Canadian Consulting Engineer

Towers to top 600-metres and more

Heedless of the miserable reputed fate of the Tower of Babel, not to mention the tragedy of more recent skyscrapers...

April 28, 2006   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Heedless of the miserable reputed fate of the Tower of Babel, not to mention the tragedy of more recent skyscrapers, structural engineers, architects and developers around the world are stretching themselves to build higher and higher.
The CN Tower in Toronto held the record at 553-metres for most of the 20th century, but it seems doomed to insignificance in this millennium.
Its near rivals completed early this century were were the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the Taipei Financial Centre in Taiwan, which was completed in 2004 and reaches 509 metres high.Now, however, a whole new generation of 600-metre plus structures are being born. First, a new broadcast tower for Tokyo was announced in March. It will be 600 metres.
Then plans were announced in April to build Europe’s tallest building: the Moscow City Tower, also at 600 metres. Foster and Partners of the U.K. and Halforson & Partners of Chicago are designers of the structure, which is to be a steel and concrete spine stabilized by sloped columns.
Meanwhile, Chicago’s “first major skyline statement of the 21st Century,” will be the 610-metre Fordham Spire, a slender 115-storey glass and steel twisting tube on the waterfront that will dwarf the existing Sears Tower which is 442-metres high. The Freedom Tower that is to replace the World Trade Center in New York will be 541 metres high, or the symbolic 1,776 feet of America’s Year of Independence.
Easily topping them all, however, is the Burj Dubai Tower scheduled for completion in 2009 in the United Arab Emirates. It will reach to the skies at 705 metres — 800 metres if you count its broadcast mast.

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