The Humble Beginnings of the Skyscraper

Cities are becoming increasingly crowded today and the competition for space has led to vertically growing serpentine cities, competing for light almost like weeds and trees in a dense rain forest. Apartments on lower levels are usually affordable but as you move up, apartments with mesmerising vistas come with exorbitantly high rental prices. Blame it on the introduction of the passenger elevator by Elisha Otis, about 156 years ago in New York.

Elevators made access to higher floors easier and paved the way for high-rise buildings which began an architectural revolution. Earlier, buildings with eight or nine floors were called skyscrapers. Lower floors were accessible and therefore valuable whilst upper floors were deemed inconvenient. 

The sudden appearance of possibilities within architecture, with the introduction of steel frame construction was a time of uncertainty and pride as people experimented formally, utilising past knowledge and expressing confidence in the marvels of science that made man the centre of all possibilities.