While we wait for the next record-breaker to come along, these are the 10 tallest completed buildings in the world by the height of their architectural tops, which includes spires but not structures such as antennae or flagpoles:

1. Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

Location: Dubai

Height: 828 meters (2,716 feet) | Floors: 163

Public observatory? Yes | Completed: 2010

Like Dubai itself, the Burj Khalifa is setting the pace in the early part of the 21st century.

Blending Islamic influences with modern, energy-saving features, Burj Khalifa "redefined what is possible in the design and engineering of supertall buildings," according to Skyscraper.com. It also connects to Dubai's mass transit system, making it both beautiful and practical.

Augustin called it "exhilarating yet frightening at the same time. Not significant architecturally but perhaps notable as a testament to the will and ingenuity of humankind."

2. Shanghai Tower

Location: Shanghai

Height: 632 meters (2,073 feet) | Floors: 126

Public observatory? Yes | Completed: 2015

While China dominates the list, no city in China itself has a monopoly. And it should probably come as no surprise that prosperous Shanghai has the tallest building in China and second tallest in the world.

The building is visually arresting with its twisting, spiral shape headed into the sky. And that look isn't just for show -- it helps the building better withstand winds than a traditional rectangular structure.

Shanghai Tower is host to retail shops, restaurants, offices and hotels.

"Architecturally, this one is the best of the bunch," Augustin said. "Elegant and inventive."

3. Makkah Royal Clock Tower

Location: Mecca

Height: 601 meters (1,972 feet) | Floors: 120

Public observatory? Yes | Completed: 2012

The Makkah Royal Clock Tower is the most distinctive structure in the Top 10, and it's the first of two buildings from the Middle East in the round-up.

Built in the busy center of Mecca next to the Grand Mosque, the tower offers a place for devout Muslims that make the Hajj journey.

"True to its name, four colossal clock faces are mounted near the top of the tower. These clocks hold the record for both the largest and highest in the world," according to Skyscrapercenter.com.

4. Ping An Finance Center

Location: Shenzhen

Height: 599.1 meters (1,965 feet) | Floors: 115

Public observatory? Yes | Completed: 2017

Shenzhen, another economic powerhouse city in southern China near Hong Kong, makes its mark with the Ping An Finance Center.

It's a very slender building (its width-to-height aspect ratio is 1:10) with a facade of stainless steel and glass, according to TheTowerInfo.com.

This is "one of the better of the bunch," Augustin said. "The exterior provides notable structural expression as it rises from base to top."

5. Lotte World Tower

Location: Seoul

Height: 555 meters (1,821 feet) | Floors: 123

Public observatory? Yes | Completed: 2017

China doesn't have a total lock on skyscraper superlatives in Asia, with South Korea's Lotte World Tower coming in at No. 5.

Skyscrapercenter.com notes that Lotte's design takes "inspiration from traditional Korean art forms."

Industrious Seoul has put the skyscraper to good use with retail, luxury hotel, apartment and office space. It even has a concert hall and rooftop cafe.

It's also served as the launching pad for a dramatic fireworks show.

6. One World Trade Center

Location: New York City

Height: 541.3 meters (1,776 feet) | Floors: 104

Public observatory? Yes | Completed: 2014

Once the skyscraper capital of the world, New York has the lone Western Hemisphere entry on the current top 10 list.

One World Trade Center replaced the Twin Towers destroyed in the 9/11 attacks, and the footprint of its cubic base is the same of the original two towers.

For Americans, it's a soaring symbol of resilience and has sleeker design than its boxy predecessors. And its height -- 1,776 feet for the year the Declaration of Independence was signed -- is no coincidence.

7. Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre

Location: Guangzhou

Height: 530 meters (1,739 feet) | Floors: 112

Public observatory? No | Completed: 2016

Yet another entry from dominant China, the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre is in the bustling southern port city of Guangzhou.

Overlooking the Pearl River, the building's distinctive features include four setbacks, which allow for green sky terraces and skylights. And for now, it claims the title of having the world's fastest elevator.

Interestingly, the architectural height of the building matches its counterpart in Tianjin. But Guangzhou CTF has a higher occupied height at 495.5 meters while the CTF building in Tianjin has an occupied height of 439.4 meters.

8. Tianjin CTF Finance Centre

Location: Tianjin

Height: 530 meters (1,739 feet) | Floors: 96

Public observatory? No | Completed: 2019

Tianjin CTF Financial Centre outreaches its nearby capital city rival by a relatively small measure -- just a couple of meters.

The facade of the mixed-use building (office, hotel and serviced apartments) has gently undulating curves that help minimize wind force on the structure.

Asia, and most particularly China, dominates this list, with cities and buildings many in the West may know little or nothing about.

"I would offer that skyscrapers are a symbol of economic power. And as such, they represent Asia's ascendancy as a dominant force in the world economy," Augustin said.

9. CITIC Tower

Location: Beijing

Height: 527.7 meters (1,731 feet) | Floors: 109

Public observatory? Yes | Completed: 2018

Also called China Zun, the No. 9 skyscraper has a memorable form with the top and bottom of the structure wider than the middle floors. The shape is patterned after an ancient Chinese ritual vessel (the "zun").

It's the tallest building in Beijing. Dedicated to office use, it has 101 elevators.

Augustin said it was "one of the more elegant towers" of the top 10 list. "The tapered middle section evokes the appearance of a slender vase rising into the sky."

10. Taipei 101

Location: Taipei

Height: 508 meters (1,667 feet) | Floors: 101

Public observatory? Yes | Completed: 2004

Still the tallest building in Taiwan, it held the "tallest" title for the world from 2004 until 2010. While nine other skyscrapers since then have surpassed it, Taipei 101 remains a stunning spectacle.

"This building is notable because it essentially stands alone as there are no towers of similar size nearby," Augustin said.

Evoking the image of a Chinese pagoda, it's built to withstand the strong earthquakes and typhoons that can hit the island.

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