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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2008, 7:32 PM
burymore burymore is offline
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What defines a skyscraper?

I am, quite obviously, not an architect but I was wondering what the definition of a "skyscraper" is? I am using the example of the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino, in Las vegas. Why is it not listed among the taller buildings in the world? Is it that its not an office building, or that a large stretch of the tower is not inhabited?


What defines a skyscraper? I guess that is what I am asking
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2008, 8:38 PM
Jobohimself Jobohimself is offline
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The Stratosphere is considered a structure, but not a skyscraper. Technically, Strat only has a few floors suspended some distance above ground, without having a contiguous set of floors from grade to roof; which is generally a requirement for a true skyscraper.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2008, 7:22 PM
youbetcha1018 youbetcha1018 is offline
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A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building. There is no official definition or a precise cutoff height above which a building may clearly be classified as a skyscraper. However, as per usual practice in most cities, the definition is used empirically, depending on the relative impact of the shape of a building to a city's overall skyline. Thus, depending on the average height of the rest of the buildings and/ or structures in a city, even a building of 80 meters height (approximately 262 ft) may be considered a skyscraper provided that it clearly stands out above its surrounding built environment and significantly changes the overall skyline of that particular city. The word "skyscraper" originally was a nautical term referring to a tall mast or its main sail on a sailing ship. The term was first applied to buildings in the late 19th century as a result of public amazement at the tall buildings being built in Chicago and New York City. The traditional definition of a skyscraper began with the "first skyscraper", a steel-framed ten storey building. Chicago's now demolished ten storey steel-framed Home Insurance Building (1885) is generally accepted as the "first skyscraper". The word skyscraper often carries a connotation of pride and achievement. The skyscraper, in name and social function, is a modern expression of the age-old symbol of the world center or axis mundi: a pillar that connects earth to heaven and the four compass directions to one another.



Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyscraper
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2008, 8:08 PM
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http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/skyscraper

sky·scrap·er Audio Help /ˈskaɪˌskreɪpər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[skahy-skrey-per] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a relatively tall building of many stories, esp. one for office or commercial use.
2. Architecture. a building of exceptional height completely supported by a framework, as of girders, from which the walls are suspended, as opposed to a building supported by load-bearing walls.

I tend to go by the general Emporis definition - a continuously occupied building of at least 12 stories or 35 meters.
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2008, 11:04 PM
JackStraw JackStraw is offline
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agree, it has to have habital stories that are throughout the building.

Tall Structures, that are not skyscrapers would be:

The eiffel Tower
The Statue of Liberty
The Arch in St. Louis
Toronto CN Tower
Seattle Space Needle

There are more, that is all I can think of right now.
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2008, 4:26 PM
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some people say 500ft or over is a skyscraper, and buildings up to that mark are only midrises; However I like emporis's ranking of over 12 stories. But that is subjective too, because ceiling height can drastically change a buildings total height, higher or lower.
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2008, 5:55 PM
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The word "skyscraper" is subjective.
As for myself, I think of it this way:

highrise = skyscraper

12 floors or 35 meters.
The structure may be tall but if it's not a "highrise" then it's not a skyscraper.
I also don't like it when we call highrises(skyscrapers) "towers" because it
can be confused with an other type of structure: "(tv)Tower"
I pretty much agrees with the definitions from Emporis and SkyscraperPage.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2008, 7:46 PM
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There are widely accepted definitions already, but a "skyscraper" to me really is anything tall - stuff that you are amazed by when you stand below them looking up, be it tall churches, monuments, tv-towers or buildings.
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Old Posted Aug 23, 2008, 9:00 PM
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Everything that rips-off the sky above 35m. Cause when you look to the sky at lower part the structure close enough and turn your head up you see the outline the bldg scrapping the sky.... something like that.
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2008, 4:16 PM
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A skyscraper should be anything that is reasonably tall and man-made. It is illogical that a 13 storey building (using Emporis's definition) would be a skyscraper, and the CN tower (1815ft, 5 inches) would not.
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2008, 5:33 PM
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Here's how I categorize buildings, cause imo, this is how it should be.

Lowrise: Under 5 storys or 50 ft.

Midrise: 5 storys or 50 ft., which ever comes first.

Highrise: 10 storys or 100 ft., which ever comes first.

Then you have the skyscraper.

Minimum sized Skyscraper: 20 storys or 250 ft., which ever comes first.

Midsized Skyscraper: 400 - 600 ft.

Tall Skyscraper: 600 ft. or better


SuperScraper: 1000 ft. or better
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  #12  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2008, 7:53 PM
skyscraper skyscraper is offline
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I refuse to be defined this way! (j/k)

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the organization that does most scholarly work on skyscrapers and among other things defines what counts as a skyscraper, has a good definition of skyscrapers. they say a building is a skyscraper if because if its height has to alter its engineering systems from "conventional" building. in other words, because a building is over 6 or so stories it has to include elevators, then it is a skyscraper. but if it has to include elevators because of handicap accessibility requirements and not building height, then it is not a skyscraper. if because it is too tall to build with masonry and has to be built with some other structural system such as a steel frame, then it is considered by them to be a skyscraper. but if it is built with a steel frame for some other reason than height, then it is not a skyscraper.
I like this definition because it doesn't arbitrarily include some height cutoff, that if it were a foot shorter it wouldn't be a skyscraper. it has to do with the engineering systems to define the building, which is very different than traditional means such as function of the building. many different building types (office, residential, hotels etc) can all still be skyscrapers, but if you use a function-based definition then only a church can be a church, for example.
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  #13  
Old Posted Aug 25, 2008, 8:04 PM
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Doesn't necessarily feet the definition of a continously habitable building, but Calatrava's proposal would definitely be a skyscraper:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=10787311

definitions constantly change...the skyscraper is always being defined and re-defined.
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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2008, 1:39 AM
Exodus Exodus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latennisguy View Post
Doesn't necessarily feet the definition of a continously habitable building, but Calatrava's proposal would definitely be a skyscraper:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=10787311

definitions constantly change...the skyscraper is always being defined and re-defined.
That is true. highrise Buildings that were nicknamed skyscrapers generations ago really shouldn't be called skyscrapers these days. Like I've said before, a skyscraper is now something of its own, and distinct from a highrise. You have lowrise, midrise, highrise, and then you have skyscraper.
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2008, 4:23 AM
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Personal definition:

Single-floor
Two-floor

Low-rise (3-4 stories)
Midrise (5-9 stories)
Highrise (10-18 stories, higher if the width of the building is larger than the height.)

Tower (More than 5 stories, but the height has to be more than the width.)

Small Skyscraper (19-30 stories or about 60-100 m, but if and only if the structure is amongst the tallest buildings in the settlement - like that in the skyline of Saskatoon or Yellowknife.)
Moderate Skyscraper (30-45 stories or about 100-150 m)
Medium Skyscraper (45-70 stories or about 150-240 m)
Tall Skyscraper (70-90 stories or about 240-300 m)
Supertall Skyscraper (90-150 stories or about 300-500 m)
Megatall Skyscraper (500-1000 m)
Hypertall Skyscraper (1000+ m)
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  #16  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2008, 7:16 PM
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I believe that "Skyscraper" is a bit of a subjective, or relative term.
Here in Halifax, a 20 story building would be a skyscraper for sure. But in Manhattan, it would be a knee-high little cousin.
So perhaps what defines a skyscraper is in part, a question of geography.
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  #17  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2008, 7:20 PM
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Here on this very site, SSP, there are 4 categories:
General Development - for up to 199'
Midrise - for 200' to 499'
Skyscraper - 500' to 999'
Supertall - 1000' or higher

Obviously ALOT of people think of a Skyscraper as a building 500' tall or taller...

My own personal thoughts on the definition of a Skyscraper...
Way, way back in time, 2530 BC, the Great Pyramid was built, 481' tall, and nothing taller was built until the middle ages, so it held the record of Worlds Tallest Structure for approx. 3600 years. (I seriously doubt that record will ever be broken!) Even after that, it took many hundreds of years for even a modest list of buildings (structures) taller than the Great Pyramid. I would say that even today building a structure taller than 481' is quite an accomplishment. Five Hundred feet is a nice, rounded-off number to use of course, but IMO a Skyscraper would be 482' or taller, because if you cant build something taller than what the ancient Egyptians were able to build 4538 years ago...
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Last edited by koops65; Sep 12, 2008 at 7:30 PM.
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  #18  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2008, 10:05 PM
Muskavon Muskavon is offline
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There should be visible evidence of at least a scratch on the sky and furthermore, blue paint chips on the ground nearby.
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  #19  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2008, 4:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muskavon View Post
There should be visible evidence of at least a scratch on the sky and furthermore, blue paint chips on the ground nearby.
LOL! This gets my vote!
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  #20  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2008, 6:43 PM
Exodus Exodus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanita View Post
I believe that "Skyscraper" is a bit of a subjective, or relative term.
Here in Halifax, a 20 story building would be a skyscraper for sure. But in Manhattan, it would be a knee-high little cousin.
So perhaps what defines a skyscraper is in part, a question of geography.
That's only because NYC has skyscrapers that reach higher heights. You have to start somewhere, and besides, the average skyscraper isn't the ones NYC has.

Last edited by Exodus; Sep 14, 2008 at 3:16 AM.
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