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Prestel, 2008 - Architecture - 159 pages
The evolution of the skyscraper reveals a success story that began near the end of the 19th century. Not only have skyscrapers fundamentally transformed our cities, they have also drastically altered the way we perceive architecture. Alongside the ongoing contest to erect the world's tallest building, skyscrapers are associated with a large number of architectonic, technological, ecological, and urban aspects. For many years, however, high-rise buildings were primarily an American affair. 'Skyscrapers' began to flourish before World War I in Chicago, then later experienced a phase of monumental expansion in New York. Beginning in the 1990's, an unexpected wave of high-rise construction swept across Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Of late, the most important projects have been built outside America. Buildings by architects such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, I. M. Pei, Philip Johnson, or Norman Foster are genuine milestones, setting the standards according to which future high-rise buildings will be measured. No other form of construction can replace skyscrapers as a response to the exponentially increasing need for space in the centers of the world's metropolises. The present moment seems to be a well-chosen time to reconsider the developmental history of the high-rise, to examine its most significant specimens, and to venture a look into the future of this unique type of building.

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This elegant book commemorates the world's most admired skyscrapers, among them San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid, New York's Chrysler Building, and Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers. Each skyscraper is given a chapterlike entry that provides relevant details in jargon-free text. Read full review

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About the author (2008)

ANDRES LEPIK is a curator of contemporary architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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