How Tall Is Tall?

The Tokyo Skytree is a freetsanding tower that is as different from the Window Tower of Uzes as you can possibly imagine. At 634m it is the world’s tallest tower and the second highest freestanding structure.

My one thought, gazing at the soaring latticework of steel tubing looming in front of me is… much higher can man aspire to reach?

Is modern engineering at all subject to any limitations in building structures that seemingly penetrate the sky? None it appears, from the frequency with which height records are toppled! From the Great Pyramid at Giza to the unbelievable 829m high Burj Khalifa in Dubai. And those waiting in the sidelines to top that one, and soon!!

My research reveals the main limitations are wind speed, elevators, and most of all the ‘moolah’! The former is apparently tackled with counterweights and split elevators. Find the big bucks, and it is conceivable that man just might be able to reach out and touch the sky….literally!

Tokyo Skytree
Tokyo Skytree

Sky tree facts (courtesy Wikipedia &

  • Designed by: Tadao Ando and conceived as a fusion of futuristic design and the traditional beauty of Japanese architecture
  • Cost: ¥60,000,000,000
  • Maximum Height: 2,080 feet / 634 meters – The figures 6 (mu), 3 (sa), 4 (shi) stand for “Musashi”, an old name of the region where the Tokyo Skytree stands.
  • The exterior lattice is painted a colour officially called “Skytree White”
  • According to the designers, its anti seismic dampers can absorb 50 percent of the energy from an earthquake
  • A triangular-shaped lobby was chosen because it has three sides — the smallest number possible for a self-supporting structure. They also symbolize the confluence of the Sumida River, the Ara River, and the bustle of human traffic.

Until next time…happy travels, no matter where life takes you!

Related articles:
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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

45 thoughts on “How Tall Is Tall?

  1. Oh my goodness! I would never have guessed Tadao Ando as the architect of this soaring creation. I only know him as the designer of structures that blend austerely into their environments, almost always with serenity as a main characteristic. Not that this tower is ornamental or baroque or anything. But fitting into its environment? I am really amazed. (And have to confess, enough steeped in the Jewish Scriptures to have such high buildings recall to me the story of the tower of Babel.)

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