10 of the tallest skyscrapers under construction
22 August 2023
Merdeka 118, the world’s second tallest building, is due to open its doors towards the end of this year.
Built by main contractor Samsung C&T and designed by architect Fender Katsalidis in association with RSP KL, Merdeka 118’s 158m spire takes it to a total height of 680.9m tall.
That compares to the 830m height of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
While construction started on an even taller building, the 1km-high Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, structural work halted in 2018 and has been on hold ever since.
Meanwhile, work on a 2km-tall tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, announced late last year has yet to start. A design competition for what would be the world’s tallest building by some distance is reportedly underway.
So what are some of the other tallest buildings currently under construction around the world? International Construction has compiled a list of 10 of the biggest.
Nine out of 10 are in China, and they are all close to 500m in height. That’s because China has banned the construction of buildings over that level.
It follows concerns around quality and safety amid a glut of supertall construction projects in China in the years preceding the Covid-19 pandemic.
The country’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has also placed planning restrictions on buildings above 250m in height. A follow-up announcement in 2021 banned the construction of buildings over 150m in height in cities with a population of three million people or fewer.
So while several supertall buildings are still under construction in China, the country is unlikely to build anything that challenges for the title of tallest building in the world any time soon.
10 of the tallest buildings in the world under construction:
1) Greenland Jinmao International Financial Centre, Nanjing, China
The Greenland Jinmao International Financial Center is a hotel and office complex in Nanjing, China. It has been designed by US architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and will reach a planned height of 499.8m.
The triangular-shaped building is designed to take advantage of the shape of the site on which it is built. Greenland Group is the developer of the tower, while SOM is also acting as structural engineer and MEP engineer.
Work started in 2019 and completion is expected in 2025, at which point the Greenland Jinmao International Financial Center will become Nanjing’s tallest building.
2) HeXi Yuzui Tower A, Nanjing, China
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture has designed the HeXi Yuzui Tower A in Nanjing, China, which will be just one metre shorter than the nearby Greenland Jinmao International Financial Centre. The office building, being constructed by main contractor Nanjing Runmao Real Estate Co, will have LEED-Gold certification. The tower will integrate rainwater harvesting in its sky gardens, with excess water drained to tanks below ground and stored for reuse. A high-performance façade will reduce heating loads. A low-E insulated curtain wall system will have fins that reduce solar heat gain while maintaining access to daylight.
The tower will also feature a 360° open-air observatory at the top, which will be one of the highest in the world. Meanwhile, its design draws inspiration from the patterns contained in the flowing waters of the nearby Yangtze River.
Work started in 2021 and is scheduled for completion in 2025.
3) Fuyuan Zhongshan 108 IFC, Zhongshan, China
Construction started in 2021 on the Fuyuan Zhongshan 108 International Financial Centre IFC), in Zhonshan, China. The building is expected to serve as a mixed-use hotel and office block. Details of the team behind the construction have not been confirmed. Like other Chinese buildings in the list, it sits just below the 500m threshold, at 498m tall. Completion is expected in 2029.
4) China International Silk Road Center, Xi’an, China
The China International Silk Road Center, formerly known as the Greenland Center, will become Xi’an’s tallest building when completed. Designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) and developed by Greenland Group, the building was originally supposed to be 501m tall but has been reduced to 498m. Work on the concrete-steel composite building started in 2019 and is due for completion in 2025.
5) Tianfu Center, Chengdu, China
Architect Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) has designed the 489m-tall, mixed use Tianfu Center as the centrepiece of Chengdu’s Tianfu New Area. The building is also known as the Panda Tower, and will comprise office, hotel and retail. The building will be tiered from one side to the other until tapering to a peak, reflecting a mountain’s structure. Work started last year (2022) and is due for completion in 2026.
6) Shanghai North Bund Center, Shanghai, China
KPF has also designed the 480m-tall Shanghai North Bund Center, where contractors broke ground in March this year.
The building will be 99 floors high and is designed as a ‘vertical city’, housing offices and hospitality, with the top of the tower open to the public. The crown of the building resembles a magnolia, the city flower of Shanghai, according to KPF.
The site for the building was acquired by Shanghai Industrial Development Co, Shanghai City Investment (Group) Co, and Shanghai Construction Engineering Group in a consortium in 2021. The building will be the tallest in Puxi, the historic centre of Shanghai.
7=) Wuhan Chow Tai Fook Center, Wuhan, China
Architect Ronald Lu & Partners has designed the Wuhan CTF Finance Centre in Wuhan, China.
The mixed-use building on which construction started last year, is scheduled for completion in 2026. Arup has worked on the structural design while New World China Land is project manager.
The building sits in the business district along the Yangtze River in Wuhan. Alongside the office tower and a shopping mall will sit two 200m residential towers.
7=) Torre Rise tower, Monterrey, Mexico
Developer Ancore Group is building a 475m-tall skyscraper called the Torre Rise tower in Monterrey, Mexico.
Foundation works for the tower started this summer, when work to sink a total of 40 foundation piles for the concrete structure, each 2.2m in diameter and 16m deep began.
Work to pour a 3m foundation slab was due to start later this summer.
The 99-storey tower will reach its full height of 475m thanks to a spire on top of the building, while the maximum occupancy level reaching 403m. Completion is expected in 2026.
9) Bund Fosun Center, T1 Wuhan, China
Tower one of the Bund Fosun Center is expected to stand 470m tall, significantly taller than the three other towers planned for the complex, which range from 220m to 356m.
Tower one will be twinned with a second shorter tower, with the two bridged together at three levels.
The developer of the complex, designed by KPF, is Fosun International. A completion date for the project has not yet been confirmed.
10) International Land-Sea Center, Chongqing, China
The International Land-Sea Center in China already topped out last year ahead of completion in 2024.
The 458m-tall building is another designed by KPF and is the anchor of the three-building Chongqing 100 complex in south west China.
Arup is working as structural engineer on the concrete-steel composite building, with China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Co serving as main contractor.