The Way Of The Skyscaper

Many predicted that 9/11 marked the end of the age of the skyscraper. Nothing could have been more wrong.
August 27, 2004, 9am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Superskyscrapers are proposed or rising in London, Paris, Vienna, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing and Mexico City; they already exist in Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Taipei. While the earthbound argue about fear and safety, Asia has outstripped the West, using the most advanced structural technology and safety features for buildings already completed and occupied; Malaysia's twin Petronas towers became the world's tallest in 1998 at 1,483 feet, and the 101-story, 1,667-foot Taipei 101 tower broke that record when it opened in Taiwan this year. There is no turning back. This is the way it will be in the 21st century...

It is safe to say that as long as architects are possessed by a timeless obsession to build tall -- a universal ambition that can make even the most modest fancy themselves masters of the universe -- and developers pursue ways to wring every ounce of profit out of expensive land, the race for height will continue, limited only by how high practicality and this alliance will take them.

[Editor's note: This article is available to non-subscribers for a period of seven days.]

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Published on Friday, August 27, 2004 in Wall St. Journal
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