Amazing Skyscrapers all over the world
A skyscraper is a very tall building with many stories. Today some skyscrapers have more than 100 stories. The modern city, center of economic activity and capital of culture, is unimaginable without skyscrapers.
Before the middle of the 1800s the tremendous weight of each story made it impossible to build very high. Some architects used an iron frame to support taller buildings. In the 1860s steel became widely available. It is stronger and lighter than iron. Chicago’s Home Insurance Company Building was the first skyscraper to use steel construction. Built in 1884–85, it was 10 stories high.
In 1853 an American inventor Elisha Graves Otis introduced an elevator.
For many years the Empire State Building in New York was the world’s tallest building. It is 381 meters tall and has 102 stories.
Skyscrapers embody technical achievement, economic prosperity, urban congestion, and civic and corporate pride.
In the early 1900s, corporate capitalists discovered that the skyscraper was a more effective advertisement than any billboard, newspaper, or magazine ad. Skyscrapers are an index to the economic health of a society. They are a technological and economic solution to an urban problem.
According to the biblical legend, God punished the builders of the Tower of Babel. The father of the history Herodotus said that the Tower of Babel consisted of eight towers stacked on top of each other. The height of this building can only be guessed. However, the era of these Towers of Babel is just beginning.
40 of the world’s 100 tallest buildings are in the US (12 of them are in New York and 10 in Chicago). But recently more and more high buildings are being built in Asia. So, 22 of the 100 tallest skyscrapers are in China.
Petronas Twin Towers are in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. The height of this skyscraper is 452 m. The building is considered a visiting card of the country. It was built in 1992-1998 and remained the highest on the planet until 2003. The towers have 88 floors. A steel bridge-gallery connected the Towers between the 41st and 42nd floors. It was opened for visitors only in 2000. In Petronas Twin Tower, in addition to a large number of offices, there are several supermarkets, the Petrosains museum, art gallery and even a symphony orchestra. The Towers appeared in the Hollywood film The Trap with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the lead roles.
Perhaps the most spectacular among the skyscrapers of the financial center of Asia is the 70-story building of the Bank of China Tower (architect Io Ming Pei). No wonder it is considered one of the most beautiful buildings of the Chinese financial metropolis. Construction of the bank was completed in 1990. The roof of the skyscraper is at an altitude of 305 m, and the spire of one of its antennas reaches 367 m.
Central Plaza is the second tallest building in Hong Kong. It was built in 1992. The building has 78 floors and its height is 378 m.
The highest skyscraper in the world, Burj Khalifa, is in Dubai (United Arab Emirates). The height of the 163-storey building is 643.3 meters, together with the spire it is 828 meters. The author of the project is the American architect Adrian Smith. The building was built for five and a half years, 1-2 floors per week.
Taipei 101 is interesting primarily because it is located in a seismically active zone. The architects have developed a number of unique solutions. Between 87 and 91 floors a huge ball-pendulum weighing about 700 tons is installed. In the event of an earthquake or a hurricane, it compensates for the fluctuations in the building, and extinguishes them with a shock absorber system. The world’s fastest elevators, which rise at a speed of 63 km / h, are in Taipei 101.
Sears Tower, the highest building in Chicago, for a long time had the title of the tallest building in the world. Sears Tower observation deck, located on the 103rd floor, is one of the main attractions of Chicago.
Shanghai World Financial Center is interesting for its unusual shape, resembling a giant bottle opener. It turns out that this hole (46 meters wide) performs an important function – it reduces the effect of wind on the building. This design provides the necessary stability of a skyscraper.
Jin Mao Tower (means Golden Prosperity) is a visiting card of Shanghai. An interesting feature of this building is the presence of the number 8 in all its proportions. Eight is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture. The building has 88 floors, divided into 16 segments, each one is 1/8 shorter than the sixteen-story base. The building was opened on August 8, 1998.
The smallest skyscraper in the world is located in Wichita Falls (USA). It has only 4 floors, but in the project it was proudly called a skyscraper. In 1912, engineer McMahon decided to build a 480-foot-high skyscraper (about 146 meters) and found investors for the project. However, in the contract the height was indicated not in feet, but in inches. As a result, a 4-storey building was built and investors could not prove the fact of fraud.