Building Up is the Only Way to Go in Crowded Cities
Super Skyscrapers is a four-part series airing Tuesdays in February on WV PBS Instructional Television Service at 1 p.m.
As urban space shrinks, we build higher and faster than ever before, creating a new generation of skyscrapers. Super skyscrapers are pushing the limits of engineering, technology and design to become greener, stronger, smarter and more luxurious than their predecessors. This four-part series follows the creation of four extraordinary buildings, showcasing how they will revolutionize the way we live, work and protect ourselves from potential threats.
Feb. 11: "One World Trade Center" -- One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the western hemisphere and a famous modern landmark, is engineered to be the safest and strongest skyscraper ever built. This episode follows the final year of exterior construction, culminating with the milestone of reaching the symbolic height of 1,776 feet. For head of construction Steve Plate, as well as scientists, engineers, ironworkers and curtain wall installers, this is a construction job suffused with the history of the site and a sense of duty to rebuild from the ashes of Ground Zero.
Feb. 18: "Building the Future" -- Commonly known as “the cheese grater,” the Leadenhall Building is the pinnacle of London’s avant-garde architecture. Designed as a tapered tower with a steel exoskeleton, it’s the tallest skyscraper in the City of London and the most innovative. The teams behind the Leadenhall project had to radically rethink every aspect of the traditional building model. This program follows the monumental challenges that come with erecting this super skyscraper: it will be constructed off-site, delivered to location, and stacked and bolted together like a giant Lego set.
Feb. 25: "The Vertical City" -- Shanghai Tower isn’t just a skyscraper — it’s a vertical city, a collection of businesses, services and hotels all in one place, fitting a population the size of Monaco into a footprint the size of a football field. Within its walls, residents can literally work, rest, play and relax in public parks, looking up through 12 stories of clear space. Not just one, however, but eight of them, stacked on top of each other, all the way to the 120th floor. When complete, the structure will dominate Shanghai’s skyline, towering over its neighbors as a testament to China’s economic success and the ambitions of the city’s wealthy elite.
March 4: "The Billionaire Building" -- Upon completion, One57, on Manhattan’s 57th Street, will rise more than 1,000 feet, making it the tallest residential tower in the western hemisphere and boasting spectacular views of Central Park. “One57” follows the teams tasked with creating New York’s most luxurious residential skyscraper and their ambition to redefine luxury living the big city. Condominiums at One57 showcase state-of-the-art interiors — double-height ceilings, full-floor apartments, bathrooms clad in the finest Italian marble and the finest material finishes.