Dubai’s Nakheel Tower by Woods Bagot is the world’s tallest building never to be completed, topping a list of 20 unbuilt skyscraper projects compiled by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) that began construction but were never finished. 

The Nakheel Tower, expected to reach 1,400 metres in height, was a clear winner on the CTBUH list which ordered history’s tallest unbuilt projects from tallest-down. It came in at number one ahead of projects from all over the world including the massive India Tower in Mumbai (700 metres) and the famous Palace of the Soviets (495 metres) which began construction in Moscow in 1937 and would’ve featured an enormous statue of Vladimir Lenin.

The Nakheel Tower, originally called Al Burj, was proposed in 2003 by Pei Partnership Architects before Woods Bagot took over architecture partnership in 2007, proposing the latest design that would’ve topped out at over 1,000 metres and been 200 storeys high.

The pilings for what would be the world’s tallest were drilled in 2008 before the developers announced a year later that construction would be stalled until they were in a better economic position to complete it.

Whilst failing (thus far) in construction, the Woods Bagot concept was celebrated internationally as visionary. Four towers, linked by several sky bridges with gardens, formed the appearance of one singular construct. Each tower has its own individual core that rise to a series of vertical wind slots in the building’s top section.  These slots allow wind to pass through the building, reducing the wind load and allowing for uniformly-sized floor plates to be used the whole way up.

Other projects on the list include the Chicago Spire (610 metres) by Santiago Calatrava architects which would have been the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the two side-by-side towers in Dubai, Lara Tara Towers 1 (452 metres) and 2 (384 metres), both of which stopped construction in 2010. (Click to enlarge images courtesy of CTBUH)

Related: Woods Bagot still top Australian practice in World Architecture 100 list for 2015

Images: Woods Bagot

The full report can be downloaded here: