​Skyscrapers & High-Rise Buildings That Changed Architecture

​Skyscrapers & High-Rise Buildings That Changed Architecture

Posted by Access Doors and Panels on 26th Aug 2020

​Skyscrapers & High-Rise Buildings That Changed Architecture

Nowadays, wherever you go in a city, you will find tall buildings that look like they're almost touching the sky-- the skyscrapers. Skyscrapers are icons of architectural engineering that are more popularly known as "supertall buildings" or "vertical cities."

As a general rule for building to be considered a skyscraper, it must tower over all the other buildings in the area. In fact, in the late 19th Century, buildings with more than ten floors were already considered skyscrapers. Later on, there were other conditions added, such as more than half of the volume of a tower must be habitable, thus exempting pyramids from the title since they were tombs that are both solid and uninhabitable. Today, the rule has changed, and skyscrapers are now a great example of human audacity challenging nature's limits.

As the world population grows, humans have started developing skyscrapers to fulfill the needs of living among the clouds. With this idea, taller buildings keep on rising, and more architectural designs are even incorporated to make a skyscraper stand out.

This article will tackle some of the skyscrapers and high-rise buildings that changed architecture throughout the years.

Wainwright Building / Adler & Sullivan (1891)

The Wainwright Building by Louis Sullivan and his partner Dankmar Adler is among the first skyscrapers built in the world. This building is an example of Sullivan's tall building theories with the tripartite composition of the base, shaft, and attic, based on the structure of a classical column. Steel frame clad in masonry served as the foundation of the construction system of this building. It is an accredited building for being the first-ever successful utilization of steel frame construction.

Flatiron Building / Daniel Burnham (1902)

The Flatiron Building was an architectural statement at the turn of the 20th Century and is one of the widely recognized buildings in New York City. It is known for its triangular design, located at the intersection of 5th and Broadway. The iconic presence of this building has transformed the entire Manhattan into the Flatiron District. It has a Beaux-Arts styling that gives the steel scraper a touch of architectural precedent found in Europe.

Woolworth Building / Cass Gilbert (1913)

An elegant and innovative early skyscraper completed in 1913, the Woolworth Building still endures today as an iconic structure on the New York City skyline. Its historicist exterior sheaths a modern steel tower that embodies the era's modern spirit of progress and its hesitation to let go of the past entirely. This building was also known as the "Cathedral of Commerce." Its final design grew to 60 stories at 792 feet tall from the initial plan of 45 stories at 625 feet, making it the tallest building in the world at the time of its completion.

Chrysler Building / William Van Alen (1930)

This building by William Van Alen is identifiable from great distances because of its recognizable style and outline in the New York City skyline. It stands at 1,048 feet (319.5 meters) high and houses 77 floors. Its patron intended for the Chrysler Building to be the world's tallest building, but it held that status eleven months before the Empire State Building surpassed it. This building is a sample of the Art Deco style, with its distinctive ornamentation based on features found on Chrysler automobiles present.

SC Johnson Wax Research Tower / Frank Lloyd Wright (1950)

Serving as a corporate commitment to innovation combined with Wright's visionary design penchant, this building resulted from the expansion of adjacent company headquarters to the Wright-designed Administration Building from a decade earlier. It has a tower design from the visions of the architect for modern workspace and biomimetic structural systems. The SC Johnson company today maintains the building, although it is mostly unused. People consider the tower to be either a form that's pursued a function or a daring architectural accomplishment.

Peabody Terrace / Sert, Jackson & Gourley (1964)

Josep Lluis Sert's Peabody, during his tenure as Dean at the Graduate School of Design, built this structure in 1964. It provides housing for almost 1,500 Harvard graduate students and their families. It is one of the many collaborations that Sert designed for Harvard's campus and demonstrates his vision for the ideal neighborhood. There are many elements to this building, such as the negotiation of scale, mixed-use program, shared open space, and design aesthetic influenced by and representing a departure from earlier modern housing projects.

Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Center / Kenzo Tange (1967)

The Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Center / Kenzo Tange was built in 1967 and considered as the first spatial realization of Tange's Metabolist purpose of organically-inspired structural growth developed around the 1950s. This building is far more significant than its relatively small size, encasing the new Metabolistic order concepts in urban planning and architecture that triumphed in post-World War II Japan.

Willis Tower (Sears Tower) / Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (1973)

The Willis Tower, formerly identified as Sears Tower, towered over the windy city of Chicago and was considered one of the highest buildings in the whole world upon its completion in 1973. The engineer, Fazlur Khan from SOM, innovated the "bundled-tube" configuration and the nine tubes that formed the skyscraper's basic structure. This system authorized sizeable open office spaces on the lower levels, where Sears would locate the offices and smaller floors as the building soared in height with unobstructed views of the city. Also, because of this structural system, ten million dollars in steel cost was saved.

World Trade Center / Minoru Yamasaki Associates + Emery Roth & Sons (1976)

The World Trade Center (WTC) is a New York City icon that once towered over the Statue of Liberty and the similarly impressive Empire State Building. It was colloquially known as the "Twin Towers" and was one of the most recognized structures in history. Architect Minoru Yamasaki, a Japanese-American, designed this building. It held the name of the Tallest Building in the world from 1972-1974. Up until its demise in 2001, the WTC site was a significant destination that accommodated 500,000 workers and 80,000 visitors on a usual weekday. This facility envisioned a physical expression of world peace and a place for communication, proximity, information, and face-to-face convenience to diversify business and financial stakeholders. Open office space was primarily housed by the two 110-story skyscrapers, underground parking for 2000 vehicles, a tall lobby, and an observation deck. A simple plan shared by the towers-- was a 208-foot by 208-foot square with slightly chamfered corners that were surrounded by an 87-foot by 135-foot core that consisted of 47 steel columns.

Citigroup Center / Hugh Stubbins + William Lemessurierr CC BY 2.0 (1977)

The Citigroup Center on Lexington Avenue in New York is one of many unique buildings in a city filled with skyscrapers of nearly every shape and stature. It rests on four stilts perfectly centered on each side, with cantilevers seventy-two feet over the sidewalk and features a trademark 45-degree sloping crown at its summit. Its original structure is responsible for these striking features containing a grave oversight that nearly resulted in a catastrophe that gave the tower the moniker of "the greatest disaster never told" when revealed in 1995. The finished structure was built to a minimum safety factor to keep it hyper-efficient and low on mass.

AT&T Building / Philip Johnson and John Burgee (1984)

This building is probably the single most crucial architectural detail of the last fifty years that emerged bravely from Madison Avenue buildings' glassy sea. Philip Johnson and John Burgee's 1984 AT&T Building, now Sony Tower, has an open pediment atop that turned the architectural world on its head. Modernist imperatives explicitly contradicted this structure's playful deployment and heralded the mainstream arrival of an approach to design defined instead by searching for architectural meaning.

PPG Place / John Burgee Architects with Philip Johnson (1984)

Designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee, this PPG Place melds the modern corporate tower's notion with a neo-gothic monument. This PPG Place is a cluster of 6 volumes, composed of a 40-story tower, a 14 story volume, and four six-story buildings. The million square feet of glass manufactured by the anchor tenant PPG Industries made architects ingeniously rethink accepted practices in curtain wall design.

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26th Aug 2020 Posted by Access Doors and Panels