The knowledge and application of architecture help create wonders and mysteries due to its unique features. These unique features include the height of the structure (Burj Khalifa 828 m), the size of the usable volume (The Boeing Everett Factory 398,000 m2) and the size of the floor area (New Century Global Center 1,760,000 m2). The height of a building is usually a remarkable feature in a building which brings unique features into such an environment.

An architectural review of Skyscraper  - Sheet1
Skyscraper (2018) Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber | Universal Pictures_©Screenshot taken from the movie

Skyscrapers are habitable tall buildings with a minimum height of 100 metres and on multiple floors with spaces such as offices, residential areas, retail spaces and residential spaces. A skyscraper is an architectural icon designed to bear its weight, protect the resident from fire, and resist wind and earthquakes. Skyscrapers should also be easily accessible and provide comfort and basic utility for occupants. The first skyscraper (Home Life Insurance Building) was designed by William LeBaron Jenney in 1884 and supported by an iron frame.

An architectural review of Skyscraper  - Sheet2
Skyscraper (2018) Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber | Universal Pictures_©Taken from the movie
An architectural review of Skyscraper  - Sheet3
Skyscraper (2018) Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber | Universal Pictures_©Taken from the movie

The film Skyscraper centres around the fictional tallest skyscraper in the world, named “The Pearl”. The megatall tower is 1060 metres tall with 225 floors and is located in Hong Kong. Sawyer stars as a war veteran and former FBI hostage rescuer who now assesses security for skyscrapers as a private security consultant. He was recruited by Zhao Long Ji, the owner, to review the tallest skyscraper in world security and stayed on the residential floor with his family during this review. The Pearl came under fire when Botha (a terrorist) broke into this building and caused a fire on the 96th floor to sabotage the safety systems in the tower, trapping Zhao and Sawyer’s family on the upper floor of the skyscraper. Sawyer’s family is left trapped in the building and also held at ransom by Botha. A framed Sawyer is believed to be behind the fire incident in the world’s tallest building and was declared wanted by the local police. Revelations later showed that Botha spurred the attack to obtain a detailed computer file of transactions, which revealed the account and names of crime syndicates which extorted money from him during the skyscraper construction. The film ends with Sawyer reuniting with his family and Zhao stating his intention to rebuild the skyscraper due to its massive damage from the roof to the 96th floor.

An architectural review of Skyscraper  - Sheet4
Skyscraper (2018) Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber | Universal Pictures_© Taken from the movie

“A Marvel of Modern Engineering and Architecture”

Jim Bissell, a production designer, was responsible for the construction of The Pearl, and he got the design idea from the dragon and the Pearl, an ancient Chinese fable. The building ended up similar to a twisting dragon with a pearl in its mouth. The structure followed Hong Kong’s unique design customs with the introduction of two feng-shui friendly gaps in the tower. Adrian Smith, the Burj Khalifa architect, contributed vital technical ideas to some parts of the project. The building received its name, “The Pearl”, from a spherical glass observation deck at the top of the building. Located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, China, is the world’s tallest building. The main part of the building is sited in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, with the base of the building on the Kowloon Peninsula’s southern tip, according to the script. The Pearl was designed to get to 1,066 metres in height, making it the world’s tallest building at the period in the film. The building rises two hundred and forty stories above Hong Kong and generates its power from a giant wind turbine located between floors 200 and 230. The Pearl is designed to run on green energy and possesses a giant 30-story botanical garden sited on the 100th floor. The megatall tower also includes an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a driving range, gyms, basketball courts, hotels, opera houses, a film theatre, a six-story shopping mall, luxury flats and numerous restaurants. This megatall tower consists of one hundred and twenty thousand glass and steel panels in line with the story. The construction of this skyscraper was within seven years, and it weighed a million tons. The building contains a lot of safety features such as earthquake and wind-resistant elements and pressurized safety rooms with reinforced concrete on every tenth floor.

An architectural review of Skyscraper  - Sheet5
Skyscraper (2018) Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber | Universal Pictures_© Taken from the movie

“Live, Work, and Play in the Clouds”

This film is an expression of the idea of vertical cities and how they help to shape the human habitat and solve numerous human problems. The Pearl is a vertical city and accommodates several activities such as housing, healthcare, tourism, education, entertainment, and others. The megatall tower also helps to solve the problem of overpopulation in urban cities due to the size it accommodates vertically. The use of less space to provide a large amount of floor space, as seen in the film, reduces overpopulation concerning land in the urbanscape. The tower also provided a wide range of amenities and services to its occupants. Healthcare, tourism, and education are examples of different opportunities available to people in vertical cities. The major concern with human expansion is the diminishing of nature in a bid for more expansion. Vertical cities help preserve the environment due to the reduced activity in the area, while the city increases in height instead of width.

An architectural review of Skyscraper  - Sheet6
Skyscraper (2018) Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber | Universal Pictures_© Taken from the movie



  1. 2022. Skyscraper (2018 film) – Wikipedia. [online] Available at: <>
  2. Skyscraper Wiki. 2022. Pearl Hong Kong. [online] Available at: <> 
  3. Lemire, C., 2022. Skyscraper movie review & film summary (2018) | Roger Ebert. [online] Available at: <> 
  4. 2022. Skyscraper – Wikipedia. [online] Available at: <,as%20water%20pumps%20and%20elevators.> 
  5. Furniture, F., 2022. When the star of a film is a skyscraper – Film and Furniture. [online] Film and Furniture. Available at: <>

Chukwuebuka is an architecture student and an amateur writer using his skills to express his ideas to the world. He has written a few articles for DAPC Uniben and he is adventuring to become a popular writer.