Can there be a mile-high skyscraper?

If it’s slow enough (< 0.5 Hz) you won’t even notice it.

And there are ways to keep it low.


Would it be significantly better than doing two or three smaller buildings in a cluster? Probably not, considering the added difficulty and expense of construction.

If you don’t have a single opulent penthouse that looks down on the rest of the world then how do you know who the top supervillain is?


I can’t really help with that then. All the people I find interesting want to build non-hierarchical communities, not towers.


If it happens, there should be a rooftop bar named… the Mile-High Club.

I pity the staff who have to clean the toilets here.


Can there be a mile-high skyscraper?

“Sir? I have a Mr. Betteridge on the line for you. He’d like a word.”


Aside from sway/twist problems, which ,despite the afore-mentioned internal tuning devices , probably are at least 2^2 as bad at a mile as at half a mile high, there’s the everpresent problem of elevators. Tall buildings end up being mostly elevator shaft at lower levels just to be able to handle traffic levels. And can you imagine taking a mile-long elevator ride? even without stops, limiting yourself to maybe 1.5gees max acceleration, top speed is not going to be impressive. It’s a long way down (or up).

PS yeah I know there are all sorts of fancy ideas about stacked cars in shafts and shafts that only run from floor 50 to floor 150, etc. People ain’t gonna stand for making multiple connections from one elevator car to another.


wait!? there are little screws i can turn with my thumb? lemme at em!


I am reminded of Robert Silverberg’s excellent novel Tower of Glass (1970).


When you’ve seen Blade Runner one too many times…

It seems more like a marketing boondogle than a serious project, but the contractor behind it is one of the biggest in the world and claims to be determined to actually complete the arcology by the early 22nd century. Maybe they just really want to be the Weyland-Yutani corporation. ¯_(ツ)_/¯


Can’t wait? Well, hail a copter… install multiple heli pads like the one on the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai and leap frog your way up or down.



This wins the award for “Best Bond film scenery”.

Also I loved Telly Savalas as the villain and also singer on the soundtrack. It was a swingin’ film, if not known as one of the better ones.


There are faster ways to descend…

Came to post this, but alas too slow. Here’s a One-Boxable link though…


This reminded me of The World Inside with its urban monads.

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Go ahead, it’ll keep the elevator repairman very busy.

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I’m keeping the elevator repairman busy right now. :wink:


As Manhattan has discovered of late, it’s practical to build absurdly skinny tall buildings as long as

  1. There are people willing to pay a truly grotesque premium for high-up apartments, and
  2. The building has like one apartment per floor, so that you can get by with very few elevators, since each floor is only visited a couple of times a day.

Other than that, though, the problem is that taller means wider (because of elevators and potentially for structural reasons), but once you start getting space at the middle of the plan which is more than 8m from the exterior, that space becomes undesirable because it doesn’t get natural light, especially with 2.4m ceilings.

(Hyper-luxury buildings can also afford double-height floors; that’s another good way you can make buildings taller when you’re willing to just sluice money at the problem)

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That was my understanding, the problem is that the building ends up having so much elevator shaft space that it’s not space efficient. And the ride times to get to the top. And the security that would be imposed on it. And would people really be cool with the amount of swaying at the top?
And on top of that, there’s another issue, which is sustainability. Not in the “green buildings” sense, but in the economic sense. What happens to this building if there’s an economic downturn and the building operator runs out of money? The systems in such a building need constant highly expensive maintenance to keep going. What are the problems of maintaining plumbing and elevators that go a mile high? If plumbing stops working the building is uninhabitable and worthless. Good buildings are sustainable for a hundred years or more, and that means that they don’t become worthless mega-liabilities during times of economic hardship. For example, Paris has many beautiful apartment buildings that are 100+ years old and have survived through many time periods of hardship and lack of routine maintenance, because they are not too high, are built solid, and can function even when their systems aren’t being maintained well. They don’t require elevators or professionally-maintained building systems. In contrast a mile-high building can’t function for even a day if the money stops flowing. It’s more like an airplane, which require constant perfect maintenance, than a piece of architecture, which should remain functional even if there are periods of deferred maintenance.


Tower of glass you say…
(At 1000 feet tall, the view from the top is quite something - I spent over an hour at the top once just looking at the view).


Nice - but I don’t think it’s nearly sinister enough - how about the Sphinx Observatory on the Jungfraujoch?

I’ll be very disappointed if at least one of those domes doesn’t contain a death ray: