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Vertical City: Rediscovering Great Heights Around the World

2009ALL
Take a high rise hike around the globe's most iconic skyscrapers. Scaling the tallest towers across the world, architects Charlie Luxton and Matt Berman leave the bustling streets to see these extravagant buildings from great heights and unique perspectives. Guided by the world's bravest window washers, Vertical City rediscovers some of the boldest and most ambitious architectural landmarks.
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English [CC]
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  1. 1. Shanghai World Finance Center
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    February 2, 2009
    27min
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    With the highest roof on earth, the sleek Shanghai World Finance Center stands in the new skyscraper capital of the world. Setting the standard for a new generation of super-tall skyscrapers, this Japanese-developed tower, built on Chinese land, also symbolizes a new era in relations between the two previously hostile countries, after Japan's violent invasion of China in the 1930s.
  2. 2. 375 Park Avenue, New York
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    February 9, 2009
    27min
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    375 Park Avenue in New York was built in 1958 by the king of Modernist design, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and changed skyscraper design forever. It has inspired the square glass blocks of every global skyline. Behind its revolutionary façade lies a story of how a skyscraper that couldn't afford to be built found its way, and how its creator managed to realize his 40 year architectural dream.
  3. 3. Triumph Palace, Moscow
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    February 16, 2009
    27min
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    In the 1940's, Josef Stalin commissioned a series of seven towers to compete with the skyscrapers of New York. Known as the Seven Sisters, the towers were created to inspire Russian citizens to celebrate the strength and glory of the communist state. Matt Berman investigates the design and political genesis of these towers and examines why an eighth sister is being built.
  4. 4. Naberezhnaya Tower, Moscow
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    February 23, 2009
    27min
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    Naberezhnaya Tower represents a new era for Moscow, one in which it can finally compete with the other major financial centers of the world. Many skyscrapers are currently being built, pushing the parameters of both height and skyscraper design in Europe. These extraordinary towers represent the final realization of a modern high rise Moscow, one that was once only dreamt of.
  5. 5. Bank of China
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    March 2, 2009
    27min
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    Created in 1990 by world renowned architect I.M. Pei, the Bank of China in Hong Kong put Asia on the skyscraper map, and stands like a diamond amongst the island's forest of towers. But behind the architecture lies a tall political tale, one of a global superpower marking its territory.
  6. 6. John Hancock Tower, Boston
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    March 9, 2009
    27min
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    Behind the glistening façade of Boston's John Hancock Tower lies one of the most embarrassing moments in architectural history. An act of arrogance that turned this dream tower into a nightmare. What followed is one of the most unbelievable tales, involving collapsing foundations, windows falling out, and a skyscraper that was likely to topple over.
  7. 7. Pertronas, Kuala Lumpur
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    March 16, 2009
    27min
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    In the late 1980's the Malaysian government decided to build a skyscraper unprecedented in size and ambition. The result: the elaborately curved Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. For Cesar Pelli, it would be an enormous design challenge on a rocky and uncharted road... and getting the towers built in Malaysia would prove almost impossible.
  8. 8. John Hancock Center, Chicago
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    March 23, 2009
    27min
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    The John Hancock Center was completed in 1969. The tallest tower outside New York City uses state of the art computing and steel technologies. The designers revolutionized the way skyscrapers were built and created a true masterpiece of engineering... but cutting edge construction always courts controversy, and Chicago wasn't convinced it wanted this enormous dark hulk on its skyline.
  9. 9. International Finance Center, Hong Kong
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    March 30, 2009
    27min
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    Stunning skylines are fueled by money, and Hong Kong has one of the most stunning in the world. With a lack of land on the island, the only way is up. The most prized and expensive plot is the financial district, where one skyscraper towers above the rest. Star of Batman movies and a gleaming white pillar of capitalism, it is 2 International Finance Center.
  10. 10. 1180 Peachtree, Atlanta
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    April 6, 2009
    27min
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    1180 Peachtree is a striking icon on the Atlanta skyline; its huge fins make it distinct from all the rest. But it's not all about good looks; 1180 is creating a new era for the city's towers, and opening its doors to the streets and the public, helping to breathe life back into the street culture of this once lifeless city.
  11. 11. Beetham Tower, U.K.
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    April 13, 2009
    27min
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    As the tallest residential skyscraper in the U.K., Manchester's distinctive Beetham Tower is turning heads and causing controversy. Despite producing some of the world's leading high-rise architects like Richard Rogers and Norman Foster, Britons are not exactly enamored with skyscrapers... including its future king, Prince Charles.
  12. 12. Taipei 101, Taiwan
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    April 20, 2009
    27min
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    Taiwan, China's renegade province, wanted to make the world sit up and notice it, so it built the planet's tallest skyscraper at the time: Taipei 101. It was to be defiant gesture towards its neighboring superpower, and a calculated quest for Taiwanese commercial attention. Does having the tag of the tallest guarantee success?

More details

Directors
Jane GerberBosie VincentRichard GravelingGraham StrongDominic Hill
Network
MagellanTV
Amazon Maturity Rating
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