The race to become the biggest and the best has been going on since the age of the Pyramids of Egypt. In recent years the list had remained fairly constant but with better technology and modern methods of construction, we will see some of the world’s skyscrapers being built more often than ever before. 🙂
I am so tempted to talk about each of them but I think I will probably settle down in showing you all the top 5 of them as follows:
1.) Taipei 101 in Taiwan (Taipei 101 will not keep its crown for long as there are many other projects in the planning stages or even near completion. The most talked about is the Burj Dubai projected to be completed and occupied in 2009)
Fantastic fact: The world’s two fastest elevators live here, installed by Toshiba. With top speeds of 1,010 m/min, you can fly up from Level B1 to 89 in 37 seconds.
Less fantastic fact: Something frankly less interesting is that there is a 900-ton tuned mass damper installed on the 87th floor to counter earthquakes and typhoons.
2.) Petronas Towers in Malaysia
To give you an idea of its height Alain Robert, the Gerard Depardieu of the climbing world, attempted to scale the towers without ropes or harnesses. It’s great to see these Malaysian office workers so happy and yet he failed to finish the climb. He also failed in 1997 when he was caught at the 60th floor, 28 short of the 88th storey skyscraper. The police simply opened a window and pulled him back in. Something tells me we might be seeing Alain again as he has tried to climb virtually everything including Taipei 101.
Fantastic fact: Apparently, the shape of the floors is based on an eight-point star, common in Malaysian Islamic patterns and the towers have so many windows that window-washers take a month to clean each tower!
Less fantastic fact: The Towers were featured in the film Entrapment with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery. The backdrop in the film was a shanty town surrounding the building when this is nowhere near the reality. This caused some controversy in Malaysia as it was portrayed as a backwards country.
3.) Sears Tower in Chicago
Fantastic fact: And just in case you need a better view the building has six robotic window-washing machines mounted on the roof.
And yes, in 1999 French Alain “Spiderman” Robert scaled the building’s exterior glass and steel wall all the way to the top…without getting caught.
4.) Jin Mao Building in Shanghai
5.) Empire State Building in New York
BURJ DUBAI STATUS:
In February 2007, it surpassed the Sears Tower as the building with the most floors in the world and earlier this month the tower’s height was 460.1 meters (1,510 feet), with 129 floors.
It is currently the second tallest building in the world excluding antennas and is rising by 2-3 floors per week. It looks like the Burj Dubai will be the tallest building in the world by the end of this year.
The final height is officially being kept a secret – you wouldn’t want to spend years constructing the tallest building for another to ‘pop up’ a couple of metres taller a few months later. However, figures released by a contractor on the project have suggested a height of around 808 metres and 162 floors. Even so, other contractors are estimating over 940 metres (over 3,000 feet). To put it into perspective that is 5 times higher than the Swiss Re building in London.