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Skyscrapers: The History, The Concepts, The Future

For lack of a better description... (DC: 1-7, LB: 8-12, RL: 13-15, JY: 16-18)

Daniel Cai

on 9 September 2014

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Transcript of Skyscrapers: The History, The Concepts, The Future

A skyscraper can be defined simply as a building that is...
But there's more to it.
Let's take a closer look...
The United States of America: Late-19th Century.
The population of New York City has doubled from 1840 to 1870.
Property prices are soaring by up to 90% as less and less land is available.
October 1871: the Great Chicago Fire destroyed most of the wood-built city.
Chicago was rebuilt on large plots of land and followed new city regulations that prohibited wooden construction.
These factors brought about the first skyscrapers...
New and innovative designs...
A range of businesses and services could be packed into a single building...
Higher density housing and office space with a small footprint...
Louis Sullivan
Born to Irish parents who immigrated to the USA, Sullivan studied architecture at MIT after graduating from high school.

Soon after, he was working for well-known names such as Dankmar Adler and Frank Furness.

He is renowned for his intricate terracotta and cast iron decorations.
Best known for designing what is known as the first "true" American skyscraper, Sullivan is often called the...
"father of skyscrapers and modernism
Designed in 1891, it was regarded by many as the first skyscraper that "looked the part".
This 10-story building in St Louis, Missouri involved the use of a completely iron and steel framework.
It featured terra cotta ornamentation, which was gaining popularity at the time.
One of the many new innovations that allowed skyscrapers to be constructed was the emergence of iron framed building.

This allowed for tall buildings to be constructed without have to end up with thick stone walls that would other have been required for structural support.
Another was the innovation dubbed the "curtain wall". This was basically a form of cladding that covered up the metal framework inside a building.

In the Wainwright Building, the "curtain" used was stone and terracotta. But the materials could vary from glass to metal, as can be seen in today's skyline.
It is a very well known icon of New York City, the fourth tallest building in the USA.
When it was constructed in 1931, it was the epitome of a skyscraper, 105-stories tall and designed in the Art Deco style.
Steel columns and beams form a stable 3D lattice throughout the building, in order to protect it from strong wind gusts and to give it structural integrity.
Skyscrapers have been constantly getting taller and with more space as building technologies improve.
Currently, the tallest skyscraper in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, pictured in the background, to the left.
Proportionally, the design uses half the amount of steel used in the Empire State Building due to its tubular structure.
The curtain wall of glass over the steel structure is very easily spotted.
26,000 panes of glass protect the structure from high temperatures of the area.
The Burj Khalifa was planned to be entirely residential, but this was later changed to also include communications and also business suites.
A very generically named Adrian Smith was the architect that designed the Burj Khalifa.
Adrian Smith has now designed (under construction) the Azerbaijan tower. This structure will be even taller than the Burj Khalifa, standing at over 1km.
Like many other high-rise buildings, the Burj Khalifa is built utilising a "bundled tube structure".
This particular design allows the building to withstand high amounts of stress, while still allowing maximum floor area.
The tower's overall ground footprint is very small compared to the floor area.
Main Concepts About Skyscrapers
The concept of building business upwards in a single building with a small footprint.
Louis Sullivan was the first person to design and create a modernised skyscraper.
The use of iron frames in buildings was a breakthrough leading to the construction of skyscrapers.
The innovation of the curtain wall made them aesthetically pleasing and protected from winds and weathering.
Skyscrapers are the key to housing a large population in a small block of land.
Skyscrapers are awesome and will continue to be in the future!
hanks for listening!
ime for some activities!
Why are skyscrapers good?
They are designed to carry a load of greater mass than the materials itself.
Skyscrapers can support a much larger number of humans and objects with minimal amounts of material. (live load versus the dead load)
As populations grow and space becomes more precious, high-density skyscrapers are the best form of building, as seen in most of today's city skylines.
Skyscrapers nowadays are also far better at enduring typhoons, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Skyscrapers allow for more people to enjoy great views without necessarily a high asking price.
Activity (3 Groups)
Challenge! Build the tallest skyscraper possible using only 4 (provided) newspapers and 1 roll of tape in 10 minutes only!

Marking is based on height, the tallest will win!

However, your skyscraper must survive tornadoes (blowing) and earthquakes (shaking table)!

Bonus points for smallest footprint with large floor area!

Winning group gets some chocolates, everyone else gets less* chocolates!

*There are ways of getting more... ;)
Some tips!

Try imitating the structure of successful skyscrapers, eg. Burj Khalifa, Empire State Building.

Use the building techniques mentioned in the Prezi.

Think of all the chocolates you could win!
Full transcript