2013 was the second-most successful year on record for skyscraper construction, seeing 73 buildings at 200 metres or taller completed, according to the Tall Trends report 2013. The ranking puts it just behind 2011, which achieved a total of 81 high-rise projects wrapped up.
Asia dominated the skyline, with China contributing the most buildings for the sixth year running, completing 37 structures across 22 cities. According to the report by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, released this week, Asia now owns 45% of the tallest buildings in the world.
The tallest building finished in 2013 was the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai Tower 2, standing at an imposing 355 metres. Indeed, three of the five very tallest buildings completed during the year are located in the United Arab Emirates, fueling the Middle East's reputation as a growing hotbed of 'supertalls'.
Europe did its best to keep up, getting two buildings (The Shard, London, and Mercury City, Moscow) in the top ten for the first time since 1953. Surprisingly, only one of the 200 skyscrapers completed last year -- 1717 Broadway in New York -- was in the USA.
Panama City completed two buildings over 200 metres high, bringing its total to 19; not bad for a city that only completed its first 200 metre skyscraper as recently 2008. No building in South America made the list.
London's The Shard was awarded the title of 2013 Best Tall Building Europe for its aesthetic merit, persistence in the face of financial crisis and historic preservation.
In any case, news of the worldwide increase in figures will be welcomed by the global construction industry, following 2012's lower total of 69 completed skyscrapers. "Perhaps 2012, with its small year-on-year drop in completions, was the last year to register the full effect of the 2008 / 2009 global financial crisis, and a small sigh of relief can be let out in the tall-building industry as we begin 2014," states the report.