Vertical City takes a high rise hike around the globe’s most iconic skyscrapers, seeing these potent symbols of ambition and wealth from a fresh perspective.
Scaling the tallest towers across the world from New York to Sweden, from Chicago to Melbourne, architects Charlie Luxton (BBC3’s Dreamspaces & BBC2’s Restored to Glory) and Keith Keaveney get high and see these bold buildings on a grand scale and at great heights from a unique perspective, as well as uncovering the stories of power, politics and daring design that lie behind them.
From interviewing the world’s leading architects – including Santiago Calatrava and Cesar Pelli – to taking a breathtaking ride down the side of each building to touch and view these awesome skyscrapers up close and personal, the presenters reveal every hidden secret of ten supertowers.
Vertical City also paints an intimate portrait of each tower by meeting the people who have a special relationship with it – from office workers and residents, to the window washers and those who carry out repairs on top of the world’s most instantly recognizable icons.
Filmed in HD, the series features fantastic aerial footage and dynamic visuals to capture design details that can be lost at ground level but which make the buildings truly come alive.
In 2003, Moscow's Triumph Palace became Europe's tallest building. What is striking about this luxury residential block is not so much it's height but the fact that it resurrects an architectural style closely linked with the city's turbulent political past. In the 1940s Josef Stalin commissioned a series of seven tall towers that would 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, the Triumph Palace, has been added in 21st century capitalist Moscow.