The smallest towers in the world are iconic buildings of a sort. Not iconic in the sense that they are famous throughout the world, but iconic in the sense that they attract their own share of visitors, and they also have very interesting back stories. Some of these buildings still serve commercial purposes, while others have become relics of the past, which is also great because people love historical buildings.
These buildings sometimes boost the economies of their localities through tourism because having heard of these buildings people are eager to see them physically, and so they travel long distances just to see what these buildings look like.
Top 10 Smallest Towers In The World
1. The Flatiron Building
The Flatiron Building is located in Portland, although there is another building by that same name in New York City. This one was constructed in 1916 and it is not exactly small because it is a commercial building occupying nearly one acre of land. However, it is built flat and long.
Viewed from one angle, it looks like a tower with three floors, which is the reason for its inclusion in this list. For a long time this was the smallest shopping center in the West Coast, and even now it remains an important commercial building, and is protected by the National Register of Historic Places.
2. The Riverside House In Japan
The Riverside House in Japan is one of the smallest towers in the world; although that definition may be somewhat contentious because most towers either remain straight as they go up, or actually become narrower as they go up, this one becomes bigger. It is important to mention that this house is actually a modern structure which was designed as a matter of necessity; living space is rather difficult to come by in Japan.
It is a one story building which is hardly bigger than the average parking spot; but which shows remarkable creativity on the part of the designer, because the small building can take 3 people.
Kengo Kuma also designed this building to be energy efficient; it mostly uses the natural light of the sun, and will surely save money on lighting.
3. The Quay House in Wales
The Quay House in Wales is a tiny tower sandwiched between two buildings in Wales. It is a one story building, which was built by a fisherman named Robert Jones, who was 6ft 3 inches tall. One can imagine that the former occupant never quite stood to his full height in this house, but at least he lived in peace.
The building has a floor area of just about 3m X 1.8m. These days the building is a tourist attraction; people come in from all over the world to this building, although it also has some commercial use.
The height of the building is over 3m tall which makes it a tower, or at least a miniature one.
4. The Clock Tower In Cape Town
The Clock Tower In Cape Town is an iconic building in the city; it is now a tourist attraction- listed as one of the sights to see in Cape Town. This building used to be the port captain’s office, and was designed to give the port captain a good view of the port’s activities.
It also has a clock on top; which helped the seafarers at the port keep track of time. The building is Gothic style; and the clock was imported from Edinburg. That was a big deal back then; the building was constructed in 1882.
5. Clock Tower At Fort Zoutman
The Fort Zoutman Clock Tower in Aruba is a building with four floors, built in 1868. It is also the oldest building in Aruba, having been constructed by African slaves, with materials provided by the Amerindians.
This is the most iconic building in the country; and is now a UNESCO Heritage Site; recognized as a ‘Place of Memory of the Slave Trade Route in the Latin Caribbean’.
This is a historical place; it is important as where the Dutch traded slaves; the tower itself must have been an office; and also served to keep the people aware of time.
6. Relógio Municipal
The Relógio Municipal is a small tower with a clock, located in the Brazilian State of Manaus. The Clock tower is built in a neoclassical style, and was constructed in 1929; making it one of the most iconic and historic buildings in the city.
It measures just 5 meters, and even that is attributed to the bell on top of it which gives some additional height. It remains exceptionally beautiful; because the city takes its maintenance very seriously.
7. The Kandy Clock Tower
The Kandy Clock Tower is located in the center of Kandy, in Sri Lanka. It was built in memory of Mohamed Zacky Ismail who died in an accident. The tower was built by his father in 1950.
This tower is now a historical landmark of the city, it was exquisitely designed by Shirley de Alwis, who was the leading architect in the country at that time.
This tower is not very big; it is about the equivalent of a small building with two levels.
8. Clock tower At The Monastery Of Saint Saviour
The Clock tower at the Monastery of Saint Saviour is another small but very iconic tower; it has two floors, and is located in Jerusalem. It was built around 1885, and is one of the most important landmarks of Christianity in Israel.
This monastery and tower receive many visitors from all over the world every year.
9. Tower Of The Winds
The Tower Of The Winds is an ancient structure which was built around 50 BC, in what was then Roman Greece. The building was very significant; it was a clock tower which had sundials and a water clock, and was topped by a wind vane. The building was also quite important culturally and religiously; there are sculptures of wind deities on it.
The building must have been used for special religious rites; history shows that the people from Turkey used the building for religious rites in the 1800’s, but they must have been acting on earlier traditions.
This is a tower in every sense of the word; but it is not a very tall one; it measures 12 meters.
10. The Newby–McMahon Building
The Newby- McMahon Building, which is at 511 7th Street, in downtown Wichita Falls, Texas, is often referred to as the world’s smallest skyscraper. The building is constructed in the late Neoclassical style; using red brick and cast stone. It stands 40 ft (12 m) tall, and its exterior dimensions are 18 ft (5.5 m) deep and 10 ft (3.0 m) wide.
Interestingly, this building was built fraudulently; the builder put it up without obtaining permission from the owner of the land, and the builder also vanished with investors’ money before it could be completed. Nevertheless, due to the lack of office space in the boom town of Wichita Falls, the building was still put to use.
This building was first given media attention back in the 1920’s when newspaper cartoonist Robert Ripley featured it. Now it is a historical landmark in Texas, USA. People come in from all over the world to see it.
The smallest towers in the world are just as important as the tallest towers in the world; they have history behind them, and also teach us about human ingenuity. All over the world, these buildings serve important purposes including commerce and tourism.