Cool Graphic Thing: Startling Infographic Shows the Empty Space in Skyscrapers

Lily di Costanzo
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Photo via Architizer

As legions of skyscrapers continue to race towards the highest possible altitudes, it appears that more and more architects are turning toward ornamental spires and completely uninhabitable top floors to eek past their super tall adversaries. This "vanity space," defined as "the distance between a skyscraper's highest occupiable floor and its architectural top," often means that a significant chunk of some of the world's most famous towers are purely decorative. Consider, for example, the Burj Khalifa—the current tallest building in the world—which comes topped with an 800-foot spire that makes up practically a third of the 2,716-foot height. Worse still is the Ukraina Hotel in Moscow, Russia, which offers a whopping 42 percent of height identified as "useless space." Prompted by the construction on the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) put together a graphic that shows just how much of each notable structure is actually useable. Take a look, below:

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Photo via Architizer

· This Skyscraper Infographic Reveals the Insane Amount of Unoccupied Space in the World's Tallest Buildings [Architizer]
· All Burj Khalifa coverage [Curbed National]
· All Kingdom Tower coverage [Curbed National]