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The world's 20 largest buildings

Last updated on: March 21, 2011 11:35 IST

The world's 20 largest buildings

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The Abraj Al Bait Towers in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, presently under construction is set to be largest building in the world upon completion.

It will also have the largest floor area of any structure in the world with 1,500,000 square metres (16,137,600 sq ft) of floor space. The largest buildings in the world are ranked as per usable space (volume) and floor space.

Here we present the world 20 largest buildings in terms of floor space.

1. Dubai International AirportLocation: Dubai
Floor space: 1,185,000 m (12.76 million sq ft)

The Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport spread across an area of 12.76 million sq ft is the world's largest building in terms of floor space.

In 2010, the airport handled a record 47.2 million in terms of passenger traffic, becoming the 13th busiest airport in the world.

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Image: The business class lounge at the Emirates' terminal (Terminal 3) in Dubai International Airport.
Photographs: Jumana El Heloueh/Reuters.
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2. Central World

Location: Bangkok
Floor space: 1,024,000 m (11.0 million sq ft)

Central World is the third largest shopping complex in the world. The complex, which included a hotel and office tower is owned by Central Pattana.

In 2006, Central World was expanded to 550,000 square metres of shopping mall and 1,024,000 square metres of complex.

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Image: Central World.

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3. Aalsmeer Flower Auction

Location: Aalsmeer, Netherlands
Floor space: 990,000 m (10.6 million sq ft)

It is the largest flower auction in the world. The auction building of the flower auction in Aalsmeer is the third largest building in terms of floor space.

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Image: Aalsmeer Flower Auction.

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4. Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3

Location: Beijing
Floor space: 986,000 m (10.6 million sq ft)

It is world's largest and one of most advanced airport buildings. In 2010 Beijing Capital International Airport became the world's second-busiest airport by passenger numbers.

It is also the second largest airport terminal in the world after Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3, and the third largest building in the world by area.

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Image: Beijing Capital International Airport.
Photographs: Reuters.
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5. The Venetian Macao

Location: Macau
Floor space: 980,000 m (10.5 million sq ft)

The Venetian Macao is a hotel and casino resort in Macau owned by the Las Vegas Sands corporation.

The Venetian is a 40-storey, $2.4 billion anchor for the 7 hotels on the Cotai Strip in Macau.

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Image: The Venetian Macao.

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6. The Palazzo

Location: Las Vegas
Floor space: 645,581 m (6.9 million sq ft)

A luxury hotel and casino resort, The Palazzo is owned and operated by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Designed by the Dallas based HKS Inc., the design reflects modern European ambience.

This all-suite hotel offers the largest standard accommodations on the Las Vegas Strip at 720-square-feet per guest room.

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Image: The Palazzo.

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7. The Pentagon

Location: Virginia
Floor space: 610,000 m (6.6 million sq ft)

The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. The Pentagon is the world's largest office building by floor area.

It was designed by the American architect George Bergstrom, and built by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, general contractor John McShain.

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Image: An aerial view of the Pentagon building in Washington.
Photographs: Reuters.
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8. K-25

Location: Tennessee
Floor space: 609,000 m (6.6 million sq ft)

K-25 is a former uranium enrichment facility. The name "K-25" is a combination of the "K" from the Kellex Corporation, the initial contractors of the plant, and a World War II-era code designation for uranium-235.

Opened in 1945, It took two years to complete the building at a cost of $512 million.

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Image: K-25.
Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons.
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9. Air Force Plant 4

Location: Texas
Floor space: 603 870 m (6.5 million sq ft)

The Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility designated as Air Force Plant 4.

This division of Lockheed Martin employs over 11,900 personnel. It is spread across 602 acres.

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Image: Air Force Plant 4.
Photographs: Courtesy, Carswell Air Force Base in Texas.
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10. Marina Bay Sands

Location: Singapore
Floor space: 581,400 m (6,258,000 sq ft)

Marina Bay Sands is a huge resort in Singapore. Developed by Las Vegas Sands, it is billed as the world's most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion, including cost of land.

The resort features a 2,561-room hotel, a 120,000 sq m convention-exhibition centre, The Shoppes mall, an art and Science museum, two Sands theatres, seven restaurants, two floating pavilions, a casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines.  The 20-hectare resort was designed by Moshe Safdie Architects.

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Image: Marina Bay Sands.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.
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11. Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower

Location: Vietnam
Floor space: 579,000 m (6.4 million sq ft) 

A skyscraper under construction in Vietnam, the Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower is reserved for big companies to set up their headquarters. This tower is part of a complex of residences and office towers, including a 70-storey office tower (height of 336 metres) and two 47-storey residence towers.

The cost of the building is estimated to be $1.05 billion. The complex will have a 5-star hotel, offices, entertainment areas, retail spaces, clinics and convention centres.

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Image: Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons.
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12. Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1

Location: Hong Kong
Floor space: 570,000 m (6.3 million sq ft)

Hong Kong International Airport, built on the island of Chek Lap Kok by land reclamation has won seven Skytrax World Airport Awards for customer satisfaction in ten years.

Terminal 1 of the HKIA is currently the third largest airport passenger terminal building in the world.

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Image: Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1.

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13. Suvarnabhumi Airport

Location: Bangkok
Floor space: 563,000 m (6.06 million sq ft)

Designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn Architects, Suvarnabhumi Airport has the world's tallest control tower (132.2 metres/434 feet), and the world's third largest single-building airport terminal (563,000 square metres/6,060,000 square feet). Suvarnabhumi is the 5th busiest airport in Asia.

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Image: Suvarnabhumi Airport.

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14. ATL Logistics Centre, Centre B

Location: Hong Kong
Floor space: 550,000 m (6.0 million sq ft)

The largest building in Hong Kong, ATL Logistics Centre at the Kwai Chung container terminal. The 14-storey building has 25 km of roads inside.

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Image: ATL Logistics Centre.

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15. Mexico City International Airport Terminal 1

Location: Mexico City
Floor space: 548,000 m2 (5,900,000 sq ft)

Mexico City International Airport is Mexico's busiest airport by both passenger traffic and aircraft movements. The airport houses hotels inside Terminal 1 (the Hilton Hotel, the Camino Real, and the Fiesta Inn), also a NH Hotel at Terminal 2.

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Image: Mexico City International Airport.

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16. Barcelona Airport Terminal 1

Location: Barcelona
Floor space: 544,066 m2 (5,856,280 sq ft)

Barcelona Airport also known as El Prat Airport is the second largest in Spain behind Madrid Barajas Airport. The airport mainly serves domestic, European and North African destinations, also having flights to Southeast Asia, Latin America and North America.

In 2010, over 29.2 million passengers used Barcelona Airport, making it the 10th busiest airport in Europe.

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Image: Barcelona Airport Terminal.

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17. Warren G Magnuson Health Sciences Building

Location: Seattle
Floor space: 533,000 m (5.7 million sq ft)

The Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Building is part of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington and the world's largest single university building with a total floor area of 533,000 square metres.

The building is made up of over 20 wings built over more than 50 years.

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Image: Warren G Magnuson Health Sciences Building.

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18. Renaissance Center

Location: Detroit
Floor space: 515,800 m (5.55 million sq ft)

One of the world's largest office complexes, the Renaissance Center is a group of seven interconnected skyscrapers in Detroit, United States. Located on the International Riverfront, it is General Motors' world headquarters.

The central tower, the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, is the tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, and features the largest rooftop restaurant, Coach Insignia.

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Image: Renaissance Center.

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19. Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3

Location: Delhi
Floor space: 502,000 m (5.4 million sq ft)

The busiest airport in India in terms of daily flight traffic and second busiest in term of passenger traffic, the Indira Gandhi International Airport has become has become an important aviation hub, with a current capacity of handling more than 46 million passengers and aimed at handling more than 100 million passengers by 2030.

The new Terminal 3 building has had the capacity to handle an additional 34 million passengers annually. Indira Gandhi's Terminal 3 is the world's eighth largest passenger terminal.

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Image: Indira Gandhi International Airport.

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20. Incheon International Airport

Location: Seoul
Floor space: 496,000 m2 (5,340,000 sq ft)

Incheon International Airport, the largest airport in South Korea is one of the largest and busiest in the world. It has been consecutively rated as the best airport in the world by the Airports Council International since 2005 and has received the full 5-star ranking by Skytrax.

The airport has a golf course, spa, private sleeping rooms, a casino, indoor gardens and a Museum of Korean Culture.


Image: Incheon International Airport.

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