Looking at the Philadelphia skyline (or any city skyline, for that matter) it is easy to see that in any city the only way to maximize floorspace is to move upward. It is interesting to note that this is not always the case, as the largest building in the world (by floorspace) is a sprawling airport terminal. Below are the top 10 largest buildings in the world, ranked by area of floorspace.
10. Air Force Plant 4
Location: Ft. Worth, TX
Size: 6.5M sq. ft.
Location: Oak Ridge, TN
Size: 6.6M sq. ft.
K-25 is a former Uranium Enrichment facility that was constructed during the Manhattan Project. It is due to be demolished by the end of 2011.
8. The Pentagon
Location: Arlington, VA
Size: 6.6M sq. ft.
Headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. The Pentagon features a 5-acre central plaza, which is also shaped like a pentagon. Fun fact: the Pentagon was built by Philadelphia native John McShain.
7. The Palazzo
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Size: 6.9M sq. ft.
6. Barajas Airport Terminal 4
Location: Madrid, Spain
Size: 8.2M sq. ft.
Terminal 4 at MAD houses all Iberia flights going in and out of Madrid. Iberia (MCE: IBLA) is the flagship airline of Spain. MAD saw over 48M people pass through it in 2009.
5. The Venetian Macao
Location: Macau, People’s Republic of China
Size: 10.5M sq. ft.
4. Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3
Location: Beijing, China
Size: 10.6M sq. ft.
Terminal 3 at PEK houses domestic and international flights, with over 20 airlines moving the through the terminal. It is divided into 3 sub-sections, one of which was used solely for charter flights for the Beijing Olympics. This terminal is larger than all 5 of London-Heathrow’s terminals combined.
3. Aalsmeer Flower Auction
Location: Aalsmeer, the Netherlands
Size: 10.6M sq. ft
This may be the greatest smelling place in the entire world. The Aalsmeer Flower Auction trades flowers from all over the world at a rate of 19M flowers per day.
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Size: 11.0M sq. ft
CentralWorld is a shopping complex in downtown Bangkok. It houses numerous restaurants, retail stores, a 5-star hotel, and 2 Hindu shrines, a cinema, a bowling alley, a large office tower, and the largest activity square in Bangkok. Not only would you never want to leave, but you probably couldn’t find your way out. Note: as of May 19, 2010 the building is closed due to damage of riots. Owners say parts of it could open in as little as 6 months.
1. Dubai International Airport Terminal 3
Location: Dubai, UAE
Size: 16.1M sq. ft
DXB is the 15th busiest airport in the entire world. Terminal 3 was built exclusively for use by Emirates Airline. A new concourse is being built within Terminal 3 that will be used for Emirates Airline’s 525 passenger Airbus A380’s (they have 8 currently in use).