1st Edition

Understanding Tall Buildings
A Theory of Placemaking

ISBN 9781138811423
Published March 15, 2017 by Routledge
270 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

In recent years, the rapid pace of tall building construction has fostered a certain kind of placelessness, with many new tall buildings being built out of scale, context and place. By analyzing hundreds of tall buildings and by providing hundreds of visuals that inspire, stimulate and engage, Understanding Tall Buildings contends that well-designed tall buildings can rejuvenate cities, ignite economic activity, support social life and boost city pride. Although this book does not claim to possess all the solutions, it does propose specific tall building design guidelines that may help to promote placemaking. Through this work, it is the author’s hope that ill-conceived developments will become less common in the future and that good placemaking will become the norm, not the exception. This book is a must-read for students and practitioners working to create better tall buildings and better urban environments.

Table of Contents




List of Figures


PART I: The Urban Design Dimension

 Chapter 1: Tall Buildings and Imageability

Chapter 2: City Skyline 

PART II: The Architectural Dimension 

Chapter 3: The Rise of the Iconic TowerChapter 4: The New Age of the Iconic Tower 

PART III: The Human Dimension

 Chapter 5: The Tower Base

Chapter 6: Urban PlazasChapter 7: Public Parks and Open Spaces 

PART IV: The Transport Dimension 

Chapter 8: Tall Buildings and the Transport SystemChapter 9: Case Studies: Tall Buildings and Transit Oriented Development

Chapter 10: Placemaking and Tall Buildings: Ten Planning Guidelines 



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Kheir Al-Kodmany is a Professor of Sustainable Urban Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Having published over 100 articles on planning and design, this is Dr. Al-Kodmany’s fourth book on tall buildings. He previously worked as an architect at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.