The Skycourt and Skygarden
Greening the urban habitat
Routledge – 2014 – 304 pages
Population increases, advances in technology and the continued trend towards inner-city migration have transformed the traditional city of spaces into the modern city of objects. This has necessitated alternative spatial and technological solutions to replenish those environments that were once so intrinsic to society’s day-to-day interactions and communal activities.
This book considers skycourts and skygardens as ‘alternative social spaces’ that form part of a broader multi-level urban infrastructure – seeking to make good the loss of open space within the built environment. Jason Pomeroy begins the discussion with the decline of the public realm, and how the semi-public realm has been incorporated into a spatial hierarchy that supports the primary figurative spaces on the ground or, in their absence, creates them in the sky. He then considers skycourts and skygardens in terms of the social, cultural, economic, environmental, technological and spatial benefits that they provide to the urban habitat. Pomeroy concludes by advocating a new hybrid that can harness the social characteristics of the public domain, but be placed within buildings as an alternative communal space for the 21st century.
Using graphics and full colour images throughout, the author explores 40 current and forthcoming skycourt and skygarden projects from around the world, including the Shard (London), Marina Bay Sands (Singapore), the Shanghai Tower (China) and the Lotte Tower (South Korea).
"Over half the book is a really useful set of case studies, wisely categorized as Completed, Under Construction and On the Drawing Board. I am as full of admiration for the architects and clients who launched these projects as for the author who assembled and analyzed the details…Two real strength of Pomeroy’s book are his analytical diagrams and his systematic charting of the characteristics of above ground greenspace." - Tom Turner, GardenVisit.com
"This is an instructive publication that expands with greater elaboration the notion that tall buildings should be designed as 'vertical urban design', requiring the creation of ‘public’ places in the sky. Architects, developers and academics of high-rise buildings within the urban habitat could learn much from this treatise." - Ken Yeang, Principal of Llewelyn Davies Yeang and Hamzah & Yeang
Foreword Ken Yeang. Preface. Part 1: Civility, Community and the Decline of the Public Realm 1.1 The public realm, civility and community 1.2 The decline of the public realm, and the privatisation of space 1.3 From a city of spaces to a city of objects 1.4 Loss of open space and its socio-environmental implications 1.5 The birth of alternative social spaces Part 2: Defining the skycourt and skygarden 2.1 The skycourt and skygarden: a historical overview 2.2 The skycourt and skygarden: spatial morphology and perceived density 2.3 The skycourt and skygarden as a social space 2.4 The skycourt as a transitional space 2.5 The skycourt and skygarden as an environmental filter 2.6 The skycourt and skygarden: enhancing psycho - physiological well-being 2.7 The skycourt and skygarden as a bio-diversity enhancer 2.8 The skycourt and skygarden: their economic benefits 2.9 The skycourts and skygarden as part of a new legislated urban vocabulary Part 3: Global Case Studies 3.1 Completed projects 3.2 Under construction 3.3 On the drawing board 3.4 Future vision Part 4: Towards a Vertical Urban Theory 4.1 The skycourt and skygarden: evolutionary observations 4.2 Sustainable principles to support a vertical urban theory
Jason Pomeroy is an award-winning architect, masterplanner and academic at the forefront of the sustainable built environment agenda. He graduated with distinction from the Canterbury School of Architecture and Cambridge University, and is the founding Principal of Pomeroy Studio. He provides the direction of the Studio’s creative output and research programme. In addition to leading Pomeroy Studio, he lectures internationally and publishes widely, and is the author of Idea House: Future Tropical Living Today. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Nottingham, and Visiting Faculty to a number of other institutions. He also sits on the editorial board of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.