New techniques mean that wood can now be used for much taller buildings - "Wood has many attractions as a construction material, apart from its aesthetic qualities. A wooden building is about a quarter of the weight of an equivalent reinforced-concrete structure, which means foundations can be smaller. Timber is a sustainable material and a natural 'sink' for CO2... Using wood could reduce their carbon footprint by 60-75%, according to some studies. There are two main concerns about using wood to build high. The first is whether wood is strong enough... the second worry: fire."
Michael Green, a Canadian architect responsible for the Wood Innovation and Design Centre at UNBC presents The Case For Tall Wood Buildings [PDF]. He also gave a TED Talk: Why We Should Build Wooden Skyscrapers (transcript) [more inside]
Ernest Flagg (1857-1947) was an architect in the United States, who worked mostly in New York, and in 1904 had a radical plan to remake Central Park. New York's Central Park That Never Was [more inside]
In a few weeks, ground-breaking will begin on the far West Side. The project: Hudson Yards, the largest real-estate development ever undertaken in the city's history, an enormous mini-metropolis whose planning might have left even Robert Moses dumbstruck. - Wendy Goodman [more inside]
If you've been to Tokyo anytime in the past few months, you can't have missed seeing the new Tokyo Sky Tree [images | official website]. The tower is not quite finished, but is already the world's tallest tower (and second highest structure after the Burj Khalifa). But that's not what this post is about. "A tower resembling Tokyo Sky Tree -- the world's tallest broadcasting tower currently under construction in Tokyo's Sumida Ward -- has been found depicted on a landscape ukiyo-e woodblock print from the mid-19th century." And they aren't kidding!
Alain Robert has scaled Burj Khalifa in Dubai for a world record. If you are into people climbing skyscrapers, there's Robert in Abu Dhabi or Sao Paulo and other awesome stuff. (Very previously.)
V, Double dip (W) or L recession? Things look bad for the EURO is the skyscraper index is right. We have heard recently about problems in the Eurozone. Is the worst over or is the worst still to come? The skyscraper index indicates: Trouble ahead. [more inside]
So you want to build your own Eiffel Tower. Then you'll need 7,300 tons of iron, 2.5 million rivets, and some blueprints. (You may also need a copyright lawyer.)
Hugh Ferriss: Delineator of Gotham. Through his charcoal renderings of dramatic, imaginary skyscrapers in early 1900s New York City, Ferriss influenced the aesthetics of numerous architects with his bold compositions.
The World's First Skyscrapers. "The clay-formed houses... rise high up the sky clouds by thirty to forty meters lengths, whilst its floors vary between five to sixteen." "One of the oldest and best examples of urban planning." Another amazing Yemeni city.
The Fifty-Nine-Story Crisis. In 1978, renowned structural engineer William LeMessurier discovered a mistake in his design for the Citicorp (now Citigroup) Center. With hurricane season approaching, the skyscraper was in imminent danger of collapse. His handling of the situation has been praised as a "stunning example of good ethics in action" – but some disagree.
A growing crop of towers pushing 2,000 feet: though just shy itself, the much-redesigned Freedom Tower is finally under construction for completion in 2011; but there is also the stunning Fordham Spire, approved in Chicago, that will rise to 2,000 feet by 2010. Moscow is planning the tallest tower in Europe, while there are a number of sightseeing and radio towers under construction in Asia. In Dubai, two towers under construction (despite worker protests) are racing to be the world's tallest, both are keeping their final heights secret, but will likely be over half a mile in height -- the Burj Dubai and the Al Burj. As previously discussed, there are great illustrations comparing buildings both built and under construction. Bring on Frank Lloyd Wright's The Illinois!
you-are-here.com: Los Angeles Architectural Photo Bonanza. Pictures of buildings in Los Angeles, organized by period (1818 - 1939, 1939 - 2004), building type (theatres, skyscrapers, Victorian homes), or by architect. Also, aerial photos!
Southwark Council is planning Europe's tallest skyscraper for the middle of London. The 66 floor London Bridge Tower certainly looks impressive, and it's 'Extra White Glass' is expected to make the top of the tower "disappear into the sky" and change colour with the weather. But does London really need a 1000ft glass shard?
Promise a man death is not the end and he will slam himself into a skyscraper. Evolutionary biologist and arch-skeptic Richard Dawkins writes about religion in the Guardian.