The Urban Towers Handbook

  • Publish Date: 2011-06-28
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Eric Firley;Julie Gimbal
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The Urban Towers Handbook
Eric Firley and Julie Gimbal with Philippe Honnorat

For well over a century, the modern skyscraper has provided an ingenious solution to high-density living and working - accommodating the greatest number of people in a building with a minimal footprint. In the contemporary context of drastic urban growth, its role can only gain in importance. The question is how to avoid past mistakes and how to conceive the tower as a positive component of an existing or newly created urban fabric. In a thoroughly analytical and comparative way The Urban Towers Handbook provides answers to these questions and serves as a reference book and design tool for architects, planners and developers alike. Its comprehensive graphic documentation includes not only aerials and to-scale plans and sections, but also purpose-made photography, drawings and diagrams.

The core of the book is made up of over fifty case studies which have been classified according to three major typological groups and their respective sub-groups: solitaires, clusters and vertical cities. Twenty-one of these examples feature detailed documentation, including classics such as the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and Torre Velasca in Milan, as well as contemporary milestones such as Roppongi Hills in Tokyo and the making of Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. Among others, several districts in Hong Kong, Shanghai and So Paulo have been analysed as existing examples of vertical cities. The case studies section of the book is consolidated by a second section that outlines high-rise regulations in seven cities around the world, and highlights how planning authorities use tall buildings for the realisation of their urban goals and visions. The third and final section of the book addresses the uneasy relationship between high-rise structures and sustainability, placing the emphasis on the urban implications.