If you love tall buildings, then you’ll definitely want to watch the four-part PBS series Super Skyscrapers, currently under way. (Don’t worry about missing them on TV — PBS is posting the full shows after they’ve aired.) Each episode focuses on a different tower (shown above, going clockwise from top left):
- One World Trade Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
- The Leadenhall Building, by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
- Shanghai Tower, by Gensler
- One57, by Christian de Portzamparc
Based on watching the first two shows, it’s clear that the series is more about the incredible engineering and construction coordination that go into building sky-high than it is about architecture and design. (In fact, neither of the first two episodes even mentions the name of the firm that designed the buildings, although architects David Childs [One World Trade Center] and Graham Stirk [Leadenhall] do get a flash of airtime.) These are well-produced, compelling, and beautifully filmed stories about remarkable buildings. Learn more about the series here.
Incidentally, this is not the first time PBS has tackled the subject of tall buildings. Back in 1991, it ran the four-part series Skyscraper: The Making of a Building, about the construction of One World Plaza (also designed by SOM’s David Childs). We were happy to discover that the High Rise Facilities website has a great roundup of the series that includes all four videos.