26.7.05

Tallest Torso?

Since the CN Tower was built in 1976, it has been the world's tallest Thing. There are tall office buildings out there, like Sears and Petronas, but none as tall as 1,815 ft. Even the newest record-holding office building, Taipei 101, reaches only 1,666 ft. Their top floors can't even beat the CN Tower's observation deck altitude of 1,465 ft -- in other words, the highest up a human can go to look out over a city and still be standing on the ground is, at this second, still the CN Tower.

There are some other heavenly buildings under construction, like the Burj in Dubai (a fantastical 2,600 ft tall, if it really turns out to be built as projected), and of course there is the overhyped will-it-ever-be-built Freedom Tower. (Too bad the US wasn't founded in 1816 -- it's only 1,776 ft tall.) But the one that I most fear as the usurper to CN's crown, at least in North America, is the just-announced Fordham Spire in Chicago. Reaching 2,000 ft tall, it is designed by superstar Calatrava (whose first North American work, I should point out, was built in Toronto a decade ago and has been seen in many US television commercials since). Because it is condos, and not offices, and because it has Calatrava's name (now credible in condos thanks to ubercool Malmo Turning Torso) I think this one might really happen. Granted, the developer's other buildings are high-end kitchy nightmares, but this one is a leap forward and easily marketable.



I say Toronto must fight back with its own supertall condos, instead of whittling down any proposed point-tower until it becomes, you guessed it, a 25 to 35 story squat box.

3 Comments:

Blogger B and G said...

A couple of comments.

* Cool! I'm all for kickass tall buildings. Forget about the terrorists. We can shoot and rocket them overseas, and enjoy nice views here at home.

* Who the hell wants to live in the Loop? Speaking as one moving to Chicago. Starbucks close at 6 for lack of business. I guess it's close to River North but still.

* "Living in the Calatrava tower would not come cheap, by Chicago standards. Mr. Carley said he expected one-bedroom units to sell initially for at least $600,000" Hahahahaha. To NY'ers, this must be hilarious.

3:32 PM  
Blogger MacDoug said...

I guess I just don't get it - what's the obsession with tall? I know more square footage, yadda yadda, But it seems like having the tallest building is becoming a penis-length competition, sort of in the vein of SUV's. What happened to impressing through architecture?

8:21 PM  
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