SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/index.php)
-   City Discussions (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=24)
-   -   Skyline: uniqueness vs number of buildings? (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=240360)

Dariusb Sep 18, 2019 3:19 PM

Skyline: uniqueness vs number of buildings?
 
Which is more important to you when it comes to a skyline: unique architecture or number of towers? I promise, this is my last thread for today, lol!

Chisouthside Sep 18, 2019 3:23 PM

a combination of both.
size, big enough for it to feel mighty but with unique and layered architecture from different periods. SF is a good example i think.

Steely Dan Sep 18, 2019 3:27 PM

both.

i'd also add height variability.

lots of towers. lots of different kinds of towers. lots of different heights of towers.


not surprisingly, something like this is close to my ideal:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...6fa33035_h.jpg
Skyline from the south by Jonathan Lurie, on Flick

Handro Sep 18, 2019 3:34 PM

That's tough.

I know it's a tired, boring comparison, but I think the best example of this is Chicago vs. NY.

Chicago (above) is varied, balanced... almost artful. It's large enough to make a big impact, but:

NYC is MASSIVE. It's more a "wall" of towers than a place like Chicago (or any other smaller city with a respectable skyline), so it doesn't quite have that "artful" balance. But that giant web of dense urban development massages a part of my brain that I think only weirdos like people on this forum have, ha.

I might go size on this one, although even having seen it 1m+ times, I still have a moment of awe one I catch the Chicago skyline at night, early morning or dusk.

JAYNYC Sep 18, 2019 3:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dariusb (Post 8690743)
Which is more important to you when it comes to a skyline: unique architecture or number of towers? I promise, this is my last thread for today, lol!

Unique architecture. It's why skylines like Atlanta, Philadelphia and NYC (variety of spires, crowns, and glass colors/styles) stand out whereas skylines like Houston, Dallas and Chicago (mostly tall nondescript boxes) don't, IMO.

Crawford Sep 18, 2019 3:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Handro (Post 8690767)
I know it's a tired, boring comparison, but I think the best example of this is Chicago vs. NY.

That's like the worst comparison. Neither NYC nor Chicago are known for repetitive highrise clusters. If anything, they're quite unusual in not having a significant share of the Hong Kong or Moscow style residential mass-production highrise clusters.

The best North American example of such a style would probably be Toronto. Toronto presents a pretty meaningful contrast to American-style skylines.

Handro Sep 18, 2019 4:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8690795)
That's like the worst comparison. Neither NYC nor Chicago are known for repetitive highrise clusters. If anything, they're quite unusual in not having a significant share of the Hong Kong or Moscow style residential mass-production highrise clusters.

I sense from this and other threads that you tend you disagree a lot, which is fine, but you have a very confrontational style which is pretty grating when I'm here to chat with like-minded people about something we find interesting. Maybe calm down a little bit and realize we're not fighting to be right about these very arbitrary and subjective things.

Anyway.

I think it's a good comparison between North American cities. New York certainly doesn't have the same height discrepancy between towers that Chicago has a lot of, which creates less of a layering effect.

A photographic example, although I've noticed it more in person:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....L._SL1500_.jpg

Obadno Sep 18, 2019 4:08 PM

When I think of aesthetic skylines its Chicago

Nyc is simply massive and impressive in that right, plus its so culturally ubiquitous that its cool to see it in person. (I would guess LA is similar to people back east but I've been to it so many times I dont get that sort of feeling from it)

the urban politician Sep 18, 2019 4:11 PM

For me it's about variability in heights and buildings from different periods.

Toronto has a jumble of highrises but its skyline doesn't visually impress me.

Chicago, as mentioned above, has all of these features.

NYC does too, but it's also so huge that it's hard for buildings to stand out that aren't really huge. But its scale is what's so impressive.

Crawford Sep 18, 2019 4:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Handro (Post 8690818)
I think it's a good comparison between North American cities. New York certainly doesn't have the same height discrepancy between towers that Chicago has a lot of, which creates less of a layering effect.

I think most would agree Chicago has greater "height discrepency" than NY. Chicago doesn't have a huge amount of midrise fabric, thus creating greater contrast between very tall and very low landscapes, which is typical in the U.S. (and even more exaggerated in the Sunbelt).

But what does this have to do with the topic? Neither city is known for repetitive elements in the skyline. There are repetitive complexes, like Presidential Towers in Chicago, but they don't dominate the skyline, as one sees in, say, Hong Kong.

iheartthed Sep 18, 2019 4:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAYNYC (Post 8690791)
Unique architecture. It's why skylines like Atlanta, Philadelphia and NYC (variety of spires, crowns, and glass colors/styles) stand out whereas skylines like Houston, Dallas and Chicago (mostly tall nondescript boxes) don't, IMO.

Atlanta is unique but Chicago isn't? Is this a joke?

Handro Sep 18, 2019 4:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8690832)
I think most would agree Chicago has greater "height discrepency" than NY. Chicago doesn't have a huge amount of midrise fabric, thus creating greater contrast between very tall and very low landscapes, which is typical in the U.S. (and even more exaggerated in the Sunbelt).

But what does this have to do with the topic? Neither city is known for repetitive elements in the skyline. There are repetitive complexes, like Presidential Towers in Chicago, but they don't dominate the skyline, as one sees in, say, Hong Kong.

Chicago's contrasts and signature towers are what make it unique. NYC is massive, but it doesn't have varied heights punctuated by a few signature towers. New York is the best US example of "massive", Chicago's is the best US example of "not quite massive but certainly unique".

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obadno (Post 8690824)
When I think of aesthetic skylines its Chicago

Nyc is simply massive and impressive in that right, plus its so culturally ubiquitous that its cool to see it in person. (I would guess LA is similar to people back east but I've been to it so many times I dont get that sort of feeling from it)


Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 8690831)
For me it's about variability in heights and buildings from different periods.

Chicago, as mentioned above, has all of these features.

NYC does too, but it's also so huge that it's hard for buildings to stand out that aren't really huge. But its scale is what's so impressive.

Agreed.

iheartthed Sep 18, 2019 4:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 8690831)
For me it's about variability in heights and buildings from different periods.

Toronto has a jumble of highrises but its skyline doesn't visually impress me.

Chicago, as mentioned above, has all of these features.

NYC does too, but it's also so huge that it's hard for buildings to stand out that aren't really huge. But its scale is what's so impressive.

Toronto and Chicago's skyline seem eerily similar from a distance. But, on closer inspection, Toronto's looks like a bigger version of a West Coast city in that much of the high rise stock is late 20th century/early 21st century.

Obadno Sep 18, 2019 4:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8690832)
(and even more exaggerated in the Sunbelt).

No kidding, sunbelt cities are virtually a sea of single story buildings with random small clusters of buildings over 10 stories (or stand alone random towers).

Although newer developments in sunbelt areas seem to be moving into the 5-10 story apartment block and mixed use office tower mode instead of the pre 2000 garden apartment and vertical office park variety hour

Maldive Sep 18, 2019 5:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 8690851)
Toronto and Chicago's skyline seem eerily similar from a distance. But, on closer inspection, Toronto's looks like a bigger version of a West Coast city in that much of the high rise stock is late 20th century/early 21st century.

The never-ending boom in Toronto obscures it's early arch/skyline creds.

It was (and is still stuck there) #3 in North America in the 60/70s tall game (BMO was an early supertall when maintenance workers on the roof raised their hands).

The financial core built Mies' masterpiece -TD Centre, Pei's Commerce Court, the real gold glazing of RBC and later the red granite beauty Scotia Plaza.

Nothing west coast about the original core. Just harder to see that great stuff now.

JAYNYC Sep 18, 2019 5:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 8690844)
Atlanta is unique but Chicago isn't? Is this a joke?

Yes (skyline architecture-wise), and no.

JAYNYC Sep 18, 2019 5:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 8690851)
Toronto and Chicago's skyline seem eerily similar from a distance.

They are. And neither should ever be compared to NYC.

dave8721 Sep 18, 2019 6:16 PM

Or another comparison would be Miami: hundreds and hundreds of non-descript similar looking towers that don't really stand out and all around the same height vs a skyline like Atlanta with fewer towers but more variety. With Miami you are taken aback by the sheer scale of all the towers while with Atlanta you notice the details of the towers themselves. To each his own.

pdxtex Sep 18, 2019 6:21 PM

Skylines, like people have their best side. For me it's all about symmetry and order. I dont like skylines that are only massive and uniform in height. Toronto looking north from the islands will always be more pleasing to me than Manhattan or Vancouver.

Steely Dan Sep 18, 2019 8:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Handro (Post 8690818)
New York certainly doesn't have the same height discrepancy between towers that Chicago has a lot of, which creates less of a layering effect.

well, with NYC's current supertall rampage, it will certainly be adding A LOT of new height variability to its skyline.

https://newyorkyimby.com/wp-content/...n-1024x683.jpg
source: https://newyorkyimby.com/2018/10/che...irca-2022.html

the old midtown plateau is currently being annihilated, which is nice......

Steely Dan Sep 18, 2019 8:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 8690851)
Toronto and Chicago's skyline seem eerily similar from a distance.

i don't know about that. the CN tower is such a dead give away for toronto at just about any distance. it's SO much taller than anything else in toronto that it makes for one hell of a distinctive and defining exclamation point.

and chicago has the sears/hancock double antenna bookends that give its skyline a fairly distinctive silhouette at distance as well.

maybe i'm just a nerd who pays too much attention to these kinds of details, but i could never mistake one of these for the other from the opposite sides of their respective lakes.


https://live.staticflickr.com/7833/4...3a174502_h.jpg
ACV_1464 by photolitherland, on Flickr

https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1897/4...ece9cd5c_h.jpg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/erocketship7/44618201742

iheartthed Sep 18, 2019 8:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 8691181)
i don't know about that. the CN tower is such a dead give away for toronto at just about any distance. it's SO much taller than anything else in toronto that it makes for one hell of a distinctive and defining exclamation point.

and chicago has the sears/hancock double antenna bookends that give its skyline a fairly distinctive silhouette at distance as well.

maybe i'm just a nerd who pays too much attention to these kinds of details, but i could never mistake one of these for the other from the opposite sides of their respective lakes.

If you took out the dead giveaway towers, they look extremely similar in terms of scale and layout from afar.

IrishIllini Sep 18, 2019 8:50 PM

I can see how the average American would mistake Toronto for Chicago from afar. Toronto and Vancouver are nice cities, but up close they both look too Sim City-ish. A lot of it looks the same - especially in Vancouver. A smaller skyline can be inspiring if the buildings hold their own. Pittsburgh and SF are nice to look at.

The beloved is a good mix of size and uniqueness IMO. The views from the west are underrated.

Steely Dan Sep 18, 2019 8:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 8691197)
If you took out the dead giveaway towers

well, sure, take out the icons of anyplace and you could be anywhere.

the "dead giveaway towers" are precisely why i don't think they look eerily similar at a distance.

but like is said, i'm a dyed-in-the-wool skyscraper nerd, so it's probably impossible for me to not see those distinctions.

jd3189 Sep 18, 2019 9:52 PM

I like NYC's skyline for the sense of scale as well. But I will say it was better and more balanced in the 1930s and the later 20th century with the Twin Towers.


At those times, the ESB simply dominated Midtown along with the Chrysler to a certain extent. The WTC totally dominated lower Manhattan, which at one point was dominated by a collection of signature towers that represented the economic might of those who make Wall Street what it is today.

The skyline was just epic. Iconic beyond words. A mass of skyscrapers in each district dominated by one or two colossal giants in a island setting that could be seen from miles away, land and water.

Those editions of the NYC skyline are the best ones in my book. Represented the power of the city and America.

iheartthed Sep 18, 2019 9:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 8691204)
well, sure, take out the icons of anyplace and you could be anywhere.

I don't really agree. If you took out the CN Tower, Sears, and John Hancock, I'd know I was looking at either Chicago or Toronto, but I wouldn't quickly know which one. I'd wouldn't confuse Chicago for just about any other city in North America.

Steely Dan Sep 18, 2019 10:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 8691295)
I don't really agree.

i wasn't speaking literally.

the icons of a given skyline tend to define it and hence why i disagreed with your initial assertion that the chicago and toronto skylines are "eerily similar at a distance".

their respective skyline-defining icons make that impossible for me to see. that's all.

in the interest of not dragging it out further, it's probably time to agree to disagree.

SFBruin Sep 19, 2019 4:37 AM

Chicago really needs to get rid of that red building and/or change its color. Just my 2c.

In terms of the question at hand, I like skylines with a healthy distance between skyscrapers. So like LA before the additional of the Wilshire Grand, or something like that.

JManc Sep 19, 2019 5:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SFBruin (Post 8691697)
Chicago really needs to get rid of that red building and/or change its color. Just my 2c.

In terms of the question at hand, I like skylines with a healthy distance between skyscrapers. So like LA before the additional of the Wilshire Grand, or something like that.

Nooo. I love that red building. Stands out and is iconic...for a 70's box. As for skylines, I'm here in Chicago right now and am reminded why this skyline is my favorite...proportion, massing and aesthetics. New York is iconic at night and is massive but more chaotic.

CaliNative Sep 19, 2019 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8690795)
That's like the worst comparison. Neither NYC nor Chicago are known for repetitive highrise clusters. If anything, they're quite unusual in not having a significant share of the Hong Kong or Moscow style residential mass-production highrise clusters.

The best North American example of such a style would probably be Toronto. Toronto presents a pretty meaningful contrast to American-style skylines.

Miami is also like that too. Just any overwhelming amount of "mass production high rise clusters". No supertalls, just huge number of mostly residential 400-800 footers.

I kind of like Cincinnati. Nice example of a smaller skyline with a decent mix of old and new. Carew Tower is a nice 1920s example.

L.A. missed out on taller early 2oth century skyscrapers because of the old 150 foot height limit it imposed (dumbly). L.A. even in the 1920s could have had several 400 foot+ art decos/neo gothics etc. if not for that law. So the L.A. skyline is dominated by lots of post 1950s modernist/postmodern towers, mostly flat topped and lots and lots of pre 1950 150 footers with a couple that were allowed to go a bit higher with clock towers/spires (e.g. Eastern Columbia). Not that they are bad--they are good (e.g. Eastern Columbia) & are being refurbished--but the height is pretty uniform 150 feet. City Hall was the only tall building in the 1920s significantly exempted from the law (454' tall). Would love to see L.A. put up some art deco inspired towers today to make up for the earlier height ban.

Jawnadelphia Sep 19, 2019 12:49 PM

Old and new - Broad Street, Philadelphia:

https://scontent-iad3-1.cdninstagram...om&_nc_cat=111
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...65#post8691265

the urban politician Sep 19, 2019 1:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SFBruin (Post 8691697)
Chicago really needs to get rid of that red building and/or change its color. Just my 2c.

Huh? That thing kicks ass! If they ever try to paint it a different color I will hold a protest in front of he building

Jawnadelphia Sep 19, 2019 1:29 PM

^Love that red tower. Philly is going to get its own red skyscraper very soon.

Steely Dan Sep 19, 2019 1:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SFBruin (Post 8691697)
Chicago really needs to get rid of that red building and/or change its color.

one trillion percent disagree.

after nearly a half century, Big Red is now a chicago skyline classic. a damn fine work of international style, big and bold, muscular, chicago 2nd school.

and i love how all of that vibrant red metal juxtaposes with the older historic stone buildings on michigan avenue.

layers, textures, colors.... the entire history of the skyscraper all in one tapestry. this is why skylines like chicago's and new york's are so damn special.



never change, Big Red.

http://images.skyscrapercenter.com/b...overall_mg.jpg
source: http://www.skyscrapercenter.com/buil...th-wabash/2188

suburbanite Sep 19, 2019 1:43 PM

I can't be the only one who isn't a fan of the recent crop of toothpick supertalls in Midtown Manhattan. I love NYC's skyline because of the aesthetic of this impenetrable wall of skyscraper density. They look so fragile and out of place among the giants of previous generations. Not to mention the somewhat dystopian feeling I got when I was recently in Central Park. Like Billionaires Row overseeing the masses from 400m up.

iheartthed Sep 19, 2019 2:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8691854)
I can't be the only one who isn't a fan of the recent crop of toothpick supertalls in Midtown Manhattan. I love NYC's skyline because of the aesthetic of this impenetrable wall of skyscraper density. They look so fragile and out of place among the giants of previous generations. Not to mention the somewhat dystopian feeling I got when I was recently in Central Park. Like Billionaires Row overseeing the masses from 400m up.

I'm not a fan either. I think they're ugly and look very out of place. But market reality will put a stop to that nonsense after the current crop under construction finishes being built.

Crawford Sep 19, 2019 3:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8691854)
I can't be the only one who isn't a fan of the recent crop of toothpick supertalls in Midtown Manhattan. I love NYC's skyline because of the aesthetic of this impenetrable wall of skyscraper density. They look so fragile and out of place among the giants of previous generations. Not to mention the somewhat dystopian feeling I got when I was recently in Central Park. Like Billionaires Row overseeing the masses from 400m up.

Not sure how someone can simultaneously be a urbanist and yet opposed to small, irregular building footprints, which are pretty much the secret sauce of urban street level vitality. Small lot sizes preserve historic landscapes and add interest and variety to streetscapes.

That said, if you prefer fat, blocky towers, those are more the norm, everywhere, even in Manhattan. Grand Central and Hudson Yards will have the biggest skyline changes in the coming years, and those towers have enormous footprints. There are 3 million square ft. office towers planned and u/c in these areas.

Crawford Sep 19, 2019 3:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 8691915)
I'm not a fan either. I think they're ugly and look very out of place. But market reality will put a stop to that nonsense after the current crop under construction finishes being built.

If there's a recession, there will be a temporary pause, but "market reality" says that Billionaires Row is the most expensive stretch of urban real estate on the planet, and that isn't likely to change, so this is likely the very beginning of the superskinny trend, at least along that corridor.

There are roughly a dozen assemblages in the corridor held by major developers. Durst, Solow, Barnett, Vornado, Macklowe, Related (basically the first rank of Manhattan developers) all have assemblages. They aren't spending upwards of a billion on painstakingly complex, decade-long land assemblages for the hell of it.

Crawford Sep 19, 2019 3:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaliNative (Post 8691763)
Miami is also like that too. Just any overwhelming amount of "mass production high rise clusters". No supertalls, just huge number of mostly residential 400-800 footers.

Oh yeah, totally forgot about Miami. Agree that Miami is the closest U.S. analogue to the Asian, Latin American or Middle Eastern style, residential-heavy with lots of repetitive, resorty-feeling complexes, and not too many one-offs or buildings from different eras. Maybe San Diego too, though to a lesser extent.
Quote:

Originally Posted by CaliNative (Post 8691763)
I kind of like Cincinnati. Nice example of a smaller skyline with a decent mix of old and new. Carew Tower is a nice 1920s example.

Agree. Cincy has a nice skyline, with the bridges, elevation and building variety. It hasn't built much in recent decades, but it give the skyline a unique feel. Cincy has a cool city center, if a tad depressed. I enjoy walking through its core, with a refreshing dearth of hipsters, urban sophisticates and the like.

RedCorsair87 Sep 19, 2019 3:55 PM

I agree on just about every account here regarding NYC and Chicago. NYC is the most impressive skyline I've ever seen while Chicago's is the most beautiful and balanced. We could use another supertall or two in the Loop.

And for the love of god, don't EVER paint over BIG RED. One of my favorites in Chicago. The pop of color is so welcome in our skyline. If money was not an issue, I would buy the Renaissance Hotel on the river, tear it down and build a tall, red skyscraper between the white Kemper Insurance Building and dark grey Leo Burnett Building.

Steely Dan Sep 19, 2019 4:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8691854)
I can't be the only one who isn't a fan of the recent crop of toothpick supertalls in Midtown Manhattan. I love NYC's skyline because of the aesthetic of this impenetrable wall of skyscraper density. They look so fragile and out of place among the giants of previous generations.

disagree, i'm in favor of anything that helps break up the midtown plateau.

one of my favorite aspects of a good skyline is a lot of height variability, and these new manhattan pencil towers are making the midtown skyline a lot more "pointy" than it used to be.

i think it's a welcome change.

the sky is the limit!

kool maudit Sep 19, 2019 5:08 PM

I agree. These towers are bringing back the "city of spires" aesthetic. It hasn't been seen since the '50s.

suburbanite Sep 19, 2019 5:20 PM

I dont mind height and variability (within reason). I think I just prefer if the tallest focal points were part of that feeling of sturdiness and solid mass. Billionaires row looks like little weeds sprouting out of the garden, while Sears Tower is an oak tree that stands the test of time.

MonkeyRonin Sep 19, 2019 6:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8692005)
Not sure how someone can simultaneously be a urbanist and yet opposed to small, irregular building footprints, which are pretty much the secret sauce of urban street level vitality. Small lot sizes preserve historic landscapes and add interest and variety to streetscapes.


Small footprints and narrow lots are great (not that these buildings really do much for street level vitality anyway...), but when extruded to 400m the proportions just look goofy.

And I'll echo the dystopian vibe of the billionaires looming over the city:


https://newyorkyimby.com/wp-content/...on-777x518.jpg

kool maudit Sep 19, 2019 6:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin (Post 8692340)
Small footprints and narrow lots are great (not that these buildings really do much for street level vitality anyway...), but when extruded to 400m the proportions just look goofy.

And I'll echo the dystopian vibe of the billionaires looming over the city:


https://newyorkyimby.com/wp-content/...on-777x518.jpg


But wasn't that always the case? Isn't that just what New York is?

https://images.adsttc.com/media/imag...ch_26_1936.jpg

Back in the day, there were those who found it absurd to see a replica of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum sitting on top of a giant tower built by a dime-store mogul (or whatever).

maru2501 Sep 19, 2019 6:49 PM

it is definitely possible to over-unique it.. look at Dubai

Steely Dan Sep 19, 2019 7:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kool maudit (Post 8692356)
But wasn't that always the case? Isn't that just what New York is?

yep. my feelings exactly.

the difference being that the oligarchs are now casting their disdainful gaze down upon the plebes from their condo towers instead of their office towers.

but that's not really a big difference at all. it's all money and ego, a story as old as time. so what if a few of the minor details have changed?

suburbanite Sep 19, 2019 7:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 8692005)
Not sure how someone can simultaneously be a urbanist and yet opposed to small, irregular building footprints, which are pretty much the secret sauce of urban street level vitality. Small lot sizes preserve historic landscapes and add interest and variety to streetscapes.

That said, if you prefer fat, blocky towers, those are more the norm, everywhere, even in Manhattan. Grand Central and Hudson Yards will have the biggest skyline changes in the coming years, and those towers have enormous footprints. There are 3 million square ft. office towers planned and u/c in these areas.

This is a discussion purely on skyline aesthetics, and so I have to take off my urbanist's hat as a result of the dichotomy that can occur between skylines and street-level urban experience. In that perspective, although the current Billionaire's Row towers that are form-fitted into the existing streetscape are preferable to razing a block for such a development, it's unrelated to the aesthetic from afar. If I were talking about my ideal urban planning framework there probably wouldn't be any supertalls, and certainly no mega-block developments or even floorplates over 20,000 SF. As an observer of a skyline from kilometers away however, substantial towers like Metlife, Worldwide plaza, or even Solow do much more for me than pure height in the form of a Steinway.

That being said, I would also debate the point that a small footprint instantly makes a building a better contributor to the urban fabric. A combination of small footprints can be the secret sauce when they create variability in street frontages and uses. I think most of us picture perhaps a grocery store next to a mom-and-pop Italian restaurant, next to an independent tailor who's been there for 60 years. A small lot with frontage dedicated entirely for private access to $5 million+ condos doesn't invoke the same feeling, but maybe that's just me. This argument also seems based on the assumption that if we didn't have these pencil towers, there would be giant podium style developments instead. Does it have to be one or the other?

suburbanite Sep 19, 2019 7:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 8692400)
yep. my feelings exactly.

the difference being that the oligarchs are now casting their disdainful gaze down upon the plebes from their condo towers instead of their office towers.

but that's not really a big difference at all. it's all money and ego, a story as old as time. so what if a few of the minor details have changed?

Well those office towers also housed numerous people making a wage that let them live in one of the greatest cities in the world. To me the higher office floors with a view don't seem quite as inaccessible for 99% of population as does a $50 million penthouse.

Could be just me again, but I actually prefer a slightly more modern version of the Downtown without such pronounced drop-offs. I get more excited with the crushing feeling of a skyscraper canyon than looking up at a lone tower. Maybe not what New York is though, and 1980-2010 was more an anomaly.

Steely Dan Sep 19, 2019 7:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8692457)
Could be just me again, but I actually prefer a slightly more modern version of the Downtown without such pronounced drop-offs.

yeah, i won't be getting on board that train. i much prefer a "spikey" skyline over a plateau style one.





Quote:

Originally Posted by suburbanite (Post 8692457)
I get more excited with the crushing feeling of a skyscraper canyon than looking up at a lone tower.

these new pencil towers proliferating across midtown are not doing a damn thing to detract from manhattan's unparalleled street canyons.

this isn't an either/or situation.


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:02 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.