On the top row are buildings of the 20th century and the current world’s tallest. In the lower three rows there are seven towers that are completed or topped out; the remaining projects are still in early stages of design. Supertalls are organized by region, country, and city.
The Skyscraper Museum in NYC is a spectacular place. Like no other, it uniquely celebrates tall buildings and examines the historical forces and individuals that have shaped New York’s successive skylines. Through exhibitions, programs and publications, the Museum explores skyscrapers as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. Their current exhibition, Supertall goes a step further.
Supertall is an international survey of superlative towers featuring projects that have been completed since 2001, are under construction, or are expected to top out by 2016. This recent generation of giants, generally 100 stories or higher, represents a new paradigm of slender mixed-use towers that explore innovative approaches in engineering, curtain-wall and construction technologies, energy efficiency and sustainability, and concepts of vertical communities. Supertalls are a special class of skyscraper. More expensive to build than shorter structures, they require special wind-tunnel and seismic analysis, stiffer frames, extra material and special elevators, and often refuge floors or other safety measures.To distinguish the rarified air of the super- from the merely very tall, the Museum made the benchmark 380 meters/ 1,250 feet-the height of the Empire State Building-rather than the common standard of 300 meters. Worldwide, 48 projects measure up, including six towers of 600 meters or taller, six of 500+ meters, and twenty-four exceeding 400 meters. The world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, rises 828 meters/ 2,717 feet above the sands of Dubai. It will hold the record for at least five years- the typical time it takes to construct a Supertall.
The Skyscraper Museum is located at 39 Battery Place, New York, NY 10280.
SUPERTALL on exhibit from July 27, 2011 through January 2012.
All images and excerpts taken from the Skyscraper Museum.