Humanising the High Rise

Cities today are bustling developments evolving as centres for social engagement,
capital generation and cultural amalgamation. They consist of a dense urban fabric
that reflects the very core idea of the city and its ever-changing landscape. For
long, high-rise buildings have been seen as a solution to the rapid development of
cities and their rushed means of capital generation. High density neighbourhoods
are a result of more people wanting to be present in the same neighbourhood yet
limited land giving rise to the need for high-rise buildings. The larger the scale is,
the more intangible and unmanageable the entire idea seems. Yet the higher we go,
the more we lose touch with the ground and the more inhumane this whole concept
seems. Or so we think.
This study aims to look at the idea of humanising the high-rise through the ideas of
social and contextual interactions at varied scales of personal, neighbourhood and
city levels changing the notion of the high-rise as more than just a tall glass box.

The Need
With the advent of global capital markets, high-rise buildings have been dotting
cities the world over. By August 2018, there were over 3251 ‘tall’ buildings (with a
height of more than 150m) located at over 258 cities worldwide1

‘Tall’ is the new normal. However, our way of addressing the new ‘tall’ in these
dense environments hasn’t changed much. This research is an attempt at bringing
back the human scale to high-rise built environments.

Arzann Rustom