Tuesday, June 3, 2008

High enough to sky dive from? - Almost

Recently there has been plethora of new high rises proposed that are stunning the engineering world with their height. Burj Dubai is currently under construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This building when finished will be somewhere between 800m and 950m tall (2625-3115 ft) about 150% the height of the Sears Tower in Chicago. It is already the tallest man made structure standing. This seems stunning, but when you hear about some of the other buildings that will top that, you wonder when it will stop. Wikipedia links you to the websites of several other buildings that have been proposed. In the world of Architecture though, proposed and built are a far cry from each other.

100 years ago, The Singer building in New York City broke the record for the tallest building at 612 ft and 47 floors. Not too long after that, the Met-Life tower bested this by another 88 feet. This was bested by the Woolworth building followed by the Trump Building and the Chrysler Building. The Chrysler building topped out at about 1047 ft. When the Empire State Building was built, it set a new precedent. At 1250 feet, it held the top spot for 40 years (longer than any other). It has never been taken off the list of the top ten tallest buildings in the world.

On Sept. 11, 2001, the next record breakers collapsed into history. The world trade center towers broke the Empire State Buildings record in 1971. The Sears tower then took the title away from New York City in 1974. The Sears tower held this spot for 24 years. When the Petronas towers were finished in 1998, it marked the first time the tallest building in the world was outside the United States. Most likely the United States will never see the tallest building within its own borders again. Taipei 101 finished in 2005 currently holds the record for the tallest completed building.

There are buildings under construction in New York and Chicago that will be taller than anything ever seen in North America. These designs still pale in comparison to the towers they are building elsewhere.

A standard static-line sky dive is done from about 3500 ft. Burj Dubai when completed will be near this magic number. People jump off of Angel Falls at about 3200 ft. Some crazy person will try jumping from Burj Dubai. I wonder what type of skyscrapers will be built in 30 years? They may even start building them with a sky diving platform.

This image compares completed buildings with notable ones under construction (in red).

This is an image of Madinat al-Hareer - a major development proposed for Kuwait


dan said...

What cracks me up about pics like that last one is how those other buildings look like little tiny buildings when I'm sure they are skyscrapers in their own right (10-30 stories at least!)

Cincinnati said...

I heard about this new skyscraper on WVXU; thanks for sharing a photo of the proposed new tallest buildings.

Hey, I'm in Cincinnati too. Thanks.