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Skyscrapers are very tall, multistoried, habitable buildings that stand out above the surrounding built environment and capture people’s attention as they significantly change the appearance of a city’s overall skyline.
See the fact file below for more information on the skyscraper or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Skyscraper worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The term ‘skyscraper’ was first used during the 1880s, shortly after the first skyscrapers were built in the United States.
- Skyscraper originally pertains to buildings of 10 to 20 stories, but by the late 20th century, the term changed its meaning as people began to use the term to describe high-rise buildings of unusual height, generally greater than 40 or 50 stories.
- In the second half of the 19th century, the increase in urban commerce in the United States augmented the need for city business space which resulted to the erection of buildings more than four or five stories tall.
- Earliest skyscrapers rested on extremely thick masonry walls at the ground level.
- Architects soon turned to the use of a cast-iron and wrought-iron framework in order to support the weight of the upper floors which gives the lower floors more floor space.
- Due to the Bessemer process or the method for mass-production of steel, architects turned to using steel.
- The 10-story Home Insurance Company Building in Chicago built by William Le Baron Jenney was the first to use steel-girder construction.
- Chicago’s Home Insurance Company Building was also the first building that could be considered a skyscraper , which was finished in 1885.
- The building was destroyed in 1931 and was replaced with the Field Building, which is another skyscraper with 45 stories.
- Although the first skyscrapers were relatively small by today’s standards, they marked an important turn in urban construction and development.
- As the population in urban areas has increased, the need for high-rise buildings has also increased, which is why the skyscraper which was originally a form of commercial architecture has increasingly been used for residential purposes as well.
- Some notable structures in the early history of skyscrapers were: Chicago’s Tacoma Building, Chicago’s Rand McNally Building which was the first skyscraper to use an all-steel frame, Chicago’s The Masonic Temple Building, New York City’s Tower Building which was the first skyscraper in New York City, New York City’s American Surety Building which broke Chicago’s height record when it was completed in 1896, New York City’s New York World Building which was home to the New York World Newspaper, and New York City’s Flatiron Building which was made a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
DESIGN AND DECORATION
- Some skyscrapers were designed to accentuate verticality, with delineated columns rising from base to cornice.
- As part of the Neoclassical revival, some skyscrapers were modeled after Classical Greek columns.
- Decades following World War II, simplicity dominated skyscraper designs.
- During the 1970s, attempts were made to redefine the human element in urban architecture.
- In the late 20th century and early 21st century, the need for energy conservation highly influenced skyscraper design and construction.
IMPACTS OF SKYSCRAPERS
- In areas where there is significant density of population, skyscrapers create more room for habitation.
- Advocates see skyscrapers as a solution to housing shortages and the severe inequality in big cities like London and New York.
- Skyscrapers provide pretty spectacular views.
- When it comes to the safety of people living in skyscrapers, it is relatively more risky than living in lower buildings because skyscrapers are more vulnerable when it comes to earthquakes and are difficult to manage in the event of an issue like fires.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A SKYSCRAPER
- To be a true skyscraper, a building must be self-supporting and does not require tension cables or supports in order to remain upright.
- A skyscraper must also have habitable floor spaces that occupy at least 50% of the structure’s total height.
- Skyscrapers must rise to a minimum height of 150 meters or 492 feet.
- Burj Khalifa is one of the most popular skyscrapers in the world.
- Burj Khalifa houses a variety of commercial, residential, and hospitality ventures.
- Upon its inauguration in January 2010, Burj Khalifa broke numerous records including the world’s tallest freestanding structure, world’s largest occupied floor, and world’s highest outdoor observation deck.
- The weight of the concrete used in building Burj Khalifa is equivalent to 100,000 elephants and the total weight of the aluminum used is equivalent to that of five A380 aircrafts.
- Taipei 101, formerly known as Taipei Financial Center, has 101 stories and reaches a height of 1,667 feet or 508 meters.
- When it was opened in October 2004, it surpassed the world’s tallest building then, the Petronas Twin Towers.
- The lower floors of Taipei 101 are shopping malls while the floors above are devoted to office space.
- On floors 88 to 91 of Taipei 101 reside public observatories.
- Before Taipei 101 became the world’s tallest building, it was the Petronas Twin Towers that held the record.
- The Petronas Twin Towers are a pair of skyscraper office buildings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- The towers were built to house the headquarters of Petronas, the national petroleum company of Malaysia.
- Connecting the two towers of the Petronas Twin Towers is a skybridge placed between the 41st and the 42nd stories.
- The Petronas Twin Towers surpassed the Willis Tower.
- Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower, is a skyscraper office building in Chicago, Illinois.
- Willis Tower was initially built to house Sears, Roebuck and Company.
One of the most popular skyscrapers is the Empire State Building, located in New York City, and it has 102 stories.
- The Empire State Building was crowned as the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1971.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the skyscrapers across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Skyscraper worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the skyscrapers which are very tall, multistoried, habitable buildings that stand out above the surrounding built environment and capture people’s attention as they significantly change the appearance of a city’s overall skyline.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Skyscraper Facts
- Add More
- Up or Down?
- Name Them
- Jumble Rumble
- Check the History
- Track the Record
- Create One
- One Pick
- Balance It
- Escape Plan
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Link will appear as Skyscraper Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, March 24, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.