A Barometer of High and Low: Re-defining the Skyscraper as a Vertical City

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Virginia Tech

In the face of rapid urbanization, megacities have witnessed the rise of skyscrapers as central social hubs. However, the predominant design approach for these towering structures has primarily focused on practical considerations, often overlooking the spiritual well-being of individuals. This oversight has led to detrimental consequences such as mental health challenges, pervasive social isolation, and increased crime rates. While halting skyscraper construction is not a practical solution, a compelling need emerges for a fresh design approach. A paradigm shift in skyscraper design is proposed, drawing inspiration from the organic formation of neighborhoods. This approach advocates for creating vertical settings within skyscrapers, which aim to offer rejuvenating experiences through abundant social spaces. These vertical neighborhoods blend communal learning areas, recreational zones, relaxation spaces, and green areas that foster natural human connections. By strongly emphasizing enclosed and open public spaces and implementing programs encouraging interaction, the envisioned design seeks to nurture healthy relationships and facilitate genuine human connections, ultimately fostering a more cohesive and closely-knit society.

Vertical city, human spirit, social interaction, sky streets, bubble elevators