Sun Hung Kai Properties

High and mighty? Try these on for size!

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 September, 2007, 12:00am

the top five ... tallest buildings

Taipei 101

Taipei, Taiwan

Standing 509.2m tall with 101 floors, this is the first building in the world to have rooms more than half a kilometre up in the air.

Most visitors prefer to explore the bottom six floors of shops, restaurants, nightclubs and cinemas, all designed by a fung shui master.

Visitors who want to see the city from the observation deck on the 89th floor can take one of the world's swiftest lifts.

These lifts move passengers at an amazing 16.83 metres per second, or 63 kilometres per hour. This means you can move from the ground to the top in less than 45 seconds!


Twin Towers

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Designed by Argentine-American architect Cesar Pelli and completed in 1998, these are the world's tallest twin towers.

The towers are made from steel-reinforced concrete columns covered in stainless steel and glass arranged in a crisscross pattern often seen in classic Islamic art. Each tower has 88 floors, plus spires that reach to 452m. Office workers who want to cross between towers can take the Skybridge that links the 41st and 42nd floors of each tower.

The towers also house the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra concert hall. This has a hi-tech roof that can be adjusted or 'tuned' so that the sound from every performance is perfect.

Sears Tower


A towering 442m from floor to roof, the Sears Tower was the world's tallest building from 1973 to 1998.

The roof of Taipei 101 is higher, but as the Sears Tower has an aerial that stretches to 527m above the ground, this building still holds the record for the tallest pinnacle.

The bathrooms on the Skydeck observation lounge on the 103rd floor lie 412m above street level and hold the record for being the highest bathroom facilities in the world.

Unlike most visitors who take the elevator, French urban climber Alain 'Spiderman' Robert (below) scaled the steel and glass exterior with his bare hands and feet.

Jin Mao Building


The 420.5m tall Golden Prosperity Building is the fifth tallest in the world by roof height and the seventh tallest by pinnacle height.

Built to look like a traditional Chinese tiered pagoda, this building's design is based on the lucky number eight.

The 88-floor Jin Mao is shaped like an octagon, and is divided vertically into 16 segments, each of which is one-eighth shorter than the section below it.

The Shanghai Grand Hyatt that occupies floors 53 to 87 is the highest hotel in the world. Its laundry chute runs all the way down to the basement and is the world's longest.

Two International Finance Centre

Hong Kong

Hong Kong's own Two IFC has a roof height of 406.9m, which makes it the third tallest building in the world by roof height.

As its top floor lies 401.9m above street level, it is also the seventh tallest office building in the world.

The tower became renowned even before it was completed when Lara Croft and Terry Sheridan jumped off the top in Hollywood movie Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (below).

Two IFC gained further recognition when it hosted the world's largest advertisement, which stretched an awesome 230m over 50 floors.

Build Your Vocab

When you're reading, you don't always need to know every word to understand the sense of a passage. But do you remember new vocab when you come across it?

Build your word power by finding appropriate synonyms for the following words and phrases in the text. Want an extra challenge? Try completing this exercise from memory first!

1) Fastest

2) Pattern of crossing lines

3) Summit

4) A shape with eight equal sides

5) Famous

fab fact!

While Taipei 101 is now the tallest building in the world, the Burj Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is due to be completed late next year and will be 818m tall.


When it comes to building, nature still does it better. Hong Kong's tallest peak Tai Mo Shan soars to 958m, while Mount Everest stretches 8,850m above sea level.


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