Archive for tower

One almost done, one has half way to go, and one is still on ground. Updates on three supertall construction projects in Kuala Lumpur.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2017 by vincentloy

Kuala Lumpur is ranked among one of the best city skylines in the world. It gained such recognition due to its splendid array of clustered buildings topped with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower. However, the city skyline is going to further transform, thanks to the many new skyscrapers currently being built in the city. They are going to immensely impact the city skyline due to their enormous heights. The city won’t look the same after every few years and I look forward to see more tall and nice-looking buildings being constructed in the city.

Here are the 3 supertall skyscraper projects in Kuala Lumpur that are receiving high attention and shown together are their latest construction images. Render is shown for each project below too. Supertall building refers to a building that exceeds 300 metres in height.

1.Four Seasons Place. 

It is a 65-storeys mixed use tower currently under construction besides the Petronas Twin Towers. Once completed, it will have a final height of 343 metres. It will contain a hotel, serviced residences and a shopping mall at the podium. After undergoing multiple delays and design changes in the past, the tower has now finally rising quickly. It has structurally topped out not long ago and the work on the building’s crown has started. It will top out architecturally before last quarter of the year and will open next year. Once completed, it will be the third tallest building in the country, right after the two twin towers that sat beside it. Now, it has already made the twin towers to look not as tall as in the past eventhough it is still shorter than them by a little over 100 metres.

 

This one is ALMOST DONE.

2. TRX Exchange 106 Tower. 

It is a 106-storeys office tower currently under construction at the Tun Razak Exchange site. Once completed, this new region will become the financial hub of the city. Once completed, the tower will have a final height of 452 metres. It surprisingly will have the same height as the Petronas Twin Towers. You may wonder that it should be taller than the twin towers since it almost has over 20 floors more than the twin towers? Nope. It’s because this TRX Tower has no spire to add up to its height. The construction for this tower is very fast and it has now already half way to its top. It has now already making a huge impact to the city’s skyline. The highlight of the tower will be its crystalline crown.

This one is HALF WAY TO FINISH.

3. PNB118 Merdeka Tower.

It is a 118-storeys office tower currently under construction on the lot bordering the historical Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur. It is just right opposite my former secondary school, the Methodist Boys School KL. Once completed, it will be the tallest building in the country as well as among the top five tallest buildings in the world at a height of 644 metres. It will surpass the height of Shanghai Tower (632 metres), One World Trade Center (541 metres), Taipei 101 (508 metres) and many other skyscrapers across the world. However, its construction has been very slow and I read a news somewhere that it experienced problem with its foundation. I predict that it will be completed by 2020 or 2021. It will reach this immense height of over 600 metres due to its very long spire at the top.

 

This one is still not rising and is STILL ON GROUND WORK.

Hoping to see great progress from these skyscraper projects once I’m back to KL end of this year.

(Images in this post are from skyscrapercity.com forum webpages)

Shanghai Tower named CTBUH’s Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 and won Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2016 by vincentloy

Shanghai Tower is a 632 metres tall skyscraper located in Shanghai, China and is currently the second tallest building in the world. Completed in 2015, it is also the tallest building in China, a country that has been actively building supertalls in recent decades. Designed by Gensler Architects, Shanghai Tower has 128 floors and is one of the three supertall buildings in the prime area in Pudong. The other two are the Shanghai World Financial Center (492 metres high) and Jin Mao Tower (421 metres high).

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Recently, the tower is named Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2016 by Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Besides that, the tower has also won the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2015. It’s a double joy for the tower. Shanghai Tower has accomplished such level of recognition due to many reasons. Some of them are its elegant spiraling cylindrical form, energy-efficient performance of the building, extraordinary double-skin facade, world’s fastest elevator, etc.

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Shanghai Tower prevailed over other winners in smaller categories in CTBUH Best Tall Buildings selection to take the top prize after winning the Best Tall Building Asia and Australasia. Best Tall Building Americas goes to VIA 57 West, Best Tall Building Europe goes to The White Walls and Best Tall Building Middle East and Africa goes to The Cube. As for the Emporis Skyscraper Award, Shanghai Tower topped the list of their 10 finalist selection. The other 9 in order from top to bottom are Evolution Tower in Russia (no.2), II Dritto in Italy (no.3), Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza in China (no.4), ABODE 318 in Australia (no.5), Icon Bay in United States of America (no.6), D1 Tower in United Arab Emirates (no.7), 432 Park Avenue in United States of America (no.8), Citygate in Austria (no.9) and ICE II in Canada (no.10).

I would love to visit Shanghai Tower and goes up to its observation deck to enjoy the panoramic view of the city and to purchase a replica model of the skyscraper. If you know me well, one of my hobbies is to collect replica models of famous buildings and towers around the world. This hobby is actually very costly, but what can I do since it’s my interest. I have not visited Shanghai before and I am looking forward for a trip to that city in near future. I think I would be very impressed not only by the supertalls in that city, but also by the overall magnificent skyline of the city.

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(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

A new tower taller than Burj Khalifa to be built in Dubai.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2016 by vincentloy

The current world’s tallest building is Burj Khalifa. It stands at a breathtaking height of 828 metres above ground in Dubai and is nearly 200 metres taller than the world’s second tallest. It has held on to this record for quite a few years already, until its neighbouring country, Saudi Arabia is planning to build a megatall skyscraper called Kingdom Tower in Jeddah. That tower which is now under construction is expected to reach beyond 1 kilometre high.

Recently, another new plan is revealed to build another tower taller than the Burj Khalifa and is to be located at Dubai’s Creek Harbour. It is set to be completed in 2020 (as a gift to the city before Dubai World Expo 2020), which means that there is only about 4 years only for it to be constructed. That’s a very short amount of time for a supertall skyscraper to be built. That’s a challenge but I think Dubai can still make it. Why? Money solves everything. The country is never afraid of spending billions on building countless skyscrapers in the middle of the desert.

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The final height for this planned tower is not disclosed yet but it has been announced that it is going to be taller than Burj Khalifa as mentioned earlier. However, would it be taller than the 1-km high Kingdom Tower for it to be the world’s tallest? Maybe. It is designed by a famous Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava who said the design is inspired by the profile of a lily flower while also mimicking a minaret (Arabic for lighthouse/beacon), a distinctive building commonly found in Islamic architecture and symbolism. The contours of his design will be formed using a cable system that will also anchor the tower to the ground.

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The tower itself will feature fully-glazed rotating balconies and observation decks (of course) as well as interior landscaping that takes influence from the hanging gardens of Babylon (now at dizzying heights). The showpiece observation area will be called “The Pinnacle Room” and will offer  views over Dubai. Alongside this, up to 20 stories will house mixed-use facilities such as restaurants and a boutique hotel. The core of the building, as depicted, will rise up supported by the cable structure, housing all the building facilities and services. At the top, where the diameter is widest, will be the Pinnacle Room that will house an array of greenery.

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“The slender stem serves as the spine of the structure and the cables linking the building to the ground are reminiscent of the delicate ribbing of the lily’s leaves,”said Calatrava’s firm. “The structure also provides a beacon of light at night, with lighting that will emphasize the flower-bud design of the building.” “The design has clear reference to the classic art from the past and the culture of the place while serving as a great technological achievement. In my whole career, I have perceived technology as a vehicle to beauty and to art. This project envisages an artistic achievement in itself, inspired by the idea of welcoming people, not only from Dubai and the UAE, but from the entire world. It is a symbol of an abiding belief in progress.”

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What do I think of this building? It’s a sleek and a slender design, something that is non-typical to present skyscraper’s architecture. However, I wonder how can the huge long cables work to anchor this building to the ground? Is that possible with this height? How can the huge windows at the top floors withstand the extremely strong wind at that level? On the other hand, I’m actually bored of seeing plants and trees inside building again…it’s a popular trend now but isn’t usually successful. Not that excited to this tower except for its mysterious height.

(Images and information in this post are from the following source: http://archpaper.com/2016/04/calatravas-dubai-tower-will-be-taller-than-the-burj-khalifa/)

 

More updated details for KL118 Tower.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2016 by vincentloy

Finally, after months and months of speculation and secrecy surrounding Malaysia’s plan for the next tallest building of the country, more details had been revealed recently from the officiating ceremony. What is the project that I’m talking about? It’s the KL118 development. Now, it is renamed to PNB118 since PNB is the name of the owner’s company for this project. Well, I prefer KL118 more as it has more international appeal than ‘PNB’. Nobody knows (not only foreigners but also locals) what does PNB stands for.

Also known as ‘Warisan Merdeka’ (Heritage Independence), this development is located on a site just adjacent to the historic Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara. It is also located nearby to some very old buildings like Victoria Institution, Methodist Boys School (my former secondary school), Chin Woo Stadium, and Petaling Street (Chinatown). The project has been receiving heavy criticism due to its location on low-lying area which is also full of historical buildings and that this new modern supertall would not fit into this site context. I agreed. This project also receiving strong objection as the money put into this can be more beneficial for other purposes as the city does not need another supertall yet.

The iconic feature of this development would be the construction of an 118-storey tower, now named PNB 118 Tower. The final height of this skyscraper is still not confirmed but it is now fixed to be between 600 metres to 650 metres. Some sources said 610 metres or 630 metres while some even said it would be 644 metres tall which would make it even taller than the Shanghai Tower, the current world’s second tallest building. No matter what the final height is, this PNB118 Tower would still easily be the country’s new tallest building as well as one of top five world’s tallest buildings once it is completed. And it is announced recently that it is expected to be completed in 2024. Years ago, it is planned for completion by 2020 to coincide with Wawasan 2020 (Vision 2020) when the country would become a developed nation by year 2020. However, the project faced delay and it’s getting back on track now. It is now officially under construction.

The tower is designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, an architecture office based in Melbourne, Australia which is previously famous for designing Eureka Tower in Melbourne. The design is also not that well received as many people commented that it is too simple, too glassy and do not possess timeless elegance like what Petronas Twin Towers achieved. I agreed to these opinions too. However, after its official rendering and an animation clip of the tower are out recently, some changed their mind and started to like the design. I’m one of them, but I still think that the design needs further improvement especially on its treatment to the top where it meets the spire. The spire is also a bit too long and out of proportion in comparison to the building form and volume. I knew it is just there to increase a substantial height for the building just to have it to be placed higher in the list of world’s tallest buildings later on.

So, here below are some new (latest) renderings, plan view and models’ images of the PNB118 Tower and also an animation clip for it by RSP Architects, the local design consultant for this project.

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Looking forward to see this new skyscraper dominating the skyline of Kuala Lumpur as soon as possible. Hmm…I suddenly changed my mind and think that KL needs a new supertall now since Petronas Twin Towers have been here for almost two decades already. However, it is undeniable that the twin towers are still elegant and remain as icon of the country forever.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

My latest favourite skyscraper in KL: Ilham Baru Tower.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2015 by vincentloy

Forget about Petronas Twin Towers. I knew Malaysians are all bored to see the twin towers already since we have been seeing it for almost 20 years. However, we can’t deny that the twin towers still remains as the most striking icon or landmark of our nation. Despite losing the title of world’s tallest building years earlier, Petronas Twin Towers are still the current world’s tallest twin buildings. If we ignore the towers for a second, what is the other skyscraper in the city of Kuala Lumpur that you admire the most?

For me, my latest favourite skyscraper in the city is the Ilham Baru Tower (let’s shorten it to IB Tower). It is a tall mixed-use skyscraper comprising of offices and serviced apartments and is located nearby the twin towers. It is also nearby to my office, and hence, I can get to see the building for almost every day. I’m not tired of catching every glimpse of it. Well, you can easily spot the building from far since it is tall enough to stand out among the rest of the cluster of buildings in that part of the city.

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There has been a number of varying technical information regarding the building from what I have browsed from some sites online. But based on The Skyscraper Center (official site for worldwide skyscrapers), IB Tower has a height of 298 metres and a total of 64 floors above ground. However, I think the height and number of floors of the tower have been reduced to 274 metres and 58 floors respectively. It would be nice if someone can clarify to me about this issue.

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The tower is now still under-construction but has already topped out to its final height. It is expected to be completed by this year and opened next year. It is designed by Foster + Partners under the leading architect Norman Foster who have once received a Pritzker Prize (highest architectural prize in the world handed out annually to individual). Well, he is also the one designing Troika Tower (tallest residential building in Malaysia) which is just right besides the IB Tower. It’s great to have famous foreign architects to come and design something fantastic for buildings in my city.

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The design of the tower resembles a bit of the famous Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong from that glass cladding with zig-zag pattern feature. Well, IB Tower has a much darker-toned glass and is more complicated with integrated louvered fins which act as sun-shading device for the building. That is essential since the weather can be very hot in Malaysia. The form of the tower is also very interesting as a portion of an upper section of the tower is cut-in to make way for outdoor sky decks. The cut-in makes the building ‘lighter’ and gives extra ‘dimension’ and ‘depth’ to its form.

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I have written a post on this building about 3 years earlier when it is still at its early stage of construction. The link to that post: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/ilham-baru-tower-a-soon-to-be-addition-to-tall-buildings-in-kuala-lumpur/. It’s cool seeing the building rising up quickly to the skyline of the city and finally it has topped out and nears completion right now. Not only a great addition to the many buildings in Kuala Lumpur, IB Tower is also now the fourth tallest building in the city (also in the country), just behind Petronas Twin Towers and Telekom Tower.

From rendering to reality now:

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More information of the tower can be found in these following websites:

http://www.ilhamtower.com/index.html

http://skyscrapercenter.com/building/ilham-baru-tower/9344

http://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/ilham-baru/

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1119813

(Images in this post are obtained from the forum site with link shown above except for the last image of which I own the copyright)

 

‘Double-skin facade’ for Shanghai Tower.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2015 by vincentloy

Shanghai Tower is a 632 metres tall skyscraper at Pudong District, Shanghai, China. The building is nearly completed and is scheduled to be opened later this year as the country’s tallest building as well as world’s second tallest building. It is situated in an enclave of three city’s tallest buildings, accompanying the other two; 492 metres tall Shanghai World Financial Center and 421 metres tall Jin Mao Tower. The architect behind the design of the Shanghai Tower is Gensler.

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I had wrote a number of blog posts regarding this supertall in the past, showing how much I love it. I’m impressed by not only the sky-reaching height of the tower, but also by one of its interesting architectural elements; the double-skin facade. What is meant by that? It means that the tower has two layers of cladding enveloping the habitable spaces inside the vertical structure of the building. Recently, I read an article, and in that article, Xiaomei Lee, Co-Managing Director of Gensler Shanghai, shared to us more details and the benefits of the double-skin facade of the striking tower;

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1. Blend public and private spaces. By creating a triangulated outer skin and a circular inner volume, we created a series of atria that could be accessed by the public. These vertical “sky gardens” will house all of the same programmatic diversity that one would find in a traditional, horizontal neighborhood of Shanghai. Our goal was to create 21 individual community anchors that allow the citizens of Shanghai and tenants of the tower to live out their lives on this vertically stacked plane.

2. Insulate the inner volume of the tower and reduces the need for active HVAC systems to heat and cool the building. Eventually reduces electricity and operational costs of the building, and promotes sustainability in usage of the building.

3. Helps deflect the amount of stress placed on the building’s structure. The outer skin’s 120-degree rotation and taper were able to reduce wind load stress by 24 percent, which reduced our client’s construction costs while simultaneously resolving the issue of typhoon winds.

4. Outer skin is actually suspended in between the tower’s fire breaks, which allowed the contractor to assemble the tower much faster than a traditional building. Quicker construction; saves time and cost.

5. The inherent flexibility in a hanging curtain wall system is another line of defense when dealing with high wind speed and sudden bursts of pressure from typhoons.

6. Acts as a buffer for harsh solar glare, but still allows natural daylight to reach the tower’s interior.

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For full article, click here: http://architizer.com/blog/gensler-shanghai-tower-by-xiaomei-lee/. The article explains further on the design inspiration and also touched on the issue of demand for ‘vertical city’ in China.

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Breathtaking pictures…

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

5 Fast Facts of the Eiffel Tower not many people know.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2015 by vincentloy

Today marks the 126th anniversary of the official opening of the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. The tower is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world. Nobody in this planet would not know of its existence, popularity and glamour. And I’m very glad that I have visited the tower once, back in 2013. I was in awe and immediately took pictures of the tower in whatever spots I can find during that trip. The tower is beautiful in any angles. A magnificent addition to the beautiful city of Paris.

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It has been 126 years since Eiffel Tower first opened to the public for sightseeing, and the Google Doodle (pictured above) today is designed in conjunction with the anniversary. Many of you knew about the tower, but do you actually know the history behind this structure which was once the tallest in the world? This tower is meant to be only a temporary structure; to be demolished after a period of time. But fortunately, it didn’t. And we are all glad that the tower still stands amazingly today. Here, I’m about to share with you five fast facts regarding the Eiffel Tower (original source: http://heavy.com/news/2015/03/when-did-the-eiffel-tower-open-to-the-public-facts-date-photos-google-doodle/)

1. Elevators weren’t ready for the tower’s opening celebration.

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The tower, which is 324 meters (984 feet) tall, was designed by French entrepreneur Gustave Eiffel (pictured above) and engineers Maurice Koechlin and Stephen Sauvestre. According to History.com, the tower’s elevators were not ready when the Eiffel Tower opened to the public March 31, 1889. The Eiffel Tower’s website says Eiffel climbed the 1,710 steps of the tower to plant the French flag at the top. He was joined on the climb by members of the city council of Paris and reporters. A 21-cannon salute marked the occasion. According to the tower’s website, Eiffel inscribed in a woman’s fan “the French flag is the only one with a 300 meter pole.”

A celebration with council members, other dignitaries and about 200 workers who helped build the tower was held at its base. The elevators were a significant technological challenge for the tower’s engineers and they were considered a great achievement, according to the tower’s website. Hydraulic lifts were used to bring guests up and down the tower. Visitors to the tower began using elevators by the end of May 1889 and continue to do so today, in newer, more modern lift systems.

2. The idea for the tower was born out of a competition.

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The tower was commissioned as part of a competition by the Journal Officiel to “study the possibility of erecting an iron tower on the Champs-de-Mars,” according to the tower’s website. The proposal by Eiffel, Koechlin and Sauvestre was selected out of 107 entries. Construction began in January 1887 and took five months for the foundation to be built. About 100 workers in a workshop and 132 on site used 5,300 drawings from engineers to build the tower, which has more than 18,000 parts. The tower was completed in two years and opened to the public in 1889.

3. The tower was a controversial project.

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According to History.com, the idea of the tower was met by many critics, who either saw it as structurally unsound, or as an eyesore in the middle of the city. The tower’s website says artists from around Paris sent a letter to a newspaper protesting the tower’s construction before it opened to the public. They wrote:

We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects, passionate lovers of the beauty, until now intact, of Paris, hereby protest with all our might, with all our indignation, in the name of French taste gone unrecognized, in the name of French art and history under threat, against the construction, in the very heart of our capital,
of the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower, that public spite, often marked by good sense and a spirit of justice, has already baptized the Tower of Babel.

Without becoming hotheaded or chauvinistic, we have the right to loudly proclaim that Paris is a city without rival in the world. On its streets, its widened boulevards, the length of its admirable embankments, along its magnificent walks there will suddenly appear the most noble monuments ever fashioned by human genius. The soul of France, creator of masterpieces, shines from this majestic flowering of stones. Italy, Germany, Flanders, so justly proud of their artistic heritage, possess nothing comparable to ours, and in every corner of the universe Paris calls forth curiosity and admiration. Are we to let all that be debased?

Eiffel fought off the protesters. He responded in a letter of his own:

I will tell you all that I think, and all that I hope. For my part, I believe that the Tower will have its own beauty. Do people think that because we are engineers, beauty plays no part in what we build, that if we aim for the solid and lasting, that we don’t at the same time do our utmost to achieve elegance? Are actual conditions of strength not always compatible with the hidden conditions of harmony? The first principle of architectural aesthetics is that the essential lines of a monument should be determined by it fitting perfectly into a setting. But what condition did I need to address in the case of the tower? Resistance to wind. Well, I maintain that the curves of the four groin vaults of the monument, based on calculations, starting with the enormous and unused footing at the base, are going to taper up to the summit, will give a great impression of strength and beauty, because they will convey to the eyes the boldness of the conception in its totality.

As the tower’s website says, “time alone always proves the final judge.”

4. The tower was the centerpiece of the Paris World’s Fair in May 1889.

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The tower was commissioned to coincide with the opening of the Paris World’s Fair (Exposition Universelle), a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The exposition opened in May, with the Eiffel Tower serving as the entrance to the fairgrounds. The elevators were completed by the end of the May, but more than 30,000 visitors took the trek up 1,710 steps in the days after the tower officially opened to the public. Millions of people visited Paris during the World’s Fair.

5. The tower was going to be destroyed after 20 years, but was saved by science.

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According to History.com, the 20-year lease on the land by the exposition expired in 1909, but the tower was saved because of its usefulness as an antenna for radio transmission. Eiffel encouraged scientific experiments using the tower, and that spared it from destruction.

The tower, which was once the tallest building in the world until the Chrysler Building opened in 1930, welcomes more than 7 million tourists each year, with 75 percent coming from foreign countries, according to its website. Two levels of the tower now include restaurants. In addition to being one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions, the Eiffel Tower remains important to the world of science and technology. Radio and television stations still use the tower to broadcast their signals. Also, two new wind turbines were recently installed in the Eiffel Tower, 400 feet off the ground, according to The Verge. The turbines provide enough electricity to power the tower’s first floor commercial areas and serve as a symbol for local efforts to be more environmentally friendly.

(Images and information in this post are from this original source: http://heavy.com/news/2015/03/when-did-the-eiffel-tower-open-to-the-public-facts-date-photos-google-doodle/)