World architects have always been a selfish bunch, intrinsically motivated by fame and immortality. But we’ll forgive them. They’ve created over a dozen world record breaking buildings that will blow your mind.
Spanning mud palaces to towering twin towers, these 13 record breaking buildings are soon likely to feature on your travel bucketlist.
Tallest Unoccupied Building
Ryugyong Hotel – Pyongyang, North Korea
Height: 1,082 feet.
If ever you visit Pyongyang then you won’t be staying at the Ryugyong Hotel. Construction started in 1987 and the 105 stories were completed by 1992. Unfortunately, economic hardship meant that the building has always stood empty. Given the North Korea governmental attitude to the world, it’s unlikely that a surge of tourism will see the hotel finished any time soon.
The World’s Tallest Building for 3,871 Years
Great Pyramid of Giza – Egypt
Height: 481 feet.
Still standing proud after 4500 years, the Great Pyramid of Giza was built as a tomb for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu. It took 20 years to build and is the only ancient wonder of the world that is still standing. It was the world’s tallest building for 3,871 years. To put this record into perspective, New York’s Chysler Building held the title for just one year in 1930.
Tallest Residential Building
Princess Tower – Dubai, UAE
Height: 1,356 feet over 101 floors.
Despite being the world’s highest residential building, you’ll need an apartment on the top 60 floors to get a good view here. The Princess Tower is located in the world’s tallest residential district, adjacent to two other 1,000 feet plus buildings. Even those who paid millions for the penthouses are likely to be disappointed; later this year, Marina 101 is set to become the new world’s tallest residential building at 1,399 feet, blocking the panoramas of half the Princess Tower residents.
Largest Building Made of Mud
The Grand Mosque – Djenne, Mali
Size: 131 feet wide and 328 feet long.
Crafting a building out of steel is one thing, but maintaining a palace of mud is quite another. Standing since 1907, the walls of the Grand Mosque are one of West Africa’s most iconic sights. Rains devour the walls every year, causing the mud to start slipping into the foundations. So an army of locals works nonstop for a month to repair the structure and keep its place in the Guinness World Record books.
Building with the Highest Revolving Restaurant
Canton Tower -Guangzhou, China
Height: 1,387 feet on the 106th floor.
The Canton Tower used to be world’s tallest freestanding tower. But it was upsurged by the Tokyo Skytree. Keen to prove they’re bigger and badder than the Japanese, the Chinese inserted a revolving restaurant to keep the Canton Tower’s place in the record books. On a clear day you can just about see across to Kong Kong Island. However, endless panoramas are rare as Guangzhou is located in a Chinese region of heavy industry and smog.
World’s Tallest Building and Building With Most Floors
Burj Khalifa – Dubai, UAE
Height: 2,716 feet, spread over 163 floors plus a further 46 maintenance levels in the spire.
Any building that can completely dominate Dubai’s desert skyscraper-scape must be of gargantuan proportions. The Burj is supplied by 250,000 gallons of water a day and the building weighs the same as 100,000 elephants. It used to be called the Burj Dubai, but the name was changed at the last minute to honor Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi who bailed out Dubai in 2009.
Tallest Twin Towers
Petronas Towers – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Height: 1,462 feet.
The Petronas Towers come as a shock when you’re traveling in Southeast Asia. You’re passing through bamboo shacks and quaint seaside resorts, then you’re in Malaysia’s capital gazing at the world’s highest twin towers. This building is far more impressive given how high it stands above the surroundings. Kuala Lumpur doesn’t have much of a sky rising cityscape. The city is about cute colonial buildings and two-storey Indian shops.
World’s Heaviest Building
The Palace of the Parliament – Bucharest, Romania
Without a weighing scale to measure buildings, Guinness only believe that this palace is the world’s heaviest building. But it’s a good bet considering the 1.5 billion pounds of bronze and steel, the 7.7 million pounds of crystal glass, and 35.3 million cubic feet of marble. Which is pretty outlandish considering it was built during communist times.
A Record Breaking Building from Medieval Times
Lincoln Cathedral – UK
Height: 524 feet.
In the modern era, the title of world’s tallest building has regularly changed hands. Lincoln Cathedral was the world’s tallest building and tallest structure for 250 years, holding architectural fame from 1300 to 1549. It wasn’t even upsurged by a higher building. Unfortunately, the spire collapsed in 1549, making St Olaf’s Church the world’s tallest building even those it was slightly shorter at 522 feet.
The Farthest Manmade Leaning Building
Capital Gate – Abu Dhabi, UAE
Height: 525 feet. Inclination: 18 degrees.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa inclines barely four degrees. It was never intended to lean. The architects messed it up and achieved immortality for the wrong reasons. Inclining almost five times further, Captial Gate is supposed to look how it does, the engineering miracle achieved with thick floor plates inserted from the 12th floor up.
Largest Solar-Powered Building
Sun-Moon Mansion – Dezhou, China
Size: 807,000 square feet.
Who said China was just about smog and destroying the environment? This giant sun dial styled building is 95% powered by renewable energy. It was designed by Ming Huang, a former oil engineer who knows the world needs to change. The mansion is becoming the centerpiece of a wider solar valley as China looks to transform its energy industry.
World’s Tallest Hotel
The JW Marriot Marquis Hotel – Dubai, UAE
Height: 1,166 feet over 77 floors.
Dubai is currently gobbling up all the tallest building records. After the world’s tallest building and tallest residential building, it’s currently building the new tallest twin towers in the world. And here’s the world’s highest hotel. There are 684 rooms, two ballrooms, ten restaurants, and four bars. But it’s not the city’s most exclusive hotel. That title goes to Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, one of Random Vacay’s most luxurious place in the world.
Highest Base Jump from a Building
Off the Burj Khalifa in Dubai
Height: 2,716 feet.
These two maniacs didn’t just jump off the top of the Burj Khalifa. That would be dull. They placed a temporary platform on the top of the spire and jumped down onto the city. The video tells you everything you need to know about these insane nutters.
Highest Commercial Jump from a Building
From the Macau Tower in Macau
Height: 653 feet
They aren’t going to let anyone jump 2,716 feet off the Burj Khalifa. If you’re a mere mortal with no experience of heights, the highest commercial bungee jump is off the Macau Tower. The world’s highest bungee has kept increasing in height, so doing any random bungee jump is no longer cool. 100 foot bungees are for pussies. It’s only cool if you do the world’s highest.