From its early beginnings in Chicago and New York in the late 19th Century, skyscraper construction has expanded to almost every major city in the world, shaping the appearance and the development of densely inhabited urban areas across the planet. Since their first realization, the ability of these remarkable vertical structures to maximize the value of the land they are built on has always represented a strong driver for their construction. Today, modern engineering techniques and technology are pushing the upcoming generation of skyscrapers to all new heights.


When it comes to new developments, high-profile construction projects in the US and Middle East easily capture the public’s imagination. Among other major United States cities, New York still showcases an impressive and ever-changing skyline, with more than 20 new supertall buildings currently proposed or entering the realization phase in both Manhattan and across the river in Brooklyn. As developers seek to drive value from small parcels of land in one of the most densely populated cities, these soaring buildings feature a rather slim profile, with width-to-height ratios reaching extremes, such as the 1:24 ratio of the 111W57 on Billionaire’s Row.

Construction works in the Middle East, though not driven as much by land value, present unprecedented engineering challenges. For example, two new projects aim at reaching and surpassing 1000 meters, thus eclipsing the already remarkable height of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), the highest skyscraper ever built. This Tower and the Jedda Tower, under construction respectively in Dubai and in Saudi Arabia, will indeed compete for the title of tallest structures built by mankind.


Europe is also involved in the design and construction of new skyscrapers competing for the title of tallest building in Europe. The Akhmat Tower in Chechnya and the Varso Tower in Warsaw (Poland) are currently in realization and will exceed 300 meters, followed by fashion giant Bestseller’s new structure to be realized in Denmark.

In Africa, the Pinnacle (Nairobi, Kenia) aims to become the first supertall skyscraper as well as tallest building on the continent, reaching an elevation of 320 meters. The Bank of Africa Tower, which broke ground in November 2018 in Morocco, will conquer the second position with a planned height of 250 meters.

In Oceania, the Australian 108 Tower in Melbourne will reach 317 meters after being downscaled to meet aviation requirements. Surprisingly, now at about two-thirds of the final heights, the building already welcomes its first residents. This building is set to become the first in the Southern Hemisphere to feature 100 stories and the second highest in Australia.

The twin towers of the Yachthouse Residence Club (Balneario Carboriu, Brazil) are expected to be completed in 2019. Reaching 217 meters, they will not acquire supertall status, but will nonetheless become the tallest buildings in Brazil and the second tallest in South America, once completed.

Mega-skyscrapers are clearly a worldwide phenomenon, and according to the MIT Technology Review, thousands of new skyscrapers will be built by 2050, if current trends continue. Among the many difficulties in developing these remarkable structures, engineering and construction challenges require versatile and dynamic solutions, highlighting the importance of custom cranes designed to meet demanding applications and environments.





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