Monday, February 3, 2014

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – January 2014

The following relate to urban development and urban design in general, specific projects, and sun/shade issues. They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).

Seeing a Need for Oversight of New York’s Lordly Towers | The New York Times

NEW YORK, NY - They’re arriving along 57th Street like a clutch of preening runway models, super-tall and skinny, the expensive playthings of Russian oligarchs and Chinese tycoons. A coupling of technology and wealth has bred this new, local hothouse species: leggy, cloud-piercing, sliver-thin residential towers.

They capitalize on views of Central Park — “the money shot,” in the indelicate phrase of Carol Willis, director of the Skyscraper Museum — over which these buildings will cast long, literal shadows…

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In the Shadow of Rising Towers, Laments of Lost Sunlight in New York | The New York Times

NEW YORK, NY - Having to live in someone else’s shadow is one of the risks of being a New Yorker. Yet for untold thousands, this vexing state of affairs is literally true. In a city forever sprouting new buildings, the quest to reach higher often comes at the cost of stealing somebody else’s light…

The city has long endeavored to balance the insatiable thirst for sky-high buildings with preserving a modicum of street-level sunlight, with mixed success.

The 1916 zoning code mandated that tall buildings have setbacks, resulting in ziggurat-style structures resembling giant, layered wedding cakes.

The revamped code of 1961 encouraged more plazas and arcades, like those at the Seagram Building and at Lincoln Center, which ended up being windswept and largely unused.

Such guidelines pale compared with those in place in Japan, where enormous importance is placed upon a property’s access to sunlight. There, the shadows of buildings cannot be cast on other buildings for more than a set amount of hours a day, with the minimum requirement being set on winter solstice.

In New York, however, focus was placed on building higher. In the 1960s, the city was rezoned to accommodate expectations that its population would swell to 12 million to 16 million people. This meant that for nearly every tract of land there exists an invisible outline delineating how much farther a building set there could grow…

Aspects of the current building boom have had glimmers of an upside. The feverish erection of glass-curtain towers has caused light to bounce into some heretofore dark places.

As to whether apartments newly affected by darkness or shadows lose their value, Jonathan Miller, a real-estate appraiser, said the effects on prices was hard to assess. “The implication in urban vertical living is that like it or not, people are going to lose their view or light,” he said.

And so people adjust…

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Not sure I'd be comfortable in this elevator > Building Taller With Carbon Fibre Hoisting Technology | Construction Canada

Urbanization is the leading growth catalyst for cities, economies, and technologies around the world. More than half the global population already lives in urban areas, and the United Nations estimates by 2030, five billion people will be living in cities—up from 3.6 billion in 2010. According to Statistics Canada, 81 per cent of the population already lives in urban areas—a figure rising steadily year after year.

Faced with unprecedented urban growth not seen since the early 1990s, architects, designers, and construction professionals are under pressure to make cities smarter and easier to live in. Adding to the urgency for innovative solutions is the increasing need for environmentally responsible technology. While cities cover less than two per cent of the planet, they account for 75 per cent of global energy consumption and 80 per cent of manmade carbon emissions.

As these trends continue and the world’s population skyrockets, the model of the downtown work core with ever-expanding suburbs is becoming outdated. Many experts think the only sustainable solution is to create denser cities by building upward. While new technologies are needed across multiple industries to grow cities in the future, the next leap in building heights is difficult without a corresponding rise in elevator technology…

Currently, this technology is not found in North America. However, Marina Bay Sands, a recently opened 200-m (656-ft) tall resort in Singapore employs the carbon-fibre technology. Denser concentrations of people in urban environments will increase the importance of efficient movement in and between buildings. With greater people flow, buildings will be built higher and greater efficiency will become essential. Urbanization is a guiding trend for the construction industry. While it may not be intuitive, elevators enable the vertical growth of cities, and they will continue to play a critical role in facilitating the sky-high buildings of the future…

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Anson Kwok of Pinnacle Discusses 1 Yonge Master-Plan – PART 1 | Toronto Star


TORONTO, ON - One of the most high profile developments currently underway in Toronto is the 1 Yonge master-plan by Pinnacle International. Since 1 Yonge will feature four residential buildings ranging from 70 to 88 storeys, we just had to catch up with our friend Anson Kwok, the VP of Sales & Marketing at Pinnacle, for Super Tall Towers Month!

Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, 1 Yonge will feature a hotel tower and two office towers in addition to the previously mentioned residential towers. 1 Yonge isn’t just enhancing the skyline, it’s also going to affect the neighbourhood at street level with a new 17 meter wide Yonge Street promenade and an extension of Harbour Street.

The big question is, why do cities want to build towers over 80 storeys high? “For us, it’s very location driven. I think in most major cities, location is probably the primary reason to build super tall buildings. In many countries, 88 storeys isn’t even considered super tall,” Kwok explained.  “It’s about creating a complex mix of uses. I think that’s the expectation now. If you look at most big cities, you’re looking at six, seven different uses all integrated, and that’s what we want it to be. And, if we’re trying to not rely as much on cars, we’re going to need a more vertical community base.”…

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Anson Kwok of Pinnacle Discusses 1 Yonge Master-Plan – PART 2 | Toronto Star


TORONTO, ON - How come some people are opposed to super tall towers?

If you’re a lover of tall design, then you’ve asked yourself this question many times. Anytime a tall tower is proposed, there is a backlash from one community or another that cite reasons such as shadowing, increased traffic, too many people, etc.

“We’re planning for the future. When we do a master-plan for 1 Yonge, it’s not going to happen today. We’re looking at a 10 or 15 year cycle. It’s probably going to take us four or five years to build one of these. Look at Aura, it’s been under construction for a good amount of time. We’re looking toward what Toronto is going to look like in 2025 and 2030,” Kwok said, explaining that many people instantly look at the biggest number on a stats sheets and picture what the neighbourhood would be like without taking the city’s natural growth into consideration. 1 Yonge isn’t going to add 6,000 people to the waterfront tomorrow, or the next day, or even in the next couple years. The growth will be gradual and manageable, and realistically, the market will dictate its success. If people don’t buy in an 88-storey condo, then it won’t be built…

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The price difference between an average condo and 2-storey house in Canada is $171,752 | via @BuzzBuzzHome

Glare From London 'Fryscraper' Becomes an Attraction | ScienceDaily

walkie scorchie fryscraper london on fenchurch street

LONDON, UK - Sun rays reflected from a half-finished London skyscraper that melted parts of several cars and damaged shopfronts has become one of London's hottest attractions, with a screen put up in front of the shops to avoid more damage. A thermometer shows the temperature rises to 50 celsius under the reflection.

video story-

Cheers, Ralph

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