21 feb 17  | Curbed

10 tallest buildings under construction or in development around the world

By Patrick Sisson

In the race to build vertically, China has a commanding lead

Frank Lloyd Wright once proposed The Illinois, a mile-high skyscraper set on the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago, a towering giant of a building powered by atomic elevators. It's clear symbol of the current race to raise skylines around the world that Wright's vision from the '50s, yet to be realized, is coming closer and closer to reality.

Developments in building technology and a surfeit of construction projects in Asia makes the title of tallest building more temporary than ever; none of the buildings on this list of the ten tallest in waiting are in North America, and seven of them eclipse the height of One World Trade Center. This list contains the tallest under construction based on data from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. There are many others on the drawing board, but this is meant to showcase the projects likely to be completed.

Jeddah Tower (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: 3,281 feet, estimated completion 2020)

This skyscraper is likely will become the first to break the one kilometer mark, not merely because it's already under construction and supported by the deep pockets of billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, but because it was designed by Adrian Smith.

An architect whose career highlights include the Hancock Center and Burj Khalifa, Smith designed the Jeddah Tower to be the next iteration of the Burj, a shard of steel and glass that, in its triangular shape, recalls a palm about to spread its fronds. The centerpiece of a new suburb, this skyscraper will shatter records, offer sightseers a perch on the 157th story (site of a proposed helipad), and even showcase an entirely new type of elevator, speedy double-decker cabins swept between floors by a new carbon fiber cord. Perhaps more incredible is that building was meant to be a mile high, but engineers discovered that the surrounding geology unsuitable to support such a structure.

Wuhan Greenland Center (Wuhan, China: 2,087 feet, estimated completion 2018)

Another project being overseen by the firm of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, this in-the-works tower in central China offers a unique, curved profile, a tripod shape that tapers and forms a dome to reduce wind resistance. The entire structure, from the grand lobbies to the corners fashioned in curved glass, present a fluid profile, reducing the building's material footprint. To add an additional air of exclusivity, the summit of this multi-use super tall will include a private member's club.