The 20 Tallest Skyscrapers in the World

by Chris Newens  |  Published February 28, 2017

9. Shanghai World Financial Center, China

A restaurant sign in Melbourne's Chinatown plays on the name of China's former Revolutionary Leader (Photo: Trans World Productions via Flickr / CC By 2.0)

The iconic tip of the Shanghai World Finance Center (Photo: Ben Paarmann via Flickr / CC By 2.0)

Holding a portrait up to the sky, the Shanghai World Financial Center is the oldest building on this list so far regards the laying of its foundation stone, which happened way back in 1997, but not in terms of its completion date: 2008.

The reason for such a long construction time (OK, not long in contrast to a medieval cathedral, but positively glacial as far as skyscrapers are concerned) was thanks to a funding shortage with the tower’s builders, the Piere de Smet Building Corporation, stalling the project shortly after foundations were laid.

By the time building got underway again in 2003, a decision had been taken to increase the tower’s height by an additional 32 metres, making it – briefly – the tallest building in Shanghai. It was soon eclipsed by the Shanghai Tower, though with it has become one part of the world’s first adjacent grouping of three supertall skyscrapers (the Jin Mao Tower constitutes the third).