January 14, 2013
The ongoing economic downturn hasn’t much dampened enthusiasm for erecting tall buildings according to a review for 2012 carried out by the Chicago based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats. Although the number completed in the last year fell from 82 in 2011, there were still 66 buildings taller than 200 metres opened in 2012, the third most in history. Because some projects were delayed for one reason or another, activity is expected to pick up again this year and next.
Inevitably, the list is dominated by towers in the Middle East and Asia. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries were responsible for eight of the top 20 towers including the tallest building to complete during 2012 – the 601m Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca, Saudi Arabia (pictured). Four of the top 20 towers were completed in Dubai.
Inevitably China led the way in Asia. It completed a third (22) of the world’s tall buildings. Four were completed in Guangzhou alone, compared to just two in the whole of the United States. Indeed, the former home of the skyscraper seems to have lost its appetite for tall buildings, compared to its neighbours in Canada who built four and Australia which completed three.