Dezeen Magazine

Skyscraper construction stalled in 2012

News: in 2012 the total number of skyscrapers constructed around the world failed to increase for the first time in six years, says the annual report from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, revealing the continued impact of the global financial crisis that started in 2007.

Just 66 buildings over 200 metres tall were completed last year, compared with 82 in 2011 and 70 in 2010. The number is less than CTBUH predicted, as many projects experienced delays that have pushed back their completion dates to 2013 and 2014.

Despite the decrease, the report states that tall building construction is by no means slowing down overall. "As 2012 closes, the industry is on the cusp of another burst of tall building development," it reads. "It is likely the 2013 completion total will set a new record for tall building completions, surpassing the 2011 total."

At 601 metres high, the tallest building to finish in the year was the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel in Mecca, now the second-highest building in the world behind the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The tower was one of five newly constructed skyscrapers completed in the Saudi Arabian city, bringing the total number in the country up from seven to twelve.

As previously reported, China continues to dominate the list, with a third of all the new buildings over 200 metres spread out across 13 different cities. According to the report, the building boom in China is set to continue, with the 660-metre Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen, the 636-metre Wuhan Greenland Center and the 632-metre Shanghai Tower all on the horizon, as well as the controversial 838-metre tower that Broad Sustainable Building plans to construct in just 90 days.

Just two of the 66 buildings were located in the USA, while four were located in Canada. Meanwhile, only three were completed in South Korea, which had until recently seen a significant increase in skyscraper construction.

Also in 2012, the two tallest residential towers in the world finished in Dubai. The title initially went to the 393-metre 23 Marina, but was stolen away by the 413-metre Princess Tower a few months later.

The tallest building in Europe also changed hands in the year, as Moscow skyscraper Mercury City overtook Renzo Piano's The Shard.

This time last year the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat predicted what the tallest buildings in 2020 might be.

See all our stories about skyscrapers »