In 1956, architect Frank Lloyd Wright proposed a mile-high skyscraper, a building five times as high as the Eiffel Tower. While this massive tower was never built, today bigger and bigger buildings are going up around the world. How did these impossible ideas turn into architectural opportunities?

Explore the physics of skyscrapers and other megastructures, including the modern materials and engineering practices that have enabled architects to design record-breaking buildings in cities around the world. From Stefan Al and TED-Ed: Will there ever be a mile-high skyscraper?

Related reading: A list of the tallest buildings.

Then watch these related videos: Burj Khalifa: The tech behind the world’s tallest building, time lapse construction of the world’s tallest prefab skyscraper, mysteries of the world’s biggest dome, and New York: A Documentary Film – The Chrysler Building (1929).

Bonus: A microgravity demo in the Willis Tower Skydeck elevator.

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