Skyscrapers - past, present and future

Since its birth more than 100 years ago, the humble skyscraper has grown and matured. Shimmering glass and steel replaced classic stone exteriors, as each incarnation pushed ever skyward. But, for the latest generation of buildings, being the tallest is not necessarily the main concern.

In the latest in a BBC News series on these giant structures, deputy editor of Architects' Journal Rory Olcayto looks back to the skyscrapers of the past - and considers how their descendants are evolving today.

To see the enhanced content on this page, you need to have JavaScript enabled and Adobe Flash installed.

All images subject to copyright. Click bottom right for image information.

Images courtesy Getty Images, RIBAPIX, eVolo Magazine, PA and Reuters. Music by Billy Joel, Ian van Dahl, Elbow and Repertoire Music.

Slideshow production by Paul Kerley. Publication date 30 November 2012.


A view from the top of London's Shard

Royal Institute of British Architects

Architects' Journal

eVolo Magazine

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

More audio slideshows:

Ansel Adams and American nature

Alistair Cooke: My friends Bing and Chaplin

LED at 50: An illuminating history

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.