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Old August 29th, 2012, 10:00 AM   #1
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The future of high rises and visionary cities

I'm designing a residential high rise for my studio which is visionary cities and my tutor has asked; why does the design represent the future and how is it different from other high rises.
Given the constraints of an infill form and cost and build ability , this is actually quite a difficult question to answer. All i can think of is a sustainable design, through use of materials etc.

If you were asked that question, how would you describe the future of high rises?
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Old August 30th, 2012, 01:16 AM   #2
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Probably the construction technology will not just evolve, but revolve totally from what we know today. There is a lot of prefabrication even today, but maybe in the future also the building process itself will become almost fully automated. That would increase the speed of construction and decrease the cost considerably.

Destroying huge areas of land (suburbanisation) and sprawl out even further than today will no longer be an option. Instead cities must shrink in their areas and increase their density. So the residential highrise will propably be an even more popular type of building compared to today.

That is also the reason why the the design of residential highrises must get better. Wealth all over the world increases and so does the people's demand for higher living standards (especially in countries growing the most).
Those ultra cheap and crappy residential highrises of HK and China (and other countries) will no longer be sufficient.

So architects have to find solutions for residential highrises that are not just more graceful but offer also more attractive ways of living within high density. That means
access to fresh air, enought light/sun, space, quietness, individuality and low prices for most people or even better, for everyone.

A tall order, literally
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Old August 30th, 2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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Exactly what i was after. Cheers
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Old September 2nd, 2012, 04:23 AM   #4
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I also think there will be more and more skyparks and the like (like marina bay sands in Singapore, and the new proposed towers with 3 skyparks in Chongqing). Basically creating a second layar of city. I think there is some truth in those sci-fi films that predict poor people living on the lowest layers of the city, were no sunlight ever comes, and the rich ones living in the upper layers.
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Old September 4th, 2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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One thing we can take absolutely for granted, is that future designs will certainly be dominated more and more by ecological and enviromental aspects.
Low energy consumption in summer and winter and raising cost for natural resources like Oil Gas coal will force designers to develop different solutions depending on the location.
Design concepts like the Pearl River Tower for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_River_Tower will become more and more popular. Also designs that allow a lot of daylight into the building to reduce artificial lighting combined with measures controlling the greenhouse effect to allow saving heating cost in cold winters and preventing the building from heating up more than desired on warm summer days to minimize the need for energy comsuming air conditioning.

Also psychological aspects will probably find more and more attention, placing trees and plants in and outside the building to create a natural friendly living atmosphere, while at the same time letting plants fulfill technical functions of raising the air quality lowering energy cost or maintenance cost (i.e. also cleaning cost) in natural ways. The way some private houses use plants on the outside of the facade as a form of natural isolation and shading or to improve office atmosphere and recreation areas for workers like the sky gardens in the Commerzbank Tower in Fankfurt for example.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerzbank_Tower

Basically all those modern concepts and ideas are usually not even exactly groundbreaking or brand new inventions (considering that some concepts and solutions for example basically even date back to ancient rome or further), they're just being rediscovered or more consequently pursued, due to their potential of meeting growing pressures to make increasing efforts in saving maintenance and operating costs and natural resources.
So I would argue along the line, that these increasing ecological and economical demands and requirements will on one hand have a very remarkable practical affect on designs of modern buildings and will on the other hand naturally also come along with ideological influences changing the architectural and living philosophies and modern trends and styles themselves at the same time.

At least that's how I would argue in your place if you have put thought and taken these aspects into consideration in your "modern design". If not, then just between you and me (and us all here) I personally wouldn't think it could be all to modern a design. But in that case as a way out then I would try to argue with architectural style elements and philosophies and look for outdated "sci-fi" kind of futurepredictions and concepts which match your design and use those arguments and ideas to construct a suitable futuristic concept of argumentation, even if it may certainly be rather unrealistic then, but it may certainly help find and present arguments and explanations in your favor.

Last edited by Alemanniafan; September 4th, 2012 at 02:35 PM.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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All great points which have helped me immensely thank you.

I think environmental aspects will play a huge part of how we design high rises. Residntial housing is given a lot of thought to in terms of Passive solar design but when it comes to high rises its overlooked. Commercial developers have huge pulling power in this world and profits are at the forefront when it comes to design and we suffer for it.

Another issue is how we can create a suburban lifestyle in the city. When I was growing up I spent most of my days playing outside my the neighbours kids and not only did I enjoy my childhood but I made friends who 15 years on, I am still in contact with. Creating that environment in cities where population is on the up and people are force to move skyward means people are becomming disconnected from each other. Things such as communal areas and integration of residents within the building is something which I feel is very important. Something which le corbusier felt very passionate about in how he approached his design for unite d Habitation.
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