A skyscraper is a tall, continually inhabited structure with several stories. Skyscrapers are currently defined as being at least 100 or 150 meters tall, while there is no widely recognized definition. Skyscrapers can house offices, hotels, apartments, and retail areas. The tallest building in the world is currently the Shanghai Tower which at 318 m (1,073 ft) is significantly taller than Chicago's Willis Tower (formerly known as "The John G. Shedd Aquarium") at 286 m (941 ft).
There are many different types of buildings with heights up to 300 m (1000 ft), most notably including skyscrapers, high-rises, and towers.
It means a high-rise building. Buildings with three or more floors are called tall buildings. Buildings with only two floors are called low-rise or small buildings. There are also mid-range buildings between 30 and 100 feet high.
They get their name from Benjamin Henry Latrobe, an American architect who first used them for his designs in 1803. Today, "skyscraper" is just another way of saying "tall building."
A skyscraper is a huge, continuously inhabited structure with several levels. When these sorts of structures initially began to be erected in the 1880s, the name originally applied to buildings of 10 to 20 floors. But the term has since become used for buildings of any height.
There are currently only four buildings in New York City that reach 30 stories high, and three of them are skyscrapers - the 728-foot Art Deco masterpiece The Chrysler Building, the 581-foot International Style tower of Sony Center, and One World Trade Center, which at 471 feet is the tallest building in New York.
The other major city to have no skyscrapers over 40 stories is Chicago. There are two skyscrapers in Chicago that reach 35 stories high, but they're not in good company: They're both part of massive casino/hotels built in the 1990s.
In London, there's the 72-story Lloyd's Tower but it's not considered a true skyscraper because it lacks a basement floor. It's given this special status because it's constructed of reinforced concrete instead of traditional masonry, allowing more space inside than would be possible otherwise.
Nowadays, structures with 40 or more storeys and a height of 150 meters or more are designated "skyscrapers." Buildings taller over 300 meters are referred to as "supertall," while those taller than 600 meters are referred to as "megatall."
A high-rise is a building that is tall enough to be seen from most places in its city center. It may have several stories, but no more than seven. It is distinguished from a skyscraper by not being purely functional (such as a tower block). Examples include The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, and Taipei 101 in Taiwan.
High rises were once found only in large cities. Today, they are becoming more common even in small towns and rural areas. This is because developers believe that it is easier to get tenants for multiple floors in a single building than it is to get them for separate buildings on the same site. Also, the cost of construction increases as the height soars; this makes high rises expensive. But if you can afford them, they do make for impressive sights!
The tallest high rise in the world is currently the Shanghai Tower at 338 m (1,079 ft), which was completed in 2010. The second tallest is the Petronas Twin Towers, which are both 394 m (1,288 ft) tall.
Although not correctly defined as towers, many modern high-rise buildings (in particular skyscrapers) have "tower" in their names or are colloquially called "towers". Skyscrapers are more properly classified as "buildings".
The word "tower" is used to describe various structures built over time for different purposes. They include: religious towers such as steeples and bell towers; military towers such as watchtowers and signal stations; navigation aids such as lighthouses and beacons; and entertainment facilities such as theme parks' observation decks and ski resorts' mountain lodges.
Towers have been important elements of architecture for centuries. The ancient Egyptians built large numbers of small wooden towers on the edges of canals for defense and to mark the borders of property. These were later replaced by stone towers.
In Europe, medieval towers were mainly used as defensive positions, but some served as churches or houses too. They were commonly built with thick walls and high ceilings inside to make them strong and stable. The higher the number of stories, the taller the tower. Towers were also used as prisons, silos, and lookout posts.
In Asia, towers have been used for centuries as religious monuments. In India, there are many temples with tall spires which are called "gopurams".
There are 257 skyscrapers in New York City. New York City has the most skyscrapers in the United States, with 257 structures rising above 490 feet. Chicago is second with 92 buildings greater than 10 stories tall.
The list of the top 10 cities with the most skyscrapers is dominated by North America with Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver ranking among the top 3. There are also three countries where Shanghai, China ranks as the city with the most skyscrapers. Next are Canada with two buildings, followed by Germany and France with one building each.
Almost half of all skyscrapers in Shanghai are under construction or planned. The city has more than 100 buildings over 200 meters (656 ft) high, which is expected to increase after President Xi Jinping announced a plan to build hundreds of thousands of new homes over the next decade.
Shanghai isn't the only Chinese city on the rise. Beijing is set to surpass Tokyo as the world's number one city when it comes to skyscraper construction. The current leader, Tokyo, only has 88 skyscrapers over 20 stories while Beijing plans to have 180 buildings over 20 stories when all is said and done.
Buildings taller over 300 m (984 ft) are referred to as "supertall skyscrapers," while skyscrapers taller than 600 m (1,969 ft) are referred to as "megatall skyscrapers." A steel structure that supports curtain walls is a frequent element of skyscrapers. The height of a skyscraper is measured from the bottom of its foundation to the top of its highest occupied floor. The height of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is 828 m (2743 ft), making it the world's tallest building from 2008 to 2014.
A megatall means a thousand feet or more. Thus, a megatall building is one that is 1 mile or more in height. There are no official records of how many megatall buildings have been constructed, but there have been at least two buildings that were planned as megatalls before they were reduced in height: One was proposed by ArcelorMittal in 2004, and the other by China World-Wide Group in 2009. Neither building has yet to be built.
The word "tall" is also used as an adjective for any large building. So, a tall building is one that is very long or high. The term "supertall" has also been used to describe certain buildings that are even higher than megatalls.