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A high-rise building is a tall
building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a ...

building
, as opposed to a
low-rise building Typical German Fachwerkhäuser in the Hanseatic Harbour of Stade, Germany, 270x270px A low-rise is a building that is only a few stories tall or any building that is shorter than a high-rise, though others include the classification of mid-rise. ...
and is defined differently in terms of height depending on the
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
. It is used as a
residential A residential area is a land used in which houses, housing predominates, as opposed to industrial district, industrial and Commercial Area, commercial areas. Housing may vary significantly between, and through, residential areas. These include ...

residential
,
office building An office is a space where an Organization, organization's employees perform Business administration, administrative Work (human activity), work in order to support and realize objects and Goals, plans, action theory, goals of the organizati ...

office building
, or other functions including
hotel A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. Facilities provided inside a hotel room may range from a modest-quality mattress in a small room to large suites with bigger, higher-quality beds, a dresser, a ref ...

hotel
,
retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption ( ...

retail
, or with multiple purposes combined. Residential high-rise buildings are also known in some varieties of English, such as
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage and is employed by a populatio ...
, as tower blocks and may be referred to as MDUs, standing for multi-dwelling unit. A very tall high-rise building is referred to as a
skyscraper A skyscraper is a tall continuously habitable building having multiple floors. Modern sources currently define skyscrapers as being at least 100 metres or 150 metres in height, though there is no universally accepted definition. Skyscrapers ar ...

skyscraper
. High-rise buildings became possible with the invention of the
elevator An elevator (North American English North American English (NAmE, NAE) is the most generalized variety (linguistics), variety of the English language as spoken in the United States and Canada. Because of their related histories and ...

elevator
(lift) and less expensive, more abundant building materials. The materials used for the
structural system The term structural system or structural frame in structural engineering refers to the load-resisting sub-system of a building or object. The structural system transfers loads through interconnected elements or members. Commonly used structures ...
of high-rise buildings are
reinforced concrete Reinforced concrete (RC), also called reinforced cement concrete (RCC), is a composite material in which concrete's relatively low ultimate tensile strength, tensile strength and ductility are compensated for by the inclusion of reinforcement h ...
and
steel Steel is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appe ...

steel
. Most
North American North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent of a single continent, Americas, America. It is bordered to the north by the A ...
-style
skyscraper A skyscraper is a tall continuously habitable building having multiple floors. Modern sources currently define skyscrapers as being at least 100 metres or 150 metres in height, though there is no universally accepted definition. Skyscrapers ar ...

skyscraper
s have a
steel frame Steel frame is a building technique with a "skeleton A skeleton is a structural frame that supports an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom ...
, while residential blocks are usually constructed of concrete. There is no clear difference between a tower block and a skyscraper, although a building with forty or more stories and taller than is generally considered a skyscraper. High-rise structures pose particular design challenges for
structural A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A sy ...
and
geotechnical#REDIRECT geotechnical engineering#REDIRECT geotechnical engineering {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
engineers, particularly if situated in a seismically active region or if the underlying soils have geotechnical risk factors such as high compressibility or
bay mud Bay mud consists of thick deposits of soft, unconsolidated silty clay, which is saturated with water; these soil layers are situated at the bottom of certain estuary, estuaries, which are normally in temperate regions that have experienced cyclica ...
. They also pose serious challenges to firefighters during emergencies in high-rise structures. New and old building design, building systems like the building standpipe system,
HVAC Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is the use of various technologies to control the temperature Temperature ( ) is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy Thermal rad ...

HVAC
systems (heating, ventilation and air conditioning),
fire sprinkler A fire sprinkler or sprinkler head is the component of a fire sprinkler system that discharges water when the effects of a fire have been detected, such as when a predetermined temperature has been exceeded. Fire sprinklers are extensively used ...
system and other things like stairwell and
elevator An elevator (North American English North American English (NAmE, NAE) is the most generalized variety (linguistics), variety of the English language as spoken in the United States and Canada. Because of their related histories and ...

elevator
evacuations pose significant problems. Studies are often required to ensure that pedestrian wind comfort and wind danger concerns are addressed. In order to allow less wind exposure, to transmit more daylight to the ground and to appear more slender, many high-rises have a design with setbacks.
Apartment building An apartment (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, Americ ...

Apartment building
s have technical and economic advantages in areas of high
population density Population density (in agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise tr ...

population density
, and have become a distinctive feature of housing accommodation in virtually all densely populated
urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as city, cities, towns, conurbat ...
s around the world. In contrast with
low-rise Typical German Fachwerkhäuser in the Hanseatic Harbour of Stade, Germany">270x270px A low-rise is a building that is only a few stories tall or any building that is shorter than a high-rise, though others include the classification of mid-rise. ...
and single-family houses, apartment blocks accommodate more inhabitants per unit of area of land and decrease the cost of
municipal infrastructure Public works are a broad category of infrastructure Infrastructure is the set of fundamental facilities and systems that support the sustainable functionality of households and firms. Serving a country, city, or other area, including the ser ...
.


Definition

Various bodies have defined "high-rise": *
Emporis Emporis GmbH is a real estate Real estate is property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this (also) an ite ...
defines a high-rise as "A multi-story structure between tall, or a building of unknown height from 12–39 floors." *According to the building code of
Hyderabad Hyderabad ( , , ) is the capital and largest city of the India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the ...

Hyderabad
, a high-rise building is one with four floors or more, or or more in height. *The ''New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary'' defines a high-rise as "a building having many storeys". *The ''International Conference on Fire Safety in High-Rise Buildings'' defined a high-rise as "any structure where the height can have a serious impact on evacuation" *In the U.S., the
National Fire Protection Association The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is an international nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. As of 2018, the NFPA claims to have 50,000 mem ...
defines a high-rise as being higher than , or about seven stories. *Most building engineers, inspectors, architects and similar professionals define a high-rise as a building that is at least 75 feet tall.


History

High-rise apartment buildings had already appeared in
antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to Historical objects or periods Artifacts * Antiquities, objects or artifacts surviving from ancient cultures Eras Any period before the European Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...
: the ''
insulae The Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it ...
'' in
ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who stud ...
and several other cities in the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, some of which might have reached up to ten or more stories, one reportedly having 200 stairs. Because of the destruction caused by poorly built high-rise ''insulae'' collapsing, several
Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Politica ...
s, beginning with
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...

Augustus
(r. 30 BC – 14 AD), set limits of for multi-story buildings, but met with limited success, as these limits were often ignored despite the likelihood of taller ''insulae'' collapsing. The lower
floor A floor is the bottom surface of a room or vehicle. Floors vary from simple dirt in a cave to many-layered surfaces made with modern technology. Floors may be stone, wood, bamboo, metal or any other material that can support the expected load ...
s were typically occupied by either shops or wealthy families, while the upper stories were rented out to the lower classes. Surviving
Oxyrhynchus Papyri The Oxyrhynchus Papyri are a group of manuscripts discovered during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by papyrology, papyrologists Bernard Pyne Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt at an ancient Landfill, rubbish dump near Oxyrhync ...
indicate that seven-story buildings even existed in
provincial Provincial may refer to: Government & Administration * Provincial capitals, an administrative sub-national capital of a country * Provincial city (disambiguation) * Provincial minister (disambiguation) * Provincial Secretary, a position in Canadi ...
towns, such as in third century AD
Hermopolis Hermopolis ( grc, Ἑρμοῦ πόλις ''Hermoû pólis'' "the City of Hermes Hermes (; grc-gre, Ἑρμῆς) is an Olympian deity in ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology, mythology. Hermes is considered the herald of the gods. ...
in
Roman Egypt , conventional_long_name = Roman Egypt , common_name = Egypt , subdivision = Roman province, Province , nation = the Roman Empire , era = Late antiquity , capital = Alexandria , title_leader = Praefectus Augustalis , image_ ...
.Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 2719, in: Katja Lembke, Cäcilia Fluck, Günter Vittmann: ''Ägyptens späte Blüte. Die Römer am Nil'', Mainz 2004, , p. 29 In Arab Egypt, the initial capital city of
Fustat Fustat ( ar, الفسطاط ''al-Fusṭāṭ'', ), also Fostat, Al Fustat, Misr al-Fustat and Fustat-Misr, was the first capital of Egypt The current capital of Egypt is Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic: ⲕⲁϩ ...
housed many high-rise residential buildings, some seven stories tall that could reportedly accommodate hundreds of people.
Al-Muqaddasi , birth_date = c. 945/946 CE , birth_place = Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλ ...
, in the 10th century, described them as resembling
minaret Minaret (; fa, گل‌دسته ', az, minarə, tr, minare,"minaret."
''Online Etymology Dictiona ...

minaret
s, while
Nasir Khusraw Abu Mo’in Hamid ad-Din Nasir ibn Khusraw al-Qubadiani or Nāsir Khusraw Qubādiyānī Balkhi also spelled as ''Nasir Khusrow'' and ''Naser Khosrow'' (d. after 1070) ( fa, ناصر خسرو قبادیانی) was a Persians, Persian poet, philos ...
, in the early 11th century, described some of them rising up to 14 stories, with
roof garden A roof garden is a garden on the roof of a building. Besides the decorative benefit, roof plantings may provide food, temperature control, hydrological benefits, architectural enhancement, habitats or corridors for wildlife, recreational opport ...
s on the top story complete with ox-drawn
water wheel A water wheel is a machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine A molecular machine, nanite, or nanomachine i ...

water wheel
s for
irrigating
irrigating
them. By the 16th century,
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
also had high-rise apartment buildings where the two lower floors were for commercial and storage purposes and the multiple stories above them were rented out to
tenants A leasehold estate is an ownership of a temporary right to hold land or property in which a lessee or a tenant holds rights of real property In English common law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is land which i ...
. The skyline of many important
medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
cities was dominated by large numbers of high-rising urban towers, which fulfilled defensive but also representative purposes. The residential
Towers of Bologna
Towers of Bologna
numbered between 80 and 100 at a time, the largest of which still rise to 97.2 m. In
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Al ...

Florence
, a law of 1251 decreed that all urban buildings should be reduced to a height of less than 26 m, the regulation immediately put into effect.Werner Müller: "dtv-Atlas Baukunst I. Allgemeiner Teil: Baugeschichte von Mesopotamien bis Byzanz", 14th ed., 2005, , p. 345 Even medium-sized towns such as
San Gimignano San Gimignano () is a small walled Middle Ages, medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. Known as ''the Town of Fine Towers'', San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of a ...

San Gimignano
are known to have featured 72 towers up to 51 m in height. The
Hakka people The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The fou ...
in
southern China Northern China () and Southern China () are two approximate regions within China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is ...
have adopted communal living structures designed to be easily defensible in the forms of Weilongwu (围龙屋) and
Tulou A tulou (), or "earthen building", is a traditional communal Hakka people The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese,
(土楼), the latter are large, enclosed and fortified earth building, between three and five stories high and housing up to 80 families. The oldest still standing tulou dates back from the 14th century. High rises were built in the
Yemen ) , image_map = Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Sana'a Sanaa ( ar, صَنْعَاء, ' , Yemeni Arabic: ; Old South Arabian: 𐩮 ...

Yemen
i city of
Shibam Shibam Hadramawt ( ar, شِبَام حَضْرَمَوْت, Shibām Ḥaḍramawt) is a town in Yemen ) , image_map = File:Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Sana'a (''Houthi takeover in Y ...

Shibam
in the 16th century. The houses of Shibam are all made out of mud bricks, but about five hundred of them are
tower house A tower house is a particular type of stone structure, built for defensive purposes as well as habitation. Tower houses began to appear in the Middle Ages, especially in mountainous or limited access areas, in order to command and defend strateg ...
s, which rise five to sixteen stories high, with each floor having one or two
apartment An apartment (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United S ...

apartment
s.Old Walled City of Shibam
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
World Heritage Centre
This technique of building was implemented to protect residents from Bedouin attacks. While Shibam has existed for around two thousand years, most of the city's houses date from the 16th century. The city has the tallest mud buildings in the world, some more than 30
meter The metre ( Commonwealth spelling) or meter (American spelling Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English ...

meter
s (100
feet The foot (plural: feet) is an anatomical Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemist ...

feet
) high. Shibam has been called "one of the oldest and best examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction" or "
Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as ''The City'', is the most densely populated and geographically smallest of the five boroughs 5 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 5, five or number 5 may also refer to: * AD 5, the fifth year of the AD era ...

Manhattan
of the desert". The engineer's definition of high-rise buildings comes from the development of
fire truck A fire engine (also known in some places as a fire truck or fire lorry) is a road vehicle (usually a truck) that functions as a firefighting apparatus. The primary purposes of a fire engine include transporting firefighters and water to an in ...

fire truck
s in the late 19th century.
Magirus Magirus GmbH is a truck manufacturer based in , , founded by (1824–1895). It was formerly known as Klöckner Humboldt Deutz AG, maker of the engines, so the brand commonly used was Magirus Deutz, and for a short time Klöckner. Most trucks fro ...

Magirus
had shown the first
cogwheel File:Storckensohn_cog_wheels.jpg, Cast iron mortise wheel with wooden cogs (powered by an external water wheel) meshing with a cast iron gear wheel, connected to a pulley with drive belt. Oil mill in Storkensohn (Haut-Rhin), France. A gear ...

cogwheel
sliding ladder in 1864. The first
turntable ladder A fire engine (also known in some places as a fire truck or fire lorry) is a road vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is a man-made device that uses power to apply forces and control movement to perform ...
drawn by horses was developed in 1892 which had a length of 25 meters. The extension ladder was motorized by Magirus in 1904. The definition of a maximum of 22 meters for the highest floor was common in the building regulations at the time and it is still so today in Germany. The common height for
turntable ladder A fire engine (also known in some places as a fire truck or fire lorry) is a road vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine A machine is a man-made device that uses power to apply forces and control movement to perform ...
s did later go to 32 meters (100 feet), so that 30 meter is a common limit in some building regulations today, for example in Switzerland. Any building that exceeds the height of the usual turntable ladders in a city must install additional fire safety equipment, so that these high-rise buildings have a different section in the building regulations in the world. Currently, the tallest high-rise apartment building in the world is the
Central Park Tower Central Park Tower, also known as the Nordstrom Tower, is a residential supertall skyscraper along Billionaires' Row on 57th Street (Manhattan), 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architectu ...

Central Park Tower
on Billionaires' Row in
Midtown Manhattan Midtown Manhattan is the central portion of the New York City borough New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With a ...

Midtown Manhattan
, towering at .


Modern development

The residential tower block with its typical concrete construction are a familiar feature of
Modernist architecture Modern architecture, or modernist architecture, was an architectural movement or architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. ...
. Influential examples include
Le Corbusier Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (6 October 188727 August 1965), known as Le Corbusier ( , , ; roughly, "the crow-like one"), was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it ...

Le Corbusier
's "housing unit" his '' Unité d'Habitation'', repeated in various European cities starting with his '' Cité radieuse'' in Marseille (1947–52), constructed of ''
béton brut ''Béton brut'' () is a French term that translates in English to “raw concrete”. The term is used to describe concrete that is left unfinished after being cast, displaying the patterns and seams imprinted on it by the formwork.''Exposed concr ...
'', rough-cast
concrete Concrete is a composite material A composite material (also called a composition material or shortened to composite, which is the common name) is a material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a ter ...

concrete
, as steel for framework was unavailable in post-war France. Residential tower blocks became standard in housing urban populations displaced by
slum clearanceSlum clearance, slum eviction or slum removal is an urban renewal upright=1.35, 1999 photograph looking northeast on housingproject,_one_of_many_urban_renewal_efforts.html" ;"title="Public_housing.html" ;"title="Cabrini–Green_Homes.html" ;"titl ...
s and "
urban renewal Urban renewal (also called urban regeneration in the United Kingdom and urban redevelopment in the United States) is a program of land redevelopment often used to address urban decay in cities. Urban renewal is the clearing out of blighted area ...
". High-rise projects after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
typically rejected the classical designs of the
early skyscrapers The early skyscrapers were a range of tall commercial buildings built between 1884 and 1945, predominantly in the American cities of New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by po ...
, instead embracing the uniform international style; many older skyscrapers were redesigned to suit contemporary tastes or even got demolished - such as New York's
Singer Building The Singer Building (also the Singer Tower) was an office building and early skyscrapers, early skyscraper in Manhattan, New York City. Serving as the headquarters of the Singer Corporation, Singer Manufacturing Company, it was at the northweste ...
, once the world's tallest skyscraper. However, with the movements of
Postmodernism Postmodernism is an intellectual stance or mode of discourse defined by an attitude of philosophical skepticism, skepticism toward what it describes as the meta-narrative, grand narratives and ideology, ideologies of modernism, as well as oppos ...
,
New Urbanism New Urbanism is an urban design While many assume urban design is about the process of designing and shaping the physical features of cities A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, lo ...

New Urbanism
, and
New Classical Architecture#REDIRECT New Classical architecture {{redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalization{{R from move ...
, that established since the 1980s, a more classical approach came back to global skyscraper design, that is popular today. Other contemporary styles and movements in highrise design include
organic Organic may refer to: * Organic, of or relating to an organism, a living entity * Organic, of or relating to an anatomical organ (anatomy), organ Chemistry * Organic matter, matter that has come from a once-living organism, is capable of decay or ...
,
sustainable Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century The 21st (twenty-first) century is the current century in the '' Anno Domini'' era or Common Era, in accordance with the ...
, neo-futurist, structuralist,
high-tech High technology (high tech) or frontier technology (frontier tech) is technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of Art techni ...
,
deconstructivist Deconstructivism is a movement of postmodern architecture which appeared in the 1980s. It gives the impression of the fragmentation of the constructed building, commonly characterised by an absence of obvious harmony, continuity, or symmetry. I ...
,
blob Blob may refer to: Science Computing * Binary blob A proprietary device driver is a closed-source device driver published only in binary code. In the context of free and open-source software, a Proprietary software, closed-source device dr ...
,
digital Digital usually refers to something using discrete digits, often binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electr ...
,
streamline Streamline may refer to: *Operation Streamline Business * Streamline Air, American regional airline * Adobe Streamline, a discontinued line tracing program made by Adobe Systems * Streamline Cars, the company responsible for making the Burney ...
,
novelty Novelty (derived from Latin word novus for "new") is the quality of being new, or following from that, of being striking, original or unusual. Novelty may be the shared experience of a new cultural phenomenon or the subjective perception of an indi ...
, critical regionalist,
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language, normally Spoken language, spoken informally rath ...
, , and neohistorist, also known as revivalist.


Asia

Residential tower complexes are common in Asian countries such as China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Pakistan, Iran and South Korea, as urban densities are very high. In
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
and urban
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pe ...

Hong Kong
, land prices are so high that a large portion of the population lives in high-rise apartments. In fact, over 60% of Hong Kong residents live in apartments, many of them
condominium A condominium (or condo for short) is a building structure divided into several units that are each separately owned, surrounded by common areas that are jointly owned. Residential condominiums are frequently constructed as apartment buildings ...
s.
Sarah Williams Goldhagen Sarah Williams Goldhagen (born September 5, 1959) is an American author and architecture critic. Her scholarship on twentieth-century architecture, her criticism for the '' New Republic'' and '' Architectural Record'', and her writings on the percep ...
(2012) celebrated the work of innovative architecture firms such as WOHA (based in Singapore), Mass Studies (based in Seoul), Amateur Architecture Studio (based in Hangzhou, China), and the New York City-based Steven Holl in the transformation of residential towers into "vertical communities" or "vertical cities in the sky" providing aesthetic, unusually designed silhouettes on the skyline, comfortable private spaces and attractive public spaces. None of these "functional, handsome, and humane high-rise residential buildings" are affordable housing.


China

The 2012 Pritzker Prize was awarded to Chinese architect Wang Shu. Among his winning designs is the Vertical Courtyard Apartments, six 26-story towers built in Hangzhou, by his architectural firm, Amateur Architecture Studio. "These towers were designed to house two-story apartments, in which every inhabitant would enjoy “the illusion of living on the second floor”, accomplished by folding concrete floor planes (like “bamboo mats,” claims the firm), so that every third story opens into a private courtyard. In the larger towers, the two-story units are stacked slightly askew, adding to the visual interest of the variegated façades (Goldhagen 2012)."


South Korea

In South Korea, the tower blocks are called Apartment Complex (). The first residential towers began to be built after the Korean War. The South Korean government needed to build many apartment complexes in the cities to be able to accommodate the citizens. In the 60 years since, as the population increased considerably, tower blocks have become more common. This time, however, the new tower blocks integrated shopping malls, parking systems, and other convenient facilities. Samsung Tower Palace in Seoul, South Korea, is the tallest apartment complex in Asia. In Seoul, approximately 80% of its residents live in apartment complexes which comprise 98% of recent residential construction. Seoul proper is noted for its
population density Population density (in agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise tr ...

population density
, eight times greater than Rome, though less than
Manhattan Manhattan (), known regionally as ''The City'', is the most densely populated and geographically smallest of the five boroughs 5 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 5, five or number 5 may also refer to: * AD 5, the fifth year of the AD era ...

Manhattan
and Paris. Its metropolitan area is the densest in the OECD.


Europe


Central and Eastern Europe

Although some Central Europe, Central and Eastern European countries during the interwar period, such as the Second Polish Republic, already started building housing estates that were considered to be of a very high standard for their time, many of these structures perished during the Second World War. In the Eastern Bloc, tower blocks were constructed in great numbers to produce plenty of cheap accommodation for the growing postwar populations of the Soviet Union, USSR and Soviet Empire#The Soviet Union and its satellite states, its satellite states. This took place mostly in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s of the 20th century, though in the People's Republic of Poland this process started Three-Year Plan, even earlier due to the severe damages that Polish cities sustained during World War II. Throughout the former Eastern Bloc countries, tower blocks built during the Soviet years make up much of the current housing estates and most of them were built in the specific Socialist realism, socialist realist style of architecture that was dominant in the territories east of the Iron Curtain. In Romania, the mass construction of standardized housing blocks began in the 1950s and 1960s with the outskirts of the cities, some of which were made up of slums. Construction continued in the 1970s and 1980s, under the Systematization (Romania), systematization programme of Nicolae Ceaușescu, who, after a 1971 visit in North Korea, was impressed by the Juche ideology of that country. Systematization consisted largely of the demolition and reconstruction of existing villages, towns, and cities, in whole or in part, in order to build blocks of flats (''blocuri''). In Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia), panelák building under communism resulted from two main factors: the postwar housing shortage and the ideology of communist Czechoslovak leaders. In Eastern European countries, opinions about these buildings vary greatly, with some deeming them as eyesores on their city's landscape while others glorify them as relics of a bygone age. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and especially in the late 1990s and early 2000s, many of the former Eastern Bloc countries have begun construction of new, more expensive and modern housing. The Śródmieście, Warsaw, Śródmieście borough of Warsaw, the capital of Poland, has seen the development of an array of skyscrapers. Russia is also currently undergoing a dramatic buildout, growing a commercially shaped skyline. Moreover, the ongoing changes made to postwar housing estates since the 2000s in former communist countries vary - ranging from simply applying a new coat of paint to the previously grey exterior to thorough modernization of entire buildings. In the European Union, among former communist states, a majority of the population lives in flats in Latvia (65.1%), Estonia (63.8%), Lithuania (58.4%), Czech Republic (52.8%), and Slovakia (50.3%) (, data from Eurostat). However, not all flat dwellers in Eastern Europe live in communist era blocks of flats; many live in buildings constructed after the fall of communism, and some in buildings surviving from the era before communism.


Western Europe

In Western Europe, there are fewer high-rise buildings because of the historic city centres. In the 1960s, developers began demolishing older buildings to replace them with modern high-rise buildings. In Brussels there are numerous modern high-rise buildings in the Northern Quarter (Brussels), Northern Quarter business district. The government of Belgium wants to recreate Washington, D.C. on a small scale.


=Great Britain

= Tower blocks were first built in the United Kingdom after the World War II, Second World War, and were seen as a cheap way to replace 19th-century urban slums and war-damaged buildings. They were originally seen as desirable, but quickly fell out of favour as tower blocks attracted rising crime and social disorder, particularly after the collapse of Ronan Point in 1968. Although Tower blocks are controversial and numerous examples have been demolished, many still remain in large cities. They present a significant fire risk, as modern safety precautions can be prohibitively expensive to retrofit. The destruction of the 24-storey Grenfell Tower fire, Grenfell Tower in 2017 by fire had been complained about by a local action group several years before the incident, yet remedial work had not been carried out. There are old high-rise buildings built in the 1960s and 1970s in areas of London such as London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Tower Hamlets, London Borough of Newham, Newham, Hackney, London, Hackney, and virtually any area in London with Council house, council housing. Some new high-rises are being built in areas such as Central London, Southwark, and Nine Elms. In East London, some old high-rises are being gentrified and new high-rises that previously didn't exist are also being built in areas like Stratford, London and Canary Wharf.


=Ireland

= ;Republic of Ireland In Dublin, the Ballymun Flats were built between 1966 and 1969: seven 15-story towers, nineteen 8-story blocks and ten 4-story blocks. These were the "seven towers" referred to in the U2 song "Running to Stand Still". They have since been demolished. Inner Dublin flat complexes include Sheriff Street (demolished), Fatima Mansions (housing), Fatima Mansions (demolished and redeveloped), St Joseph's Gardens (demolished; replaced by Killarney Court flat complex), St Teresa's Gardens, Dolphin House, Liberty House, St Michael's Estate and O'Devaney Gardens and a lot more mainly throughout the north and south inner city of Dublin. Suburban flat complexes were built exclusively on the northside of the city in Ballymun, Coolock and Kilbarrack. These flats were badly affected by a heroin epidemic that hit working-class areas of Dublin in the 1980s and early 90s. During the era of the Celtic Tiger the largest cities such as Dublin, Cork (city), Cork, Limerick and Galway witnessed new large apartment building, although their heights have generally been restricted. Some large towns such as Navan, Drogheda, Dundalk and Mullingar have also witnessed the construction of many modern apartment blocks. ;Northern Ireland Tower blocks in Northern Ireland were never built to the frequency as in cities on the island of Great Britain. Most tower blocks and flat complexes are found in Belfast although many of these have been demolished since the 1990s and replaced with traditional social housing, public housing units. The mid-rise Divis flats complex in west Belfast was built in between 1968 and 1972. It was demolished in the early 1990s as the residents demanded new houses due to mounting problems with the flats. Divis Tower, built separately in 1966, still stands, however; and in 2007 work began to convert the former British Army base at the top two floors into new dwellings. Divis Tower was for several decades Ireland's tallest residential building, having since being surpassed by the privately owned Obel Tower in the city centre. In the north of the city, the iconic seven-tower complex in the New Lodge, Belfast, New Lodge remains, although so too the problems that residents face, such as poor piping and limited sanitation. Farther north, the four tower blocks in Rathcoole (Belfast), Rathcoole dominate the local skyline, while in south Belfast, the tower blocks in Seymour Hill, Belvoir & Finaghy remain standing. Most of the aforementioned high rise flats in the city were built by the Northern Ireland Housing Trust (NIHT) as part of overspill housing schemes, the first such development being the pair of point blocks in East Belfast's Cregagh estate. These eleven-story towers were completed in 1961 and were the first tall council housing blocks on the island of Ireland. The NIHT also designed the inner city Divis Flats complex. The six to eight story deck access flats that comprised most of the Divis estate were of poor build quality and were all demolished by the early 1990s. Similar slab blocks were built by the NIHT in East Belfast (Tullycarnet) and Derry's Bogside area, all four of which have been demolished. Belfast Corporation constructed seven tower blocks on the former Victoria Barracks site in the New Lodge district. While the Corporation built some mid-rise flats as part of Slum clearance in the United Kingdom, slum clearance schemes (most notably the now demolished Unity Flats and the 'Weetabix Flats in the Shankill area), New Lodge would be their only high rise project in the inner city with three more in outlying areas of the city during the 1960s, two being in Mount Vernon in North Belfast and one being in the Clarawood estate, East Belfast. The Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Royal Hospital built three thirteen-story towers for use as staff accommodation, prominently located adjacent to the M2 Motorway at Broadway. Belfast City Hospital also constructed a high rise slab block which since privatisation has been named Bradbury Court, formerly known as Erskine House. Queens University Belfast built several eleven storey towers at their Queens Elms student accommodation. Of the three sixteen-story point blocks of Larne Borough Council in the late 1960s, only one remains.


North America


Canada

In Canada, large multi-family buildings are usually known as ''apartment buildings'' or ''apartment blocks'' if they are rented from one common landowner, or ''condominiums'' or ''condo towers'' if each dwelling unit is individually owned; they may be called ''low-rise'' (or ''walk-up''), ''mid-rise'', ''high-rise'', or ''skyscraper'' depending on their height. Tall residential towers are a staple building type in all large cities. Their relative prominence in Canadian cities varies substantially, however. In general, more populated cities have more high-rises than smaller cities, due to a relative scarcity of land and a greater demand for housing. However, some cities such as Quebec City and Halifax, Nova Scotia, Halifax have fewer high-rise buildings due to several factors: a focus on historic preservation, height restrictions, and lower growth rates. In middle-sized cities with a relatively low population density, such as Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, or Hamilton, there are more apartment towers but they are greatly outnumbered by single-family houses. Most of the largest residential towers in Canada are found in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver—the country's most densely populated cities. Toronto contains the second largest concentration of high-rise apartment buildings in North America (after New York). In Canada, like in other New World countries, but unlike Western Europe, most high-rise towers are located in the city centre (or "downtown"), where smaller, older buildings were demolished to make way in redevelopment schemes.


United States

In the United States, tower blocks are commonly referred to as "midrise" or "highrise apartment buildings", depending on their height, while buildings that house fewer flats (apartments), or are not as tall as the tower blocks, are called "lowrise apartment buildings". Specifically, "midrise" buildings are as tall as the streets are wide, allowing 5 hours of sunlight on the street. Some of the first residential towers were the Castle Village, Manhattan, Castle Village towers in Manhattan, New York City, completed in 1939. Their cross-shaped design was copied in towers in Parkchester, Bronx, Parkchester and Stuyvesant Town residential developments. The government's experiments in the 1960s and 70s to use high-rise apartments as a means of providing the housing solution for the poor broadly resulted in failure. Made in the tower in the park style, all but a few high-rise Public housing, housing projects in the nation's largest city, cities, such as Cabrini–Green and Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, Penn South in Manhattan, and the Desire projects in New Orleans, fell victim to the "ghettofication" and are now being torn down, renovated, or replaced. Another example is the former Pruitt–Igoe complex in St. Louis, torn down in the 1970s. In contrast to their public housing cousins, commercially developed high-rise apartment buildings continue to flourish in cities around the country largely due to high land prices and the housing boom of the 2000s. The Upper East Side in New York City, featuring high-rise apartments, is the wealthiest urban neighborhood in the United States. Currently, the tallest residential building in the world is
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Central Park Tower
located in
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Midtown Manhattan
, having a height of with the highest occupied floor at .


Oceania

High-rise living in Australia was limited to the Sydney CBD until the 1960s, when a short-lived fashion saw public housing tenants located in new high-rise developments, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. The buildings pictured along with four other 16-story blocks were constructed on behalf of the Royal Australian Navy and were available to sailors and their families for accommodation. Due to social problems within these blocks the Navy left and the Department of Housing took charge and flats were let to low income and immigrant families. During the 1980s many people escaping communism in Eastern bloc countries were housed in these buildings. Developers have enthusiastically adopted the term "apartment" for these new high-rise blocks, perhaps to avoid the stigma still attached to housing commission flats.


Streets in the sky

Streets in the sky is a style of architecture that emerged in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s. Generally built to replace run-down terraced house, terraced housing, the new designs included not only modern improvements such as inside toilets, but also shops and other community facilities within high-rise blocks. Examples of the buildings and developments are Trellick Tower, Balfron Tower, Robin Hood Gardens and Keeling House in London, Hunslet Grange in Leeds and Park Hill, Sheffield, and Castlefields and Southgate Estate, Runcorn. These were an attempt to develop a new architecture, differentiated from earlier large housing estates, such as Quarry Hill, Leeds, Quarry Hill flats in Leeds. Alison and Peter Smithson were the architects of Robin Hood Gardens. Another large example, the Aylesbury Estate in South London, built in 1970, is about to be demolished. The Hulme Crescents in Manchester were the largest social housing scheme in Europe when built in 1972 but lasted just 22 years. The Crescents had one of the worst reputations of any British social housing schemes and were marred by numerous design and practical problems.Parkinson-Bailey, p.195 The ideal of Streets in the Sky often did not work in practice. Unlike an actual city street, these walkways were not thoroughfares and often came to a dead end multiple storeys above the ground. They lacked a regular flow of passers-by that could act as a deterrent to crime and disorder. This was the concept of "eyes on the street" described by Jane Jacobs in her book ''The Death and Life of Great American Cities''. Furthermore, the walkways and especially the stairwells could not be seen by anyone elsewhere. The Unité d'Habitation in Marseille provides a more successful example of the concept, with the fifth floor walkway including a shop and café.


Deck access

Deck access is a type of flat that is accessed from a walkway that is open to the elements, as opposed to flats that are accessed from fully enclosed internal corridors. Deck access blocks of flats are usually fairly low-rise structures. The decks can vary from simple walkways, which may be covered or uncovered, to decks wide enough for small vehicles. The best known example of deck-access flats in the UK is Park Hill, Sheffield, where the decks are wide enough to allow electric vehicles; however, the design is inspired by French Modernist architect
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Le Corbusier
, particularly his Unite D'Habitation in Marseilles.


Green tower blocks

Green tower blocks have some scheme of living plants or green roofs or solar panels on their roofs or incorporate other environmentally friendly design features.


See also

*Earthquake engineering *Highrise (documentary), ''Highrise'' (documentary), a project about life in high-rise apartments around the world * Prefabrication * Systematization (Romania), Cutie de chibrituri – meaning ''Matchboxes'' in Romanian language, Romanian is the equivalent in Romania *Wind engineering *Grenfell Tower


References


Citations


Sources

* * * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Tower Block Apartment types Skyscrapers