Tall Buildings Still Going Up in Asia

“There are six skyscrapers currently planned that will be taller than the once-proud 1,376-foot [419 m] World Trade Center,” notes The Wall Street Journal. “All of them are in Asia.” The Journal adds that there “a 20-year love affair with loftiness continues.”

The towering buildings will cap the skylines of cities in China, Korea, and Taiwan. “The desire to reach for the sky runs very deep in our human psyche,” says Cesar Pelli, architect of the buildings that are currently the tallest in the world, the twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “Since the Tower of Babel, there is this desire to put a marker up in the sky.”

Engineers are adding greater safety measures. These include open-air “refuge floors” every 10 to 12 stories, a stronger core, trusses that connect the core to the main exterior columns or that wrap around the building, and more fire stairways, ones that widen toward the bottom of the building to accommodate more people.

Currently, there are about two dozen habitable buildings in the world that exceed 1,000 feet [300 m], and over half of them are in Asia. “Yet experts agree that there’s little practical need for any structures over 60 stories,” says the Journal.

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At 1,483 feet, the Petronas Towers are the tallest in the world

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Building height includes decorative spires but not antennae.

471 feet [143 m] 2500 B.C.E. Pyramid of Khafre, Giza, Egypt

986 feet [300 m] 1889 Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

1,140 feet [348 m] 1997 T & C Tower, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

1,209 feet [369 m] 1989 Bank of China, Hong Kong, China

1,250 feet [381 m] 1931 Empire State Building, New York,

United States

1,450 feet [442 m] 1974 Sears Tower, Chicago, United States

1,483 feet [452 m] 1997 Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1,509 feet [460 m] (Proposed for 2007) Shanghai World Financial

Center, Shanghai, China

1,667 feet [508 m] (To be completed by 2003) Taipei Financial

Center, Taipei, Taiwan

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All sketches: Courtesy SkyscraperPage.com