- Education and Science
Super Skyscrapers & Mega Bridges
Before the human development of elevators and reinforced concrete with steel, a building with some measure of space inside that could be habitable could only go up to a certain point before its brick or stone facade would collapse. The Egyptians were able to build the Great Pyramid of Cheops up to a stratospheric (for the age) 482 feet in 4600 years ago but to support its height, the mighty pyramid had to be constructed virtually from nothing other than solid rock, leaving an extremely tiny amount of interior space.
The Industrial Revolution introduced new forms of engineering and construction materials, allowing the creation of tall buildings with useable space inside. As cities developed and suitable urban land became more and more difficult to obtain, developers looked up to the heavens in trying to recreate the tower of Babel in modern concrete, glass, and steel.
By the 21st century our engineering knowhow has become even more highly developed and today our skyscrapers are completely worthy of their names.
Ultima Tower unfortunately exists only in the mind of architect Eugene Tsui, but in his architectural renderings it is an angular monolith which reaches up two full miles over San Francisco, to a point where the very top would usually be in sunshine above the fog which usually blankets the Bay Area. According to Tsui, its 1.5 billion square feet of interior space would allow for the residences of one million people. The topmost storey, the 500th floor, would be reachable by high speed elevators in just under 10 minutes... and what a view (when there's no fog!)
Many architects, engineers and other critics state that such a skyscraper is not economically and technologically feasible. However, Tsui's dreams of a sky-high city may not be too far in our future should the proliferation of the skyscraper race continue to blaze around the world as it has in the past couple of decades.
Super-tall: The Next Generation
The most truly unbelievable of the array of projected super hyper mega skyscrapers are the pyramids made of gold of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. According to plans, Jabalpur, India's World Center for Vedic Learning is supposed to assist 100,000 Vedic Pandits who would live in the building and engage in constant transcendental meditation to an outrageous height of 2,222 feet.
Due to the recent global economic crash ideas for super-tall buildings which loomed on the horizon have been delayed or cancelled outright. These hypothetical superedifices can hardly be called high buildings. They are most definitely complete vertical cities which lord over the relatively low slung cities reaching for the sky with all of the engineering and architectural skill humanity can muster.
There are two separate basic aspects which drive skyscrapers higher: an owner with an ego the size of the skyscraper itself (whether it be corporations or even mega-billionaire individuals); and cubic miles of money to fund the building of the super-skyscraper of their dreams. It is the application of engineering and science and engineering which can fulfill these sky high egos and their expectations.