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By Shahar Alster
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
It would be unfair to categorize this list by tallest building because there are cities that prefer to build out than up. Based on their square footage, here are the most impressive and massive office spaces from around the globe.
- The Pentagon: As a government building, the Pentagon doesn’t immediately come to mind as office space. But with its 620,000 square meters, the building is home to the United States Department of Defense, serving as the frontline for innovation in strategy and technology.
- Place du Portage: Another government facility, but this one’s in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. The large complex contains 70 floors, stretched out over five towers holding roughly 10,000 office workers. The Ottawa River-facing complex includes pedestrian bridges that form its own type of “underground city.”
- Desjardins Complex: With Canadian complexes claiming the two of the top spots on this list, it’s clear they like to build wide, not tall in this North American country. With a greater number of overall floors than Place du Portage, the Desjardins Complex in Montreal, Quebec, is a mixed-use space for offices, a shopping mall, and a hotel, which is probably convenient for business travelers.
- Willis Tower: The name of this 110-story building might not be familiar, as it was built (and is still referred to) as the Sears Tower. Completed in 1973, it remained the tallest building in the world for nearly 25 years and the tallest in the Western Hemisphere until One World Trade Center was completed in 2014.
- CCTV Headquarters: Don’t worry, this Beijing building is not 389,079 square meters of closed-circuit television. CCTV is the China Central Television company located in the Beijing Central Business District. The building’s odd shape, with six vertical and horizontal stretches, earned it the nickname “big pants.”
- USAA Headquarters, McDermott Building: Founded in San Antonio, Texas, by 25 U.S. Army offices, the USAA is an insurance network for 12.4 million members, all of whom serve or have served in the U.S. military. Managing insurance for that many takes a lot of space, which is why the McDermott Building covers 362,322 square meters.
- Aon Center: The Aon Center has changed in name since its construction in 1974. It was originally the Standard Oil Building until Amoco took over. It served as headquarters for the oil conglomerates; Aon, an international consulting firm, rents space in the building for its U.S. operations.
- One World Trade Center: Outside of New York, it’s commonly referred to as the Freedom Tower. Within the city’s five boroughs it’s simply 1 World Trade. The skyscraper was built next to the former site of the Twin Towers and is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Underground tunnels connect the building to major transit hubs.
- Burj Khalifa: The United Arab Emirates prides itself on its skyscrapers, which is why the Burj Khalifa building (formerly Burj Dubai) is particularly special. The building broke multiple records, including its status as the tallest building in the world—213 meters taller than its closest competitor.
- Taipei 101: Formerly the Taipei World Financial Center, the Taiwan-based building was the tallest in the world until the Burj Khalifa topped out. The building is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes, and is the location for China’s New Year’s Eve fireworks show.
WeWork: Now that coworking spaces are increasingly popular (learn which is better a cubicle or an open office) and a company’s workforce stretches across multiple time zones, it’s interesting to look at the total amount of office space a single company utilizes. WeWork is the biggest name in coworking and for good reason. The company currently manages 929,000-plus square meters of office space around the world. To give you a better sense, that’s more than 150 regulation soccer fields.