This is a list of extant towers that fulfill the engineering definition of a tower "a tall man-made structure, always taller than it is wide, meant for public or regular operational access by humans, but not for living in or office work, and are self-supporting or free-standing, which means no guy-wires for support." The definition means the exclusion from this list of continuously habitable buildings and skyscrapers as well as radio and TV masts. Also excluded from this list because they are not designed for public or regular operational access are Bridge towers or pylons, chimneys, transmission towers, sculptures and most large statues and obelisks.
Towers are most often built to use their height for various purposes and can stand alone or as part of a larger structure. Some common purposes are for telecommunications, and as a viewing platform.
1. Tokyo Skytree
The tower is the primary television and radio broadcast site for the Kantō region; the older Tokyo Tower no longer gives complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage because it is surrounded by high-rise buildings. The tower is the centrepiece of a large commercial development funded by Tobu Railway and a group of six terrestrial broadcasters headed by NHK. Trains stop at the adjacent Tokyo Skytree Station and nearby Oshiage Station. The complex is 7 km north-east of Tokyo Station.
2. Canton Tower
Formerly known as Guangzhou TV Astronomical and Sightseeing Tower is a multi-purpose observation tower in the Haizhu District of Guangzhou. The tower was topped out in 2009 and it became operational on 29 September 2010 for the 2010 Asian Games. The tower briefly held the title of tallest tower in the world, replacing the CN Tower, before being surpassed by the Tokyo Skytree. It was the tallest structure in China prior to the topping out of Shanghai Tower on 3 August 2013.
3. CN Tower
The Tower is a concrete communications and observation tower. Built on the former Railway Lands, it was completed in 1976, becoming the world's tallest free-standing structure and world's tallest tower at the time. It remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, a signature icon of Toronto's skyline, and a symbol of Canada, attracting more than two million international visitors annually.
4. Ostankino Tower
The Tower is a television and radio tower owned by the Moscow branch of unitary enterprise Russian TV and Radio Broadcasting Network. Ostankino was designed by Nikolai Nikitin. The tower was the first free-standing structure to exceed 500 m in height. Ostankino was built to mark the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. It is named after the Ostankino district of Moscow in which it is located.
5. Oriental Pearl Tower
Its principal designers were Jiang Huan Chen, Lin Benlin, and Zhang Xiulin. Construction began in 1991, and the tower was completed in 1994. It was the tallest structure in China from 1994–2007, when it was surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center. It is classified as a AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration. The tower is brightly lit in different LED sequences at night.
6. Milad Tower
It is located between the Qarb Town and Gisha District, standing at 435 m from base to the tip of the antenna. The head consists of a large pod with 12 floors, the roof of which is at 315 m. The tower is a part of a complex called International Trade and Convention Center of Tehran. The complex also includes a five-star hotel, a convention center, a world trade center, and an IT park.
7. Kuala Lumpur Tower
It is used for communication purposes and features an antenna. The rest of the tower below has a stairwell and an elevator to reach the upper area, which also contains a revolving restaurant, providing diners with a panoramic view of the city. Races are held annually, where participants race up the stairs to the top. The tower also acts as the Islamic falak observatory.
8. Tianjin Radio and TV Tower
The Tower is used primarily for communication. It was built in 1991 at a cost of $45 million. Approximately two-thirds up the tower is an observation pod with 253 square metres of floor space (used mostly for communication equipment). It is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.
9. Central Radio & TV Tower
It is a telecommunications and observation tower. The Tower is the tallest structure in the city and has its observation deck at 238 m. The tower provides panoramic views over the city from its revolving restaurant and observation deck. It is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.
10. Zhongyuan Tower
The tower shaft is made of a central core surrounded by tubular structural elements creating a hyperboloid structure. The tower's observation deck has an amorphous form, with several separate conical forms forming the glazed platforms. The glass surfaces are repeatedly interrupted by golden facade parts.
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