World’s 4th and 5th Tallest Buildings Officially Open, Pushing USA Out of Top 5

Lotte World Tower, by  Neroson ,  CC BY-SA 4.0

Lotte World Tower, by Neroson, CC BY-SA 4.0

Holding the distinction of having the world’s tallest building is a coveted milestone for designers, builders, and countries alike, but no one has been able to top the 2,722 foot tall Burj Khalifa yet, since it opened in early 2010. The 2nd tallest tower in the world, the Shanghai Tower, opened 5 years later and stands 2,073 feet tall. Just recently, two more gigantic buildings opened their doors, taking over the 4th and 5th spots on the list for tallest in the world, pushing America’s One World Trade Center into 6th place.

The first to open was the 1,965 foot tall (599m) Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen China.  Designed by supertall building experts Kohn Pederson Fox, the building features 100 floors of office space, as well as a central atrium with retail and restaurants.

Although the Ping An did not break the record for being the world’s tallest, it still holds the record for largest stainless steel facade.  Over 1,700 tons of 316L stainless steel was used for the exterior, which Building Design + Construction explained was due to its corrosion resistance against harsh coastal atmosphere of Shenzhen.

Shortly after the Ping An opened up, the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea officially became the new 5th tallest tower in the world.  At 1,819 feet tall, it trails the Ping An by just a little over 100 feet and was also designed by Kohn Pederson Fox. 

Like the Ping An, the Lotte also holds a few records of its own, including having the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck, the world’s highest swimming pool, and the world’s fastest elevator, according to Building Design + Construction.  The observation deck is located on the 118th floor, which 1,640 feet in the air.  The swimming pool is stationed way up on the 85th floor and the elevator can take passengers to the top of the building from the ground floor in around 60 seconds.