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Shock worldwide decline in completed tall buildings

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The number of tall buildings completed globally has fallen for the first time in six years

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat found that 66 buildings taller than 200m were completed in 2012.

This was down from 82 finished in 2011 as the global financial crisis saw projects around the world delayed and put on hold.

However, despite the slowdown, the global number of buildings taller than 200m has almost tripled since the start of the millennium.

And several of the projects forecast to finish in 2012 are now expected to complete in 2013, with global completion numbers expected to rise again this year.

Several factors are spurring the underlying trend for taller development, according to the Council.

These include limited availability of land in urban centres; a dramatic shift from rural to urban economies in many countries; and new technologies and building systems.

But the biggest factor in many cities is said to be a sharp increase in prices for luxury apartments.

Four of the six tallest buildings completed in 2012 were in Dubai, including the world’s tallest hotel, the 355m high JW Marriott Marquis.

The title of tallest residential building exchanged hands twice in 2012, with both recipients located in the Dubai Marina.

But Mecca was the city with the most 200m completions in the world – an impressive five.

The 601m-high Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel in Saudi Arabia became the second tallest building in the world last year.

Fast-growing China finished 22 buildings taller than 200m in 2012, a third of the global number.

Pictured top: Wilkinson Eyre’s £600 million Guangzhou International Finance Centre in China, the winner of the 2012 Lubetkin Prize.

The building is the tallest tower completed by a British architect and was handed the award with the best new international building outside the European Union last October (AJ 14.10.2012).

The 440 metre-tall scheme defeated Asian rivals Hamzah and Yeang and CPG’s £49.9 million Solaris science centre in Singapore and SCDA Architects’ 35-storey One KL residential tower in Malaysia.

Canada added four, the most it has completed in a single year.

But the US, once the global home of skyscrapers, completed only two buildings over 200m.

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