Reach to the Sky

Reach for the Sky

There is fierce competition between countries around the globe to construct the world’s tallest building. It probably started circa 1570 BC with the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt which still stands a modest 139 m tall.

In modern times the iconic Empire State Building completed in 1931 set a new record of 381 m tall which it held for 40 years until it was overtaken by the World Trade Centre at 417m. Thereafter various cities around the world broke the record by 5 or 10 metres at a time, until the Burj Khalifa in Dubai broke the record set by Taipei 101 by a massive 320 m topping out at a spectacular height of 828 m. However, the Burj Khalifa will lose its title in 2019 to the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia when it is completed in 2019 at an amazing 1 000 m tall.

Bearing in mind that the recent devastating fire at the Grenfell Tower in London, which is only 68 m tall, killed at least 80 people (at the time of publication of this article), one wonders how safe these mega sky-scrapers are to live and work in.


Height: 1000 metres
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Budget: US$1.2 billion
Launched in 2013, the slender tower is expected to be the world’s tallest by the time the project is slated to close in 2022. Each side of the triangle-shaped building will provide a dedicated entrance for its three primary functions: office, hotel and residential.


Height: 1 219 metres in overall length
Location: New York City, USA,
Budget: None yet reported
Designer Oiio Studio has a unique twist to create the world’s longest building: Erect twin towers that are joined by a curved top. The concept would result in a single building that—at its peak—would be 219m shorter than the Burj Khalifa. But total from end to end, it would qualify as the world’s longest. There’s no telling when—or if—the tower will be built



Height: 1 700 metres
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Budget: None yet reported
: If built, this proposed skyscraper would be nearly twice the height of the Burj Khalifa. The residential tower would feature incremental tapers and vertical slots in the structure to mitigate the impact of the wind. The design also incorporates an articulated facade that facilitates the harvest and storage of cloud water, which would lower the time and cost of pumping water from the ground. No construction date has been proposed.


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