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Archive for February, 2009

Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel – Atlanta’s Tallest Hotel

Posted by Jae on February 25, 2009

Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel

Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel

The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel is a 220 m, 73 floor skyscraper and hotel in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, adjacent to the Peachtree Center complex.  It is the second tallest all-hotel skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere.

The building opened as the tallest hotel in the world; in 1977, however, it was surpassed by its architectural twin, the central hotel tower of the Portman-designed Renaissance Center in Detroit. The Peachtree Plaza Hotel opened as the tallest building in the southeastern United States, surpassing One Shell Square in New Orleans. It lost that title in 1983, when the Wachovia Financial Center in Miami surpassed it.

The building is cast in reflective glass in a cylindrical shape that reflects much of the downtown skyline. Another small cylinder runs the full height of the building on one side, and accommodates two scenic elevators. The uppermost floors hold the Sun Dial Restaurant and Bar, a revolving restaurant that offers panoramic views of the city and its environments.

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One Atlantic Center – Once the Tallest in the Southeast US

Posted by Jae on February 25, 2009

One Atlantic Center

One Atlantic Center

One Atlantic Center, also known as the IBM Tower, is a 250 m, 50 floor, 3rd tallest in Atlanta skyscraper located in Midtown Atlanta.  It was completed in 1987 and remained the tallest building in Atlanta until 1992, when it was surpassed by the Bank of America Plaza, which was also built in Midtown. It was also the tallest building in the southeastern U.S. at the time of completion, surpassing the Wachovia Financial Center in Miami.

The building’s exterior consists of Spanish pink granite with a copper pyramidal top and gold peak.  The design includes gothic flourishes, most noticeably below the copper top of the building. At night the peak and ridges along the top are illuminated brightly, creating a glowing effect.

It was joined in 2001 by the much shorter Atlantic Center Plaza building, which bears similar postmodern design and was constructed across the street as the second phase of the Atlantic Center development. Atlantic Center Plaza’s design and architecture are so similar, it has affectionately become known in Atlanta as the “Mini Me” building, named after the comical dwarfish clone of Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies.

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Sun Trust Plaza (Atlanta) – Tallest in Downtown Atlanta

Posted by Jae on February 25, 2009

Sun Trust Plaza

Sun Trust Plaza

SunTrust Plaza (originally known as One Peachtree Center) is a 265 m, 60 floor skyscraper in downtown Atlanta (tallest in downtown.) Construction was finished in 1992 and it is currently the second-tallest building in Atlanta.

The tallest in Atlanta is the Bank of America Plaza (Atlanta) which was discussed earlier (please go back to previous pages to look for it or look under the skyscraper tag.)

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Atlanta Skyline – the South’s Charm

Posted by Jae on February 25, 2009

Atlanta

Atlanta

Atlanta, the center of a 5.7 million metropolitan area, is the unofficial capital of the Southeastern United States which hosted a summer Olympics in 1996.  (Atlanta is also considered the Los Angeles of the South due to its horrible public transportation system and unfriendlieness to pedestrians.)  Atlanta has the nation’s third largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies (behind New York City and Houston) including: The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T Mobility, Delta Air Lines, Home Depot, and UPS; and is home to the world’s busiest airport (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport), the world’s largest indoor aquarium (the Georgia Aquarium), and the world’s largest piece of exposed granite (Stone Mountain.)    Atlanta is also the headquarters for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Overall, Atlanta was ranked as the 37th greatest city in the world!

Atlanta has a reputation as a modern and progressive “southern” city that houses many corporate conglomerates the biggest being the Coca-Cola Company. The skyline is actually three different skylines- Downtown, Midtown, and Buckhead -with 10 skyscrapers over 200 m tall (including the impressive 312 m Bank of America Plaza which is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere outside of New York City and Chicago).  The city is the site of 13 completed skyscrapers that are at least 152 m high, with two more under construction. There are 217 completed high-rises in the city. Since 2004, Atlanta has seen the completion of seven buildings over 122 m in height. Eight more are under construction, including 3344 Peachtree, the tallest structure under construction in Atlanta at 203 m. As of May 2008, there are 80 high-rise buildings under construction, approved for construction, or proposed for construction in Atlanta. Atlanta maintains its Southern USA flare, but continues to grow at a good pace.

Atlanta Full Skyline

Atlanta Full Skyline

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Baiyoke Tower II – Tallest in Thailand

Posted by Jae on February 21, 2009

Baiyoke Tower II

Baiyoke Tower II

The Baiyoke Tower II, a 304 m, 85 floor skyscraper is located in Bangkok, Thailand. It is the country’s tallest building, the tallest hotel in Southeast Asia, and the third-tallest all-hotel structure in the world.

There is a public observatory on the 77th floor, a bar called “Roof Top Bar & Music Lounge” on the 83rd floor, and a 360-degree revolving roof deck on the 84th floor.

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Shenzhen Skyline (深圳市) – Impressive New Comer

Posted by Jae on February 17, 2009

Shenzhen

Shenzhen

Shenzhen was a tiny fishing village on the northern border of Hong Kong in 1970 but is now a buzzing metropolis of over eight million people! Shenzhen is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (southern mainland China’s major financial center), the third busiest port in China (behind Hong Kong and Shanghai), and one of the few cities of the world that is experiencing an annual double figure percentage increase in its city economy!  Shenzhen is home to China’s most successful high-tech companies such as: Huawei, Tencent, ZTE, Hon Hai Group (which makes the bulk of Apple’s iPods and iPhones), and Wal-Mart China.  Overall, Shenzhen was ranked as the 54th greatest city on earth!

Shenzhen’s vertical growth began in 1979, at a time when the tallest building in the city was five stories tall. In the next decade, 300 high-rises were erected in the city, including the International Foreign Trade Center, the city’s first skyscraper taller than 150 m and also the tallest building in mainland China upon its opening in 1985. In a ten year span between 1996 and 2006, 18 buildings taller than 200 m were completed.

Most of the city’s vertical growth occurred in the Luohu and Futian districts, where most of the city’s skyscrapers are now located. Shenzhen’s skyscraper boom since 1979 is attributed to the city’s status as one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Although the city has only 347 completed high-rise buildings there are 23 buildings over 200 m tall (that’s more than Chicago)! The tallest building in Shenzhen is currently the Shun Hing Square, which stands at 384 m.

The tallest development currently under construction in Shenzhen is the 439 m Kingkey Finance Tower. Other tall projects in the city include the proposed Pingan International Finance Centre, which could become the city’s first building and China’s first building to break the 500 m mark (if it is finished before the Shanghai Tower in Shanghai.) Shenzhen’s highrise building boom shows no signs of slowing down, as shown by numerous proposals for skyscrapers taller than 150 m.  Look out Hong Kong and Shanghai, China’s number 3 is booming!

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Samsung Tower Palace – Tallest in South Korea

Posted by Jae on February 16, 2009

The Samsung Tower Palace is a group of 7 full residential towers, lettered A-G. They are located in Dogok-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea. They range from 42-72 floors, all built between 2002 and 2004, and all used as luxury residential complexes. Tower Palace “G” is the tallest skyscraper in Korea which is 73 floors and 264 m high. Its shape is formed by three oval lobes joined together. It is the fourth tallest all-residential building in the world, after the Q1 tower, the Eureka Tower, and the 21st Century Tower.

The builders of the Tower Palace put a huge emphasis on high-tech security measures. Card keys issued to residents are required at all entrances and elevators. Each residence’s entrance is accessed by either a key code or fingerprint identification.

Everything within the buildings is highly automated including but not limited to: lighting, curtains, home networks and even washing machines can be pre-set to perform certain actions at a defined time or when a mode is activated from the control panels. The entire home can be controlled through the owner’s cell phone; for example, in winter, the user may choose to turn on the heater before arriving or choose to have coffee made or laundry done. The phone can also be used to check the status of the home, including door locks, windows, gas pipes, and motion detectors.

When specified, presets can be used to automate the process; for example, before leaving the home, the owner may touch the preset ‘going out’; which will cause the lights to go out, blinds and curtains to come down, stoves and ovens turned off and the door locked automatically after it closes. The security system will also activate, monitoring the home.

The control panel computer can be set to allow entry of certain people, for a limited amount of time, for example, the babysitter may use their fingerprint to enter the home before the specified time, then the computer will not allow them to enter again, unless the computer is set to.

A helipad is located on the roof of all buildings.

Tower Palace

Samsung Tower Palace

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Mok-dong Hyperion – Collection of Three Full-Residential Skyscrapers

Posted by Jae on February 16, 2009

Mok-dong Hyperion Towers A, B, C

Mok-dong Hyperion Towers A, B, C

The Hyperion Tower, also known as the Mok-dong Hyperion Towers, is a group of three buildings located in Seoul, South Korea, completed in 2003. The tallest building, Tower A, is 69 stories and 256 m high. These towers are among the tallest full-residential skyscrapers in the world.  Below the building is the Hyundai Department store, a chain of high end department stores in South Korea.

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63 Building – Once the Tallest in Asia

Posted by Jae on February 16, 2009

My own personal photo

63 Building

The DLI (Daehan Life Insurance) 63 Building (63 빌딩 or 육삼 빌딩) is a skyscraper on Yeouido Island, overlooking the Han River in Seoul, South Korea. At 249 m high, it is the 3rd tallest building in South Korea, the 135th tallest building worldwide, and is a Korean icon among skyscrapers. 63 refers to the building’s 63 official stories, of which 60 are above ground level and 3 are basement floors. Construction was completed in 1985. At that time, the 63 Building was the tallest building in Asia; it lost this title to the OUB Centre one year later, but remained the tallest building in South Korea until Mok-dong Hyperion I, Tower A surpassed it in 2002.

The lower floors house a large shopping area with approximately 90 stores, an Imax Theater, and an aquarium. A convention center and banquet hall are also housed within the building. The observation deck (known as 63 Golden Tower) on the top floor is a popular place to go to see a good view of Seoul. Special observation elevators are also available; they are equipped with windows to enable their passengers to view the city as they ride up to (or down from) the observation deck.

63 Building Side View

63 Building Side View

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Seoul Skyline (서울) – the Soul of Asia

Posted by Jae on February 11, 2009

Seoul at night

Seoul at night

Seoul, the center of a 24.5 million metropolitan area, is the second most populous metropolitan area in the world (only behind Tokyo metro.)  The city has hosted the 1988 summer Olympics and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.  As the headquarters for Samsung (the world’s leading electronic company and the world’s largest conglomerate), LG, and Hyundai, Seoul has become a major hub in Asia.  As a major business and financial center, Seoul ranks sixth in the world in terms of the number of Fortune Global 500 international companies headquartered there.

Seoul has a major public mass transportation system with the cleanest and most efficient subway system in the world! Seoul is serviced by two international airports: the smaller Gimpo International Airport and the massive Incheon International Airport which is consistently ranked as one of the best airports in the world along with Hong Kong International and Singapore International aiports.  Overall, Seoul was ranked as the ninth greatest city in the world! (Fifty years ago Seoul did not even have a single paved road and the city economy was practically non-existent.  Because of Seoul’s great transformation in such a short period of time, it is studied by “second and third world” Asian cities.)

Seoul’s skyscrapers are divided into many clusters, spread amongst the main businesses and residential districts. Most of the recent growth in Seoul’s skyline, however, has been of residential towers 50+ storeys high that are shooting up like blades of grass! There are 2865 completed high-rises (11 skyscrapers over 200 m tall) and much of the mid-rise to high-rise structures are lined up in a linear fashion, creating a “wall” of buildings like no other city on earth. Seoul’s Central Business District is cluster about cluster of buildings facing in every direction. Seoul is where the ancient Eastern world collides with the modern West. The tallest in the city is currently the 264 m, 73-story Tower Palace G (one of the tallest all residential skyscrapers in the world) in Dogok-dong.

The tallest buildings are concentrated in five different locations: the traditional city center at Jongno, the modern business and financial district in Gangnam along Teheran Road between Gangnam Station and the COEX complex, the financial and political center on the island of Yeouido, the affluent residential neighborhood of Dogok-dong, and Mok-Dong. Seoul is located in a valley surrounded by mountains with one mountain in the center, Namsan. On top of Namsan is the 237 m Namsan Tower (Seoul Tower) which is considered an iconic image of the city of Seoul and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city (tops out at 480 m above sea level.)

The city has the following tall skyscrapers either under construction or approved for construction: the 620 m KoRail Tower, 580 m International Business Center, 555 m Lotte Super Tower, 334 m Parc1 Tower A, and 300 m AIG Main Tower. Incheon, a suburb of Seoul, seems to be the next big development spot for South Korea with the 305 m Northeast Asia Trade Tower topped off, the 610 m Incheon Tower under construction, and the 614 m twin towers Songdo Incheon Towers approved for construction. With the completion of these towers Seoul would be home to many of the tallest skyscrapers in the world (trailing only the 818 m Burj Dubai and 632 m Shanghai Tower.)

Seoul

Seoul



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