It seems like every decade or so, a new skyscraper is erected that shatters the height record of the one that came before it. “Tallest Building Ever Constructed” is a sought-after title, but the record-holder for “Tallest Building Ever Conceived” deserves a little respect of its own.
The X-Seed 4000 was dreamt up in the mid-1990s as an 800-story hyperbuilding that would tower over downtown Tokyo. Standing at 13,123 feet tall (or 2.5 miles high), the structure would have demolished all previous height records. To put its size into perspective, the world’s highest skyscraper in Dubai comes in at a mere 2717 feet, and Mount Fuji peaks at 12,388.
Several obstacles prevented the X-Seed from ever existing outside the drawing room. For one, the base of the mountainous building would have ended up consuming several blocks of pricey Tokyo real estate. Another stumbling block was the infrastructure that would be required to support the structure’s 1 million inhabitants. Not to mention that the behemoth was estimated to cost somewhere between $600,000,000,000 and $1,200,000,000,000.
According to Georges Binder, a buildings expert who worked for the worldwide construction data firm Buildings & Data, ground was never meant to be broken on the X-Seed. He claimed that “the purpose of the plan was to earn some recognition for the firm, and it worked.” Tasei Construction Corp, the firm behind the proposal, still doesn’t hold the record for tallest building, but the X-Seed 4000 proves that being bold enough to dream big is sometimes all it takes to make history.