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18 résultats trouvés

  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9133399/Paris-to-trump-Londons-Shard-with-Europes-tallest-buildings.html Paris to trump London's Shard with Europe's tallest buildings The two skyscrapers will 40ft taller than the Shard, which is currently under construction in the British capital. Planning permission for the French project called Hermitage Plaza - designed by British artchitects Foster and Partners - was granted by Paris officials this week. The two buildings - which will house offices, luxury apartments, a shopping complex and a hotel - will dominate the skyline in the western business district of La Defense. Work began on the Shard at London Bridge in February 2009 and it is already Europe's highest construction project at a cost so far of around £450 million. The 87-storey building is due for completion in May this year, when it will stand at 1,017 feet tall and offer uninterrupted 360-degree views of London for 40 miles in every direction.
  2. 1992–present || 1000 de La Gauchetière || 205 / 673 || 51 1964–1992 || Tour de la Bourse || 190 / 623 || 47 1962–1964 || Place Ville Marie || 188 / 617 || 47 1931–1962 || Sun Life Building || 122 / 400 || 26 1928–1931 || Royal Bank Building || 121m / 397ft || 22 floors What were the tallest buildings in Montreal prior to 1928 (and the Royal Bank building?) A church perhaps? Or another structure entirely? I believe that the New York Life Insurance Building was the first tall building in Montreal. Am I correct?
  3. I haven't seen this article posted anywhere. Given the challenges presented with putting up the Mackay project I suspect this doesn't bode well for future tall development. Megaproject proposals put Montreal at 'major crossroads': founder Lambert http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/think+tank+will+conscience+mayor/2104533/story.html
  4. I am currently in Caracas (actually a nearby city called Los Teques, which is sometimes considered part of Greater Caracas). In the city center of Caracas there is a very new (about 5 years old) office building called "Torre David" or sometimes "Torre Confinanzas" which was occupied by people from nearby slums during its last stages of construction. The government then proceeded to pay the developer for the building so they didn't have to take them out. Here are some photos of the building, which is 190 meters tall (that's 623 feet), making it the third tallest building in Venezuela (the first two being the twin towers of Parque Central): The one on the left is one of the twin towers of Parque Central, the tallest buildings in Venezuela (221m). The one on the right is the slum I'm talking about. The orange bricks seen in the close-ups were put there by the current occupants. I wonder if this is the tallest slum in the world.
  5. How Skyscrapers Can Save the City BESIDES MAKING CITIES MORE AFFORDABLE AND ARCHITECTURALLY INTERESTING, TALL BUILDINGS ARE GREENER THAN SPRAWL, AND THEY FOSTER SOCIAL CAPITAL AND CREATIVITY. YET SOME URBAN PLANNERS AND PRESERVATIONISTS SEEM TO HAVE A MISPLACED FEAR OF HEIGHTS THAT YIELDS DAMAGING RESTRICTIONS ON HOW TALL A BUILDING CAN BE. FROM NEW YORK TO PARIS TO MUMBAI, THERE’S A POWERFUL CASE FOR BUILDING UP, NOT OUT. By Edward Glaeser IMAGE CREDIT: LEONELLO CALVETTI/BERNSTEIN & ANDRIULLI IN THE BOOK of Genesis, the builders of Babel declared, “Come, let us build us a city and a tower with its top in the heavens. And let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered upon the face of the whole earth.” These early developers correctly understood that cities could connect humanity. But God punished them for monumentalizing terrestrial, rather than celestial, glory. For more than 2,000 years, Western city builders took this story’s warning to heart, and the tallest structures they erected were typically church spires. In the late Middle Ages, the wool-making center of Bruges became one of the first places where a secular structure, a 354-foot belfry built to celebrate cloth-making, towered over nearby churches. But elsewhere another four or five centuries passed before secular structures surpassed religious ones. With its 281-foot spire, Trinity Church was the tallest building in New York City until 1890. Perhaps that year, when Trinity’s spire was eclipsed by a skyscraper built to house Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World, should be seen as the true start of the irreligious 20th century. At almost the same time, Paris celebrated its growing wealth by erecting the 1,000-foot Eiffel Tower, which was 700 feet taller than the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. Also see: Interactive Graphic: How High Can We Go? The ceaseless climb of the world's skyscrapers is a story of ever-evolving challenges. Here's how we reached the heights we have—and where we might go from here. Since that tower in Babel, height has been seen both as a symbol of power and as a way to provide more space on a fixed amount of land. The belfry of Trinity Church and Gustave Eiffel’s tower did not provide usable space. They were massive monuments to God and to French engineering, respectively. Pulitzer’s World Building was certainly a monument to Pulitzer, but it was also a relatively practical means of getting his growing news operation into a single building. For centuries, ever taller buildings have made it possible to cram more and more people onto an acre of land. Yet until the 19th century, the move upward was a moderate evolution, in which two-story buildings were gradually replaced by four- and six-story buildings. Until the 19th century, heights were restricted by the cost of building and the limits on our desire to climb stairs. Church spires and belfry towers could pierce the heavens, but only because they were narrow and few people other than the occasional bell-ringer had to climb them. Tall buildings became possible in the 19th century, when American innovators solved the twin problems of safely moving people up and down and creating tall buildings without enormously thick lower walls. Elisha Otis didn’t invent the elevator; Archimedes is believed to have built one 2,200 years ago. And Louis XV is said to have had a personal lift installed in Versailles so that he could visit his mistress. But before the elevator could become mass transit, it needed a good source of power, and it needed to be safe. Matthew Boulton and James Watt provided the early steam engines used to power industrial elevators, which were either pulled up by ropes or pushed up hydraulically. As engines improved, so did the speed and power of elevators that could haul coal out of mines or grain from boats. But humans were still wary of traveling long distances upward in a machine that could easily break and send them hurtling downward. Otis, tinkering in a sawmill in Yonkers, took the danger out of vertical transit. He invented a safety brake and presented it in 1854 at New York’s Crystal Palace Exposition. He had himself hoisted on a platform, and then, dramatically, an axman severed the suspending rope. The platform dropped slightly, then came to a halt as the safety brake engaged. The Otis elevator became a sensation. In the 1870s, it enabled pathbreaking structures, like Richard Morris Hunt’s Tribune Building in New York, to reach 10 stories. Across the Atlantic, London’s 269-foot St. Pancras Station was taller even than the Tribune Building. But the fortress-like appearance of St. Pancras hints at the building’s core problem. It lacks the critical cost-reducing ingredient of the modern skyscraper: a load-bearing steel skeleton. Traditional buildings, like St. Pancras or the Tribune Building, needed extremely strong lower walls to support their weight. The higher a building went, the thicker its lower walls had to be, and that made costs almost prohibitive, unless you were building a really narrow spire. The load-bearing steel skeleton, which pretty much defines a skyscraper, applies the same engineering principles used in balloon-frame houses, which reduced the costs of building throughout rural 19th-century America. A balloon-frame house uses a light skeleton made of standardized boards to support its weight. The walls are essentially hung on the frame like a curtain. Skyscrapers also rest their weight on a skeleton frame, but in this case the frame is made of steel, which became increasingly affordable in the late 19th century. THERE IS A lively architectural debate about who invented the skyscraper—reflecting the fact that the skyscraper, like most other gifts of the city, didn’t occur in a social vacuum, and did not occur all at once. William Le Baron Jenney’s 138-foot Home Insurance Building, built in Chicago in 1885, is often seen as the first true skyscraper. But Jenney’s skyscraper didn’t have a complete steel skeleton. It just had two iron-reinforced walls. Other tall buildings in Chicago, such as the Montauk Building, designed by Daniel Burnham and John Root and built two years earlier, had already used steel reinforcement. Industrial structures, like the McCullough Shot and Lead Tower in New York and the St. Ouen dock warehouse near Paris, had used iron frames decades before. Jenney’s proto-skyscraper was a patchwork, stitching together his own innovations with ideas that were in the air in Chicago, a city rich with architects. Other builders, like Burnham and Root, their engineer George Fuller, and Louis Sullivan, a former Jenney apprentice, then further developed the idea. Sullivan’s great breakthrough came in 1891, when he put up the Wainwright Building in St. Louis, a skyscraper free from excessive ornamental masonry. Whereas Jenney’s buildings evoke the Victorian era, the Wainwright Building points the way toward the modernist towers that now define so many urban skylines. Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead is believed to be loosely based on the early life of Sullivan’s apprentice Frank Lloyd Wright. Sullivan and Wright are depicted as lone eagles, Gary Cooper heroes, paragons of individualism. They weren’t. They were great architects deeply enmeshed in an urban chain of innovation. Wright riffed on Sullivan’s idea of form following function, Sullivan riffed on Jenney, and they all borrowed the wisdom of Peter B. Wight, who produced great innovations in fireproofing. Their collective creation—the skyscraper—enabled cities to add vast amounts of floor space using the same amount of ground area. Given the rising demand for center-city real estate, the skyscraper seemed like a godsend. The problem was that those city centers already had buildings on them. Except in places like Chicago, where fire had created a tabula rasa, cities needed to tear down to build up. The demand for space was even stronger in New York than in Chicago, and skyscrapers were soon springing up in Manhattan. In 1890, Pulitzer’s World Building had some steel framing, but its weight was still supported by seven-foot-thick masonry walls. In 1899, the Park Row Building soared over the World Building, to 391 feet, supported by a steel skeleton. Daniel Burnham traveled east to build his iconic Flatiron Building in 1902, and several years later, Wight’s National Academy of Design was torn down to make way for the 700-foot Metropolitan Life tower, then the tallest building in the world. In 1913, the Woolworth Building reached 792 feet, and it remained the world’s tallest until the boom of the late ’20s. IMAGE CREDIT: GIANLUCA FABRIZIO/GETTY IMAGES THOSE TALL BUILDINGS were not mere monuments. They enabled New York to grow and industries to expand. They gave factory owners and workers space that was both more humane and more efficient. Manhattan’s master builders, such as A. E. Lefcourt, made that possible. Like a proper Horatio Alger figure, Lefcourt was born poor and started work as a newsboy and bootblack. By his teenage years, he had saved enough cash to buy a $1,000 U.S. Treasury bond, which he kept pinned inside his shirt. At 25, Lefcourt took over his employer’s wholesale business, and over the next decade he became a leading figure in the garment industry. In 1910, Lefcourt began a new career as a real-estate developer, putting all of his capital into a 12-story loft building on West 25th Street for his own company. He built more such buildings, and helped move his industry from the old sweatshops into the modern Garment District. The advantage of the garment industry’s old home downtown had been its proximity to the port. Lefcourt’s new Garment District lay between Grand Central and Pennsylvania stations, anchored by the rail lines that continued to give New York a transportation advantage. Transportation technologies shape cities, and Midtown Manhattan was built around two great rail stations that could carry in legions of people. Also see: City Limits: A Conversation With Edward Glaeser The author comments on preserving Paris, the hazards of housing projects, and why measures aimed at saving our cities may actually threaten their survival. Over the next 20 years, Lefcourt would erect more than 30 edifices, many of them skyscrapers. He used those Otis elevators in soaring towers that covered 150 acres, encased 100 million cubic feet, and contained as many workers as Trenton. “He demolished more historical landmarks in New York City than any other man had dared to contemplate,” TheWall Street Journal wrote. In the early 1920s, the New York of slums, tenements, and Gilded Age mansions was transformed into a city of skyscrapers, as builders like Lefcourt erected nearly 100,000 new housing units each year, enabling the city to grow and to stay reasonably affordable. By 1928, Lefcourt’s real-estate wealth had made him a billionaire in today’s dollars. He celebrated by opening a national bank bearing his own name. Lefcourt’s optimism was undiminished by the stock-market crash, and he planned $50 million of construction for 1930, sure that it would be a “great building year.” But as New York’s economy collapsed, so did his real-estate empire, which was sold off piecemeal to pay his investors. He died in 1932 worth only $2,500, seemingly punished, like the builders of Babel, for his hubris. I suspect that Lefcourt, like many developers, cared more about his structural legacy than about cash. Those structures helped house the creative minds that still make New York special. His most famous building, which doesn’t even bear his name, came to symbolize an entire musical style: the “Brill Building Sound.” In the late 1950s and early ’60s, artists connected in the Brill Building, producing a string of hits like “Twist and Shout,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” and, fittingly enough, “Up on the Roof.” Cities are ultimately about the connections between people, and structures—like those built by Lefcourt—make those connections possible. By building up, Lefcourt made the lives of garment workers far more pleasant and created new spaces for creative minds. NEW YORK’S UPWARD trajectory was not without its detractors. In 1913, the distinguished chairman of the Fifth Avenue Commission, who was himself an architect, led a fight to “save Fifth Avenue from ruin.” At that time, Fifth Avenue was still a street of stately mansions owned by Carnegies and Rockefellers. The anti-growth activists argued that unless heights were restricted to 125 feet or less, Fifth Avenue would become a canyon, with ruinous results for property values and the city as a whole. Similar arguments have been made by the enemies of change throughout history. The chair of the commission was a better architect than prognosticator, as density has suited Fifth Avenue quite nicely. Also see: Gallery: The Architecture of Louis Sullivan Historic photographs of some of Louis Sullivan's most renowned and intriguing buildings. The Atlantic on Skyscrapers and Cities Writings by Robert Moses, Richard Florida, Witold Rybczynski, Philip Langdon, and others, from the Atlantic's archives. In 1915, between Broadway and Nassau Street, in the heart of downtown New York, the Equitable Life Assurance Society constructed a monolith that contained well over a million square feet of office space and, at about 540 feet, cast a seven-acre shadow on the city. The building became a rallying cry for the enemies of height, who wanted to see a little more sun. A political alliance came together and passed the city’s landmark 1916 zoning ordinance, which allowed buildings to rise only if they gave up girth. New York’s many ziggurat-like structures, which get narrower as they get taller, were constructed to fulfill the setback requirements of that ordinance. The code changed the shape of buildings, but it did little to stop the construction boom of the 1920s. Really tall buildings provide something of an index of irrational exuberance. Five of the 10 tallest buildings standing in New York City in 2009—including the Empire State Building—were completed between 1930 and ’33. In the go-go years of the late ’20s, when the city’s potential seemed unlimited, builders like Lefcourt were confident they could attract tenants, and their bankers were happy to lend. The builders of the Chrysler Building, 40 Wall Street, and the Empire State Building engaged in a great race to produce the tallest structure in the world. It is an odd fact that two of New York’s tallest and most iconic edifices were built with money made from selling the cars that would move America away from vertical cities to sprawling suburbs. As it turned out, the winner, the Empire State Building, was soon nicknamed the “Empty State Building”—it was neither fully occupied nor profitable until the 1940s. Luckily for its financiers, the building’s construction had come in way below budget. New York slowed its construction of skyscrapers after 1933, and its regulations became ever more complex. Between 1916 and 1960, the city’s original zoning code was amended more than 2,500 times. In 1961, the City Planning Commission passed a new zoning resolution that significantly increased the limits on building. The resulting 420-page code replaced a simple classification of space—business, residential, unrestricted—with a dizzying number of different districts, each of which permitted only a narrow range of activities. There were 13 types of residential district, 12 types of manufacturing district, and no fewer than 41 types of commercial district. Each type of district narrowly classified the range of permissible activities. Commercial art galleries were forbidden in residential districts but allowed in manufacturing districts, while noncommercial art galleries were forbidden in manufacturing districts but allowed in residential districts. Art-supply stores were forbidden in residential districts and some commercial districts. Parking-space requirements also differed by district. In an R5 district, a hospital was required to have one off-street parking spot for every five beds, but in an R6 district, a hospital had to have one space for every eight beds. The picayune detail of the code is exemplified by its control of signs: For multiple dwellings, including apartment hotels, or for permitted non-residential buildings or other structures, one identification sign, with an area not exceeding 12 square feet and indicating only the name of the permitted use, the name or address of the building, or the name of the management thereof, is permitted. The code also removed the system of setbacks and replaced it with a complex system based on the floor-to-area ratio, or FAR, which is the ratio of interior square footage to ground area. A maximum FAR of two, for example, meant that a developer could put a two-story building on his entire plot or a four-story building on half of the plot. In residential districts R1, R2, and R3, the maximum floor-to-area ratio was 0.5. In R9 districts, the maximum FAR was about 7.5, depending on the building height. The height restriction was eased for builders who created plazas or other public spaces at the front of the building. While the standard building created by the 1916 code was a wedding cake that started at the sidewalk, the standard building created by the 1961 code was a glass-and-steel slab with an open plaza in front. NEW YORK’S ZONING CODES were getting more rigorous, but so were other restrictions on development. After World War II, New York made private development more difficult by overregulating construction and rents, while building a bevy of immense public structures, such as Stuyvesant Town and Lincoln Center. But then, during the 1950s and ’60s, both public and private projects ran into growing resistance from grassroots organizers like Jane Jacobs, who were becoming adept at mounting opposition to large-scale development. In 1961, Jacobs published her masterpiece, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which investigates and celebrates the pedestrian world of mid-20th-century New York. She argued that mixed-use zoning fostered street life, the essence of city living. But Jacobs liked protecting old buildings because of a confused piece of economic reasoning. She thought that preserving older, shorter structures would somehow keep prices affordable for budding entrepreneurs. That’s not how supply and demand works. Protecting an older one-story building instead of replacing it with a 40-story building does not preserve affordability. Indeed, opposing new building is the surest way to make a popular area unaffordable. An increase in the supply of houses, or anything else, almost always drives prices down, while restricting the supply of real estate keeps prices high. The relationship between housing supply and affordability isn’t just a matter of economic theory. A great deal of evidence links the supply of space with the cost of real estate. Simply put, the places that are expensive don’t build a lot, and the places that build a lot aren’t expensive. Perhaps a new 40-story building won’t itself house any quirky, less profitable firms, but by providing new space, the building will ease pressure on the rest of the city. Price increases in gentrifying older areas will be muted because of new construction. Growth, not height restrictions and a fixed building stock, keeps space affordable and ensures that poorer people and less profitable firms can stay and help a thriving city remain successful and diverse. Height restrictions do increase light, and preservation does protect history, but we shouldn’t pretend that these benefits come without a cost. IMAGE CREDIT: RAEFORD DWYER IN 1962, IN response to the outcry over the razing of the original Pennsylvania Station, which was beautiful and much beloved, Mayor Robert Wagner established the Landmarks Preservation Commission. In 1965, despite vigorous opposition from the real-estate industry, the commission became permanent. Initially, this seemed like a small sop to preservationists. The number of buildings landmarked in the commission’s first year, 1,634, was modest, and the commission’s power was checked by the city council, which could veto its decisions. Yet, like entropy, the reach of governmental agencies often expands over time, so that a mild, almost symbolic group can come to influence vast swaths of a city. By 2008, more than 15 percent of Manhattan’s non-park land south of 96th Street was in a historic district, where every external change must be approved by the commission. By the end of 2010, the commission had jurisdiction over 27,000 landmarked buildings and 101 historic districts. In 2006, the developer Aby Rosen proposed putting a glass tower of more than 20 stories atop the old Sotheby Parke-Bernet building at 980 Madison Avenue, in the Upper East Side Historic District. Rosen and his Pritzker Prize–winning architect, Lord Norman Foster, wanted to erect the tower above the original building, much as the MetLife Building (formerly the Pan Am Building) rises above Grand Central Terminal. The building was not itself landmarked, but well-connected neighbors didn’t like the idea of more height, and they complained to the commission. Tom Wolfe, who has written brilliantly about the caprices of both New York City and the real-estate industry, wrote a 3,500-word op-ed in The New York Times warning the landmarks commission against approving the project. Wolfe & Company won. In response to his critics in the 980 Madison Avenue case, of whom I was one, Wolfe was quoted in The Village Voice as saying: To take [Glaeser’s] theory to its logical conclusion would be to develop Central Park … When you consider the thousands and thousands of people who could be housed in Central Park if they would only allow them to build it up, boy, the problem is on the way to being solved! But one of the advantages of building up in already dense neighborhoods is that you don’t have to build in green areas, whether in Central Park or somewhere far from an urban center. From the preservationist perspective, building up in one area reduces the pressure to take down other, older buildings. One could quite plausibly argue that if members of the landmarks commission have decided that a building can be razed, then they should demand that its replacement be as tall as possible. The cost of restricting development is that protected areas have become more expensive and more exclusive. In 2000, people who lived in historic districts in Manhattan were on average almost 74 percent wealthier than people who lived outside such areas. Almost three-quarters of the adults living in historic districts had college degrees, as opposed to 54 percent outside them. People living in historic districts were 20 percent more likely to be white. The well-heeled historic-district denizens who persuade the landmarks commission to prohibit taller structures have become the urban equivalent of those restrictive suburbanites who want to mandate five-acre lot sizes to keep out the riffraff. It’s not that poorer people could ever afford 980 Madison Avenue, but restricting new supply anywhere makes it more difficult for the city to accommodate demand, and that pushes up prices everywhere. Again, the basic economics of housing prices are pretty simple—supply and demand. New York and Mumbai and London all face increasing demand for their housing, but how that demand affects prices depends on supply. Building enough homes eases the impact of rising demand and makes cities more affordable. That’s the lesson of both Houston today and New York in the 1920s. In the post-war boom years between 1955 and 1964, Manhattan issued permits for an average of more than 11,000 new housing units each year. Between 1980 and ’99, when the city’s prices were soaring, Manhattan approved an average of 3,100 new units per year. Fewer new homes meant higher prices; between 1970 and 2000, the median price of a Manhattan housing unit increased by 284 percent in constant dollars. The other key factor in housing economics is the cost of building a home. The cheapest way to deliver new housing is in the form of mass-produced two-story homes, which typically cost only about $84 a square foot to erect. That low cost explains why Atlanta and Dallas and Houston are able to supply so much new housing at low prices, and why so many Americans have ended up buying affordable homes in those places. Building up is more costly, especially when elevators start getting involved. And erecting a skyscraper in New York City involves additional costs (site preparation, legal fees, a fancy architect) that can push the price even higher. But many of these are fixed costs that don’t increase with the height of the building. In fact, once you’ve reached the seventh floor or so, building up has its own economic logic, since those fixed costs can be spread over more apartments. Just as the cost of a big factory can be covered by a sufficiently large production run, the cost of site preparation and a hotshot architect can be covered by building up. The actual marginal cost of adding an extra square foot of living space at the top of a skyscraper in New York is typically less than $400. Prices do rise substantially in ultra-tall buildings—say, over 50 stories—but for ordinary skyscrapers, it doesn’t cost more than $500,000 to put up a nice 1,200-square-foot apartment. The land costs something, but in a 40-story building with one 1,200-square-foot unit per floor, each unit is using only 30 square feet of Manhattan—less than a thousandth of an acre. At those heights, the land costs become pretty small. If there were no restrictions on new construction, then prices would eventually come down to somewhere near construction costs, about $500,000 for a new apartment. That’s a lot more than the $210,000 that it costs to put up a 2,500-square-foot house in Houston—but a lot less than the $1 million or more that such an apartment often costs in Manhattan. Land is also pretty limited in Chicago’s Gold Coast, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Demand may not be the same as in Manhattan, but it’s still pretty high. Yet you can buy a beautiful condominium with a lake view for roughly half the cost of a similar unit in Manhattan. Building in Chicago is cheaper than in New York—but it’s not twice as cheap. The big cost difference is that Chicago’s leadership has always encouraged new construction more than New York’s (at least before the Bloomberg administration). The forest of cranes along Lake Michigan keeps Chicago affordable. Most people who fight to stop a new development think of themselves as heroes, not villains. After all, a plan to put up a new building on Madison Avenue clearly bugs a lot of people, and preventing one building isn’t going to make much difference to the city as a whole. The problem is that all those independent decisions to prohibit construction add up. Zoning rules, air rights, height restrictions, and landmarks boards together form a web of regulation that has made building more and more difficult. The increasing wave of regulations was, until the Bloomberg administration, making New York shorter. In a sample of condominium buildings, I found that more than 80 percent of Manhattan’s residential buildings built in the 1970s had more than 20 stories. But less than 40 percent of the buildings put up in the 1990s were that tall. The elevator and the steel-framed skyscraper made it possible to get vast amounts of living space onto tiny amounts of land, but New York’s building rules were limiting that potential. The growth in housing supply determines not only prices but the number of people in a city. The statistical relationship between new building and population growth within a given area is almost perfect, so that when an area increases its housing stock by 1 percent, its population rises by almost exactly that proportion. As a result, when New York or Boston or Paris restricts construction, its population will be smaller. If the restrictions become strong enough, then a city can even lose population, despite rising demand, as wealthier, smaller families replace poorer, larger ones. Jane Jacobs’s insights into the pleasures and strengths of older, shorter urban neighborhoods were certainly correct, but she had too little faith in the strengths of even-higher density levels. I was born a year before Jacobs left New York for Toronto, and I lived in Manhattan for the next 17 years. Yet my neighborhood looked nothing like low-rise Greenwich Village. I grew up surrounded by white glazed towers built after World War II to provide affordable housing for middle-income people like my parents. The neighborhood may not have been as charming as Greenwich Village, but it had plenty of fun restaurants, quirky stores, and even-quirkier pedestrians. The streets were reasonably safe. It was certainly a functioning, vibrant urban space, albeit one with plenty of skyscrapers. WHEN BARON HAUSSMANN thoroughly rebuilt Paris in the mid-19th century at the behest of Napoleon III, he did things unthinkable in a more democratic age: He evicted vast numbers of the poor, turning their homes into the wide boulevards that made Paris monumental. He lopped off a good chunk of the Luxembourg Gardens to create city streets. He tore down ancient landmarks, including much of the Île de la Cité. He spent 2.5 billion francs on his efforts, which was 44 times the total budget of Paris in 1851. All of that spending and upheaval turned Paris from an ancient and somewhat dilapidated city of great poverty into an urban resort for the growing haute bourgeoisie. He also made Paris a bit taller, boosting the Bourbon-era height limit on buildings from 54 feet to 62 feet. Still, relative to cities built in the elevator-rich 20th century, Haussmann’s Paris stayed short, because people needed to climb stairs. Height restrictions were lifted in 1967, and construction of Paris’s first proper skyscraper, the 689-foot Montparnasse Tower, didn’t begin until 1969. Two years later, Les Halles, a popular open-air marketplace, was wiped away and the futuristic Centre Pompidou museum was begun. But these changes rankled those Parisians who had gotten used to a static city. The Montparnasse Tower was widely loathed, and the lesson drawn was that skyscrapers must never again mar central Paris. Les Halles was sorely missed, in much the same way that many New Yorkers mourned the demise of the old Penn Station. France is a far more regulatory country than America, and when its rulers decide they don’t want change, change will not occur. In 1974, a height limit of 83 feet was imposed in central Paris. But while these rules restricted height in old Paris, they let buildings grow on the periphery. Today, the majority of Paris’s skyscrapers are in relatively dense but far-flung complexes like La Défense, which is three miles northwest of the Arc de Triomphe. La Défense is as vertical as central Paris is flat. It has about 35 million square feet of commercial space and the feel of an American office park. Except for the distant view of the Arc, administrative assistants drinking lattes in a Starbucks there could easily be in a bigger version of Crystal City, Virginia. La Défense addresses the need to balance preservation and growth by segregating skyscrapers. In some senses, it is an inspired solution. People working there can still get to old Paris in about 20 minutes by Métro or in an hour on foot. That Métro line means that businesses in La Défense can connect with the all-important French bureaucracy that remains centered in the old city. La Défense is one of Europe’s most concentrated commercial centers, and it seems to have all of the economic excitement that we would expect from such a mass of skilled workers. The sector enables Paris to grow, while keeping the old city pristine. But building in La Défense is not a perfect substitute for new construction in the more-desirable central areas of Paris, where short supply keeps housing prices astronomical. The natural thing is to have tall buildings in the center, where demand is greatest, not on the edge. The lack of new housing in central Paris means that small apartments can sell for $1 million or more. Hotel rooms often cost more than $500 a night. If you want to be in the center of the city, you’ll have to pay for it. People are willing to pay those high prices, because Paris is so charming, but they wouldn’t have to if the city’s rulers hadn’t decided to limit the amount of housing that can be built in the area. Average people are barred from living in central Paris just as surely as if the city had put up a gate and said that no middle-income people can enter. For the world’s oldest, most beautiful cities, La Défense provides a viable model. Keep the core areas historic, but let millions of square feet be built nearby. As long as building in the high-rise district is sufficiently unfettered, then that area provides a safety valve for the region as a whole. The key issue with La Défense is whether it is too far away. Its distance from the old city keeps central Paris pristine, but it deprives too many people of the pleasures of strolling to a traditional café for lunch. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to balance the benefits of providing additional desirable space with the need to preserve a beautiful older city. I wish that some developments like La Défense had been built closer to the center of Paris. But I also understand those who think Paris is so precious that more space should be maintained between the developments and Haussmann’s boulevards. Paris, however, is an extreme case. In much of the rest of the world, the argument for restricting development is far weaker. And nowhere have limits on development done more harm than in the Indian mega-city of Mumbai. IT’S A PITY that so few ordinary people can afford to live in central Paris or Manhattan, but France and the U.S. will survive. The problems caused by arbitrarily restricting height in the developing world are far more serious, because they handicap the metropolises that help turn desperately poor nations into middle-income countries. The rules that keep India’s cities too short and too expensive mean that too few Indians can connect, with each other and with the outside world, in the urban places that are making that poor country richer. Since poverty often means death in the developing world, and since restricting city growth ensures more poverty, it is not hyperbole to say that land-use planning in India can be a matter of life and death. Mumbai is a city of astonishing human energy and entrepreneurship, from the high reaches of finance and film to the jam-packed spaces of the Dharavi slum. All of this private talent deserves a public sector that performs the core tasks of city government—like providing sewers and safe water—without overreaching and overregulating. One curse of the developing world is that governments take on too much and fail at their main responsibilities. A country that cannot provide clean water for its citizens should not be in the business of regulating film dialogue. The public failures in Mumbai are as obvious as the private successes. Western tourists can avoid the open-air defecation in Mumbai’s slums, but they can’t avoid the city’s failed transportation network. Driving the 15 miles from the airport to the city’s old downtown, with its landmark Gateway of India arch, can easily take 90 minutes. There is a train that could speed your trip, but few Westerners have the courage to brave its crowds during rush hour. In 2008, more than three people each working day were pushed out of that train to their death. Average commute times in Mumbai are roughly 50 minutes each way, which is about double the average American commute. The most cost-effective means of opening up overcrowded city streets would be to follow Singapore and charge more for their use. If you give something away free, people will use too much of it. Mumbai’s roads are just too valuable to be clogged up by ox carts at rush hour, and the easiest way to get flexible drivers off the road is to charge them for their use of public space. Congestion charges aren’t just for rich cities; they are appropriate anywhere traffic comes to a standstill. After all, Singapore was not wealthy in 1975, when it started charging drivers for using downtown streets. Like Singapore, Mumbai could just require people to buy paper day licenses to drive downtown, and require them to show those licenses in their windows. Politics, however, and not technology, would make this strategy difficult. Mumbai’s traffic problems reflect not just poor transportation policy, but a deeper and more fundamental failure of urban planning. In 1991, Mumbai fixed a maximum floor-to-area ratio of 1.33 in most of the city, meaning that it restricted the height of the average building to 1.33 stories: if you have an acre of land, you can construct a two-story building on two-thirds of an acre, or a three-story building on four-ninths of an acre, provided you leave the rest of the property empty. In those years, India still had a lingering enthusiasm for regulation, and limiting building heights seemed to offer a way to limit urban growth. But Mumbai’s height restrictions meant that, in one of the most densely populated places on Earth, buildings could have an average height of only one and a third stories. People still came; Mumbai’s economic energy drew them in, even when living conditions were awful. Limiting heights didn’t stop urban growth, it just ensured that more and more migrants would squeeze into squalid, illegal slums rather than occupying legal apartment buildings. Singapore doesn’t prevent the construction of tall buildings, and its downtown functions well because it’s tall and connected. Businesspeople work close to one another and can easily trot to a meeting. Hong Kong is even more vertical and even friendlier to pedestrians, who can walk in air-conditioned skywalks from skyscraper to skyscraper. It takes only a few minutes to get around Wall Street or Midtown Manhattan. Even vast Tokyo can be traversed largely on foot. These great cities function because their height enables a huge number of people to work, and sometimes live, on a tiny sliver of land. But Mumbai is short, so everyone sits in traffic and pays dearly for space. A city of 20 million people occupying a tiny landmass could be housed in corridors of skyscrapers. An abundance of close and connected vertical real estate would decrease the pressure on roads, ease the connections that are the lifeblood of a 21st-century city, and reduce Mumbai’s extraordinarily high cost of space. Yet instead of encouraging compact development, Mumbai is pushing people out. Only six buildings in Mumbai rise above 490 feet, and three of them were built last year, with more on the way as some of the height restrictions have been slightly eased, especially outside the traditional downtown. But the continuing power of these requirements explains why many of the new skyscrapers are surrounded by substantial green space. This traps tall buildings in splendid isolation, so that cars, rather than feet, are still needed to get around. If Mumbai wants to promote affordability and ease congestion, it should make developers use their land area to the fullest, requiring any new downtown building to have at least 40 stories. By requiring developers to create more, not less, floor space, the government would encourage more housing, less sprawl, and lower prices. Historically, Mumbai’s residents couldn’t afford such height, but many can today, and they would live in taller buildings if those buildings were abundant and affordable. Concrete canyons, such as those along New York’s Fifth Avenue, aren’t an urban problem—they are a perfectly reasonable way to fit a large number of people and businesses on a small amount of land. Only bad policy prevents a long row of 50-story buildings from lining Mumbai’s seafront, much as high-rises adorn Chicago’s lakefront. The magic of cities comes from their people, but those people must be well served by the bricks and mortar that surround them. Cities need roads and buildings that enable people to live well and to connect easily with one another. Tall towers, like Henry Ford II’s Renaissance Center in Detroit, make little sense in places with abundant space and slack demand. But in the most desirable cities, whether they’re on the Hudson River or the Arabian Sea, height is the best way to keep prices affordable and living standards high. THE SUCCESS OF our cities, the world’s economic engines, increasingly depends on abstruse decisions made by zoning boards and preservation committees. It certainly makes sense to control construction in dense urban spaces, but I would replace the maze of regulations now limiting new construction with three simple rules. Also see: The 30 Most Dynamic Cities in the World Grading each metropolis by the growth of its income and employment, a new study found the world's fastest recovering cities are overwhelmingly in three key areas: China and India, Southeast Asian islands, and Latin America The 20 Cities Leading the U.S. Recovery Areas that traded the boom-and-bust real estate business for Meds, Eds, Feds and Enlisteds only got spritzed by the recession while most cities felt the full force of the economic tsunami. First, cities should replace the lengthy and uncertain permitting processes now in place with a simple system of fees. If tall buildings create costs by blocking out light or views, then form a reasonable estimate of those costs and charge the builder appropriately. The money from those fees could then be given to the people who are suffering, such as the neighbors who lose light from a new construction project. I don’t mean to suggest that such a system would be easy to design. There is plenty of room for debate about the costs associated with buildings of different heights. People would certainly disagree about the size of the neighboring areas that should receive compensation. But reasonable rules could be developed that would then be universally applied; for instance, every new building in New York would pay some amount per square foot in compensation costs, in exchange for a speedy permit. Some share of the money could go to the city treasury, and the rest would go to people within a block of the new edifice. A simple tax system would be far more transparent and targeted than the current regulatory maze. Today, many builders negotiate our system by hiring expensive lawyers and lobbyists and buying political influence. It would be far better for them to just write a check to the rest of us. Allowing more building doesn’t have to be a windfall for developers; sensible, straightforward regulations can make new development good for the neighborhood and the city. Second, historic preservation should be limited and well defined. Landmarking a masterpiece like the Flatiron Building or the old Penn Station is sensible. Preserving a post-war glazed-brick building is absurd. But where do you draw the line between those two extremes? My own preference is that, in a city like New York, the Landmarks Preservation Commission should have a fixed number of buildings, perhaps 5,000, that it may protect. The commission can change its chosen architectural gems, but it needs to do so slowly. It shouldn’t be able to change its rules overnight to stop construction in some previously unprotected area. If the commission wants to preserve a whole district, then let it spread its 5,000-building mandate across the area. Perhaps 5,000 buildings are too few; but without some sort of limit, any regulatory agency will constantly try to increase its scope. The problem gets thornier in places like Paris, practically all of which is beloved worldwide. In such cases, the key is to find some sizable area, reasonably close to the city center, that can be used for ultra-dense development. Ideally, this space would be near enough to let its residents enjoy walking to the beautiful streets of the older city. Finally, individual neighborhoods should have more power to protect their special character. Some blocks might want to exclude bars. Others might want to encourage them. Rather than regulate neighborhoods entirely from the top down, let individual neighborhoods enforce their own, limited rules that are adopted only with the approval of a large share of residents. In this way, ordinary citizens, rather than the planners in City Hall, would get a say over what happens around them. Great cities are not static—they constantly change, and they take the world along with them. When New York and Chicago and Paris experienced great spurts of creativity and growth, they reshaped themselves to provide new structures that could house new talent and new ideas. Cities can’t force change with new buildings—as the Rust Belt’s experience clearly shows. But if change is already happening, new building can speed the process along. Yet many of the world’s old and new cities have increasingly arrayed rules that prevent construction that would accommodate higher densities. Sometimes these rules have a good justification, such as preserving truly important works of architecture. Sometimes, they are mindless NIMBYism or a misguided attempt at stopping urban growth. In all cases, restricting construction ties cities to their past and limits the possibilities for their future. If cities can’t build up, then they will build out. If building in a city is frozen, then growth will happen somewhere else. Land-use regulations may seem like urban arcana. But these rules matter because they shape our structures, and our structures shape our societies—often in unexpected ways. Consider that carbon emissions are significantly lower in big cities than in outlying suburbs, and that, as of 2007, life expectancy in New York City was 1.5 years higher than in the nation as a whole. As America struggles to regain its economic footing, we would do well to remember that dense cities are also far more productive than suburbs, and offer better-paying jobs. Globalization and new technologies seem to have only made urban proximity more valuable—young workers gain many of the skills they need in a competitive global marketplace by watching the people around them. Those tall buildings enable the human interactions that are at the heart of economic innovation, and of progress itself. This article available online at: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/03/how-skyscrapers-can-save-the-city/8387/ Copyright © 2011 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/03/how-skyscrapers-can-save-the-city/8387/
  6. Bonjour a tous, Taking a quick Super Bowl break to post something I've wanted to share with you for a few days. Henry Aubin wrote in The Gazette what was presented as an article on the construction of "tall" new rental buildings downtown and questioning the wisdom of allowing this. I personally believe he's a little all over the place in his article and doesn't quite make a coherent argument. I think in the end what annoys me is that the how tall should we build question seems, for some reason, to often be present in this city. Anyhow here's the link you guys judge for yourselves. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/high+high/4189941/story.html
  7. Ninety-Seven Buildings of 200 Meters and Higher Completed in 2014: An All-Time Record Chicago, United States – 14 January 2015 The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has released its annual report, the 2014 Tall Building Data Research Report, part of the Tall Buildings in Numbers data analysis series. In 2014, 97 buildings of 200 meters’ height or greater were completed – a new record. Key findings of the report include: The 97 buildings completed in 2014 beat every previous year on record, including the previous record high of 81 completions in 2011. A total of 11 supertalls (buildings of 300 meters or higher) completed in 2014 – the highest annual total on record. Since 2010, 46 supertalls have been completed, representing 54% of the supertalls that currently exist (85). The number of 200-meter-plus buildings in existence has hit 935, a 352% increase from 2000, when only 266 existed. This was the “tallest year ever” by another measure: The sum of heights of all 200-meter-plus buildings completed across the globe in 2014 was 23,333 meters – setting another all-time record and breaking 2011’s previous record of 19,852 meters. Asia’s dominance of the tall-building industry increased yet again in 2014. Seventy-four of the 97 buildings completed in 2014, or 76%, were in Asia. Once again, for the seventh year in a row, China completed the most 200-meter-plus buildings (58). This represents 60% of the global 2014 total, and a 61% increase over its previous record of 36 in 2013. The Philippines took second place with five completions, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar share position three with four completions, and the United States, Japan, Indonesia and Canada tie for fourth, with three completions each. Japan marked its first entry into the supertall stakes with the completion of the 300-meter Abeno Harukas in Osaka, becoming the country’s tallest building. South America also welcomed its first supertall, the 300-meter Torre Costanera of Santiago, Chile, which was also the only building of 200 meters or greater to complete on the continent in 2014. Tianjin, China, was the city that completed the most 200-meter-plus buildings, with six. Chongqing, Wuhan, and Wuxi, China, along with Doha, Qatar, all tied for second place with four completions each. At 541 meters, One World Trade Center was the tallest building to complete in 2014 and is now the world’s third-tallest building. To see the full report, click here. http://www.ctbuh.org/GlobalNews/getArticle.php?id=2430#!
  8. We can use this thread to discuss various existing skyscrapers from cities around the world (excluding Montreal). I always liked the Key Tower in Cleveland. 289m tall, 57 floors and 1.5m sq. ft of office space! I think Montreal lacks a building with this style of architecture. Post-modern architecture doesn't get much better than this, IMO!
  9. Je me disais que plusieurs aimeraient lire ça... (Oui oui à Toronto ils ont longtemps considéré qu'il y avait une phobie des hauteurs) Toronto skyscrapers rise ever taller The city may finally be getting over its irrational fear of heights Marcus Gee Published on Friday, Apr. 23, 2010 6:59PM EDT Last updated on Friday, Apr. 23, 2010 7:00PM EDT Yesterday, Mayor David Miller was on hand for the ceremonial ground-breaking of the tallest residential building in Canada. The 75-storey, 243-metre-high Aura condominium will be a dramatic addition to the city skyline, a blade-like glass-and-steel skyscraper that is the final stage of the College Park complex at College and Yonge. With 931 units and 1.1 million square feet of living space, it is the King Kong of condos, boasting more residential footage than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. Aura is a sign that Toronto is getting over its fear of heights. New office and condominium towers are popping up downtown like mushrooms after a summer rain. The Shangri-La hotel and condo on University Avenue will rise 66 storeys; architect Daniel Libeskind’s L Tower on the Esplanade, 57 storeys. The Ice condos down by the waterfront will comprise two towers of 65 and 55 storeys. By 2014, Toronto could have close to 100 buildings over 400 feet tall, nearly double the number of a decade earlier. City councillor Kyle Rae says this city has become the “Manhattan of Canada,” a comparison that would have seemed absurd even a few years ago. For a city that used to quiver and squirm whenever a developer threatened to put up a skyscraper outside the financial district, it is a startling change. Back in the 1970s, worries about congestion and overbuilding led Mayor David Crombie to slap a 40-foot height limit on downtown buildings. In the early 2000s, the city was consumed by a debate over the Minto project, a high-rise condo opposed by neighbouring homeowners. A couple of years later, developer Harry Stinson was forced to cancel plans for the spectacular, 90-storey Sapphire Tower on Temperance Street. It seemed too tall, too big, too flashy. All that seems dated now. Though neighbours still complain about shadow impacts, traffic congestion and other often-imaginary problems with proposed tall buildings, Torontonians are coming to accept the merits of building into the heavens. The thicket of downtown high-rises fits perfectly with the drive to promote urban “intensification,” planner-speak for packing people more closely together to save energy and counteract urban sprawl. The Aura project is right on the Yonge subway line, so thousands of people will be able to get around without their cars. It will bring new life to the tatty corner of Yonge and Gerrard and kick-start revitalization of the crummy Yonge Street strip. Even so, the city at first failed to see Aura’s aura. The site was zoned for just 36 storeys and planners bridled at the notion of more than doubling that. When a City of Toronto planner first discussed Aura with Mr. Rae, a champion of urban density and downtown living, she called it a disgrace. “I turned to her and said, ‘Is that a planning term?’ and it deteriorated from there.” But the city soon realized it was on thin ice if it hoped to oppose Aura. Both Toronto’s official plan and Ontario’s smart growth policies call for increasing density around nodes such as Yonge and College. To ease the city’s concerns, developer Michael La Brier agreed to set up a five-member panel with leading U.S. and local architects to review the tower’s design. The result is a sleek and handsome building that will cost about half a billion dollars. The tower will stand on a three-storey granite-and-glass podium with high-end stores such as Bed, Bath and Beyond. More than 97 per cent of the condos have been pre-sold, says Mr. La Brier, though if you have $17.5-million in your pocket, there is still a penthouse available. That a developer can charge such a sum for a condo in Toronto is a sign of confidence in the city and its vibrant downtown. Aura was financed in the midst of the world financial crisis and more than 85 per cent of the units were sold within six weeks, sight unseen. The building’s dramatic height is a draw, not a drawback. Mr. La Brier’s remembers the fuss when College Park’s early phases went up, with towers of 45 and 51 storeys. “In those days, 51 storeys was as scary as 75 is today.” With Aura’s unabashed embrace of height, the city has moved on. If we can get over our fear of 75 storeys, why not 80 or 90 or even 100? In this new vertical city, the sky is the limit. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/toronto-skyscrapers-rise-ever-taller/article1545218/
  10. Selon un communiqué de presse du CTBUH: Je ne sais combien de mètres de plus ça donne au 1000 de la Gauchetière, il faudra envoyer quelqu'un mesurer
  11. Scraping the Sky, and Then Some Renderings from left, Eka/Civicarts; Prnewsfoto, via Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Llp; Foster + Partners; John Portman & Associates; Dbox/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, via Associated Press; Weber Shandwick, via Bloomberg News Among many new skyscrapers being planned are, from left, the Mubarak al-Kabir tower in Kuwait, Burj Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Russia Tower in Moscow, Incheon Tower in South Korea, the Freedom Tower in New York, and the Chicago Spire. By AMY CORTESE Published: June 15, 2008 THE world’s population is expected to climb to nine billion by the middle of the century, from six and a half billion today, according to the United Nations, and a staggering number of those people are likely to be living in big cities. A pressing question for developers and urban planners is how to accommodate the growing urban masses, especially in developing countries of Asia and Africa. But one point is clear: The skyscraper will play a central role. Nearly seven years after the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York portended a pullback from cloud-grazing construction, the world is in the midst of a huge wave of tall building construction, both in number and in size. Some 36 buildings rise more than 300 meters, or roughly 1,000 feet, the threshold generally used to define “supertall” buildings, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a nonprofit organization based at the Illinois Institute of Technology. An additional 69 supertalls are under construction, the council estimates. Some of the most ambitious developments are in the petro-fueled economies of the Middle East and Russia. Among the most anticipated is the $1 billion Burj Dubai, a massive tower being developed by Emaar Properties in the United Arab Emirates. Although it is not yet complete, the tower has already surpassed the current record holder: Taipei 101 in Taiwan. The final height has been a closely guarded secret, though the Burj Dubai’s 160-plus floors and spire are expected to reach more than 2,600 feet into the sky when it is completed next year, nearly 1,000 feet more than Taipei 101, which was completed in 2004. To put it in perspective, that’s almost an entire Chrysler Building higher. Not to be outdone, the Saudi Arabian multibillionaire Prince al-Walid bin Talal recently unveiled plans for a mile-high tower near the Red Sea port of Jeddah that, if built, would be twice the height of the Burj Dubai. “It is the modern equivalent of New York in the 1920s,” said David Scott, a principal at Arup, an engineering firm, and the chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. A three-part exhibition in Manhattan at the Skyscraper Museum — “Future City: 20|21” — explores this theme by comparing New York in the 1920s and ’30s, when audacious skyscrapers rose up and captured the public’s imagination, with its modern-day peers in Asia, namely Hong Kong and Shanghai. “New York Modern,” the first leg of the exhibit, concludes later this month, and will be followed by “Vertical Cities: Hong Kong|New York.” An examination of Shanghai is planned for next year. As the show suggests, the center of gravity today has shifted from North America and Europe to Asia and the Middle East, where supertalls are rising at a frenetic pace. (In Dubai, the construction crane is jokingly called the national bird.) Supertalls are also going up in countries like India, Kazakhstan and Brazil. The trend, said Carol Willis, an urban historian and director of the Skyscraper Museum, reflects the expanding economies of those regions and their desire to compete for international status and business. In contrast, she says that large developments in New York and other Western cities these days are likely to encounter public opposition — as evidenced by initial public reaction to Forrest City Ratner’s plan for the 22-acre Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, and Jean Nouvel’s soaring Midtown Manhattan tower, commissioned by Hines, an international real estate developer. And tighter credit in the United States has developers increasingly looking at emerging markets. “People are looking at where else they can put their money to work,” said Jeff Cushman, executive managing director of Cushman & Wakefield, the real estate services firm. The newest skyscrapers are breaking old molds. In the United States, the tallest buildings have tended to be office towers, but in Asia and the Middle East, the towers now going up are often residential or mixed-use buildings, with developers selling off residential units to generate cash flow. The new towers are also likely to be built from concrete or composite materials rather than traditional steel and to incorporate so-called green design features. In many cases, they serve as a focal point for larger-scale master plans. The Burj, for example, is at the center of a $20 billion, 500-acre development of downtown Dubai. Residential units in the Burj are selling for as high as $3,500 a square foot. The tower’s presence has already increased the value of nearby properties by as much as 60 percent, according to Emaar. To get a sense of the pace of change, the Council on Tall Buildings has projected what will be the tallest 20 buildings in 2020, measured by height from sidewalk to their architectural top. (Its researchers included only buildings that have developers and financing and have moved beyond the concept phase, but there is no certainty that they will be built, especially given the current economic downturn. The list does not include developments that are being planned but kept under wraps, like the Saudi mile-high tower.) Icons like the Empire State Building in New York and the Sears Tower in Chicago, which have long been enshrined among the tallest buildings in the world, are bumped from the list. The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, currently just behind Taipei 101, fall to 20th place. Only two towers in the United States make the list. At 2,000 feet and 150 stories, the Chicago Spire, a twisting residential tower designed by Santiago Calatrava that broke ground last summer, ranks sixth on the list. It is being developed by the Shelbourne Development Group, a developer based in Dublin that took over the project from Fordham Development. One World Trade Center in New York, also known as the Freedom Tower, from Silverstein Properties and designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, comes in at No. 11, at a symbolic 1,776 feet. By that time, the fruits of other urban-planning ideas may emerge. At the World Science Festival last month, a session titled “Future Cities” explored ideas like vertical urban farms growing local produce and zero-carbon mini cars that can nest like airport luggage carts when not in use. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/realestate/commercial/15sqft.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin
  12. Read this and you'll be discouraged at how sleepy Montreal is. I think back to the Aubin article few weeks back where he questioned the three "tall" residential towers proposed or under construction. As someone noted on that thread it just demonstrates how slow things are here. http://lapresseaffaires.cyberpresse.ca/economie/immobilier/201103/04/01-4376243-la-folie-des-hauteurs-de-toronto.php?utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=cyberpresse_BO4_la_2343_accueil_POS1
  13. Going to spend a few days iin Toronto soon. I need recommandations on a good downtown hotel............in the 4 star range.............well situated downtown....good view...tall building....good price.
  14. LOL. How stupid can these people be? The building grew from 20 to 47 stories tall but they forgot to design the extra space for more elevators up to the 47th floor! http://gizmodo.com/the-builders-of-this-spanish-skyscraper-forgot-the-elev-1065152844 The Builders of This Spanish Skyscraper Forgot the Elevator The Intempo skyscraper in Benidorm, Spain—standing proud in this image—was designed to be a striking symbol of hope and prosperity, to signal to the rest of the world that the city was escaping the financial crisis. Sadly, the builders forgot to include a working elevator. In fairness, the entire construction process has been plagued with problems, reports Ecnonomia. Initially funded by a bank called Caixa Galicia, the finances were recently taken over by Sareb – Spain’s so-called "bad bank" – when the mortgage was massively written down. In part, that was a function of the greed surrounding the project. Initially designed to be a mere 20 storeys tall, the developers got over-excited and pushed the height way up: now it boasts 47 storeys, and will include 269 homes. But that push for more accommodation came at a cost. The original design obviously included specifications for an elevator big enough for a 20-storey building. In the process of scaling things up, however, nobody thought to redesign the elevator system—and, naturally, a 47-storey building requires more space for its lifts and motor equipment. Sadly, that space doesn't exist. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the architects working on the project have resigned, and it remains unclear exactly how the developers will solve the problem. Can we recommend the stairs? [Kinja—Thanks Igor Neumann!]
  15. Twin Cities bridge debuts 30-foot tall pollution-sucking sculptures de Autoblog de Jeremy Korzeniewski Filed under: Etc., Green Two statues have debuted on Minnesota's new Interstate 35W Bridge that are shaped to look like the international cartographic symbol for water. Why? Besides mimicking the look of the Mississippi River as it passes through Minneapolis, the new sculptures are made from a type of concrete that is photocatalytic, meaning they will be able to convert gases like carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide to higher oxidized states, making them less damaging to the environment. Another benefit of the new concrete mixture is that it never looks old as it maintains a white oxidized color on its outer skin. The opening of the new I-35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge also has a deeper meaning, since it replaces the one that tragically collapsed about a year ago from a structural failure. The new one was erected so fast because the original was used by over 140,000 cars per day. Despite how quickly it was built, the new bridge has a 100-year life span, supports ten lanes of traffic thanks to an extra 76 feet of width, and has shoulders on both sides where the old one didn't - not to mention it cleans the air with art. Thanks for the tip, Terry! http://www.autoblog.com/2008/10/07/twin-cities-bridge-debuts-30-foot-tall-pollution-sucking-sculptu/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+weblogsinc/autoblog+(Autoblog)
  16. Cape Town’s first post-apartheid skyscraper commences construction The Portside project, Cape Town’s first post-apartheid skyscraper, designed by Louis Karol, has commenced construction following planning approval. Designed for Old Mutual Investment Group Property Investments (OMIGPI), and located on the old Malgas/Porters/Shell site, opposite the V&A Waterfront entrance, the tower will rise to approximately 148 metres in height. Commanding views on to Table Mountain and Table Bay, Portside will have 24 office floors above a 5-storey hotel and retail component, with parking on five basement levels and eight above ground. The last tall building to be built in Cape Town’s city centre was OMIGPI’s Safmarine House in 1993 – rising to 123 metres and designed also by Louis Karol. Cape Town’s 15 year skyscraper hiatus can be ascribed to a number of factors, including low economic confidence, 9/11 and conservative planning policy. Robert Silke of Louis Karol, said: “We were in negotiations with the City of Cape Town for 18 months and have been grateful for the high levels of co-operation and participation by the city officials in fine tuning the scheme, and who ultimately made positive recommendations to the city councillors. “Until Portside was given consent, it was felt in many quarters that tall buildings were impossible to achieve under the present planning system but events have proven that appropriate, well-designed tall buildings still have a place in our city,” added Silke. OMIGPI’s executive for Property Development, Brent Wiltshire says the Portside development aims to achieve a four-star rating according to the Green Building Council of South Africa’s Green Star rating system. “Tall buildings play an important role in green architecture and their role is three-fold – to promote sustainability, reduce energy use and develop innovative technologies,” says Wiltshire. As part of the focus on safety, lifts can be stopped every third floor to access an emergency exit from within the lift – that is without exiting through the lift doors. Lift studies are being conducted to determine a benchmark for lift waiting times. Completion of this development is scheduled for April 2011. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11435
  17. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced the completion of the Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen, China, according to CTBUH tall building criteria. At 599 meters (1965 feet), it is now officially the second tallest building in China and the fourth tallest in the world, behind only the Burj Khalifa, Shanghai Tower and Makkah Royal Clock Tower. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), the Ping An Finance Center is located in the heart of Shenzhen’s Fuitan District. The building contains over 100 floors of office space located above a large public podium, with a multi-story atrium providing retail, restaurants and transit options to the city and greater Pearl River delta region. The CTBUH describe the form of the tower as a “taught steel cable, outstretched by the sky and the ground at once. At the top of the tower, the façade tapers to form a pyramid, giving the tower a prismatic aesthetic.” The form is further emphasized by eight composite “megacolumns” along the building envelope that streamline the building for improved structural and wind performance, reducing baseline wind loads by 35 percent. The facade of the building is one the project most innovative features; its use of 1,700 tons of 316L stainless steel make the envelope the largest stainless steel facade system in the world. The specific material was chosen for its corrosion-resistance, which will allow the building to maintain its appearance for decades even in the city’s salty coastal atmosphere. http://www.archdaily.com/868015/ctbuh-crowns-ping-an-finance-center-as-worlds-4th-tallest-building