tower also features an observation deck at levels 77 and 78 called SkyPoint, which gives the public 360-degree views of Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, and the Pacific Ocean.  It also features one of the world's fastest elevators taking you from the ground to level 77 in 42.7 seconds



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