Reaching new heights: The year in skyscrapers
Each year, the influential Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) conducts a review of skyscraper construction. 2017's review reveals that it has been a bumper year for tall buildings, with the most skyscrapers ever completed in a single year.
2017 saw a total of 144 skyscrapers measuring over 200 m (656 ft)-tall completed worldwide. It's an impressive number: if you stacked all the towers on top of each other, they'd reach 35,135 m (115,272 ft) – or well into the earth's stratosphere. To give some perspective on the number of completed skyscrapers, it's almost double the 74 completed in 2013, while there were just 23 completed back in 2000.
This year is a record breaker for geographical diversity too, with new skyscrapers built in a total of 69 cities and 23 countries. That said, China still leads the way, with 76 skyscrapers completed in that part of the world. The United States is in second place with 10 skyscrapers and South Korea comes in third place with seven completed skyscrapers.
As far as cities go, it's largely as you'd expect, with Shenzhen, China, coming first with a dozen skyscrapers, followed by Nanning, China, and Jakarta, Indonesia, with seven and five, respectively. Perhaps surprisingly, Pyongyang in North Korea, managed four completed skyscrapers (the same number as NYC).
Of all the skyscrapers completed in 2017, 15 are rated supertall (exceeding 300 m/984 ft in height) and just two are tall enough to enter the Top 10 rankings.
The Ping An Finance Centre in Shenzhen, China, was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) and at 599 m (1965 ft) in height, is rated the world's 4th tallest building by CTBUH. It features a sculpted stainless steel facade that offers protection against the city's salty coastal atmosphere and strong winds.
The Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea, again by KPF, reaches a height of 555 m (1,820 ft), making it the world's fifth tallest building. Its design is inspired by traditional Korean ceramics, porcelain and calligraphy, and it boasts the world's highest glass-bottomed observation deck, which is reached by the world's fastest elevator.
"Asia – and China in particular – still leads the world in 200-meter- plus building completions, but the region may start to lose its dramatic lead as other regions, such as Africa and India, pick up the pace," says CTBUH. "North America, which for much of the twentieth century completed the majority of 200-meter-plus buildings in the world, is also beginning to see a resurgence in tall building construction. In addition, new technologies and increased international capital flows are facilitating the creation of ever-taller skyscrapers. Looking forward, 2018 may well be another record-breaking year."
Head to the gallery to see 20 notable skyscrapers completed this year, as chosen by CTBUH.