Rising Giants: Supertall Buildings

Supertall buildings, soaring hundreds or even thousands of feet into the sky, are becoming increasingly prevalent and reshaping the skyline of modern cities. These architectural marvels are capturing the imagination of city planners, architects, and developers worldwide while also having a profound influence on the metal and steel industry. According to upcoming METALCON Keynote Speaker, Stefan Al, from his acclaimed book Supertall, “Cities around the world are racing to build the first mile-high building, stretching the limits of engineering and design as never before.” Al will be featured at METALCON ’23, presenting, “Steel and Skylines: Unveiling Innovations from the Las Vegas Strip to Super Tall Buildings.”

#MagnificentMetalMonday takes a closer look at the buildings topping the list and some of the factors driving cities to engage in this race to build the tallest structure.

Why Cities are Racing to Build the Tallest Structure

  • Prestige and Global Recognition: Tallest buildings serve as symbols of a city’s economic prowess and architectural ambition. They draw international attention and often become iconic representations of their respective cities.
  • Economic Growth and Investment: Supertall projects can attract significant foreign investment, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth in the process.
  • Urban Density and Space Constraints: In densely populated cities, building upwards is often the only viable option to accommodate a growing population and to optimize land use.
  • Technological Advancements: Advances in construction technology and materials make it increasingly feasible to build taller, more daring structures.

The Tallest of the Tall

Burj Khalifa

According to The Tower Info as of May 2023, Burj Khalifa has been the tallest building in the world by any measurement since its completion in 2009, ranked by standard height (architectural height). It is estimated to hold the title of world’s largest for the next 3 to 4 years, until it is surpassed by Dubai Creek Tower, located only miles away. 

Not only the tallest building in the world, but The Eastern Herald reports Burj Khalifa has now claimed the world’s most popular tourist attraction, dwarfing the Eiffel Tower and Taj Mahal. Its annual footfall of 17 million visitors has turned it into a global sensation. Referencing “Switch On Business, “the Burj Khalifa amasses a staggering $621 million in annual ticket sales revenue, making it the world’s top-grossing tourist attraction.” The observation deck on Burj Khalifa is one of most visited destinations in Dubai, the observatory named At The Top SKY is still the tallest observation deck in the world.

Merdeka 118

Merdeka 118, located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, holds the second spot and is scheduled to open sometime this year. The skyscraper was previously planned to be built to a height of 656 meters, to become the tallest building in Southeast Asia and the 2nd tallest building in the world, but the height turned out to be even higher than that. The long spire mounted on the rooftop, contributes a significant height to the building; without the spire, the building would be 521 m tall.

Shanghai Tower

Holding the number three spot is the Shanghai Tower, completed in the beginning of 2015, and currently the tallest building in China. The building has a multi-floor observation deck opened to public at its 118th and 119th floors, and as of 2021, it’s the second tallest observation deck in the world, only after Burj Khalifa’s At The Top SKY.

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center in New York City sits at number eight worldwide but claims the title as the tallest building in the western hemisphere. Its roof height is 417 meters which just same as the North Tower of the original World Trade Center, but the spire is made longer, bringing its total height to 546 meters and 541 meters (1776 ft) by architectural height. This height is originated from the year of 1776 when United States Declaration of Independence was signed.

The Impact on the Metal and Steel Industry

Supertall buildings have a significant influence on the metal and steel industry in the following ways:

  • Increased Demand for Steel
  • Development of High-Strength Steel
  • Advanced Fabrication Techniques
  • Global Supply Chains
  • Sustainability Initiatives
  • Economic Benefits

Learn How the World’s Tallest Buildings are Reshaping Our Cities and Our Lives at METALCON

METALCON 2023, October 18-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, architect and author Stefan Al will address the impact of supertall buildings in his Keynote Address, scheduled for Thursday morning, October 19 at 8:30 am. Al will draw from his acclaimed book “Supertall,” sharing insights from the realm of skyscrapers and shedding light on the emergence of a new generation of towering structures that defy conventional limits in terms of height and design. With personal experience as one of the architects behind the remarkable 2000-foot tall Canton Tower, which briefly held the title of the world’s tallest tower, Al offers a firsthand account of the challenges faced in pushing architectural boundaries, including the quest for improved sustainability. Learn how skyscrapers can become more sustainable and the challenges to anticipate when developing supertall buildings.

This Keynote Address is one of the many reasons to attend METALCON ’23. Get three days of access to 200+ exhibitors, live demos, keynotes, networking events and 35+ FREE accredited education sessions in the areas of Best Practices, Technical Know-How, and Sustainability. Join us in Las Vegas, October 18 – 20, and REGISTER Today!

*** NOW THRU SEPTEMBER 5 *** Get $30 off your registration TODAY by voting for your favorite METALCON Top Products. Click HERE to vote and then use the promo code TOPPRODUCTS off your registration.


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