Vanity Skyscrapers: Architectural Masterpieces or Wasted Space?

Geo Beats

by Geo Beats

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The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, or CTBUH, reported that, on average, a whopping third of these awe-inspiring architectural feats are just for show.

How much of the world’ tallest buildings are actually usable? The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, or CTBUH, released a list of 10 of those buildings with the tallest vanity spires.

The CTBUH calls the area from the highest floor used by people to the very top of the structure “vanity spires,” which seemingly are there just to make the building taller.

The United Arab Emirates has the largest number of skyscrapers and is home to the world’s tallest building. The Burj Khalifa measures more than 2,700 feet and its vanity spire alone could qualify as Europe’s 11th tallest building.

Two of New York’s skyscrapers made the top 10 list. The Bank of America Tower came in third tallest with 36 percent unusable space, and the New York Times Tower sixth with 31% percent.

According to CTBUH's Daniel Safarik, another study seems needed to measure the impact of vanity spires on the environment. He said, “that is clearly one of the most vital issues implied by the findings.”