Top 15+ Longest Buildings in the World

As an architecture admirer, there’s a good chance you may know the tallest buildings in the world. You may even know the largest buildings in the world. But, can you name and define the longest buildings in the world?

If the answer is no, it may be because it is not always an easy question to answer. It can be framed in many ways; how do you measure the length, and how do you measure the building?

To guide you through this fact-finding process, we’ve put together a list of 15 buildings measured solely by the length of their span.

So, sit back and relax as we probe the top 15+ longest buildings in the world, featuring constructions from all around the globe. Please note, for this list, we’re not including uninhabitable structures, such as walls, tunnels, or bridges. 

1. Prora


Location: Binz, Germany

Length: 14,800 feet

Type of building: Hotel

The title of longest building in the world goes to the Prora building complex in Northern Germany. Constructed on the island of Rugen, this massive structure has a span of 14,800 feet, and consists of eight separate identical buildings.

Prora was planned and built by the Nazi German regime at a cost 237 million reichsmarks. It was designed to be a resort destination, but was never finished due to the start of the Second World War. In the latter part of the war, refugees from across eastern Germany found shelter in its rooms.

Since then, the iconic buildings have gone through long periods of abandonment, but at various points have been used as a military base, a youth hostel and a resting place for asylum seekers. There have been continued plans over the last couple of decades to redevelop the Prora complex, and, in 2011, a youth hostel with 402 beds opened on the site. 

2. Sejong Government Complex


Location: Sejong, South Korea

Span Length: 11,500 feet

Type of building: Government Building

In the South Korean city of Sejong, the main Sejong Government Complex holds a place as one of the more recently-constructed longest buildings in the world. It has a total span of over 11,500 feet, and boasts one of the largest rooftops in the world as well as offices and administrative facilities. 

The Government Complex was built based on the winning design in an international competition for the master plan of the administrative city. The basic plan was completed in December 2007, and construction officially started with a groundbreaking ceremony in December 2008. It finally opened its doors in 2014.

3. Dubai International Airport Cargo Gateway

Location: Dubai, UAE

Span Length: 5,820 feet

Type of building: Airport

The Cargo Gateway Building at Dubai International Airport is regarded as one of the world’s most advanced cargo terminals. Its first opening was in 1991, when it was capable of handling 150,000 tonnes of cargo a year – however, this still wasn’t enough to satisfy capacity demand. 

So, in January 2008, a Mega Cargo Terminal was built that can handle an additional 1.2 million tonnes per year. This new expansion includes a multi-level parking structure, a central utility plant, and mail centre. 

The goal of this project was to strengthen Dubai Cargo Gateway’s role as a key cargo hub in the region and solidify Dubai’s position as a major cargo destination globally.

4. Kansai International Airport Terminal 1


Location: Osaka, Japan

Span Length: 5,600 feet

Type of building: Airport Terminal

Kansai International Airport, named after the region it is situated in, features the longest airport terminal in the world as part of its design. At 5,600 feet, it features ticketing halls, passenger shuttle systems and an airfoil-shaped roof. It even has a statue of Super Mario!

In the planning phase, the length of the Kansai International Airport’s terminal did increase costs on what was already a very expensive civil project to carry out. However, despite plans from the government to reduce its span, architect Renzo Piano resisted and oversaw the construction of the full-length terminal as planned.

5. McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport


Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Span Length: 5,200 feet

Type of building: Airport Terminal

Michigan’s primary airport, Detroit Metropolitan, is one of the USAs largest in terms of size and passenger traffic. To cater for this wide demand, airport planners funded the construction of the second-longest airport terminal in the world: McNamara Terminal. 

Formerly known as the Northwest WorldGateway, this almost mile-long structure opened in 2002, replacing the outdated Davey Terminal. Now, the terminal is exclusively used by Delta Airlines, and among other features contains three concourses, a tram system and direct connections to hotels and restaurants. 

6. Saint Kevin’s Hospital

Location: Cork, Ireland

Span Length: 5,200 feet

Type of building: Hospital

Saint Kevin’s Hospital, in Cork, Ireland, is one of the longest buildings in the world on account of its sprawling corridors and linked outbuildings. For most of its existence, the hospital acted as an annex to the nearby Our Lady’s Hospital and treated mentally ill patients.

In recent times, there have been plans to redevelop the St. Kevin’s site – this includes constructing 266 homes and demolishing five out of eight existing structures. The development will include 32 three-bedroom and 14 four-bedroom townhouses, as well as 220 apartments.

7. Bymuren 1-175 Apartments

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Span Length: 4389 feet

Type of building: Apartment

Sometimes, even constructions as relatively unassuming as apartment blocks can represent architectural feats. This is the case for Bymuren Apartments in Copenhagen, whose span length amounts to 4389 feet. 

The Bymuren Apartments were first completed in 1974, and were built out of necessity due to the rising population of the Danish capital. They stand today as the world’s longest apartment blocks. 

8. Madrid-Barajas Airport Terminal 4


Location: Madrid, Spain

Span Length: 3,855 feet

Type of building: Airport Terminal

Straddling 3,855 feet, terminal 4 at Madrid-Barajas Airport is Europe’s longest airport terminal. It consists of a main building and a satellite building that are separated by approximately 2.5 km. Completed in 2006, it comprises one of the airport’s five terminals. 

With the help of natural lighting, skylights and glass frontages, the terminal is designed to draw in lots of natural light. Following its addition, the airport has the capability to handle more than 70 million passengers a year.

9. Karl Marx Hof

Location: Vienna, Austria

Span Length: 3,600 feet

Type of building: Residential

Karl-Marx-Hof is a well-known housing complex located in the Dobling district of Vienna. It is one of the longest single residential buildings in the world, with the entire complex having a length of over 1 kilometre (1,100 metres).

Constructed between 1927 and 1930, it has a particular place in Austrian history, as it was the place where insurgents in the nation’s 1934 Civil War surrendered to the Army. Artillery damage from this conflict was repaired in the 1950s and the building is now used for social housing.

10. Boeing Everett Factory

Location: Everett, Washington, USA

Span Length: 3,580 feet

Type of building: Factory

You won’t be surprised to learn that the world’s largest building by volume is also one of the world’s longest. The Boeing Factory in Everett, Washington, USA, spans 3,580 feet, all of which is used to build aircrafts like the Boeing 767 and the 777.

The massive site, which is located north of Paine Field, was originally operated by the U.S. Army during WWII. It officially opened in 1967, four months after the first workers arrived to begin construction on the 747. 

11. Le Lignon

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Span Length: 3,480 feet

Type of building: Residential

The large-scale housing complex known as Le Lignon, in Geneva, Switzerland, is the world’s second-longest apartment block. With 2,780 apartments and 10 million square feet of floor space, the structure also contains a shopping centre, churches and schools.

Completed in 1971, it was hastily built to address the severe housing shortage in the region surrounding Geneva.

12. Ronald Reagan National Airport Terminal 1


Location: Arlington, Virginia, USA

Span Length: 3,310 feet

Type of building: Airport Terminal

Ronald Reagan National Airport, near Washington D.C, features the second-longest airport terminal building in the USA. This building is the colossal terminal 1, which was built in 1941 and is around 3,310 feet in length.

Following the construction of this main building, the airport has since added another terminal, a metro connection and airport lounges to enhance the customer experience. Today, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport serves 23.5 million passengers a year.

13. Corviale

Location: Rome, Italy

Span Length: 3,300 feet

Type of building: Residential

The Corviale housing complex, located in the southwestern part of Rome, may not feature highly on the list of the city’s many architectural attractions. But, the project, which is also known as ‘Serpentone’ due to its mammoth scale, is nonetheless a fascinating part of its construction heritage.

Located in the southwestern part of the Italian capital, it was designed in the 1970s by Mario Fiorentino, and was designed as a solution to the city’s rapid population rise in the two decades prior. In total, the complex snakes for one continuous kilometre, with elevated walkways guiding residents to their door.

14. Blok 21

Location: Belgrade, Serbia

Span Length: 3,191 feet

Type of building: Residential

With a span of 3,191 feet, Blok 21 in Belgrade is one of the world’s longest apartment blocks. Its imposing architectural features are so well-renowned in Belgrade that locals have colloquially referred to it as ‘the great wall’.  

Blok 21 consists of nine wings that spread out in a zigzag pattern. Together, they take up the space of four boulevards. The block features 62 entrances, 6,380 doors and 5,152 windows, and is currently home to over 3,500 residents.

15. Kew Asylum

Location: Kew, Australia

Span Length: 3,120 feet

Type of building: Residential

Ocenia’s longest inhabitable building is Kew Asylum, located in the city of Melbourne, Australia. Operating between 1871 and 1988, it was the first asylum specifically built for the Colony of Victoria, and was designed to be a relatively civilised and compassionate institution for the time. 

The architecture of the asylum’s buildings is in the Italianate style, which was popular in Victorian Melbourne. Alongside these grand buildings, low ha-ha walls and extensively landscaped grounds were employed purposely to stop the asylum feeling like a prison. 

Kew Asylum, and its complex of buildings, have since been registered on the Register of the National Estate.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to the longest buildings in the world. From residential complexes, to airports, to factories and more, buildings with massive spans have always proved essential. Even in this list, they have filled housing shortages, catered for massive manufacturing operations, and handled millions of air-faring passengers. 

And, not only are these buildings impressive for their monumental proportions, they are also culturally and historically significant. 

For more compilations, building news and architectural discussion, explore our latest articles, including the reasons why buildings are kept from falling over

You may also want to know what some of the terms mentioned in this article mean. For this, head over to our selection of building wikis to find out more. 

Last Updated on 2 September 2023 by Michael