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Tallest Buildings in the World

by Beth Rowen

For thousands of years, buildings have been used to show off power and wealth, to honor leaders or religions, to stretch architectural limits, and even to impress the competition. In the 19th century, engineering developments paved the way for a whole new type of building: the skyscraper. Follow this slideshow to see and learn about some of the tallest buildings in the world.

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Burj Khalifa
Dubai, United Arab Emirates


The Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was completed in January 2010 and became the world's tallest building at 2,716 feet (828 meters) and 160 stories. It contains the world's fastest elevators, 20.7 acres of glass, and is expected to use about 250,000 gallons of water per day. Designed by the firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Burj Khalifa features a triple-lobed footprint that was inspired by an abstract rendering of the Hymenocallis, a desert flower native to the area. The structure, which somewhat resembles the Sears Tower, is located in the heart of Dubai's bustling business district. A hotel occupies the bottom 37 floors of the building. Floors 45 through 108 house apartments, and corporate offices take up the remainder of the building.

Fun Fact: Fashion designer Georgio Armani opened the first Armani Hotel in the Burj Dubai and designed its interior.

Photo source: Thomas Doerfer

Next: Taipei 101
Taipei, Taiwan

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