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Giant skyscrapers trend back on track

Going higher and higher. This human aspiration since antiquity is a reality in the world's megacities. Whether it's a technological feat, a response to overpopulation issues or a symbol of inequality, the construction of giant skyscrapers is a trend that is accelerating.

Isabelle Campone

By Isabelle Campone03 août 2022

The King Power Mahanakhon is a 314.2 metre high skyscraper built in 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand (DR)

The international consensus on the height of a giant skyscraper?  Nearly 300 meters or 984 feet, as in 80 meters less than the Empire State Building, which remained unmatched for a long time until the emergence of this trend in the early 2000s. They sprang up suddenly, boosted by the economic development of the Middle East and Asia. Today, there are about a hundred of them in the world and thirty in China alone. But New York holds the record: thirteen towers, six of which now surpass the Empire State. When observed from the other side of the Hudson River, the city is no longer the same. These spectacular buildings are, even more than elsewhere, the symbol of the 21st century.



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The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur (DR)

At the turn of the millennium, only three other American buildings could boast of touching the stars so closely: the Sears Tower in Chicago and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. In 1996, two Chinese towers surpassed the 380-meter mark, but it was the Petronas Towers, inaugurated in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, that moved the "world's tallest building record" out of the United States. However, the cities that host several of these architectural phenomena remain rare, apart from New York, Dubai, Shanghai, or Wuhan.

The frenzy for giant towers

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