The Rise of the Few: Tall Buildings the World Over

Next week the world’s tall building experts specialists in technology, finance, and architecture gather in New York City  for the Council on Tall Building’s 7th World Congress. This event is held from October 16-19 in New York City and this years theme is “Renewing the Urban Landscape.”

One Bryant Park, the project I have been working on for the past 2.5 years and will for the next 2.5 is going to be presented on two fronts at this conference. Our structural engineers are going to present it in a panel discussion on innovative structures, and my boss Richard Cook heads a panel on Green Design in Tall Buildings.

Tall buildings are coming up all over the world, despite people’s inhibitions, post 9/11. The biggest thrust is in Asia, where nations are embarking on a race to see who has the world’s tallest totem pole. Currently Taiwan leads the pack with its Taipei 101 building which opened last year, but by 2009, the mantle of the tallest building shall go to Dubai


India, it seems is also in the race with a huge ugly monstrosity planned by none other than Hafeez Contractor in NOIDA, outside of Delhi. Another castle in the air is something that some godman wants to build.

On the eve of the congress, the Chairperson answered some very pertinent questions about how this race will go in the future years.

Q: Taipei 101 is just one of many super-tall structures either recently completed or under construction in Asia. What accounts for the surge?

RK: A lot of it has to do with the local governments wanting to put their flag in the ground and say, “We have arrived as an economy.” China, Malaysia, and Taiwan are really trying to establish themselves on the skyscraper playing field. They want to make a statement that they have arrived.

Q: Some would argue the Middle East is racing to overtake Asia.

RK: Yes, the race to build super-tall structures has reached epic proportions in Asia and the Middle East. Some insiders say that the Burj Dubai, which is now underway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will reach almost a half-mile high. Construction of super-tall buildings is more realistic in those regions where there is no defined street lay-out that can limit floor plate size. You can just build it in the middle of the desert.

Continue reading the entire interview here