Critique of Object Towers

Design Studio 2018

Tommy Lan

Object-Towers and the Public Spaces In Between

The studio critically examines the relationship between public spaces and the object-towers within the homogeneity of vertical urbanism. Rapid urbanization-by-eradication disrupt historical development patterns resulting in newly created public spaces that are interchangeable with those in other recently urbanized cities. This non-specificity is intensified by the increasing scale of tall buildings that reach the scale of urban infrastructure. Large scale public spaces repeatedly fail to enrich the identity of the evolving city.

This studio makes a case against the typology of the singular object-like tower that considers the height as commensurate with progress. The impressive heights of the object-towers privilege the urban context of the skyline while under-representing the street level experiences. A case is made for site-specific, climatically-attuned, multi-scaled buildings that collectively define a sense of place at the street level. A careful consideration of public spaces in between buildings can lead to soft edges with permeable boundaries and shifts in scale that promote spatial layering and programmatic mixing offering human–centered and human-scaled urban experiences.

Kathleen Agonoy, Paola Alunni, Tommy Lan, Rhonuel Domingcil, Naomi Rojas, Fang Liu, Brianna Lorn