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In Jackson’s blog Vertical City – skyscraper become recognition to the world, he introduced the history of skyscrapers from 1880s to present. The height has increased from 10 floors to 50 floors. And the purpose of skyscraper had been diverse in the recent years. He researched on the cases in Shanghai, China and Dubai, and argued that skyscrapers are built to symbolize their status and power in the world now.

Delirious New York

I agree with his opinions. As Koolhaas illustrated in Delirious New York, the more stores the skyscrapers, the more prominent the whole is. He emphasized culture of congestion and human desire that encourage capitalists build more and higher skyscrapers (Koolhaas, 1994). Actually this theory highly reflects in our cities today. As Jackson showed, Shanghai has built three skyscrapers in close areas, and each higher than the previous. Beside that, I noticed local governments in China often advertise their cities by saying likes “we will build the highest skyscrapers in this region”.

Case study

This project is in Chongqing, China. The site is located at the junction of the two most important rivers of the city. It looks like the gate of Chongqing. In the past, it was a public square and a terminal. Learning from the success of Marina Bay Sands Singapore, the government invite the same investor to build and manage this project. Most official media reported this project as a landmark in Chongqing rather than concerning citizen’s activities.

Figure 1: Chao Tian Men project in ChongQing, China

In my opinion, cities need a landmark to attract tourists and investors. But when we build this type of buildings like skyscrapers, we should balance the status significance with the public benefits.

Reference list:

  1. Koolhaas, R. (1994). Delirious New York : A retroactive manifesto for Manhattan (New ed.). New York: Monacelli Press.
  2. 朝天门建露天广场. Linban.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.

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School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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