How to Build a Skyscraper – The Center for Architecture Foundation’s March Family Day

The Center for Architecture Foundation (CFAF) opened its doors Saturday, 03.09.13, for our March FamilyDay@theCenter program on Skyscrapers. 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the Woolworth Building. To coincide with this momentous occasion families enjoyed a brief and interactive history of the skyscraper – from its early iterations in New York City and ending with the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which currently holds the title of tallest building in the world. Participants learned what makes a building a skyscraper – from the structural components needed to ensure the building stands up, to the forces that act on it, as well as the new and developing technologies allowing for bigger and taller structures.
An illustrated presentation of structures not yet completed gave participants a taste of potential future skyscrapers. Families then spent the rest of the program using boxes, pipe-cleaners, cardboard, and bottle caps to construct their own skyscrapers. See the images below for a brief “how-to” on our Family Day from one of the program attendees.

“Kids got a chance to be creative and learn at the same time (adults too!)” – First time Family Day participant.

The Foundation offers Family Days at the Center for Architecture monthly on Saturdays. The next FamilyDay@theCenter – Build a Geodesic Dome will take place on 4.13.13. Families will work together to construct this unique 14-foot structure, and will have an opportunity to build their own personalized domes. For more information about the Center for Architecture Foundation’s upcoming family, K-12, adult, and exhibition programs, visit

Event: FamilyDay@theCenter – Skyscrapers
Location: Center for Architecture Foundation, 03.09.13
Organizer: Center for Architecture Foundation

Photos by Jo Best, Education Intern
Step 1: Sketch ideas for the skyscraper’s design.
Step 2: Place glue on the spot.
Step 3: When needed, be sure to ask an adult for help – teamwork is a hallmark of our Family Days.
Step 4: Hold down structure so it sticks. When in doubt, use tape.
Step 5: Don’t forget to put on the finishing touches before presenting your skyscraper!