Skyline Blog

About Skyscrapers


Posted by Jae on August 8, 2011



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Tokyo – the World’s Largest City

Posted by Jae on August 8, 2011

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Toronto – Home of the Blue Jays

Posted by Jae on August 8, 2011

Excellent shots I’ve found on the web.  Giving them more exposure for the photographer because these deserve it!

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The New World Trade Center Complex in Lower Manhattan

Posted by Jae on May 8, 2011

Future of where the twin towers stood.

Progress on the construction of the redesigned site is as follows:

  • 1 World Trade Center – Construction began in April 2006; two years later, tower-foundation steel columns, concrete, and rebar had been installed. In 2006, the Port Authority took over from Silverstein Properties as the project’s developer. Tishman Construction Corporation is the construction manager. The estimated completion date is 2013.
  • 2 World Trade Center – Groundbreaking in July 2008.
  • 3 World Trade Center – Groundbreaking in March 2008. In April 2008, excavation and preparations for foundation work took place.
  • 4 World Trade Center – Construction began in 2008.
  • 5 World Trade Center – Construction began on January 1, 2009. The Port Authority acts as the building’s developer.
  • 7 World Trade Center – Off of Port Authority land, the tower opened on May 23, 2006 and achieved LEED gold status.
  • National September 11 Memorial & Museum – Under construction. The Memorial will include a Museum and two square pools where the Twin Towers formerly stood. The Memorial is on schedule for a September 11, 2011 opening, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
  • Performing Arts Center

1 World Trade Center

2 World Trade Center

Two World Trade Center is a skyscraper under construction as part of the new World Trade Center at 200 Greenwich Street in New York City. When completed, the tower will be located where the former 5 World Trade Center building was located, on the east side of Greenwich Street, across the street from the original location of the Twin Towers that were destroyed during the September 11 attacks. This tower will be the last to be built.

The 79-story building was designed by Foster and Partners, London. The building will have a height of 387 m, with a tripod-shaped antenna that allows the building to reach a total height of 411 m. In comparison, the Empire State Building’s roof at the 102nd floor is 381 m tall, and its antenna is 448 m, and the original 2 World Trade Center (often referred to as the “South Tower”) was 415 m.

When constructed, the tower will be the second–tallest skyscraper on the World Trade Center site and the third–tallest in New York City, following One World Trade Center and the Empire State Building. The sloping roof consisting of four diamonds inclined toward the memorial will provide a visual marker around the skyline of just where the original towers were. The tower is designed to resemble a diamond, with cross bracing intersects and indentations breaking up the sides. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the following about 200 Greenwich Street’s wedged rooftop: “Designed by Lord Norman Foster, the tower incorporates WTC master planner Daniel Libeskind’s ‘wedge of light’ concept, and will cast no shadow on the memorial park on September 11.”

3 World Trade Center

Three World Trade Center is a skyscraper to become part of the World Trade Center reconstruction in New York City. The office building, which resembles the John Hancock Center in Chicago, will be on the east side of Greenwich Street, across the street from the original location of the Twin Towers that were destroyed during the September 11 attacks. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Lord Richard Rogers (Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners) was awarded the contract to design the building, which will be 352 m in structural height with a pinnacle height of 378 m.

4 World Trade Center

Four World Trade Center is a skyscraper under construction as part of the new World Trade Center in New York City at 150 Greenwich Street on the east side of Greenwich Street, across from the original location of the Twin Towers that were destroyed during the September 11, 2001 attacks. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki was awarded the contract to design the building, which will be 297 m tall. The building’s groundbreaking took place in January 2008, and it is scheduled to be completed by 2012. The structural engineer for the building is Leslie E. Robertson Associates, New York City.  As of April 2011, only it and One World Trade Center (the 7 WTC is already totally completed) have progressed to the point where the construction is visible above ground level.

5 World Trade Center

Five World Trade Center,also referred to by its street address, 130 Liberty Street, is a new World Trade Center building to be located in New York City. It will be located on Site 5 of the new World Trade Center complex (former Deutsche Bank Building), but not exactly on the main plot of land as the other four buildings.  Originally, it was designed to be a 42 story building to rise about 226 m, but currently this tower’s plan is in “limbo”.

7 World Trade Center (the only one currently completed and opened for business)

The new 7 World Trade Center has 52 stories and is 226 m tall.  The first ten floors house an electrical substation, which provides power to much of Lower Manhattan. The office tower has a narrower footprint at ground level than its predecessor so the course of Greenwich Street could be restored to reunite TriBeCa and the Financial District.

David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill worked in conjunction with glass artist and designer James Carpenter to create a design that uses ultra-clear, low-iron glass to provide reflectivity and light, with stainless-steel spandrels behind the glass to help reflect sunlight. Stainless steel used in the building façade is molybdenum-containing Type 316, which provides improved resistance to corrosion. To enclose the power substation and improve its aesthetics, the base of the building has a curtain wall with stainless steel louvers that provide ventilation for the machinery. During the day, the curtain wall reflects light, while at night it is illuminated with blue LED lights. The curtain wall around the lobby uses heavily laminated, heat-strengthened glass that meets high standards for blast resistance. At night, a large cube of light above the lobby also emanates blue light, while during the day it provides white light to the lobby, and at dusk it transitions to violet and back to blue.  Inside the main lobby, artist Jenny Holzer created a large light installation with glowing text moving across wide plastic panels. The entire wall, which is 20 m wide and 4 m tall, changes color according to the time of day.

Nearly 30 percent of structural steel used in the building consists of recycled steel. Rainwater is collected and used for irrigation of the park and to cool the building. Along with other sustainable design features, the building is designed to allow in plenty of natural light, power is metered to tenants to encourage them to conserve energy, the heating steam is reused to generate some power for the building, and recycled materials are used for insulation and interior materials.

National September 11 Memorial & Museum:

In August 2006, the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey began heavy construction on the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. The Memorial will be located at the World Trade Center site, on the former location of the Twin Towers destroyed during the September 11 attacks in 2001. The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation was renamed the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center in 2007. The winner of the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition was Israeli-American architect Michael Arad of Handel Architects, a New York and San Francisco-based firm. Arad worked with landscape architecture firm Peter Walker and Partners on the design which calls for a forest of trees with two square pools in the center, where the Twin Towers once stood.

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Digital Media City Landmark Building

Posted by Jae on February 3, 2011

The Digital Media City Landmark Building (Korean: 디지털 미디어 시티 랜드마크 빌딩) or DMC Landmark Building, also known as Seoul Lite, is a 133-floor, 640 m supertall skyscraper under construction in Digital Media City, Seoul, South Korea. It will be the tallest building in both Korea and East Asia. Construction broke ground on 16 October 2009, and is scheduled to be completed and ready for occupancy by April 2015.  It will be built with the country’s own capital and technology at an estimated cost of 3.3 trillion won (US$2.9 billion).

The design and engineering of the DMC Landmark Building is performed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The local architect of record is Samoo. The building will house an observation deck on 133rd floor at 540 m, from which visitors will be able to see the entire metropolis of Seoul and as far as Gaeseong, North Korea. It will be the highest observation deck in the world, higher than those of Burj Khalifa on the 124th floor at 440 m and the 100th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center at 474 m. Premium hotels will be located on the 108th-130th floors, surpassing the Park Hyatt Hotel (79th-93rd floors) in the Shanghai World Financial Center, as the highest hotel rooms in the world.

All functions of a futuristic, 21st century city are incorporated into the building, including the most high-tech office and residential spaces, a department store, luxury shopping malls, a large convention center, the world’s largest interactive aquarium, international restaurants and facilities for media, culture and exhibitions.

The landmark building is backed by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and is being constructed at the fastest speed among major skyscraper projects by South Korea’s Samsung C&T, whose work includes Burj Khalifa, Taipei 101 and the Petronas Twin Towers.

Originally designed to be angular twin towers to rise as high as 690 m, the final design has changed substantially to a rounder, more curve-based design featuring the concept of “Seoul Wave”, which represents Seoul’s status as a city of history, globalization, culture and environment. It also transforms the historic meaning and image of the Smoke-Signal Station on Namsan mountain, or a beacon mound on the mountain as a traditional measure of communications, to a flow of “light”, which symbolizes a modern measure of communications, or the digital industry. The building’s façade resembling a lighthouse is aimed at expressing a vision as a “light leading the new millennium.”

The three main concepts of the DMC Landmark Building are Digital Media, Eco Design and Human Culture. For this reason, it was also called Seoul Lite before being officially named the Digital Media City Landmark Building. The outward appearance of the building is to be made in a style reminiscent of the windows of traditional Korean houses. Its design specifies the installation of an exterior super skin containing 40,000 LED panels that emit light of various colors.  The bamboo-type structure of the building, with the heart section left empty, increases its resistance to bending three-fold, thus enhancing its structural stability against earthquakes and due to wind.vibration.  The landmark building’s green rooftop will bring about a heat insulation effect. The installation of automatic ventilation windows on the surface of the building will aid the supply of fresh air and save considerable energy. A mirror installed in the building will direct sunlight towards the lower floors. That, along with the use of geothermal heat and a photovoltaic generation system, using the side walls of the building, will make it possible to save considerable amounts of energy.

Floors Use
132-133 Observatory, Media Art Center
131 Broadcasting facility, Open studio
128-130 Concert restaurant
108-130 Luxury six to eight-star hotels
85-107 Family and business hotels
46-84 First-class apartments
9-45 High-tech offices of IT, media, communication and financial businesses
7-8 Large convention centers
1-7 Department stores, shopping malls and a clinic center


World’s largest interactive aquarium, Digital Media Hall 


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2010’s World’s Greatest Cities

Posted by Jae on January 4, 2011

The Global Cities Index ranks cities’ metro areas according to 25 metrics across five dimensions. The first is business activity: including the value of its capital markets, the number of Fortune Global 500 firms headquartered there, and the volume of the goods that pass through the city. The second dimension measures human capital, or how well the city acts as a magnet for diverse groups of people and talent. This includes the size of a city’s immigrant population, the quality of the universities, the number of international schools, and the percentage of residents with university degrees. The third dimension is information exchange-how well news and information is dispersed about and to the rest of the world. The number of international news bureaus, the level of censorship, the amount of international news in the leading local papers, and the broadband subscriber rate round out that dimension. The final two areas of analysis are unusual for most rankings of globalized cities or states. The fourth is cultural experience, or the level of diverse attractions for international residents and travelers. That includes everything from how many major sporting events a city hosts to the number of performing arts venues and diverse culinary establishments it boasts and the sister city relationships it maintains. The final dimension-political engagement-measures the degree to which a city influences global policy-making and dialogue. How? By examining the number of embassies and consulates, major think tanks, international organizations, and political conferences a city hosts.

We are at a global inflection point. Half the world’s population is now urban — and half the world’s most global cities are Asian. The 2010 Global Cities Index, a collaboration between Foreign Policy, management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, reveals a snapshot of this pivotal moment. In 2010, five of the world’s 10 most global cities are in Asia and the Pacific: Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, and Seoul. Three — New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles — are American cities. Only two, London and Paris, are European. And there’s no question which way the momentum is headed: Just as more people will continue to migrate from farms to cities, more global clout will move from West to East.

But still the United States of America has 9 cities (#1 New York, #6 Chicago, #7 Los Angeles, #12 San Francisco, #13 Washington D.C., #19 Boston, #33 Miami, #38 Houston, and #40 Atlanta) in the global city index – the most of any single country.  For North America, Canada adds 2 cities (Toronto and Montreal – sad that Vancouver didn’t make the cut) and Mexico adds 1 city (Mexico City) which brings the total to 12.

European global cities include: London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Madrid, Vienna, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Zurich, Moscow, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Geneva, Munich, Copenhagen, Milan, Dublin which brings the total to 18. Germany leads the European count with 3 (#16 Berlin, #20 Frankfurt, and #33 Munich), Switzerland has 2 (#24 Zurich and #32 Geneva), Spain has 2 (#17 Madrid and #26 Barcelona), Italy has 2 (#28 Rome and #42 Milan).

Oceania global cities include: Sydney (interesting Melbourne didn’t make it).

Asian global cities include: Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Dubai, Bangkok, Taipei, Istanbul, New Delhi, Mumbai, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur, Tel Aviv, Manila, Jakarta, Guangzhou, Bangalore, Karachi, Ho Chi Minh City, Shenzhen, Kolkata, Dhaka, Chongqing which brings the total to 25. China has 6 cities (#5 Hong Kong, #15 Beijing, #20 Shanghai, #57 Guangzhou, #62 Shenzhen, and #65 Chongqing) in the global index while India has 4 (#45 New Delhi, #46 Mumbai, #58 Bangalore, and #63 Kolkata), and Japan has 2 (#3 Tokyo and #47 Osaka).

South American global cities include: Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Caracas which brings the total to 5. Brazil has 2 cities (#35 Sao Paulo and #49 Rio de Janeiro).

African global cities include: Cairo, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos which brings the total to 4.

Considering just the top 10 global cities of the world:
NYC + Chicago + LA have 40 Fortune Global 500 company headquarters.
London + Paris have 55 Fortune Global 500 company headquarters.
Tokyo by itself has 51 Fortune Global 500 company headquarters (number rises to 67 with the addition of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seoul)
Sydney has 3 Fortune Global 500 company headquarters.

-Foreign Policy Magazine (Aug 2010)

Rank City Rank by Population Rank by GDP
1 New York 6 2
2 London 28 5
3 Tokyo 1 1
4 Paris 20 6
5 Hong Kong 31 14
6 Chicago 25 4
7 Los Angeles 12 3
8 Singapore 38 23
9 Sydney 43 24
10 Seoul 22 19
11 Brussels 54 48
12 San Francisco 46 16
13 Washington 42 10
14 Toronto 36 20
15 Beijing 13 33
16 Berlin 48 46
17 Madrid 34 22
18 Vienna 55 40
19 Boston 41 11
20 Frankfurt 64 20
20 Shanghai 7 21
22 Buenos Aires 11 12
23 Stockholm 59 52
24 Zurich 61 58
25 Moscow 19 13
26 Barcleona 37 31
27 Dubai 56 49
28 Rome 49 37
29 Amsterdam 63 60
30 Mexico City 5 8
31 Montreal 44 35
32 Geneva 65 61
33 Miami 58 54
33 Munich 35 18
35 Sao Paulo 3 9
36 Bangkok 32 42
37 Copenhagen 60 59
38 Houston 40 17
39 Taipei 53 26
40 Atlanta 39 15
41 Istanbul 21 30
42 Milan 52 39
43 Cairo 17 36
44 Dublin 62 55
45 New Delhi 2 32
46 Mumbai 4 25
47 Osaka 16 7
48 Kuala Lumpur 57 65
49 Rio de Janeiro 14 27
50 Tel Aviv 50 40
51 Manila 15 34
52 Johannesburg 45 43
53 Jakarta 24 47
54 Bogota 29 45
55 Caracas 51 62
56 Nairobi 47 64
57 Guangzhou 27 38
58 Bangalore 30 53
59 Lagos 18 63
60 Karachi 10 50
61 Ho Chi Minh City 33 56
62 Shenzhen 26 28
63 Kolkata 8 44
64 Dhaka 9 50
65 Chongqing 23 57

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Lotte Super Tower 123

Posted by Jae on January 4, 2011

Lotte Super Tower 123 is a 123-floor supertall skyscraper currently being erected in Lotte World 2, Seoul, South Korea. It is located next to the existing Lotte World complex which opened back in 1989. Ground was broken in 2005 but due to nearby airport’s height restrictions, further construction was postponed to February 2010 when restrictions were removed in 2009. At 555 m in height (taller than any skyscraper in the United States currently completed or under construction), the building would become one of the world’s tallest buildings when completed in 2014. The Lotte Group of South Korea is owner and developer of the project.

The conceptual design calls for a slender cone with convex, gently curved sides. An exterior of pale-colored glass draws inspiration from Korean ceramics and features accents of metal filigree. Located near the Han River, the tower will contain retail outlets (floors 1-6), offices (7-60), residences (61-85), a luxury hotel (86-119), and public access floors (120-123) with an observation deck.

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15 Penn Plaza – Rival of the Empire State Building

Posted by Jae on August 27, 2010

15 Penn Plaza

15 Penn Plaza, also known as the Vornado Tower, is an approved 371 m, 67-story tower in Midtown Manhattan planned to be completed by 2014.  Although just 67 stories tall, it would be just 10 meters lower than the 79-year-old Empire State Building, the city’s tallest skyscraper following the collapse of the World Trade Center that is only 270 m away.

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Tianjin Tower

Posted by Jae on May 29, 2010

The Tianjin Tower, Jin Tower, or Tianjin World Financial Center (traditional Chinese: 津塔) is a modern supertall skyscraper in Tianjin, China. Tianjin, China is set to become the “economical hub” for northern China (Shanghai is the hub for eastern China while Shenzhen is the hub for southern China).  The mixed-use tower is set to rise 337 m and contain 76 floors. The skyscraper is expected to open sometime later this year (2010).

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Almas Tower

Posted by Jae on May 12, 2010

Almas Tower

Almas Tower (Arabic: برج الماس‎  meaning Diamond Tower) is an “office” skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  The building is 74 storey, 360 m tall  and was the tallest building in Dubai, before the Burj Khalifa was completed.  The tower is located on its own artificial island in the center of the Jumeirah Lake Towers scheme, it will remain as the tallest of all the buildings on this island when the development is completed.

Jumeirah Lake Towers

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