Top ten tallest skyscrapers
completing in 2013


As 2013 gets underway, here's a look at the ten tallest skyscrapers set to complete around the globe this year (+ interactive image).

This list includes four towers in China, a Abu Dhabi complex by Foster + Partners and North Korea's infamous "Hotel of Doom". Surprisingly, Renzo Piano's The Shard wasn't tall enough to make the list.

Eton Place Dalian Tower 1

1. Eton Place Dalian Tower 1 - 383 metres

The highest building scheduled to finish in 2013 is the 383-metre tower of Eton Place Dalian (above), a mixed-use complex for the city in north-east China. Designed by architects NBBJ, the glazed skyscraper is yet to reach full height, but once complete it will become one of the top twenty tallest buildings in the world.

The Domain by Foster + Partners

2. The Domain - 381 metres

London firm Foster + Partners is in second place with apartment block The Domain, the largest of three towers nearing completion on the site of the old Central Market in Abu Dhabi (above). The building topped out at 381 metres in 2012 and forms part of a larger masterplan for the Aldar Central Market, which also incorporates shopping centre The Souk.

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai Tower 2

Above: image c/o JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, via CTBUH

3. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel tower two - 355 metres

In third position is a tower at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai, by Archgroup Consultants. The first of the hotel's two skyscrapers was completed in 2012 and stands at 355 metres, making it the tallest hotel in the world. At exactly the same height, tower number two will follow this year and was designed to mirror its partner (above).

Chongqing World Financial Center

4. Chongqing World Financial Centre - 339 metres

The second building on our list from China is the Chongqing World Financial Centre (above), a 73-storey office tower under construction in the nation's third-largest city. The skyscraper has not topped out but is set to have a height of 339 metres, making it the fourth tallest building due to finish in 2013.

Mercury City Tower

5. Mercury City Tower - 339 metres

At number five is Moscow's Mercury City Tower (above), which has already overtaken Renzo Piano's The Shard as Europe's tallest skyscraper. Featuring a shimmering facade of golden glass, the 339-metre mixed-use tower was designed by Russian architect Mikhail Posokhin and the late American architect Frank Williams.

Modern Media Centre

6. Modern Media Centre - 332 metres

The sixth tallest skyscraper to complete in 2013 will be the Modern Media Centre in Changzhou (above), with a height of 332 metres. The building will contain 57 floors to accommodate production facilities for television, film, animation and radio.

Ryugyong Hotel

7. Ryugyong Hotel - 330 metres

North Korea's notorious Ryugyong Hotel (above) is finally due to complete in 2013, 24 years behind schedule, and takes seventh place on our list. Nicknamed the "Hotel of Doom", the 330-metre pyramidal building in Pyongyang was first under construction in 1987. Building work stopped in 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union placed the city in an economic crisis and didn't resume until 2008.

Al Yaqoub Tower

8. Al Yaqoub Tower - 328 metres

The eighth building on our list is the Al Yaqoub Tower (above), a 328-metre apartment and hotel building for Dubai. Designed by UAE firm Eng. Adnan Saffarini, the building is set to become the world's second-tallest clock tower, only surpassed by the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel in Mecca.

The Landmark by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

9/10. The Landmark and Deji Plaza phase two - 324 metres

Ninth position is shared between two buildings; the mixed-use Landmark tower in Dubai Abu Dhabi by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (above) and an office tower rising up over the Deji Plaza shopping centre in Nanjing, China (below). Both towers have a height of 324 metres, but the former features a curved profile while the latter has a rectilinear form.

Deji Plaza Phase 2

The list was compiled using data provided by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). It doesn't currently include the skyscraper that construction firm Broad Sustainable Building claims to be building in just 90 days in Changsha, which would top this list and become the the world's tallest building if completed on schedule.

The CTBUH recently published a summary of skyscrapers constructed in 2012, finding that the total number of skyscrapers constructed around the world failed to increase for the first time in six years. This time last year they also predicted what the tallest buildings in 2020 might be.

See all our stories about skyscrapers »

  • Aaron

    Yes Ryugyong Hotel is spectacularly hideous but I don't find it widely different to any of the others in terms of attitude or intent.

  • rock

    7/10 are ugly, the North Korean one being, by far, the most hideous.

    • Seb Miller

      Is it really “hideous”? Or are we just just programed to say that because: a) western aesthetics and appreciation of what is “good” is deemed to be superior. b) Flagship building of a dictatorship that disobeys the West can never bee seen as “good”.

      If I had a choice to stay in any of these buildings, I would go to the North Korean tower. It is so bizarre that it would be memorable. It’s the only building that I can muster a reaction over. Everything else is as bland as the mono-culture world we are becoming.

  • Mikey

    “Ninth position is shared between two buildings; the mixed-use Landmark tower in Dubai by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (above)”. It is here in Abu Dhabi on Airport Road at the Corniche, actually, but we’re frequently mistaken by Dubai, so no hard feelings.

    • Hi Mikey, you're right, thanks for pointing that out. Amy/Dezeen

  • cor

    Difficult to chose: they’re all ugly!

  • Pierre

    Remember Delirious New York? The fascination for the third dimension, the freedom of building within a city’s tissue? This is all worthless.

    And Korea, seriously?

  • Allan

    The first one seems nice.

  • btee

    I think I just brought up my lunch. Obviously size isn’t everything, because these towers are awful.

  • Tiffany

    So who goes to Pyongyang for their vacation? When will this hotel ever be at capacity?

  • tim

    What about One World Trade Centre (aka freedom tower) in New York? 541 metres, opening in 2013.

    • Hi Tim, we sourced our information from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The CTBUH don’t believe the building will be complete until it is occupiable, which is set to be early 2014.


  • Mike NYC

    Depressing. Generic ugly corporate architecture. All of a sudden, The Shard in London is looking good!

  • nsa

    Why can’t anyone use another material than glass? The colour palette of the modern city is going to be so boring!

  • stefan

    You know that something is wrong with contemporary architecture when the one in North Korea looks better than all the crappy generic towers.

    • zizi

      Ha ha, amen bro!

    • Rob T

      I rarely see a skyscraper I’m happy to call a work of architecture. They’re very often a single floor plan extruded over several hundred metres until either a client’s wallet or a structural engineer yells stop.

  • The selection shows clearly: size isn’t everything. Dinosaurs used to be impressive, too. Smart is the new big.

  • alex

    To be honest I dislike the idea of skyscrapers (I admit they are necessary, though). Seeing famous offices fighting to design AWFUL skyscrapers is simply disappointing.