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  • Writer's picturechaithanya ganesh

Skyscrapers- 20th Century


Though there is no universally accepted definition for a skyscraper, they are generally large tall habitable buildings with steel frames being used as the structural skeleton.

The 20th century saw a wide growth in the concept of a skyscraper even though the design and structure existed in the 19th century. As decades and centuries pass by, the designs were also evolving with better strategies for construction and maintenance.

In the early 1900s skyscrapers represented the face of modernism and development and New York City was the first identified icon for the same.

Skyscrapers are meant to reflect the unity, development, and aspirations of the region, but in controversial scenarios like when it is surrounded by slum areas and under-developed regions, the image calls for the existing economic disparity.

Skyscrapers have been an active project from the early 19th century to the late 19th century with a great number of innovations being made to each design.

Efforts were effective enough back then in the age to produce the structures to meet the right purpose.


Le Corbusier, Mies Van der Rohe, Moshe Safdie, Marcel Breuer, OscarNiemeyer, Philip Johnson are a few among the active skyscraper architects of the 20th century.

The evolution of the design with the emergence of new types of equipment and engineering systems made the construction process a lot more viable and less-time consuming. Apart from an effective design, construction systems, building materials used and efficient organization plays a major role in the successful completion of the project.


Mentioned below are the prominent and ever-green skyscrapers of the 20th century.

- Chrysler Building, New York

- Empire State Building, New York

- John Hancock Center, Chicago, USA

- Willis Tower, Chicago

- Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, California

Skyscrapers helps in making use of the wide floor space with the fixed amount of ground area. It also helped in hiking the rising demand of center-city real estate, which ultimately leads to the entire development of the respective region.

"Of course the ambitions behind the construction of a skyscraper and the desire for its possession are generally as out sized as the building itself".

- Elise Lemire