The Potential Impacts of Tall Buildings

Tall buildings are always a great sight for me. I love to see skyscrapers and do many research on them, either from books or from the internet mostly. This particular interest started about a decade ago, and it encourages me further to pursue my future in architecture. And since I live in Kuala Lumpur, a concrete jungle, I’m never tired of looking at the tall buildings in the city, particularly the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. And when I had the chance to visit other cities across the world in the past, there is no way I would miss out from their skyscrapers like the ones that I have checked out myself or even visited like Taipei 101, Burj Khalifa, Hong Kong’s 2IFC, London’s The Shard, etc. skyscrapers-looking-up-sunny-flickr (Image source:

Many cities now love to construct tall buildings because tall buildings save space, covers less area in urban area usually troubled with limited space, creates iconic visual to the city’s skyline, and is a symbol of the city’s strength and growth. Tall buildings do come with many positive impacts, but they can also bring out the negative ones. Hence, no matter how good the idea of building tall is, a proper planning, design and consideration are still required. Recently, I have gone through a book entitled ‘Planning for Tall Buildings’ by Michael J. Short, and there is a sub-topic inside that I’m particularly interested; ‘The Potential Impacts of Tall Buildings’. I read it, and I found it interesting to be shared in my blog here.

Since I’m lazy to type out the whole content here, I’m just going to follow the current trend of taking snapshots of the pages of the article and put it here below. If you are interested in it, you can click on each images below for a bigger version so that you can read it comfortably. It’s a good article that studies and further analyses the good and the bad of which tall buildings can contribute in 8 different categories, namely;

a) Context / Topography.

b) Historic Environment.

c) Local Environment.

d) Relationship to Transport.

e) Permeability.

f) Architectural Quality.

g) Contributions / Opportunities.

h) Sustainability. IMG_2551 IMG_2552 IMG_2553 IMG_2554 It’s not a lengthy article and so I managed to finish it (I mean not the whole book) in a short while. I think this article is useful to architects (to me too as an architect-to-be) as we have to consider many elements before designing a tall building so that it will gives more pros than cons to its site and the surrounding. We don’t just simply design tall buildings for the ‘wow’ factor, but also to design in relation to everything that matters as highlighted in the article above.

(Source: ‘Planning for Tall Buildings’ by Michael J. Short – Routledge 2012)


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