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Encyclopedia > Skyscrapers
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Taipei 101, the world's tallest skyscraper by roof height on high rise.
"What is the chief characteristic of the tall office building? It is lofty. It must be tall. The force and power of altitude must be in it, the glory and pride of exaltation must be in it. It must be every inch a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exaltation that from bottom to top it is a unit without a single dissenting line."
Louis Sullivan's The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered (1896)

The word skyscraper was originally a nautical term for a tall mast or sail on a sailing ship. Today the word is used exclusively to refer to a tall habitable building, usually higher than 152 metres (500 feet). A skyscraper is also sometimes referred to as a highrise, a term which is generally used to refer to a residential building.


Until the 19th century, buildings of over six stories were rare. It was impractical to have people walk up so many flights of stairs, and water pressure could only provide running water to about 50 feet (15 m).


The development of steel, reinforced concrete, and water pumps have made possible the construction of extremely tall buildings, some of which are over 300 metres tall. The other development essential to practical skyscraper development was the invention of the elevator.


The skyscraper first emerged in the land-strapped areas of New York City and Chicago toward the end of the 19th century. William LeBaron Jenney designed the first skyscraper in Chicago, The Home Insurance Building. The ten-story structure was constructed in 1884-1885 and was destroyed in 1931 for the Field's building.


The weight-bearing components of skyscrapers also differ substantially from those of other buildings. Buildings of about four stories are supported by their walls, while skyscrapers are larger buildings that must be supported by a skeletal frame. The walls then hang off this frame like curtains. Special consideration must then be given for buildings that are over 40 stories tall because of the force that wind puts on the structure.

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Frankfurt with its skyscrapers

See world's tallest structures for a discussion of the tallest skyscrapers and other man-made structures, as determining the "world's tallest..." depends greatly on matters of definition.

Contents

Top 50 Skyscrapers by structural/architectural height

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The Sears Tower in Chicago, the world's tallest skyscraper from 1974 to 2004. Retained Highest pinnacle on a high-rise

This table is adapted from [1] (http://www.emporis.com/en/bu/sk/st/tp/wo/) and utilizes the criteria set by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). It ranks high rises by the highest architectural detail, and does not include the height of structural components that do not count as architectural structures, such as antennas and masts. This sort of ranking allows buildings that look smaller in height to be ranked higher if another building's spire is adjudged to be a large antenna and thus excluded. This results in such rankings as the Petronas Towers being ranked higher than the Sears Tower despite having a much lower highest point and occupiable floor. Also, the list does not include free-standing buildings that are not classified as high rises, such as the CN Tower, TV masts, bridges, or oil platforms. The table is up to date as of 2004, with destroyed buildings removed, notably the World Trade Center which would be in the top ten. (Note: the height given is the highest architectural detail and may not be highest point on building.)

Rank Building City Height Floors Built
1 Taipei 101 Taipei 509 m 1,671 ft 101 2003
2 Petronas Tower 1 Kuala Lumpur 452 m 1,483 ft 88 1998
3 Petronas Tower 2 Kuala Lumpur 452 m 1,483 ft 88 1998
4 Sears Tower Chicago 442 m 1,450 ft 108 1974
5 Jin Mao Tower Shanghai 421 m 1,380 ft 88 1998
6 Two International Finance Centre Hong Kong 415 m 1,362 ft 88 2003
7 CITIC Plaza Guangzhou 391 m 1,283 ft 80 1997
8 Shun Hing Square Shenzhen 384 m 1,260 ft 69 1996
9 Empire State Building New York City 381 m 1,250 ft 102 1931
10 Central Plaza Hong Kong 374 m 1,227 ft 78 1992
11 Bank of China Tower Hong Kong 367 m 1,205 ft 72 1990
12 Emirates Office Tower Dubai 355 m 1,163 ft 54 2000
13 Tuntex Sky Tower Kaohsiung 348 m 1,140 ft 85 1997
14 Aon Center Chicago 346 m 1,136 ft 83 1973
15 The Center Hong Kong 346 m 1,135 ft 73 1998
16 John Hancock Center Chicago 344 m 1,127 ft 100 1969
17 Ryugyong Hotel Pyongyang 330 m 1,083 ft 105 1992
18 Burj Al Arab Dubai 321 m 1,053 ft 60 1999
19 Chrysler Building New York City 319 m 1,046 ft 77 1930
20 Bank of America Plaza Atlanta 312 m 1,023 ft 55 1992
21 US Bank Tower Los Angeles 310 m 1,018 ft 73 1990
22 Menara Telekom Kuala Lumpur 310 m 1,017 ft 55 2001
23 Emirates Hotel Tower Dubai 309 m 1,014 ft 56 2000
24 AT&T Corporate Center Chicago 307 m 1,007 ft 60 1989
25 JPMorganChase Tower Houston 305 m 1,002 ft 75 1982
26 Baiyoke Tower II Bangkok 304 m 997 ft 85 1997
27 Two Prudential Plaza Chicago 303 m 995 ft 64 1990
28 Kingdom Centre Riyadh 302 m 992 ft 41 2002
29 First Canadian Place Toronto 298 m 978 ft 72 1976
30 Yokohama Landmark Tower Yokohama 296 m 972 ft 70 1993
31 Wells Fargo Plaza Houston 296 m 972 ft 71 1983
32 311 South Wacker Drive Chicago 293 m 961 ft 65 1990
33 SEG Plaza Shenzhen 292 m 957 ft 70 2000
34 American International New York City 290 m 952 ft 66 1932
35 Key Tower Cleveland 289 m 947 ft 57 1991
36 Plaza 66 Shanghai 288 m 945 ft 66 2001
37 One Liberty Place Philadelphia 288 m 945 ft 61 1987
38 Bank of America Tower Seattle 285 m 937 ft 76 1985
39 Tomorrow Square Shanghai 285 m 934 ft 55 2003
40 Cheung Kong Centre Hong Kong 283 m 928 ft 62 1999
41 The Trump Building New York City 283 m 927 ft 70 1930
42 Bank of America Plaza Dallas 281 m 921 ft 72 1985
43 OUB Centre Singapore 280 m 919 ft 63 1986
44 Republic Plaza Singapore 280 m 919 ft 66 1995
45 UOB Plaza One Singapore 280 m 919 ft 66 1992
46 Citigroup Center New York City 279 m 915 ft 59 1977
47 Hong Kong New World Tower Shanghai 278 m 913 ft 61 2002
48 Scotia Plaza Toronto 275 m 902 ft 68 1988
49 Williams Tower Houston 275 m 901 ft 64 1983
50 Wuhan World Trade Tower Wuhan 273 m 896 ft 58 1998


For a longer listing go to List of skyscrapers


History of tallest skyscraper

Building Built Status Roof Pinnacle Floors
Home Insurance Building 1885 Destroyed 180 ft 55 m 12
World Building 1890 Destroyed 309 ft 94 m 349 ft 106 m 20
Manhattan Life Insurance Building 1894 Destroyed 348 ft 106 m 18
Park Row Building 1899 Present 391 ft 119 m 30
Singer Building 1908 Destroyed 612 ft 187 m 47
Met Life Tower 1909 Present 700 ft 213 m 50
Woolworth Building 1913 Present 792 ft 241 m 57
40 Wall Street 1930 Present 927 ft 283 m 71
Chrysler Building 1930 Present 925 ft 282 m 1046 ft 319 m 77
Empire State Building 1931 Present 1250 ft 381 m 1472 ft 449 m 102
1 World Trade Center 1972 Destroyed 1368 ft 417 m 1727 ft 526 m 110
Sears Tower 1974 Present 1450 ft 442 m 1730 ft 527 m 108
Taipei 101 2003 Present 1470 ft 448 m 1667 ft 508 m 101


Disputed Claims:

Top 15 by pinnacle

Top 15 by the highest point on the building.

Building Height City
Sears Tower 527 m 1730 ft Chicago
1 World Trade Center (destroyed) 526 m 1727 ft New York City
Taipei 101 508 m 1667 ft Taipei
John Hancock Center 457 m 1500 ft Chicago
Petronas Towers 452 m 1483 ft Kuala Lumpur
Empire State Building 449 m 1472 ft New York City
Jin Mao Tower 421 m 1380 ft Shanghai
2 International Finance Centre 416 m 1364 ft Hong Kong
2 World Trade Center (destroyed) 415 m 1363 ft New York City
CITIC Plaza 391  m 1283 ft Guangzhou
Shun Hing Square 384 m 1260 ft Shenzhen
Tuntex 85 Sky Tower 378 m 1240 ft Kaohsiung
Central Plaza 374 m 1227 ft Hong Kong
Bank of China Tower 367 m 1205 ft Hong Kong
SEG Plaza 356 m 1167 ft Shenzhen

Comparison of top modern skyscrapers

See also

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Skyscraper Safety Campaign (0 words)
The Skyscraper Safety Campaign (SSC) was created by the Regenhard Family in memory of Christian Michael Otto Regenhard, a 28 year old Probationary Firefighter who remains missing at the WTC, along with his entire Engine Company 279, to this date.
In two congressional hearings in March and May of 2002 regarding the collapse of the WTC, Congress determined that the aftermath of the 9/11 collapse was characterized by the absence of a comprehensive investigation, a lack of cooperation and no clear lines of authority among the federal, state and NYC governments.
The use of the name of the Skyscraper Safety Campaign or names of its members to endorse any statement, organization, or purpose is prohibited, unless explicit permission has been given by the Skyscraper Safety Campaign.
55. Skyscraper. Sandburg, Carl. 1916. Chicago Poems (695 words)
Prairie and valley, streets of the city, pour people into it and they mingle among its twenty floors and are poured out again back to the streets, prairies and valleys.
A young watchman leans at a window and sees the lights of barges butting their way across a harbor, nets of red and white lanterns in a railroad yard, and a span of glooms splashed with lines of white and blurs of crosses and clusters over the sleeping city.
By night the skyscraper looms in the smoke and the stars and has a soul.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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