Image via Skyscraper Museum
It seems like every other day now we’re discussing the latest supertall tower, whether it be 432 Park topping out or the pricing information for visiting One World Trade Center’s observatory. These stories always include the basics — the tower’s height, number of stories, and architectural design; but we usually discuss these facts in relation to the building as a whole, not focusing on what it is that really sets these skyscrapers apart–their tops. A new exhibit at the Skyscraper Museum hones in on just that, the uppermost floors of the world’s tallest towers.
Ten Tops looks at buildings 100 stories and higher, analyzing “the architectural features they share, including observation decks, luxury hotels and restaurants, distinctive crowns and night illumination, as well as the engineering and construction challenges of erecting such complex and astonishing structures.”
When exploring the group of supertall towers, the museum focused on three elements: the architectural top; the highest occupied floor; and the tip, including antennas, flagpoles, etc. Since 1931, when the Empire State Building–which has perhaps the most recognizable top in the world–was constructed, there have been 24 towers worldwide that top 100 feet, including the Sears/Willis Tower (108 stories) and the John Hancock Center (100 stories) in Chicago, as well as One World Trade Center (104 stories) here in NYC. The tallest of the tall are the Kingdom Tower (167 stories) in Saudi Arabia, Burj Khalifa (163 stories) in Dubai, and Suzhou Zhongnan Center (137 stories) in eastern China.
The exhibit comes at a perfect time, when penthouse porn is a daily favorite and we’re all eager to find out about the next sky-high amenity. Ten Tops runs through September 13th, and you can find more information about visiting the museum here.
- Hear How Rafael Viñoly and Other Top Architects Tackle the Design of Buildings Over 100 Stories
- The U.S. Trails Behind in the Global Skyscraper Race
- How Long Are the Elevator Commutes in the Tallest Towers?