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Old January 22nd, 2013, 01:49 AM   #1
Skyscraper-dissertat
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Dissertation about Skyscrapers

(Hopefully I'm posting this in the correct section.)

Hello. I’m an Interior Design student in my final year at university and for my Dissertation I’ve chosen to examine the topic of Skyscrapers, their evolution through time, their function now and the possibilities they present for the future.

Although books, articles and the internet provide great deal of information for me to use, they lack when it comes to people’s opinion. So I’d greatly appreciate it if you could take a few minutes of your time and answer the questions below. Answer can vary form yes/no to detailed explanation. Whatever you choose.

Thank you for your time!

*************

1. What is your definition of a ‘skyscraper’?

2. Do you think skyscrapers are the long term solution to urban problems? Why yes/not?

3. After 09/11/2001 many believed that skyscrapers are not safe. With new building regulation, materials and engineering solutions, do you think the are still unsafe?

4. Would you like to live in a skyscraper? Do you think it could provide better living conditions that the old houses and/or shady neighbourhoods?

5. What is your opinion of the so called ‘skyscraper cities’ or ‘vertical cities’? Example here.

6. What is your opinion of skyscrapers being built in old cities like London, Paris, etc. Or sacred locations such as Mecca? Do you think they can somehow be incorporated within the existing areas or not?

7. Anything else to share?


*************

I know giving personal details over the internet is not something many like to do, but I’d appreciate if you could at least vaguely provide answers to the questions below. Or at least the first 4-5 ones. Thank you again!

Age range: 10-15 / 16-20 / 21-25 / etc…
Gender:
Country of origin and country of residence:
Ever lived or living in a big city?:
Race, ethnics, religion:
Family status:
Social status:
Education:
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 02:27 AM   #2
tim1807
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1. What is your definition of a ‘skyscraper’?
Your first question is a hard one. I think my defenition of a skyscraper is a tall building which could be used and by tall I mean at least 50 meter. In some places 50 meter is nothing but in others it's enormous, so the average of that.

2. Do you think skyscrapers are the long term solution to urban problems? Why yes/not?
If there will be smart solutions how to profit the most of dense skyscraper areas I think yes.

3. After 09/11/2001 many believed that skyscrapers are not safe. With new building regulation, materials and engineering solutions, do you think the are still unsafe?
No, I don't think they are unsafe. And I don't think skyscrapers were unsafe before 9/11 either. ( every skyscraper would have been collapsed ) But I do think new skyscrapers are the safest you can get.

4. Would you like to live in a skyscraper? Do you think it could provide better living conditions that the old houses and/or shady neighbourhoods?

I would like to live in a skyscraper some day, but I hate the idea of going with an elevator every day. ( I think it takes too much time to get even on the street ) But I also like old houses with a frontyard and backyard.

5. What is your opinion of the so called ‘skyscraper cities’ or ‘vertical cities’? Example here.
If they have a long history of skyscrapers I like them. ( New York City, Chicago ) But some cities have a boom of skyscrapers and often I think the overal look is bad.

6. What is your opinion of skyscrapers being built in old cities like London, Paris, etc. Or sacred locations such as Mecca? Do you think they can somehow be incorporated within the existing areas or not?

In Paris the skyscrapers have their own place far from the old town so that good. Londen incorporates nice looking glassy towers between old buildings and Mecca just need much hotel room for that particular reason.

7. Anything else to share?
Yes, why did you choose skyscrapers since you are an interior design student?

*************


Age range: 10-15 / 16-20 / 21-25 / etc…
Gender: male
Country of origin and country of residence: the Netherlands
Ever lived or living in a big city?: On this forum a 50.000 city isn't big.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 02:27 AM   #3
ThatOneGuy
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1. A building with a width smaller than its height, usually over 100 meters used for either hotel, residences, or offices, or a mix of both.

2. Urban problems are solved by a higher quality of life, ie proper living/work space, and high economies. Skyscrapers allow this, but they may become more obsolete in the future as home offices increase and manual computing jobs become automatic.

3. They've become safer than ever, yet at a higher price due to more expensive materials being used. (Unfortunately, paranoia has also increased)

4. I find skyscraper apartments a bit cramped, but they must be taken care of well in order to provide a good living area. It's also a hassle to constantly use the elevator and parking garages. I love front/back yards which skyscrapers cannot have unless they are built with special terraces.

5. They are good for economies and attract tourists.

6. As long as they are not built in the exact historical centers, they are fine.

7. A good city will have mostly functionalist buildings, with only a few unique ones to stand out. Skyscrapers are basically money-making machines, so they must act like them, instead of being useless pretty towers.

16-20
M
Romania
Constanta isn't that big but I've been in a NYC skyscraper hotel. Forgot which one...
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 02:39 AM   #4
tim1807
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Funny how we both don't like the idea of an elevator and like our front/back yard.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 07:24 PM   #5
Manitopiaaa
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1. What is your definition of a ‘skyscraper’?
Any building over 250ft. From 100ft-249ft, you have a lowrise which could be considered a mini-skyscraper

2. Do you think skyscrapers are the long term solution to urban problems? Why yes/not?
Yes, efficiency

3. After 09/11/2001 many believed that skyscrapers are not safe. With new building regulation, materials and engineering solutions, do you think the are still unsafe?
No, I've never thought they were unsafe. The WTC actually proved how sturdy and durable skyscrapers can be

4. Would you like to live in a skyscraper? Do you think it could provide better living conditions that the old houses and/or shady neighbourhoods?
No, maybe if on the lowest floors. It depends on the neighborhood and the old houses of course. I'd rather live in a suburban home than the New York projects but I'd also take a penthouse on 5th avenue over some small hut. It's all relative

5. What is your opinion of the so called ‘skyscraper cities’ or ‘vertical cities’? Example here.
I like them so long as architecture is being placed into the equation. Verticality is nothing without aesthetics. Even on this site, the cities getting attention aren't the ones with quantity but those with quality overall. Height isn't everything

6. What is your opinion of skyscrapers being built in old cities like London, Paris, etc. Or sacred locations such as Mecca? Do you think they can somehow be incorporated within the existing areas or not?
Not in historic areas, no. I'm perfectly okay with towers in CBD's if no old buildings are demolished for them. The situation with Hutongs in Beijing for instance is a major no-no. Also the same for the Lakhta Tower in St. Petersburg. The perfect balance is a far-away CBD still visible from the historic areas preserving the balance of both sections. I love the La Defense-Paris dichotomy. Not as big a fan of London's but they at least take good care not to demolish ugly buildings. New York is way behind on preservation though and demolish way too many historic structures. The building in Mecca around the Masjid is a travesty. It's tacky and takes away from the vibe of the central city.

7. Anything else to share?
Nope



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Old January 26th, 2013, 05:45 PM   #6
Kiboko
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1. What is your definition of a ‘skyscraper’?A building which stands out in height in the city. Most of the times my minimum is 100 meter.

2. Do you think skyscrapers are the long term solution to urban problems? Why yes/not?Not at all. There will always be crime, grafiti, red light districts, homeless. I cannot see how a skyscraper would solve these things.

3. After 09/11/2001 many believed that skyscrapers are not safe. With new building regulation, materials and engineering solutions, do you think the are still unsafe?Skyscrapers are safe, before 9/11 and after. What do you expect? That we should design skyscapers on collisions with fueled 747's? The only thing that matters is the resistance on storms and earthquakes. Bombs should stay out of the designing proces. With bombs involved the only remaining save building would be a bunker. And even those thing can be penetrated and destroyed.

4. Would you like to live in a skyscraper? Do you think it could provide better living conditions that the old houses and/or shady neighbourhoods?No, i would like to have a garden.

5. What is your opinion of the so called ‘skyscraper cities’ or ‘vertical cities’? Example here.Cool. They should try building some.

6. What is your opinion of skyscrapers being built in old cities like London, Paris, etc. Or sacred locations such as Mecca? Do you think they can somehow be incorporated within the existing areas or not?I don't like nostalgia A skyscraper is a new layer in the visible history of the city. The skylines of cities shouldn't be dictated by some old buildings like churches. We don't live in 1850 anymore, but in 2013.
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Old January 29th, 2013, 07:42 PM   #7
Skyscraper-dissertat
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I want to thank all of you who answered my questions! You've all been a great help! I appreciate it a lot!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tim1807 View Post
7. Anything else to share?
Yes, why did you choose skyscrapers since you are an interior design student?
My course title is of no importance. Our dissertation is our major exam for the writing part (which is about art, design and architecture in general) of our education . So, as long as it is about one of those 3 things, it's alright. It doesn't have to be about Interior Design. Actually, our tutors encouraged us to write about something different and something that interests us. So, skyscrapers it is.
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Old January 29th, 2013, 09:55 PM   #8
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1. What is your definition of a ‘skyscraper’?

Building taller than 100 meters is a skyscraper. I don't really feel like using terms like supertall for certain heights, as taller and taller structures are being introduced.

2. Do you think skyscrapers are the long term solution to urban problems? Why yes/not?

Transport is a solution to urban problems. Putting tens of office towers in one place doesn't solve anything, because you have to get people there. Tall residential buildings only mean that in the morning there will be dozens of cars leaving the site.

3. After 09/11/2001 many believed that skyscrapers are not safe. With new building regulation, materials and engineering solutions, do you think the are still unsafe?

Safe structures are useless if you don't do anything to prevent the attacks from happening. What is the point of making a building safe against a crash with bus, if all the people on the bus will die ? Structures should be safe in case of earthquakes, fires etc. All other occurances should be controlled by different means.

4. Would you like to live in a skyscraper? Do you think it could provide better living conditions that the old houses and/or shady neighbourhoods?

I have no fellings whatsoever. I would rather live in a house if it was possible, but a nice apartment would be nice as well.

5. What is your opinion of the so called ‘skyscraper cities’ or ‘vertical cities’? Example here.

Megastructures don't seem like a good idea to me, as they are most likely places for occurances of violence, drug abuse etc. The more people you have on site, the more unstable the society is, as they don't know each other and will most likely keep away from others.

6. What is your opinion of skyscrapers being built in old cities like London, Paris, etc. Or sacred locations such as Mecca? Do you think they can somehow be incorporated within the existing areas or not?

London and Paris are politically and economically proven - skyscrapers are built there because they have to be new icons for them and give people nice places to live/work. Sudden structures such as Abraj Al Bait are just a cash grab, as there is no real development around them. It's really weird when the first tall structure appears in the middle of the most expensive ground with nothing around it.

7. Anything else to share?

Nothing much probably, maybe except for the fact that skyscrapers once were icons of cities and "one in a lifetime" investment of the most successful. After the big economy crash in the USA, it's all about the money

*************



Age range: 10-15 / 16-20 / 21-25 / etc…
I'm nearing 24
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Ever lived or living in a big city?: Was in Chicago for a short time, then visited Los Angeles each year for quite a long time.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 03:33 PM   #9
Kanto
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Sorry for responding so late but there are so many threads here that I stumbled over this one just yesterday in the evening when I was already a sleeping walking corpse

I'm very glad to answer any questions you might have in the future too. But now let's get to these ones:

Age range: 21-25 (23 to be more specific)
Gender: Male
Country of origin and country of residence: Slovakia
Ever lived or living in a big city: In the half million Bratislava, I still visit it often even today
Race, ethnics, religion: White, Slovak, Atheist
Family status: Married
Social status: Low income
Education: Highschool, am planning to study structural engineering in 2 years

1, What's your definition of a skyscraper:

An occupied building that is at least 75 meters tall to the roof.

2, Do you think skyscrapers are the long term solution to urban problems? Why yes/not?

Yes, I think they are. In my opinion the worst problem of today's cities is the absence of nature. Building high allows to save much space that can be used for nature, such as forrests, parks or fields. I personally would never be willing to live in a dense city block.

3, After 09/11/2001 many believed that skyscrapers are not safe. With new building regulation, materials and engineering solutions, do you think the are still unsafe?

I think that today's and tomorrow's skyscrapers should all be built with maximum feasible strength, to withstand terrorist attacks like 9/11. The new 1 World Trade Center is a good example of that. However, that does not mean that older buildings aren't safe. 9/11 was a very extreme event, it is far more important for a building to withstand the forces of nature, like wind or earthquakes. If a skyscraper was built to proper standards, even pre 9/11 proper standards, then I think it is a safe building. Though sadly, that isn't the case of all skyscrapers in the world. There are skyscrapers that are built with substandard materials and substandard procedures. The Ryugyong Hotel is a good example of such a skyscraper. But in general I would say skyscrapers are, because of their robustness, even safer than lowrises. People often base their fears on how planes destroyed the Twin Towers, but honestly, if a plane would ram a lowrise, it would fall instantaneously. A lowrise would also not survive a carbomb like the WTC did in 1993, look how much structural damage the Oklahoma City bombing did. Also, low quiality construction is not limited to skyscrapers. The percentage of substandard lowrises is far greater than the percentage of substandard skyscrapers.

4. Would you like to live in a skyscraper? Do you think it could provide better living conditions that the old houses and/or shady neighbourhoods?

I absolutely would. The views would be incredible. As long as there would be a balcony, or terace, or at least an accessable roof I would love to live in a skyscraper.

5. What is your opinion of the so called ‘skyscraper cities’ or ‘vertical cities’? Example here.

Since today's skyscraper cities are dense urban areas I'd say they are an awesome place to work in, but a horrible place to live in. Now if these cities would incorporate more nature, then I might warm up to them regarding living space.

6. What is your opinion of skyscrapers being built in old cities like London, Paris, etc. Or sacred locations such as Mecca? Do you think they can somehow be incorporated within the existing areas or not?

I think a skyscraper looks good in any neighbourhood. As long as old buildings with great historical value aren't razed for space to build a skyscraper, I don't see any problem with skyscrapers being built in city centers. On the contrary, I actually think that cities like London and Paris should build higher than they are currently building. A city shouldn't dwell in the past, it should embrace the future and taller buildings are the future.

7. Anything else to share?

Not really, just that if you have any more questions in the future I'll be happy to answer them. Also, if you want me to describe anything I wrote in this post in more detail, let me know
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 08:18 PM   #10
Wunderknabe
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1. I count a 50 m and/or 15 Storey building as a "tall building" (literally "hochhaus" in german), after that I am fine with the definitions of this forum: 100m highrise, 200+ skyscraper.
A supertall then starts at 400 m for me (doubling) although I'm fine with just the "skyscraper" as the end of terms to describe such buildings and to avoid confusion with non-skyscraper-enthusiasts.
So it doesn't even need the "supertall" definition for me.

2. Yes, as cities grow and grow, they need to get densier to maintain sustainable and functionable. It will not work for cities all over the world to grow beyond any borders
with low density suburbs. Highrises are one part of the solution to give cities a small footprint.

3. They never had been unsafe. Even the old WTC was so well enough build to last long enough to evacuate most of the people.
In western countries safety plays a much bigger role since then, maybe not so in other skyscraper-regions like asia/south america.

4. Absolutly. But as any type of housing there can be all different kind qualities of living in highrises. But generally I don't oppose it at all.

6. They need to be carefully incorporated within the existing buildings, or an area a bit outside the old city has
to be found, wich Paris (La defense) and London (Canary Wharf) indeed managed to do.
For my city Berlin it would be just like that too. However there are very few remainings of any old city center
in Berlin, so the destinated location for the biggest highrise-cluster is actually almost in the center, but without
disturbing historical landmarks.
Sadly there hasn't been much progress on that project so far..


The skyscraper in Mecca is just a shame. Impressive on its own right, but totaly dominating the whole city and negateing
the surroundings.

7. I think one of the most important tasks for achitects is to find individuall but regional appearances for skyscrapers.
As they are popping out in masses everywhere in the world very few cities manage to obtain a individual face of skyscrapers.
New York is home to almost any style of skyscrapers, but it also has distinctive designs that do not appear anywhere else.
I think of the older highrises/skyscrapers of New York with many many small setbacks which sometimes seem to be rather
chaotical.

Moscow had found a very distinctive face for skyscrapers with their 8 Stalin-Sisters. However, they didn't hang on that
style (and evolved it further) and build now very replaceable skyscrapers that could be build almost anywhere.

And as bad (or cheap) as many Dubai skysrapers seem to be - they do form an individual apperance that could not be mistaken
for any other city. And many of Dubais skyscrapers could not stand at another location.

Last edited by Wunderknabe; February 2nd, 2013 at 08:53 PM.
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