SOM|Nick Merrick © Hedrich Blessing

What distinguishes the rarefied supertall building from the merely very tall? In its enthusiastically titled exhibition Supertall!, New York’s Skyscraper Museum set the highest-of-high benchmark at 380 meters (1,250 feet, the height of the Empire State Building, and higher than the usual 300 meters). A total of 48 such mammoth towers, including the Burj, shown—all built since 2001 or expected to top out by 2016—are featured in the global census. Hasty post-9/11 predictions about the skyscraper’s death have given way not only to two new supertall towers planned for ground zero, but to a forest of cloud busters in the Middle East, South Korea, and China. A 7-foot-tall model of Hong Kong’s tallest, the International Commerce Centre, is one prominent high point. Through January 2012. •