The Rise of New York’s Super Skinny Towers | The B1M

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In New York, the spiritual home of the skyscraper, a new generation of super skinny high rises are changing the face of the city. Pressure for available land, combined with a demand for luxury residential apartments, has kick-started a super-slender revolution, resulting in some spectacular feats of engineering. It was in the American cities of New York and Chicago that land pressure first gave birth to the early skyscrapers; so it is little surprise that the latest revolution in high rise design has begun here. New York has some of the most sought-after real estate on the planet and to satisfy the demand for property increasingly smaller plots are being considered for potential skyscrapers. To generate the greatest possible return from these small, but extremely expensive sites, towers are being designed that are much skinnier than was ever thought possible. A building is considered to be slender when its height is more than seven times its width at the narrowest point. In the past, this ratio was considered to be the limits to which a building could be built while remaining rigid enough not to sway in the wind; potentially causing unease or motion sickness for its occupants. New York’s Seagram Building and the original World Trade Centre Towers are examples of skyscrapers that adhered to this 7:1 ratio. However, the emerging generation of super skinny towers go much further. One of the most notable examples is 432 Park Avenue, an impressive structure with a width to height ratio of 1:15, far exceeding the ratio used
to define a slender building. Super skinny towers have been made possible by advances in materials and building techniques, fueled by a willingness to fund such expensive buildings. While steel is the material of choice for numerous skyscrapers, it is high strength concrete that has allowed buildings to rise taller, while remaining rigid. Along with this material evolution, the potential for swaying at the top these towers is mitigated with the addition of “tuned mass dampers” – effectively counterweights that act against the effects wind loading. However, perhaps more important than these engineering feats is the demand that is driving the construction of these towers. While early skyscrapers were commercial buildings, the majority of today’s super skinny towers in New York are residential. Although these super skinny buildings cost a lot to build, the demand for trophy views in the city still makes them very profitable for developers. Super skinny is on the rise. According to research carried out by the Skyscraper Museum in New York, there are 18 super skinny towers either complete or currently under construction in the city. 432 Park Avenue completed in 2015, has recently been joined by Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard, with a width-to-height ratio of 1:10.5. Jean Nouvel’s 53 West 53rd is set to open
in 2018 with a slenderness ratio of 1:23. While the most slender skyscraper in the world is also currently under construction in the city. With an incredible width-to-height ratio of 1:24, the 435 metre tall at 111 West 57th – designed by SHoP – is also set to complete next year. If you enjoyed this video and would like to get more from the definitive video channel for construction, subscribe to The B1M.


  1. It's a nice building….How are they going demolish that 40 something years later (when it gets old) , I don't know!

  2. Yes lets build super skinny and really tall skyscrapers out of concrete, u know the material that is brittle and doesn't flex or bend. It has a very strong compressive strength ill give it that, but its lateral or side way strength is poor, and thats exactly what u need in an earthquake when buildings sway violently. So thank you but no thanks. If they were constructed out of steel it might be a different story, but they would be better off made out of wood than concrete. So enjoy showing off ur new penthouse on the 80th floor, until a 7.5 earth quake hits the region, then all these buildings will crumble like sand castles at the beach. It should be mandatory to include a parachute to all residents who live above the 20th floor. I don't think there is enough time or hight for it to open before u hit the ground below 20th floor, so ur fucked there.

  3. I honestly think this is great, under 1 condition though. On top of every skyscraper should be one of those crazy machine guns on those battleships with the round white drum?? dont know the name, but hellz yeh brother Murica!!

  4. God forbid if the East Coast ever had a major Quake! Im wondering what its like to be in one of these during a bad Noreaster or even a Super Storm like Sandy?

  5. If they had 5 of those buildings lined up the 9/11 terrorist would have sliced all 5 buildings in half before crashing into twin tower.

  6. Sorry but New York will be a mess after this and will never be the same honestly they could have done better or avoided this ugly trend.

  7. At first I were not really a fan of these types of skyscrapers, but now I am quite a fan of them. I especially love the 53w53 one.

  8. 2 things this trend reminds us of, one, beauty is subjective, two, we poor.
    As a footnote, when robots start being the norm and stuff, we can already know because I, Robot showed us that the super killer machine brain is in the new set of buildings, but most likely the Freedom Tower based on the location.
    Someone should chryogenically freeze Will Smith. Robots or Cannibal viruses, he got skills.

  9. I like these new super skinny towers! They are giving NYC, once again, a distinctive architectural edge that I felt NYC lost after twin towers went down and MTA built an absolutely mediocrity with the Freedom Tower.

  10. Personally, I think this is cool and aesthetic, but who`s going to afford living in them? People are getting poorer and poorer; these buildings are going to be mostly empty…

  11. They are definitely going for a super futuristic Star Wars Star Trek Jetsons look to be displayed in New York City.

  12. You do know that the first 'skyscraper' was constructed in Chicago, the true spiritual home of this vernacular. Just sayin'.

  13. They could stick skyscrapers like these in the Bay and in the Hudson. And groundscrapers across the Hudson. Or should they be called bridgescrapers.

  14. These are great but I'd like to see skyscrapers of this size built entirely with housing for the middle class.

  15. Disgusting pathetic city. No matter how the west and ameriCUNTS whitewasth their pathetic third world cities like NYC, they're FULL of TRASH and HOMELESS CITY. Heck, Bangkok Metro is much better than disgusting smelly broken third world NYC Subway. Even small cities in China have hi-speed railway and metro while US pathetic cities doesn't even have world class public transport!!! Pity!

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