Skip to main content
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!

The Rise of Supertall Buildings

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, May 23, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0253
Select your Tickets
Powered by Zoom

We are living in a new urban age and its most tangible expression is the “supertall” building, megastructures that are dramatically bigger, higher, and more ambitious than any in history. Author, architect, and TED-Resident Stefan Al has worked on some of the largest buildings in the world. He reveals the advancements in engineering, design, and data science that have led to this worldwide boom.

Drawing on examples from the past (the Empire State Building, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower) and present (Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, London’s Shard, Shanghai Tower), he describes how the most remarkable skyscrapers have been designed and built. Al explores the ingenious technological innovations in cement, wind resistance, elevator design, and air-conditioning that have made megastructures like the 160-stories-high Burj Khalifa a reality. And he examines the risks of wealth inequality, carbon emissions, and contagion these buildings yield, arguing for a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable built environment for everyone.

Al’s book Supertall: How the World's Tallest Buildings Are Reshaping Our Cities and Our Lives (W. W. Norton) is available for purchase.

Book Sale Information

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
This online program is presented on Zoom.