In 1885, Chicago’s Home Insurance Building, designed by William LeBaron Jenney, became the first skyscraper, rising to the then astonishing height of 180 ft. However, Jenney could never have imagined the supertall skyscrapers of the future and how they would be reshaping skylines all around the world. Let’s take a look skyward at this supertall trend.
Where Supertall is King
The soaring supertowers of the Big Apple aren’t always popular – protests have arisen against these engineering marvels that are threatening to block sunlight from famous Central Park. As of July 2018, the count is twenty-two supertall skyscrapers throughout New York City. You can read about them here.
- Slender is the New Trend – In crowded Manhattan, building space is at a premium. To get around this issue, developers are constructing supertall buildings that are also superskinny.
It’s not Just About the Height
Not only are buildings being designed to soar ever higher, they are also being built as supertall “green” and safer buildings in earthquake and flood zones. Here are some examples.
- Tianjin Tower, China – 1,739 ft. and 103 stories will go hand-in-hand with achieving LEED Gold Certification. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.) The China Construction Eighth Engineering Division is utilizing advanced building information modeling (BIM) and other construction techniques to create a curved, aerodynamic structure capable of withstanding severe seismic activity.
- W350 Project, Tokyo – When thinking of a supertall skyscraper, you probably envision a structure of steel, concrete, and glass. However, the 1,148-ft. tower that is part of the W350 Project, will have a 9:1 ratio of wood to steel. A Japanese architectural firm is working with Sumitomo Forestry to design a beautiful wooden tower that can withstand earthquakes. The completion date is some time in 2041.
- Sky Mile Tower, Tokyo – Scheduled to be completed in 2045, this supertower will stand at 5,577 ft. and be ringed by an “archipelago” of islands. It will be part of a high-density “eco-district” named Next Tokyo that is designed to protect Tokyo from flooding.
New York is ever the superleader in innovative architecture. One New York firm is proposing building a Big Bend skyscraper – a skinny U-shaped design which when fully stretched out would be nearly double the height of the world’s tallest superskyscraper. You can see a rendering of it by going to No. 11 on this list. Yet another New York firm has proposed a tower which would hang suspended from an asteroid and travel thousands of miles each day in a figure-of-eight loop.
When is Supertall Super Enough?
There is no doubt that supertall skyscrapers all around the globe are soaring to vertiginous heights. They are a familiar sight in Dubai which currently boasts the tallest building in the world, the needle-shaped Burj Khalifa (2,716 ft).
However, this tower will soon be dwarfed by Saudi Arabia’s the Jeddah Tower, scheduled to be completed by 2020, which will ascend an astounding 3,280 ft. into the desert sky. Click here to see more examples of the incredible super skyscrapers of the future. Supertall skyscrapers is a trend that’s not going away any time soon.