Design Prose

Vertical Chutzpah: Social Tale of Tall Buildings

Posted in Built Environment, City Scapes, Urban Planning by designprose on February 9, 2010

World of Architecture is buzzed with a newest addition tearing into the azure: Burj Tower. It has been claimed that it is now the world’s tallest building and it is expected that it will attract tourists from world over. In its basic physiological needs, this architecture and engineering gem will provide, awe, wonder and a sense of supremacy that human race would like to keep it in their tow. Currently, Burj Tower stand tallest leaving behind earlier claims to shame, above Malaysia’s Petronas Towers, Toronto’s CN Tower, Chicago’s Sears Tower. Human scale in this is of  little significance when human greed to become taller, bigger and larger is amongst the front-runners. It would work rather well if only we weren’t clusters of social beings.

Denser developments of cities or vertical towns, are the need of the hour if we have manage our environmental resources sustainably, I am told. What about social, emotional and well-being resources sustainability? Are human beings quick enough to adapt to social viability of class creation through vertical developments? Are human beings adept at tailoring their emotional viability in escaping from fellow human beings where only select few may reach? What about calculation on inculcation of techniques to mitigate fears like vertigo? What about feeling of safety in cumbersome accessibility to towers? What about structural soundness which cannot deflect deleterious air-borne attacks?

Architectural achievement of this height, not only, does not signify distributive nature of wealth but it also violates the law of natural progression of the race. On the onset itself, we see interference with the equilibrium of nature. Migration from one’s habitat space is a highly organic and often a slow process. Hence the experience out of such a feat will mostly be temporary and not transcendental. Why then, do we like to build skyscrapers while extended slums crammed with migrants and congested unsanitary habitation strive to thrive at the bottom of it? Never mind the human rights violations of labor workers, for now, we will just turn our eyes. More such building race up in the sky, bigger the moral and physical squalor at the bottom is going to be.

If we as human race continue and keep living in defiance then nature has it’s own mean means to proclaim the equilibrium. Isn’t it critical that architectural community joins a collective force to intervene with intellectual intervention to understand and disseminate the same knowledge for better and safer built environments?


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