An infographic about the world’s tallest buildings is not a new idea (in fact, we’ve featured a great one, as well an interactive version, here before). But the Economist’s idea of looking at the race to the top connected with the times and world events is a fresh take. The highly detailed chart shows the tallest building constructed every year beginning in 1885. Each bar represents its height, and the color shows on what continent it was built. The chart also highlights exceptionally noteworthy buildings and certain world events that contributed to the ebb and flow of skyscraper construction over time.
From the pyramids of Teotihuacan to One World Trade, here are the tallest buildings of the last 5,000 years.
Slovakian artist and designer Martin Vargic created six infographics that chart the history of buildings across Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, South America and Oceania. The infographics, which date buildings (and a few notable monuments) as far back as 2,650 B.C., give a pretty complete look, highlighting the construction’s name, shape, height (which does account for a tower’s spire), the year it was erected, and the years it was its continent’s, if not the world’s (denoted by a red shading), tallest building. The charts also give a good snapshot of the great skyscraper race that took hold in the early 20th century, as well as shifts in global money as seen in the emergence of Asian skyscrapers like Taipei 101 and the Burj Khalifa in the mid-2000s. You can get a closer look by expanding the image ahead.
Image: NYC’s 2018 future skyline via CityRealty
Supertall, pencil tower, megatall, superslim, skinnyscraper… As we struggle for new ways to describe all the glass and stone towers popping up in Manhattan, we’ve come to notice that not one person has come up with a way to describe all those skyscrapers being scooped up, floor by floor, by the superrich, never to be lived in. Now enter the Skyscraper Dictionary, a cheeky reference site (created because “The world needs one.”) that’s coined all the vocab you need to throw around next time you find yourself talking about NYC’s skyscraper boom. So, what do you call those super-luxury towers that nobody lives in? How about pikettyscrapers.
New York is most certainly experiencing a skyscraper boom, but you may be surprised to find out that the number of supertalls going up in the city account for only a small percentage of what’s going up globally. According to CBS News, just 20 percent of the world’s towers are being built stateside, and of all the tall buildings completed last year, we had only four in the top 20 (One World Trade Center topped the list). So if we aren’t number one in this race, then where is this new crop of towers creeping up?
Condé Nast’s move into One World Trade Center means more than just the offices of Vogue settling in downtown, but also some other 3,000-odd editors, writers and advertising folks that make up the publishing giant’s empire. Amongst these magazines is, of course, The New Yorker. In this week’s installment of the magazine’s “Cartoon Lounge,” cartoon editor and cartoonist Bob Mankoff takes a moment to commemorate the magazine’s move into the supertall icon by musing over the skyscrapers that have appeared in The New Yorker since the city’s 1920s building boom. From his office on the 38th floor of One World Trade, watch as he shares his favorite cartoons and his own experience of seeing the New York City skyline as a kid in Queens. This video is sure to make you smile!
DRUMROLL PLEASE… You came, you voted, and now we’re pleased to announce the winner of our first-ever Building of the Year competition! Congratulations to the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed, Continuum Company-developed 45 East 22nd Street tower which won the hearts of 29 percent of over 3,500 readers who came to cast a vote. We’re not sure if it was the champagne flute-like design that sold you, or if it was the ambitious cantilever that captured your gaze, but there’s no question that this incredible 777-foot construction pushes the envelope—not only in size, but in the design of bigger, better and more luxurious living spaces. Demolition to make way for the supertall started this summer and construction will commence early next year. Once this 65-story glass beauty is complete in 2016, expect to see it tower over the Flatiron District!
If you’re looking for more of 2014’s news-making and record-setting highlights, be sure to check out our year-end market report. Find out how the super-luxury buildings also in the running, and a few others, fared on the market this year. Get the report here (opens to a pdf) >>