So, what is the story behind a skyscraper?

Chrysler Building in New York City. Image credit: Hernán Piñera

Skyscrapers are more than just buildings, they’re symbols. Sometimes they are symbols of power or ego, sometimes symbols of a city’s culture or sometimes symbols of technological achievement. Often controversial, the story of a particular skyscraper’s design and construction can be quite fascinating and a window into the people, issues and opinions of the time.

F&F Tower in Panama City. Image Credit: vil.sandi

Luke Fiederer of Arch Daily has released a piece on the creation of 10 famous skyscrapers and the stories and controversies that surround them. Included in the article is the history behind the relatively secretive Ryugyong Hotel, in Pyongyang, Rem Koolhaas’ controversial, yet architecturally celebrated CCTV headquarters in Beijing and Sumet Jumsai’s whimsical Robot Building among others.

Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang (North Korea). Image credit: Clay Gilliland

One of my favourite stories however is about the near structural disaster of New York’s Citigroup Centre and how it was saved without causing a citywide panic.

CCTV headquarters in Beijing. Image credit: Dmitry Fironov

Its a fascinating read for anyone interested in the history of skyscrapers and some of the problems that their architects face. Check out the full article at the link below.

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