The Taper Building, London SE1

13.10.16

The World’s Tallest Buildings: How Does The Shard Stack Up?

Whenever we head off on summer holidays and city getaways, tall buildings always seem to dominate the guidebooks. We’re drawn to tall buildings because of their grandeur, their gravity, and their greatness, so what record-breaking buildings do we have right here on our own doorstep in London?

Record Breaking Buildings

When it comes to sheer height, the UK’s buildings are overshadowed by other structures across the world; most notably in Asia and the Middle East. The record for the tallest building in the world goes to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at a whopping 2722 feet. The 2080ft Tokyo Skytree is second, and coming in third is the 2073ft Shanghai Tower. Despite its vastness, London’s The Shard is actually pretty tiny in comparison at 1016 feet tall, making it the 10th tallest building in the world.

Although The Shard isn’t winning any awards for its height on a global scale, it’s certainly making its mark in other areas. It not only holds the record for being the tallest building in the UK, but it’s also famous for its 95 storeys, as well as it’s open air observation deck, amazing fine dining establishments, luxury hotel, and, of course, it’s unique and eye catching design; an architectural statement by Italy’s Renzo Piano.

 A Local Winner

London is unlikely ever to dominate the skyscraper world on a global level, but here on its own turf the city actually fares pretty well. In fact, 19 of the UK’s top 20 tallest buildings are all located in London. One Canada Square, at 771 feet comes in just behind The Shard, and third place goes to the 755ft Heron Tower. There are currently quite a few other projects in the works that will add to the number of structures decorating London’s famous skyline, including 22 Bishopsgate and Landmark Pinnacle, but they’re unlikely to pose a threat to The Shard, which is expected to retain its title for the foreseeable future.

Other Records

If you’re interested in history, and in record-breaking buildings and structures, then taking a stroll or a bike ride around London is the ideal way to spend a weekend. Be sure to visit Guy’s Hospital, near the Taper Building in the Long Lane area of the city to see the world’s tallest hospital tower, or take a ride on the London Eye, which held the record for the world’s tallest ferris wheel until 2006. Tower 42 was the tallest building in all of Europe until 2010, and Wembley Stadium is the second tallest stadium on the planet! London really is filled to the brim with breathtaking architectural masterpieces, and record-breaking or not, it boasts some of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in the country; you only need to visit St Pancras or Paddington railway stations to see that. London is a place where old meets new; where tradition meets modernity. It may not have the world’s tallest building, but it’s a place not to be missed.

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