How skyscrapers forever changed our sense of scale

We don't know what the next tallest building in the world will be and by just how much it will beat its predecessor, but here is a good bet: a skyscraper and not by much. But this wasn't always the case.

In response to this post on the architecture that changed the world, commenter Leaufai noted just how much the potential heights of buildings jumped with the introduction of the skyscraper:

I was looking into the Home Insurance Building [the world's first skyscraper] and found out that the skyscraper that beat its record was the New York World Building. It was 136.92% taller than its predecessor, which is the largest increase in building height ever. The thing was more than two times taller than the tallest building that the world had ever seen before. There was the Great Pyramid, which still dwarfed these early skyscrapers, but that wasn't a building and its pyramidal shape doesn't allow you to crane your neck upwards and gaze at its tallness.

Of course, there were some buildings between the Pyramids and the skyscrapers to grab the title of tallest. But looking at how Burj Khalifa, the current holder of the title, stacks up against some of the world's other tallest structures—and just how close the margin in heights between them can be—is a neat look at just how the competition to build the tallest building has changed over time.

Image: Rama