Infographic: How NYC’s Supertalls Compare in Height and Girth to Global Towers

Posted On Fri, May 20, 2016 By

Posted On Fri, May 20, 2016 By In Architecture, infographic, New Developments

Gray silhouettes from left to right: Shanghai World Financial Center, CTF Finance Centre, One WTC, Lotte World Tower, Mecca Royal Clock Tower, Shanghai Tower, Burj Khalifa. Click link here to enlarge >>

As the Skyscraper Museum so aptly writes, “Tall and BIG are not the same thing.”

Echoing 6sqft’s recent post on global supertalls, the infographic above illustrates how when the height of New York’s tallest towers are stacked up against the sky-high constructions abroad (and 1 WTC), our city’s skyscrapers truly are “runts on the world’s stage.” The image also reveals that not only do these towers lack significantly in height, but also in girth. This means what really makes the design of all of New York’s new skyscrapers so unique is not how tall they are, but rather, how slender they are.

“The pencil-thin periscopes — all 50 to 90+ stories — use a development and design strategy of slenderness to pile their city-regulated maximum square feet of floor area (FAR) as high in the sky to as possible to create luxury apartments defined by spectacular views,” says the Skyscraper Museum of this new typology.


432 park slenderness432 Park as compared to one of the original World Trade Center towers. Click to enlarge >>

“‘Slenderness'” is an engineering definition,” they add. “Structural engineers generally consider skyscrapers with a minimum 1:10 or 1:12 ratio (of the width of the building’s base to its height) to be ‘slender.’ Slenderness is a proportion based on the width of the base to the height of the building.”

In this slender lot, they point out 18 towers in specific that redefine the width versus height ratio, emphasizing again that extreme verticality is not at all representative of total gross floor area: One57, 111 West 57th Street, 432 Park Avenue, 520 Park Avenue, Central Park Tower, 220 Central Park South, ​53W53, 100 East 53rd Street, Sky House, 45 East 22nd Street, One Madison, 35 Hudson Yards56 Leonard, 30 Park Place, 111 Murray Street, 125 Greenwich Street, 50 West Street and 9 DeKalb Avenue. ​

new york supertalls graphed

height versus gross floor area nyc skyscrapers and supertalls

To find out more on the topic, check out the Skyscraper Museum’s in-depth review at their website.

All images courtesy of the Skyscraper Museum

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