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The Foundations of Some Skyscrapers
Location: Glasgow, UK, 1999
Height: 125 m or 400 ft
The weight of the tower rests on a central pivot-bearing set in the base of a cylindrical steel structure. A slewing bearing above ground level works with this bottom pin to resist lateral loads.
London Bridge Tower
Location: London, UK, in progress
Height: 310 m or 1016 ft (will be the tallest building in Europe after completion)
The pyramidal structure is actually a composition of simple structural systems. A deep basement and raft foundation supports a central core with slopping side frames.
Location: Frankfurt, Germany, 1999
Height: 259 m or 850 ft (currently the tallest building in Europe)
The building rests on deep concrete piles, bored in diminishing diameters like inverted telescopes and pre-stressed to reduce elastic shortening. The piled foundation runs deep in order to minimize soil deformation. The draw-down of adjacent structures in inevitable but more dispersed because the deeper loads are delivered into the soil mass.
Taipei Financial Centre (Taipei 101)
Location: Taipei, Taiwan, 2004
Height: 504 m or 1674 ft (currently the world’s tallest building)
As it is built in one of the most seismically sensitive locations in the world, foundation was extensively reinforced. There are 557 piles (anchoring pillars) under the building. The length of each pile is about 75-80m long and is driven another 25-30m into the bedrock below. The seismic design of Taipei 101 can handle an earthquake of more than magnitude 7 on the Richter scale and still be stable.
Buildings that Held the Title of "The Tallest Building in the World"
This is the building that started the race for the tallest. It is also known as the Pulitzer Building, named after famous editor Joseph Pulitzer, who commissioned the project. This building was demolished in 1955 for the expanded car ramp entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Although the World Building had architectural details that were higher off the ground, the Masonic Temple had a higher occupied floor, thus it was the tallest building in the world in 1892 if the antenna on the World Building was not counted in overall height. The building was demolished in 1939.
It was the first skyscraper to pass the 100 m mark but it was demolished in 1930 to make way for the Irving Trust Bank Headquarters Building.
It is one of the oldest existing skyscrapers. The building is 29 stories tall, 26 floors with two three-story cupolas. The foundation of the Park Row Building was made of 3,900 Georgia spruce piles driven into wet sand and topped by granite blocks. Upon completion, approximately 4,000 people a day worked there.
It was the first modern building after the Eiffel Tower to hold the record for world's tallest structure. The building was demolished in 1968 as it was functionally obsolete. It remained the tallest occupied building ever destroyed until September 11, 2001 collapse of the World Trade Center. It is still currently the tallest building ever legally demolished. It is also thought to have been the tallest free-standing structure ever demolished until the destruction of the Avala TV Tower on April 29, 1999.
It was a later addition to an original 11-storey full-block office building that was completed in 1893. In fact, the tower is now twice the height of its original structure. There are four clocks, one on each side of the tower. Each clock is 26.5 feet (8 m) in diameter with each number being four feet (1.2 m) tall. The minute hands each weigh half a ton.
More than ninety years after its construction, it is still one of the fifty tallest buildings in the United States as well as one of the twenty tallest buildings in New York City. The building is a National Historic Landmark, having been listed in 1966. It was originally planned to be 625 ft (191 m) high, but then elevated to 792 feet (241 meters). The construction cost was US$13,500,000 and Woolworth paid in cash.
40 Wall Street is a 70-storey skyscraper completed in 1930 after only 11 months of construction. The building is now also known as the Trump Building after Donald Trump who bought the building. 40 Wall Street was planned to be 41 m (135 ft) taller than the nearby Woolworth Building, which was completed in 1913. Most importantly, it was designed to be one metre taller than the Chrysler Building's planned height of 282 m (925 ft). However, the Chrysler Building developers secretly changed the projected height of their building after 40 Wall Street was completed. A 38 m (125 ft) spire was secretly assembled in the Chrysler Building's crown and hoisted into place, fulfilling tycoon Walter Chrysler's dream of owning the tallest building on Earth. Such glory was shortlived, however, as the Empire State Building would be finished the next year, 1931.
The Chrysler Building is now the second tallest building in New York City, surpassed only by the Empire State Building. The added height allowed the Chrysler Building to surpass both 40 Wall Street and the Eiffel Tower as the tallest building and the tallest structure in the world. It was also the first man-made structure to stand taller than 1,000 feet (305 meters).
The Empire State Building is a 102-storey structure that stood as the world's tallest building for 41 years from its completion in 1931 until the construction of the World Trade Center North Tower in 1972, and the world’s tallest man-made structure for 23 years. It is now once again the tallest building in New York and the second-tallest building in the United States after the destruction of the World Trade Center.
World Trade Center was a complex of seven buildings but was best-known for two of its 110-storey twin towers. The World Trade Center included many structural engineering innovations in skyscraper design and construction. For instance, the towers were designed as framed tube structures, with columns grouped around the perimeter and within the core. The perimeter columns supported virtually all lateral loads, such as wind loads, and shared the gravity loads with the core columns.
All of the original buildings in the complex were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks, including 1 WTC, 2 WTC (North and South Towers) and 7 WTC which collapsed; 3 WTC (Marriott Hotel) was crushed by the collapses of 1 WTC and 2 WTC; and 4 WTC, 5 WTC, and 6 WTC were damaged beyond repair and later demolished.
Height: 442 m (1,451 ft) (to roof); 527 m (1,730 ft) (to antenna)
By the measurement from the ground to the top of the antenna/spire, the Sears Tower is currently the tallest building in the world. It surpassed One World Trade Center in this capacity by 58 cm (1.9 ft) via a short extension being installed on one of Sears' antennas on June 5, 2000. By all other measures (official height, roof height, and highest occupied floor) the Sears Tower was always taller than the World Trade Center.
Height: 403 m (1,322 ft) (to roof); 452 m (1,483 ft) (to pinnacle)
The Petronas Twin Towers were once the world's tallest building when measured from the level of the main entrance to the structural or architectural top. Petronas, Malaysia's national oil company, set out to build the world's tallest building. Although other buildings such as the Sears Tower have higher occupied floors, a higher pinnacle, and a higher roof, the Petronas Twin Towers' spires are classified as architectural details and rise to 452 m (1483 feet), giving it the greatest structural height until Taipei 101. Taking advantage of the quirks of the rules governing building measurements (counting spires but not antennas) has generated controversy over the towers' claim to the title.
Taipei 101 has 101 stories above ground (hence the name) and five underground.
The building holds the records for:
However, it does not hold the record for the longest distance from ground to antenna, which is still held by the Sears Tower at 527 m (1,729 ft).
“The Tallest Building in the World” in the Near Future
Freedom Tower (New World Trade Center’s North Tower)
Estimated Year of Completion: 2009
Location: New York City, New York, U.S.A. (World Trade Center Site)
Height: 417 m (1,368 ft) (to roof); 541 m (1,776 ft) (to antenna)
If the spire and antenna height are included, Freedom Tower might, at 1776 feet (marking the year of the signing of the American Declaration of Independence), qualify as the tallest building in the world if no other rival towers are completed first. Nevertheless, Taipei 101 and Sears Tower would still be tallest than Freedom Tower from ground to highest occupied floor.
Estimated Year of Completion: 2010
Location: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Height (subject to change): 610 m (2,000 ft) (to roof)
In U.S.A., the building would surpass Sears Tower, upcoming Freedom Tower (1,776 feet (541 m) tall) and Las Vegas' proposed Las Vegas Tower, (1,888 feet (575 m)), to be the tallest building in the United States. The current design also will surpass the height of the CN Tower in Toronto to become North America's tallest free-standing structure. The Chicago Spire would also surpass the Q1 in Queensland, the Eureka Tower in Melbourne, and the Ocean Heights 2 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to become the world's tallest all-residential building. It will not, however, surpass the Burj Dubai to become the tallest building on Earth.
Estimated Year of Completion: 2009
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Height (subject to change): 643.3 m (2,111 ft) (to roof); 808 m (2,651 ft) (to antenna)
“Burj” is Arabic for tower. The final height of the building is still a secret, with reports stating that the final height could possibly be 940 meters or even 1,110 meters. Burj Dubai will become the world's tallest building, along with the world's tallest man-made structure, when it is completed. To ensure stability, the building sits on a concrete and steel podium with 192 piles descending to a depth of more than 50 meters (164 feet) and a total of 45,000 cubic meters of concrete are used in the foundations with a weight in excess of 110,000 tonnes.
The Tallest Buildings in the World