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Do You Know the Ratios of These Foundations to Their Skyscrapers?

Skyscrapers are nothing if not magnificent works of architectural genius. However, while you’re admiring the genius of the above-ground elements of the skyscrapers, the underground elements are hiding, but are just as important. As a matter of fact, the foundations of some skyscrapers may even be more important. Here’s what you need to know about incredible foundations in some jaw-dropping skyscrapers.

Wilshire Grand Center – Los Angeles, United States

The Wilshire Grand Center has a foundation that set a Guinness World Record for the largest continuous concrete pour. It’s also 1,100 feet tall and has a 90-foot foundation depth, meaning that its foundation is 8.1% of its height.

Willis Tower – Chicago, United States

Willis Tower, which used to be called Sears Tower, is an incredible 1,451 feet tall, and its basement is 100 feet deep. That means it has a foundation that is 14.5% of its height overall, which is a pretty significant amount in the long term.

Taipei 101 – Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei 101 has a four-foot-thick wall to cut off groundwater, extending down 154 feet. It also has the biggest height-to-basement ratio of any building on this list. The building stands 1,667 feet and its basement is 262 feet deep, meaning it comes in at 15.7% overall.

One World Trade Center – New York City, United States

The One World Trade Center was built to replace the building that fell after the September 11 attacks in the United States. It stands at 1,776 feet, an intentional reference to the year of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and its basement stretches down 150 feet, making it an 8.4% ratio.

Shanghai Tower – Shanghai, China

The Shanghai Tower set a variety of world records when it first got its start, including sharing the record of the world’s highest observation deck. The building is an incredible 2,073 feet tall and the foundation is 282 feet deep, which is the deepest foundation on this list but not the highest ratio, as it maintains a 13.6% ratio.

Burj Khalifa – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

This is the tallest building on planet Earth right now. It stretches over a mile into the air, which is an amount that’s almost impossible to even conceptualize. However, its foundation, which is 164 feet deep, actually results in the shortest ratio on this list at only 6%. There are many potential reasons for this; for example, the building has a very wide base that utilizes multiple buildings around it, so it might not have needed quite the same foundation depth as other buildings.


There are plenty of amazing skyscrapers out there, and they’re definitely amazing feats of architecture. However, the amazing feat of architecture definitely doesn’t stop at the height of the skyscraper. You also might want to look down underneath the skyscraper. After all, that’s why the skyscraper doesn’t fall over; without a sturdy, steady skyscraper foundation, the building would end up toppling before the building process had even finished.

Photo by Timo Volz on Unsplash


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About the Author

Kaya Wittenburg

Blog Author and CEO

Kaya Wittenburg is the Founder and CEO of Sky Five Properties. Since the age of 10, real estate has been deeply ingrained into his thoughts. With world-class negotiation and deal-making skills, he brings a highly impactful presence into every transaction that he touches.

He is here to help you use real estate as a vehicle to develop your own personal empire and feel deeply satisfied along the way. If you have an interest in buying, selling or renting property in South Florida, contact Kaya today.

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