There’s some pretty interesting looking buildings coming to a skyline near you. Below are nine that especially stand out:
- “Aqua” building in Chicago, 2009–looks like a giant sex toy to me actually
- “The Spire” tower in Chicago, 2010–will be world’s tallest residential building and tallest skycraper in the western world
- “Trouser Legs” in Beijing, 2008–will be broadcasting the Olympics from this doughnut-shaped building
- “Regatta Hotel” in Jakarta–consists of a “lighthouse” with 10 smaller towers
- “Jenga Pieces” in India–posh condo
- “Russian Tower” in Russia, 2012–will be twice the height of the Eiffel Tower
- “Penang Global City Centre” in Malaysia–will take another 15 years to complete, and situated on a tiny island
- “Gazprom Headquarters” in Russia–will naturally change colors ten times a day depending on the position of the sun.
- And the whopper, “Burj Dubai” in the UAE, 2008–will be the tallest man-made structure in the world. Period. Also, pictured on the right.
We’ve posted about a few of the tallest buildings in the world. The latest, Mexico’s Torre Bicentenerio is still in the planning stage. In New York City, the place where skyscrapers first defined the magnificence of a city’s architectural skyline, The Skyscraper Museum is where to find out details about Manhattan’s skyscraper history, as well as the tallest wonders of other countries.
Through October 14 there is an exhibit about the Burj Dubai. In addition to presenting the facts about the building, such as, when it’s completed it will be twice as tall as the Empire State Building, the exhibit covers the sociological, economic and psychological reasons for such a structure–a sort of what this building means and how it represents a shift in skyscraper development and purpose. The modern day skyscraper is made of concrete or composite while the ones predominately made in the U.S. are made of reinforced steel. The U.S.’s skyscrapers were built as office complexes, while the ones in Asia are mostly residential.
The exhibits at the museum are a chance to learn about skyscraper physics as well. Along with the exhibits, The Skyscraper Museum has programs that get people out into the city on building tours. One focus is to point out the buildings that are green. There are also programs geared toward having participants design buildings themselves. The photo shows the location of the museum near NYC’s Battery Park.
Dubai’s tallest building, the Burj Dubai has finally reached the height of being the tallest one in the world, and it’s not finished. Now it stands at 1,831.5 feet tall (555 meters), just a bit taller than the CN Tower in Toronto (1,824.9) which was the largest free standing structure. The once tallest building, the Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, lost it’s first place standing in July. Oh, well. In order to make sure it stays the tallest, the developers of the Burj aren’t saying how tall it’s going to be. Now, that’s tricky.
As countries clamor to make sure they are noticed by the rest of the world, I expect we haven’t seen the last of the let’s build a really tall building. Height could mean might–that’s the theory anyway. For now the United Arab Emirates has the honor.
Once I wrote a physics factoid for a textbook that explained what makes tall buildings able to withstand a stiff breeze. Even though I understand the principles, I get heart flutters when I get too high off the ground, although my sunglasses did fly off the top of the Carew Tower in Cincinnati when I looked over the wall. Oooops. Here’s something you may not have known, until 1964, Terminal Tower in Cleveland was the 2nd tallest building in the world after the Empire State Building until it was surpassed by the Prudential Tower in Boston.
Here’s an easy to understand article at How Stuff Works that explains how skyscrapers work and how their height is determined, ie, the actual height vs the number of floors.