Since the beginning of time there has been a ferocious battle between competing builders to construct the tallest building.  There is great publicity given to the city and country with the tallest building.  This recognition is linked to the fact that if a country has the ability to build the tallest building in the world then they are at the leading edge of technology   When stone was the main building material cathedrals and churches were the tallest structures in the world.   The use of steel as a building material enabled construction of the famous American skyscrapers. The legendary Empire State Building of New York was the record holder from 1931 to 1967

Then the Sears Tower in Chicago was the tallest. When the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia were built, controversy arose since the spire extended nine meters higher than the roof of the Sears Tower. Excluding the spire, the Petronas Towers are not taller than the Sears Tower. At their convention in Chicago, the Council on Tall Buildings  reduced the Sears Tower from world's tallest to the second tallest and made Petronas the world's tallest.

However, at the moment the Taipie 101 in Taiwan has overtaken them both and is the worlds tallest building.

The Taipei 101 has 101 stories above ground (hence the name) and five underground.

Note; Ardrossan Academy has four stories.

The Taipei 101 holds the records for:

  • Ground to structural top: 509 m (1,671 ft), a record formerly held by the Petronas Twin Towers at 452 m (1,483 ft)
  • Ground to roof: 449 m (1,474 ft). Formerly held by the Sears Tower 442 m (1,451 ft)
  • Ground to highest occupied floor: 439 m (1,441 ft). Formerly held by the Sears Tower
  • Fastest Ascending Elevator speed:  (37.5 miles/hour or 60.4 km/h)
  • The tallest parts of Ardrossan Academy are Blocks A and B at 14m

The Burj Dubai tower (see below) in Dubai is expected to take over as the the world's tallest building sometime in 2008.  The Burj Dubai (see below) is a supertall skyscraper currently under construction in  Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  Figures released  have given a phenomenal final height of 1,011 metres and a floor count of 216 floors.

All is not lost for Scotland however.  The worlds tallest cinema is the Cineworld on Renfrew Street, Glasgow at 61 m.














A guy-wire or guy rope is a tensioned cable designed to add stability to tall, narrow structures (frequently ship masts, radio masts and wind turbines).  One end of the cable is attached to the structure, and the other is anchored to the ground at a set distance from the structure's base. They are usually equally spaced around the structure in trios, quads or other sets. This allows the tension of each guy-wire to offset the others. For example, roof antennas are usually held up by three guy-wires.  They are also used for tents, garden gazebos and marquees.  This is how very tall radio masts stay upright without deep foundations.   

Currently, the tallest standing structure is the KVLY-TV mast near Fargo, North Dakota, at 628.8 m (2,063 ft).  It is a transmission antenna, consisting of a bare metal structure supported by guy-wires (see below).  As this structure does not have floors it is not a building.

 However, it is a permanent structure.wp7d1c4053_1b.jpg






Sears Tower

Taipei 101

Petronas Towers

Empire State Building


508m (1667ft)







Arabic- The Tower of Dubai

Select to enlarge

Select to enlarge


The Glasgow Tower is a free-standing tower built in 2001 and forms part of the Glasgow Science Centre. At 127 metres high, the tower is currently the tallest floored building, and second tallest free-standing structure overall in Scotland (after the Inverkip Power Station chimney). It also holds a Guinness World Record for being the tallest tower in the world capable of rotating 360 degrees from its base to its top.  

 It is shaped like an aerofoil (as if an aircraft wing had been set in the ground vertically), with computer-controlled motors to turn it into the wind in order to reduce wind resistance.  Ironically it is usually closed when there is the slightest breeze.

After a controversial design process, the tower ended up costing £10 million.

The tower has been plagued by safety and engineering problems throughout its history, the latest being a breakdown in January 2005 when 10 people were trapped in one of the lifts and only rescued after a five hour wait.

During the times when it has been open the Tower provides spectacular views of the whole city.

In 2008, it will be replaced as Scotland's tallest floored building by the 39-storey Elphinstone Place residential tower in the city centre.