We finally have our first look at the World Trade Center's skyscraper, thanks to a Wired exclusive today. But wasn't this building already unveiled years ago? And wasn't it designed by someone else? Wasn't it under construction?
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The World Trade Center's 107th floor observation deck opened last week with some pretty stunning views of New York City. But does it really provide the best viewing experience among the clouds? The Skyscraper Museum took a global survey of the best observatories and ranked the best views from the top.
It's only been a few years since humans could climb more than 800m above the surface of the Earth without the help of jet fuel. It's easy to forget that buildings that reach this high into the atmosphere are a new phenomenon in our world — at these heights, it's more like aerospace engineering than architecture.
When you're building supertalls, there are other problems to worry about than just making sure they don't fall or blow over. One of the biggest is how to get people up to the top in a reasonable amount of time. If you've got a slow elevator the 125th floor might as well not exist.
In a remote stretch of the Amazon rainforest, a skinny steel tower will soon rise over 300m into the sky — higher than the Eiffel Tower, way higher than the trees. The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory is a joint effort by Brazil and Germany to figure out exactly how carbon dioxide fluctuates inside the South American rainforest, one of the "green lungs" of the planet.