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April 17th, 2019
Tallest House in The World
"Concrete and steel has made it possible for man to reach for the stars, and not only for steel buildings, but for some home owners as well. Building 'tall' instead of 'wide' seems to be a trend these days, even when it comes to residential homes."
In 1931, New York City shocked the world by constructing and completing an amazingly high structure called the Empire State Building. Designed by Shreve & Lamb, their forward thinking in architecture meant building a super tall skyscraper that would shock the masses as the tallest building in the world, and the tallest until 1972. Fast forward into present today architecture, and you might think that the new focus would be mainly on reliable and eco-friendly structures, but that doesn't seem to be the norm. It seems that we are still searching for the limit as to how high we can reach into the clouds, and in a few cases, even in the residential sectors...
Yes, up up and away we go stacking steel on top of concrete, and not only with commercial steel structures in downtown areas, but also in our residential neighborhoods. Building "tall" instead of "wide" seems to be a trend these days, even when it comes to residential homes. Several countries around the world, such as India and China, are claiming that their boundaries include the tallest residential houses in the world. But some of these homes look more like skyscrapers, others look like hotels, and others like high-rise condos. Are the owners of these so-called "residential homes" justified when they boast that they live in the "tallest" or "largest" homes ever built? And are the structures really houses, or something else?..
What is a house?
For this article, we will define a "house" as a structure in a residential neighborhood that is detached and intended for a single family only.
High-Rise House vs. Multi-Purpose Structure
If a residential structure that features incredible height is referred to as a "house," then we need to understand the actual purpose of the house. Who actually lives there? Is Is it a one-family home? Is the house detached? Is it totally private? Is it more like a vacation resort that is shared by other friends and family members? Does it really look like house?" Or maybe it was originally intended to be a private residence and then modified afterwards to include other working aspects such as a multi-family duplex.
Creative Market Listings
When extreme multi-level houses go on the market for sale, they are sometimes described as multi-purpose structures or multi-family condos. A carefully worded listing might suggest that a structure and it's surrounding property could easily be re-purposed into auxiliary offices to rent or lease, an educational institution, a hotel, or even a museum.
The tallest house in the world, or something different?..
To witness the largest "so-called" house in the world, you'll have to travel to South Mumbai, India. Built in 2010, it is said to be the tallest house in the world, worth $1 billion and coming in at 400,000 square feet. A staff of 600 is required to maintain the residence 24 hours a day. Yes, it also happens to be a 27-story skyscraper! Really? All that for just one family?..
The home is where the heart is..
It raises the question, "If someone refers to the place where they live a "home," then can it really be defined as a "house?" Hmm.. well if you think about it, anywhere you decide to lay your weary head could be declared as your home, such as a cave or park bench, but can you technically call it a "house?" That might be a little off track, but what would the normal person call a 27-story structure? In this case, call it your home if you want, but certainly not a residential house!
Let's face it, if a structure was built in an area where the background looks more like a commercial sector rather than a Normal Rockwell painting depicting white picked fences and kids riding their bicycles, then it might be more accurate to just call it a "private building" rather than a typical family household.
When is big, too big?
When a house gets too big, it creates the need for professional maintenance personnel to keep the property looking good and running smoothly. Hired staff who work as maids, yard maintenance, pool cleaners, elevator technicians and security guards are needed to keep the property secure and running in good condition. This is not to mention hosts, event planners, entertainers and cooks for the occasional parties. Ok, now that it's just too big to accommodate normal family dwellers, maybe it could be secretly "re-purposed" or "monitized" to be something just a little different.
When most people think of extreme homes, they might think of people like Donald Trump. His previous residence, the Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach Florida, was once a 110,000 square foot private house, but was transformed into a luxury hotel and private club. Trump's Mar-a-Lago house was once one of the largest residences in the world.
The Tallest House in the World
A 6,200-square-foot, 124-foot-tall house in Arizona is called the "Falcon Nest" and is also called the "world's tallest house." From the garage, the hydraulic glass elevator takes you all the way up to almost all of the 10 floors. The house has three bedrooms and four bathrooms. The Falcon's Nest is in a green restful area with other residential houses surrounding. No, not a skyscraper, hotel or condo, but a real house!
"It's breathtaking how someone could design something this tall in a residential area," said Frank Aazami, the listing agent.
But is the Falcon's nest misrepresented too? It's been marketed as a multipurpose property, as the ingenious design suggests that it's more than just a single-family residence. The sale listing suggests the Falcon's Nest could be re-purposed as offices for rent, an educational facility, a hotel, museum or events space.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) technically defines a residential building as a structure that has least 85% of its total floor space fully dedicated to residential use only. The Central Park Tower in New York, World One in Mumbai, and the Diamond Tower in Jeddah Saudi Arabia are a few of the tallest residential structures in the world.
Deleted from our list of "tallest or largest houses in the world" are..
- Oheka Castle (hotel & estate in Long Island, NY)
- Arden House (research facility & guest house near Harriman, NY)
- 432 Park Avenue (highrise condo in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, NY)
- Mar-a-Lago (hotel estate in Palm Beach, FL)
- Trump Tower (skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, NY)
- Antilia (skyscraper in Mumbai, India)
- World One in Mumbai (residential skyscraper in Mumbai, India)
- Diamond Tower (residential skyscraper in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Wikipedia defines a skyscraper as a highrise building that has over 40 floors and is taller than 150 m (492 ft). Historically, the term first referred to buildings with 10 to 20 floors in the 1880s. The meaning shifted with advancing construction technology during the 20th century. Skyscrapers may host offices, hotels, residential spaces, and retail spaces.
From a designers point of view, newly built residential houses that are in the beginning stages are planned and built in typical neighborhoods, upscale or not, and not highrise districts, retail or industrial areas. After all, your like-minded neighbors won't be hanging out on the 27th floor of a downtown bank building. Most likely, your new neighbors will be met on each side of a humble cedar fence, on the quite sidewalk out in front, or the park down the street. It's alright to express out-of-the-ordinary ideas with various architecture - victorian roofs, glass walls and flamboyant interior decorating. But if it's an extremely tall steel structure built via cranes, it should be honestly categorized as a multi-purpose structure, not a family residence.
The Falcon's Nest gets the deciding vote as the tallest house in the world. Three deciding factors that give this Arizona structure the title: it only has three bedrooms, it was constructed in a residential area, and was originally intended for a single family.