800 storey building – a tall story ?

800 STOREY BUILDING – Tall Tales A Publicity Stunt ?

tall BuildingsSkyscraper enthusiasts who thought that the Japanese are beginning construction on X Seed 4000, an 800 story building will be disappointed to learn that the project is nowhere near execution despite recent reports that suggested otherwise.

Contrary to recent rumors, Taisei has no plans to begin construction on the 4,000 meter tall X Seed 4000 building.

It was never meant to be built, says a spokes man of Buildings & Data, which compiles data on buildings worldwide. The purpose of the plan was to earn some recognition for the firm, and it worked. Taisei conceived X Seed 4000, a building 4,000 meters high, during the early 21st century.

At its base in Tokyo’s harbor, the super tall skyscraper would span more than two square miles. A circle of wide, habitable pillars would house more than a half million people in 750 million square feet of residential and office space. These pillars would support a soaring, teepee like frame reaching a height of 13,123 feet at its peak some 700 feet taller than Japans Mount Fuji, whose profile reportedly inspired the buildings shape. Environmental control systems would need to account for changes in atmospheric pressure and wind speed at higher altitudes.

Speculation that Taisei was moving forward with X Seed began on August 20, when InHabitat.com contributor Kate Andrews wrote a blog about the rivalry between the Sears Tower and Taipei 101 for the status of the worlds tallest building. X Seed, she wrote, could beat them both not to mention the worlds current tallest building, Burj Dubai. Although Andrews noted that X Seed was unlikely to move forward, the story exploded on the Internet and morphed into an urban legend. Within three days, dozens of reputable sites, including SciFi.com, reported that X Seed could soon be underway. The project even earned a spot in the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Hall of fame.

But we have it n record, confirmed reports of impending construction are simply tall tales. (X Seed) is on the shelf now, says Shohei Ogawa, a manager in the planning department
of Taiseis International division. It was our dream proposal for the technological advances we thought could happen in the future.

These advances are not as far off as they might seem. From an engineering point of view, most spans and heights are possible, observes Eric Howeler, an architect and author of Skyscraper: Vertical Now. But feasibility, he adds, presents a serious obstacle. Securing the necessary financing, which by some estimates could exceed more than $1 trillion dollars, would prove difficult not to mention obtaining the permits to build a structure of such magnitude, since few people would likely want a two mile high skyscraper for a neighbor. Tall buildings create a downdraft at their bases, and cast long shadows, Howeler says.

One of the most daunting problems, adds Carol Willis, director of the Skyscraper Museum in New York City, is to make so massive a structure convenient to navigate for the people inside.

Indeed, as one reader wondered, how long would a person on the 800th floor need to wait for an elevator?

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