How do we determine the actual height of a building? Where do we place the dimension line? The history of measuring skyscrapers dates back to 1885, way before AutoCAD or Revit dimensions, when the Home Insurance Building in Chicago was among the first to boast of being the world's tallest building, but the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)—or the Joint Committee on Tall Buildings, as it was originally called—wasn’t formed until 1969. Recognized by many as the foremost authority on tall buildings, the CTBUH is often cited in determining the world’s (or country’s or city’s) tallest building. However, the CTBUH is not the only organization with a stake in measuring buildings; the global building information database Emporis is also a major player. Between them, these two organizations provide 10 different ways to determine a skyscraper's height, which we have summarized below.
The targeted maximum wait time in office building elevators is 20 seconds—it just feels like 2 minutes when you’re in a rush. But how quickly are the elevators actually moving?
The fastest installed elevator reaches speeds of 67 feet per second (20.5 meters per second), or 46 miles per hour (73.8 kilometers per hour) in the Shanghai Tower. Not only does the Gensler-designed Shanghai Tower boast the fastest elevator, but also the longest continuous run of 1,898 feet of the 2,073-foot tower (578.5 of 632 meters), as revealed in a recent study by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). At these speeds, you can reach the 119th floor in 55 seconds.
The latest rendering for Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Jean Nouvel's 53W53 has been released in anticipation for its completion next year as construction reaches the 58th floor out of the proposed 82. Capturing the entire design of the new landmark, the render provides a look to the tapering structure distinguished by its sculptural quality and the three floors of gallery space in the tower’s base adjoining the Museum of Modern Art as part of their expansion.
As 53W53 grows in front of New York’s eyes, the concrete skeleton currently standing forms the basis for the exposed structural system referred to by Nouvel as ‘diagrid’ as the tower’s silhouette is an ode to the iconic buildings that already grace the horizon in New York.
Downtown Los Angeles’ skyscraper boom continues – this time straying south to the intersection of South Olive and 11th Street, where developer Crescent Heights has submitted plans for a new 70-story residential tower housing 794 apartment units. Designed by ODA, 1045 Olive is planned to top out at a height of 770 feet, which would make it Los Angeles’ tallest residential building and 4th tallest overall.
Unique to the structure (and fitting for Los Angeles) would be the massive amount of space dedicated to parking: 13.5 total floors would be dedicated to parking spots, including an above ground 8-story core that would be wrapped in apartments to visually conceal the cars within.
Zaha Hadid Architects have released new photos showcasing the ongoing construction progress of Leeza SOHO, a mixed-use office tower in Beijing's Lize Financial Business District. This twisting, contorted structural skeleton, which weaves together two separate sections of the tower and visually fuses them, will house the world's tallest atrium, rising the full height of the building.
Updated renderings have been revealed for renowned architect Helmut Jahn’s 1000M, an upcoming 832-foot skyscraper that will take the place of a currently vacant lot on Chicago’s historic Michigan Avenue. Accommodating 323 luxury residences and over 40,000 square feet of amenities, the building will be clad in a green and blue glass curtainwall, with horizontal metal spandrels running across and dividing it. The roof terrace is covered by a hovering metallic mesh crown, which is shown in the new renderings.
Penda, collaborating with wood consultants from CLT-brand Tmber, has unveiled the design of ‘Tree Tower Toronto,’ an 18-story timber-framed mixed-use residential skyscraper for Canada’s largest city. Drawing inspiration from the distinctly Canadian traditional modular construction, including Moshe Safdie’s iconic Habitat 67, the tower is envisioned as a new model of sustainable high-rise architecture that can establish a reconnect urban areas to nature and natural materials.
Los Angeles’ newest skyscraper, the Wilshire Grand Center, opened to the public this weekend, earning the crown of the United States’ tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Topping out at 1,100 feet, the building eclipses the nearby U.S. Bank Tower by about 82 feet, thanks to its glass crown and decorative spire that rise from above the 73rd floor.
Designed by AC Martin Partners, the structure also represents a major change in Los Angeles tall building design as the first skyscraper completed since the city’s 2014 decision to remove the stipulation that all buildings over 75 feet must feature a flat roof to serve as a helipad.
Herzog & de Meuron have completed construction of their latest project, a high-rise luxury residential skyscraper on 56 Leonard Street, New York City. Conceived as a stack of individual houses resembling a Jenga tower, the building is the tallest in its Tribeca neighborhood. With its tall and slender silhouette, 56 Leonard Street is the latest in a series of contemporary skyscrapers punctuating Manhattan’s skyline.
Humanity has become obsessed with breaking its limits, creating new records only to break them again and again. In fact, our cities’ skylines have always been defined by those in power during every period in history. At one point churches left their mark, followed by public institutions and in the last few decades, it's commercial skyscrapers that continue to stretch taller and taller.
But when it comes to defining which buildings are the tallest it can get complicated. Do antennas and other gadgets on top of the building count as extra meters? What happens if the last floor is uninhabitable? The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has developed their own system for classifying tall buildings, measuring from the “level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment.” Using this system more than 3,400 buildings have been categorized as over 150 meters tall.
Rediscover a natural, unique and original material, with multiple applications for current architecture and design immovable over time, granite is a jewel of nature capable of providing exclusivity to any contemporary construction or finish. Its wide range of varieties and the incorporation of new cutting technologies and those giving a surface finish, provide us with infinite design possibilities.
SkyCity is pleased to invite architects, designers, artists, engineers, scientists, conservationists, ambient warriors, tribesmen, digital nomads, craftsmen or basically anyone with great ideas from around the globe to take part in SkyCity Challenge 17. Our climate is changing, squalor, nationalism, and inequality are rising, people are constantly moving into cities and the demand for a better and more sustainable living in urban areas continues to grow. The current ways are very limited and outdated and with the modern technology available we are able to create far better and more sophisticated spaces that could affect the very way of our living in the future …
A 1,400-foot-tall mixed-use skyscraper by Zaha Hadid Architects may be the next supertall structure to hit midtown Manhattan. Located at 666 Fifth Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Street, the project is the brainchild of Kushner Properties, who currently co-own the existing 483-foot-tall building with Vornado Realty Trust.
Estimated to cost up to $12 billion, the company is currently negotiating a multi-billion dollar deal with Chinese holding company Anbang Insurance Group to finance the project. If plans to buy out the building go through, Kushner would be in the clear to begin construction on the ZHA-designed tower, which would rebrand the property as 660 Fifth Avenue and offer 464,000-square-feet of residential space, an 11-story hotel, and a 9-story retail podium.
Chicago Announces Controversial Plans to Replace Helmut Jahn’s Thompson Center with 115-Story Skyscraper
Chicago may be about to receive a new supertall skyscraper in the heart of the Loop – but it would require the demolition of one of the city’s most polarizing buildings, the James R. Thompson Center, designed by Chicago architect Helmut Jahn.
Owned by the state, the postmodernist Thompson Center and its colorful glass atrium have been the subject of both criticism and adoration since its opening in 1985. But wear on the building throughout the years has led to an estimated maintenance bill of $326 million, prompting the state government to find ways to rid itself of the potentially crippling costs.
In its annual report, the 2016 Tall Building Year in Review, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced that 2016 saw the completion of a record 128 buildings 200 meters or higher. This number surpasses the previous record of 114 completions set in 2015. Eighteen of these buildings became the tallest in their city, country, or region, and ten earned the designation of supertall, at 300 meters and above.
Many have walked by and wondered what purpose this vast, windowless skyscraper in the heart of Manhattan serves. 33 Thomas Street, also known as the "Long Lines Building" (LLB), is an impenetrable monolithic fortress amid canyons of glass and steel. Ostensibly an AT&T telecoms building, the New York Times have recently reported (based on investigative work by The Intercept) that this "blank face[d] monument to privacy" may in fact be a NSA (National Security Agency) listening post, hidden in plain sight.
Photographer Paul Clemence of ARCHI-PHOTO has shared images of 56 Leonard Street by Herzog & de Meuron. Nearing completion, the 60-story residential tower will be the tallest structure in Tribeca when it opens later this year. The concept of 56 Leonard Street is to disrupt the monotony of typical high-rise city buildings with a more varied articulation achieved by stacking recognizable individual houses. Shifted floor slabs create differentiated corners, cantilever, and balcony conditions that provide apartments with their own unique characters. Developed from the inside out, the pixelated rooms are arranged such that the base of the tower reacts to the street conditions and ripples upward to merge with the sky.
Read on for the full photo set.
The career of Japanese architect Kenzō Tange features a curious anomaly: he received the same commission twice. In 1952, during the early stages of his career, Tange designed an administrative building in Yūrakuchō, Tokyo, for the city's metropolitan government. Over thirty years later, when the government relocated to Shinjuku, Tokyo, he again won the commission to design its administrative building. Completed in 1991, this would be one of his last, and most ambitious, projects. The second incarnation now dominates the city’s skyline, its highly distinctive design guaranteeing it landmark status. Nicknamed Tochō (an abbreviation of its Japanese name Tōkyō-to Chōsha), its architectural references to both tradition and modernity act as a visual metaphor for the eclectic city over which its inhabitants govern.