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Old September 7th, 2015, 11:52 PM   #1
Wearwe
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**DISCUSS**: Criterias for an Attractive Skyline

There are a lot of skylines on this planet, some are attractive and captivating, while others are an atrocity to architecture and human development *cough* *cough* Birmingham's so called skyline; otherwise known as architectural genocide (No offense intended). But if you could make a criterion for an attractive skyline; what would it be?
This is my personal checklist of an attractive skyline:

1. It must have Identity; I don't want to see the same unmemorable building over and over again, make the city unique by building a TV tower or a daringly high supertall that will stand out.

2. It must be lively; colorful lights and busy streets are extremely important to me, the street life of a city could make one feel at home while colorful lights would make the city energetic and anything but tedious. A personal favorite of mine is Nanjing Road, Shanghai.

3. (This is going to be controversial) No suburbs; They are a waste of space and resources. Suburbs are ugly and they have no space in the modern world, due to the rapidly depleting resources. (Don't get me wrong though, just because a city has suburbs, it does not mean it is ugly

4. High Buildings; many might disagree with this and prefer more historic cities, but I prefer modern skyscraper-dense metropolises such as Shanghai, New York and Hong Kong.

5. Modernisation; many great cities are suffering from urban decay such as New York (New York probably a bad example because it still has some modern buildings) but I like cities that have some of the newest technologies and buildings, cities that are advancing human civilization.

Please Note: This is my first Skyscrapercity Thread so please don't be too harsh on my 'noobie-ness'
Cheers! ^-^
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Old September 8th, 2015, 03:38 AM   #2
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this has been discussed in past threads but it's good to have a fresh discussion on the matter.

as for factors, I would consider height (how many supertalls, 200m+), density (proximity of taller buildings >150m, lack of sprawl), and building aesthetics (architecture - this is subjective)
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Old September 8th, 2015, 08:52 AM   #3
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For me the main things are that it looks like a healthy city. This means that the buildings look good quality and not all outdated looking since that gives the impression that the city is economically depressed. There should be some variety and some points of interest since that gives a sense of vibrancy. Also that the cityscape looks dense. I know many argue that the lowrise cityscape is not relevant to the skyline but for me the skyline is only attractive because it represents a busy, alluring, and highly built up city. The skyline intensifies those things when they're present, but if they're missing, even the most impressive skyline seems a bit... meaningless.
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Old September 8th, 2015, 09:21 AM   #4
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For me, it's a combination of height, symmetry, density and diversity in styles and age. That's why NYC would be my favorite skyline. It has all of the above.

Other modern only, gleaming skylines still look good though...skylines such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Melbourne, Dubai or Guangzhou. I also like the South American skylines with their heavy duty density. Sometimes the setting and context is great, like Vancouver or Sydney for example.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 06:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wearwe View Post
5. Modernisation; many great cities are suffering from urban decay such as New York
New York is undergoing its greatest boom in the past 80 years. The city is finer today than it has ever been imo and the future looks incredibly bright. And its older buildings are ageing wonderfully. So I disagree. Also, welcome to SSC.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 07:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
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New York is undergoing its greatest boom in the past 80 years. The city is finer today than it has ever been imo and the future looks incredibly bright. And its older buildings are ageing wonderfully. So I disagree. Also, welcome to SSC.



Midtown East Skyline NYC by cityrealty_nyc, on Flickr
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Old March 4th, 2017, 07:02 PM   #7
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Density is a must! (Think of how bad Atlanta looks when viewed from certain angles!) And if there isn't density, at least have interesting buildings (like with Manama).
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Old March 4th, 2017, 08:27 PM   #8
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I see the length of the skyscraper one of the reasons that attract attention
Then the outer landscape, especially corrugated
Then attention updates buildings
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Old March 4th, 2017, 09:39 PM   #9
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scale - the number of highrises
height - buildings under 100m create a good backdrop but aren't enough on their own
focal point - having a good dominant cluster
density - highrises packed like sardines are more impressive
layout - a pleasing organization of structures/buildings
balance - a skyline that looks good from all angles is a rarity
mixed use - I prefer office to residential but a mix of both is preferable to all one or the other
quality - cheap materials aren't something one can hide
architecture - it's subjective but attention to design is important
architectural variation - extra points to skylines with buildings from many different eras
layering - prefer to see lots of variation in height and a gradual increase from suburbia to the core
iconic structures - buildings/structures that instantly distinguish a city

I look at all of these when forming an opinion. Scale, height, density, and quality get more weight than the others. I try to completely dismiss a skyline's setting but that's hard to do sometimes. It does influence one's conclusions whether we like it or not.
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Old March 5th, 2017, 01:35 AM   #10
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For me...

I like 3 different types of skylines...
1: The Sore-thumb skyline. The perfect examples would be Taipei, or Santiago. The skyline needs to have 1 tall skyscraper (around 300m). A few buildings around it can be high-rise, but they should be a lot shorter. The skyscraper must be pretty, since it will stand out.

2: The large footprint skyline. For example, New york, Chicago. But with these skylines, most of the buildings should be unique. there should still be a centerpiece skyscraper that stands out, like Sears Tower.

3: Small footprint skylines (my favorite). For example, Los Angeles. These should have a small number of unique well designed highrise buildings or skyscrapers. They should be close to one another. the surrounding buildings should be lower.

PS: generally, im not too fond of a bunch of skyscrapers that are all the same height. so i prefer Tour Montparnasse (sore-thumb), over La Defense.
I'm also not too fond of what i call the "tropical look". The skyscrapers often look unfinished, like they need a new facade. but i do quite like Miami, Gold Coast, and Panama City.

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Old March 5th, 2017, 03:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
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I'm also not too fond of what i call the "tropical look". The skyscrapers often look unfinished, like they need a new facade. but i do quite like Miami, Gold Coast, and Panama City.
In general, I don't really like tropical skylines, but if there are a few unique buildings and a few tall ones, then it can be a pretty good skyline. On the other hand, if all the buildings are rectangular, white, and 150 meters in height, it's just a highrise sea and isn't at all appealing.
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Old March 5th, 2017, 03:31 AM   #12
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My favorite type of skyline would probably be a large, sprawling skyline with buildings of various heights, various time periods, and various designs. There should be a couple of supertall "anchors", as well as shorter and unique buildings in between.
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Old March 5th, 2017, 04:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
scale - the number of highrises
height - buildings under 100m create a good backdrop but aren't enough on their own
focal point - having a good dominant cluster
density - highrises packed like sardines are more impressive
layout - a pleasing organization of structures/buildings
balance - a skyline that looks good from all angles is a rarity
mixed use - I prefer office to residential but a mix of both is preferable to all one or the other
quality - cheap materials aren't something one can hide
architecture - it's subjective but attention to design is important
architectural variation - extra points to skylines with buildings from many different eras
layering - prefer to see lots of variation in height and a gradual increase from suburbia to the core
iconic structures - buildings/structures that instantly distinguish a city

I look at all of these when forming an opinion. Scale, height, density, and quality get more weight than the others. I try to completely dismiss a skyline's setting but that's hard to do sometimes. It does influence one's conclusions whether we like it or not.
Totally agree and I would also add in integration i.e. how well buildings and architectural styles complement each other within the contextual reference of the urban setting.
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Old March 5th, 2017, 02:22 PM   #14
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I find height and density important. But IMO Midtown Manhattan has reached a point and is even going above it, where scale has no meaning anymore. Its so dense, big and gigantic, that only a few buildings can be admired in it. Distant areas look so close while they are kilometers apart. But this could be considered amazing too.

What i find important is, that a city has layers and layers of several skylines creating the one big skyline that it is prominent for. And if a city has rivers, that the waterfront is developed, and the skyline feels like arms reaching out and making it look ample and futuristic.

I also like when skylines look naturally grown. That the skyline has variety, and that street life goes on. I dont really like those uselessly built ghost places and or places that are only vibrant during office hours.

I also find it important to not overorganise a city and make the place look slightly chaotic for it to be pleasant. This is what i like about the Nanjing Road area the most.

Nature is another important factor. Despite all the built up area, a city needs greenery to make the environment look beautiful. I find Midtown Manhattan to lack trees for instance. And skylines that are developed at waterfronts need nice greenery and gardening done at the banks to appear decent and admirable.

If a skyline grows big and dense like Tokyos, it needs to look coherent and nicle glued together. Not like a patchwork carpet.

These are the points that came up into my mind right now, i am still trying to figure out what i like and what not. So i might edit this post in the future.
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Old March 5th, 2017, 03:50 PM   #15
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Nature is another important factor. Despite all the built up area, a city needs greenery to make the environment look beautiful. I find Midtown Manhattan to lack trees for instance. And skylines that are developed at waterfronts need nice greenery and gardening done at the banks to appear decent and admirable.
Nature is definitely important! While there are skylines that look nice without the extra greens and blues, I do find skylines with trees and water exceptionally attractive. For example, Chicago's skyline is next to the water, with trees growing in front of the buildings.

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