Will there ever be a mile-high skyscraper? – Stefan Al



Would a mile-high skyscraper ever be possible? Explore the physics behind some of the tallest buildings and megastructures in the world.

In 1956, architect Frank Lloyd Wright proposed a mile-high skyscraper, a building five times as high as the Eiffel Tower. While this massive tower was never built, today bigger and bigger buildings are going up around the world. How did these impossible ideas turn into architectural opportunities? Stefan Al explains how these megastructures became fixtures of our city skylines.

Lesson by Stefan Al, directed by TED-Ed.

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33 Comments

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  1. Isn't everyone living on skyscrapers good for the environement? I know a lot of resources go into building them but just imagine turning half the area of a city into skyscrapers these tall. There should be enough space to fit everyone and the freed up space can be converted to parks or maybe vertical farms.

  2. Don’t understand the fascination of super tall buildings. It seems impractical honestly when you could probably save money building 2 buildings in different two cities or expand horizontally instead of vertically.

    It just seems like peacocking. It doesn’t take much to bring a multi billion dollar building too.

  3. Smart use of building materials, better understanding of applied forces and more sophisticated structural analysis have allowed us to use far less and far lighter materials to build our highrises. A building like the Empire State building has a material density of 20 lbs per cubic foot of volume. A modern highrise with curtainwall construction is closer to 8 lbs per cubic foot. In other words, the empire state building built with modern materials and methods would weigh 40% of the original.

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