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An Image Showing the Skyline of Dubai Featuring Many Skyscrapers
The different shapes of skyscrapers in a city make a unique skyline

Strength and Shape are Important

Seeing buildings tall enough to pierce through the clouds is awe-inspiring. As technology improves, humans build skyscrapers that are even taller than before.

Building tall buildings means overcoming gravity. Early humans used very heavy materials like stone to make strong buildings. Stone buildings cannot be skyscrapers though, because the structure cannot support that much weight. Inventions like steel and concrete, and techniques for using them together in building foundations allow buildings to reach skyscraper heights.

The shape of the building also matters. In the picture, you can see that the buildings are never wider at the top than at the bottom. A building's base needs to support the weight and also stay balanced. Natural events such as wind and earthquakes could cause the building to sway. Buildings with a wider top than their base could topple over! They must be strong and also stable to stand upright for a long time.