Saturday, October 25, 2008

Reaching for the Sky

Concept designs of skyscrapers that will solve the problem of the future – the need for housing, work and entertainment place for a growing population in a limited space – have been proposed. In Discovery Channel’s “Engineering the Impossible,” the concept and challenges in designing and building a 2,755 ft tall and 170 story Millenium Tower to be built at the middle of the ocean in Hong Kong in 2050 was presented. Recently, an architect’s design of a 2.4 km (1.5 miles) high Dubai City Tower also called as the Vertical City is circulating in the internet. The proposed tower which is to be sited along the Persian gulf will have a total of 400 stories. For every 100 stories, there are Sky Plazas connected by vertical bullet trains. The building would be fitted with solar panels and wind turbines, and biospheres that double as recreational parks and water purification centers. The challenges in building these skyscrapers are numerous. The major problem is safety – will they be able to withstand wind and earthquake forces? Then there is a need for voluminous amount of construction materials for a gigantic structure. Next will be the construction technology and manpower required. And finally the services needed to support such height – transportation, water, power and waste disposal. Could they really be built? Photos from (

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