City and Tall Building Resiliency in Times of Crises

Session: B: The Challenge of Context: Towers and the Creation of Public, Walkable Space

Graham BanksProject image

Graham Banks
Associate Principal, Pelli Clarke & Partners

The Covid-19 pandemic impacted people and cities on a global scale. This is an important moment in history for people throughout the world to assess their values and thus redefine the city. Over the centuries, cities have responded to crises, from war to pandemics to economic and social upheaval. A great city, however, responds to these obstacles as moments of transformation and makes shifts in design and planning. It is critical that the design of tall buildings adapts to the changing nature of the world and provides a relevant response. As cities continue to dream of new heights, it is important for architects and planners to see tall buildings as ever-evolving, and as a reflection of the highest aspirations of our society, while nevertheless applying these principles in practical ways. Several fundamental shifts have accelerated during the pandemic and will position tall buildings for the future: Safety, Life and Work, and Community and Identity.

Topics explored in the presentation include scalability, social and ecological ecosystems through green spaces, technology, and the urban units of work and life, connected through transportation. These topics will be evaluated through the lens of a LEED Platinum, WELL-Certified office tower completed in 2022 and a mixed-use transit-oriented development (TOD) tower, in active design for more than a decade, which is now finally under construction. Comparing the projects illustrates long-term trends and new approaches that will shape the future of vertical development.