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Old December 30th, 2011, 03:54 AM   #1
Nyce
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What is a skyline?

Hi,
I have a little problem. I am looking for a definiton of what a skyline is. According to wikipedia it is "the overall or partial view of a city's tall buildings and structures consisting of many skyscrapers in front of the sky in the background" and "the artificial horizon that a city's overall structure creates".

Is there a reliable source that can be cited to what skyline is? Not an entry in a dictionary but something more detailed.

My problem is: where does a skyline begin and where does it end?
For example:
  • Can one or two buildings define a skyline? How many buildings make a skyline?
  • Is there a minimum height of the buildings to make a skyline?
  • Where does the viewer have to be to see the skyline? In front of the buildings with the sky in the background and the horizon have to be somewhere behind the buildings? Or can the horizon be above the buildings (as for example in picture 2)?
Examples to illustrate:

This is clearly a skyline

Is this still a skyline? Notice, the horizon is seen above the buildings.

Skyline? Or not? The buildings are not in front of the sky in the background...

A skyline of a hill, but also a skyline of the city?

Is this really a skyline?

So I hope you understand my problem and perhaps you can help me or at least can give me your opinion (feel free to illustrate your examples).
Best regards, Nyce
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Old December 30th, 2011, 08:18 PM   #2
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The Citytalk and Urban Issues subforum could be better space for that kind of exploration.

You are trying to define something a little bit ambigous, nice issue though. I consider it more a state.
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Old January 1st, 2012, 02:21 AM   #3
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With that definition, I guess its safe to say Hong Kong doesn't have a skyline due to mountain backdrop
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Old January 1st, 2012, 03:47 AM   #4
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with that definition, the mountain actually forms part of the skyline

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Old January 1st, 2012, 05:55 AM   #5
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A skyline is a delicious pastry filled with cream.
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Old January 1st, 2012, 08:23 AM   #6
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I think of a city skyline at the majority of it's structures as seen by the human eye from ground level, usually at a distance so it is all seen in one vision without scanning the horizon, up close buildings that are part of a skyline may be hidden from view ( people then take all or part of this view with a camera ) Can be low rise with a few church spires or skyscrapers........IMOA.......... otherwise it is a Car model of the Nissan Brand : )
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Old January 1st, 2012, 04:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anakngpasig View Post
with that definition, the mountain actually forms part of the skyline

But, a mountain is not "Tall buildings" though as stated in the definition. The mountain just adds to the skyline - emphasizing the height of the buildings, but I wouldn't say it forms part of the skyline
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Old January 1st, 2012, 11:16 PM   #8
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A 2010 Alien Invasion movie with a disappointing ending.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 11:45 PM   #9
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To me a skyline is the dense set of buildings that are of different scale than the objects surrounding them. A mountain is just a part of the picture, not the skyline. The same goes for land, hills, forests etc. - they are there because of the camera placement. If you approach skyline from different angles everything, except the buildings and their proportions, change.
Also, skyline is not meant to be a wall. It can be two or three buildings set 100 meters away from each other as long as they are distinct and break away from the low-raise architecture. Remember - three's a crowd
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 03:14 AM   #10
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I love hongkong skyline very much !
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 04:01 AM   #11
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4 me the mountains are not part of the skyline, but in HK there is an exception hehe
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 11:10 AM   #12
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IMO a skyline is just a simplified line you can draw based on the contours of buildings of the city. The more recognizable the line is, the better the skyline is. In that case the skyline of a town can be just as good as a skyline of a metropole.

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Old July 14th, 2012, 05:46 AM   #13
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interesting thought...I'll Google this..
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Old July 31st, 2012, 02:00 PM   #14
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I remember having this exact same sort of discussion quite a while ago in an old now closed thread, about the best skyline in the European Union, but without the discussion leading to much, but I'm sure you'll find some input there to work out your own applicable answer or definition.

The beginnning of the discussion was pretty much around here:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...736380&page=26 and it went on for a few postings in the following pages.

In my personal opinion a tiny little village or also a small group of houses for example, which may certainly have a more or less interesting and beautiful silhouette against the sky, doesn't really make for a skyline.
To me not every silhoutette of a group of houses is a real skyline, to me a skyline is the recognizeable fingerprint of a city with tall and distinguishable houses, often skyscrapers. And in my opinion a skyline also needs to have certain recognizeable and halfwhat unique charakteristics in the silhouette that distinguish it from other cities skylines. (So that you could for example find on postcards and people may recognize it.)

To make it short:
In my point of view, every city or village or even single building certainly has it's own silhouette and every city certainly also has various panoramas, but not every city has a skyline.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 01:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiboko View Post
IMO a skyline is just a simplified line you can draw based on the contours of buildings of the city. The more recognizable the line is, the better the skyline is. In that case the skyline of a town can be just as good as a skyline of a metropole.

This.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 04:00 AM   #16
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Skyline can be defined as

An outline of land and buildings defined against the sky: "the skyline of the city".

or it is the line along which the horizon is visible.
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Old August 14th, 2012, 06:07 PM   #17
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In Malay, 'skyline' means a view with the sky at the background.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 05:42 PM   #18
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Interesting question.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 06:06 PM   #19
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I got a topic to research.... just going to know more about skylines.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 06:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiboko View Post
IMO a skyline is just a simplified line you can draw based on the contours of buildings of the city. The more recognizable the line is, the better the skyline is. In that case the skyline of a town can be just as good as a skyline of a metropole.

This! ...and I easily recognize it as Prague!
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