Future of Sky Scrapers?
January 29, 2003 1:59 PM   Subscribe

Future of Sky Scrapers? Is this the future of sky scrapers, or are they now irrelevant with the current threats that are presented? Would you work in this building?
posted by npost (15 comments total)
I wouldn't worry about terrorism. A natural disaster, inclement weather or an ordinary fire are far more likely to require the evacuation of a building. The efficiency of any evacuation is constrained by the availability of stairwells. Every person has to exit the building more or less serially. You can widen stairwells or add more, but ultimately this is the limitation. The higher your skyscraper is the longer it'll take the poor schmuck who is last in line to evacuate.

Would I work in the building? Well, why not? The chances of anything happening regardless of the circumstances are minor. The illnesses of old age kill most people no matter where they work.
posted by substrate at 2:17 PM on January 29, 2003

I look at it this way...

It's 2003.

We have the technology.

Where are the fucking mile high (or higher... I mean, come on... it's not like we can't build them...) buildings?!

What an efficient use of space one would be...

With land values so high in downtown areas, wouldn't such buildings make alot of sense?

Like those arcologies from Simcity 2000... you know?

Obviously our (american) ways of building out instead of up have just created more traffic anyways... (Not to mention cookie-cutter strip mall hellrides...)
posted by LoopSouth at 2:25 PM on January 29, 2003

I am a huge proponent of higher, grander, better... Which combine residential, relaxation (parks, common areas) commercial and retail space in one area, and can be quite successful. But sadly, I don't think they will be built for quite some time. The psychological affects of seeing the twin towers come down has negatively impacted the ideas of 'Space Scrapers' as viable.

Which is truly sad, as the accomplishment in creating such a structure would dwarf the celebrations at the completion of the Sears Tower, the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and even the Twin Towers themselves (although the respect they earned came at a significant price to the original neighborhood, and 10-20 years after they were built).
posted by npost at 2:56 PM on January 29, 2003

or are they now irrelevant with the current threats that are presented?

...just like cars, planes, trains, houses, etc. are irrelevant because of the various accidents, attacks, mishaps, etc., that have occured on them....
posted by oissubke at 3:22 PM on January 29, 2003

npost, maybe New York just needs a larger version of the John Hancock Center.
posted by mrbula at 3:24 PM on January 29, 2003


Oi-boy lives!

posted by silusGROK at 3:24 PM on January 29, 2003

With land values so high in downtown areas, wouldn't such buildings make alot of sense?

I've worked in Chicago's Loop for 6 years now and during that time I've seen 4(5?) 'serious' proposals for a new World's Tallest. Each one died for the same reason...lack of financial backing. Yet during this same period, I have seen several new 50-70 story towers go up. Most, if not all, of the 'World's Tallest' proposals have had serious backing from the city (which would like to reclaim the title outright), so it seems to me that the market simply doesn't need these buildings. Which is too bad. Because they're sooooo cool...
posted by mathis23 at 3:25 PM on January 29, 2003

OK, everybody who lives or works in a building more than 10 stories high raise your hand.

Yeah, I thought so.

We now return to your regular MeFi commentary.
posted by ilsa at 4:26 PM on January 29, 2003

Raises hand.
posted by mathis23 at 5:30 PM on January 29, 2003

Oi-boy lives!

For time and all eternity. You know it, baby.
posted by oissubke at 6:22 PM on January 29, 2003

Hey! I'm famous!

More seriously: The building codes have always been driven by failures to protect building occupants. You can trace each requirement of the code to loss of life in an existing building.

I'm sure we'll see (in the extremely boring world of building code officials) a battle between damn-the-cost, I want to keep posting to MeFi when that shuttle hits my building community and the Jesus H. Christ on a Bicycle, what am I going to have to charge per square foot to tenants in my building community.
posted by skyscraper at 8:00 PM on January 29, 2003


One out of 17k ain't bad ;)
posted by ilsa at 10:22 PM on January 29, 2003

ilsa, most people living in high rises are too busy working all the hours required to afford the expense and won't see your poll. The fact that folks have time to bother with sites like this automatically sways the curve toward the trailer parks.
(Oh, I live in a 12 floor bldg.)
posted by HTuttle at 10:55 PM on January 29, 2003

I'd like to back up skyscraper on his comment that failures drive code. Failure is one of the most important things to study in structural engineering as unlike other engineers we don't get to build our stuff first, test it to failure, build it again and repeat the process until it's just right. The WTC was built to/beyond code of it's day and i believe behaved beyond it's minimum code requirements. Code is a developing thing based on the knowledge base and technology (and note: those two aren't always caught up with each other).
As for the reason skyscrapers are topping out around 50 stories is because after 50 stories the cost to construct goes up to about $1 mil per story (sorry, i don't have a source for that). Financially it makes more sense to have multiple 50's then one 100. That said i damn well hope they build a monster phallus in downtown.
posted by NGnerd at 7:21 PM on January 30, 2003

They can't. I have a patent on monster phalluses (phalli?) damn the prior art.
posted by skyscraper at 6:26 PM on January 31, 2003

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