Mega-Tall Skyscrapers Herald Economic Depression, Says Barclays

Kingdom Tower. Image © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

The world economy has endured a series of crises over the past century, and architecture has recently been recognized as a harbinger of these crises. Two years ago, British group Barclays released an index of skyscraper construction projects that correlate with the occurrence of economic downturns since 1873. Many of the tallest buildings in the world have been built at times of severe economic struggle, the most recent being Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, built during the Great Recession of 2007 through 2010. According to Barclays, “the world’s tallest buildings are simply the edifice of a broader skyscraper building boom, reflecting a widespread misallocation of capital and an impending economic correction.”

All the major financial crises in the past century, and the buildings that predicted them after the break…

Vanity Height: How Much of a Skyscraper is Usable Space?

1. / Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. Image © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Ever expanding population growth coupled with the continuous development of urban centres mean that buildings, in general, will continue to get taller. With the topping out of One World Trade Centre in May this year the worldwide competition to construct towers with soaring altitudes doesn’t seem to be slowing, especially in China and the UAE. The question on many people’s lips, however, is how much of these colossal buildings is actual usable space?

Skyscraper-mania in Asia and the Eternal Competition for the World’s Tallest Building

Photo by Flickr user: nelson ebelt - http://www.flickr.com/photos/nelsonebelt/

Recent years have seen an influx of skyscrapers completed, nearing construction, or proposed in Asia. Stimulated by an exponentially growing population and, therefore, thriving economy, Asia has contributed more soaring buildings to the world’s list than any other continents combined. With the completion of the world’s tallest building at 828 meters tall, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, comes the proposition of progressively more structures which aim to surpass the prior and ascend to the number one status.

More on skyscraper-mania in after the break.

World’s Tallest Skyscraper

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Over 1,000 meters (that’s 3,280 feet!) with a total construction area of 530,000 sqm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture are currently in design development phase for Kingdom Tower. Slated to surpass Burj Khalifa by 173 meters (coincidently which Adrian Smith also designed while at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill) Kingdom Tower is the centerpiece of the $20 billion dollar Kingdom City Development, with the tower itself expected to cost $1.2 billion dollars. Featuring a luxury hotel, office space, serviced apartments, luxury condominiums and the world’s highest observatory the tower’s foundation drawings are complete with the piling currently being tendered.

More renderings of the world’s largest tower which will be located near the Red Sea in , Saudi Arabia following the break.