Read ‘SuperTal’ and imagine a skyscraper university

SuperTal: How the world’s tallest buildings are reshaping our city and our lives By Stefan Al

Published in April 2022.

To read SuperTal: How the world’s tallest buildings are reshaping our cities It has inspired me to imagine a skyscraper university.

A supertal building is 300 meters or 984 feet. The world’s tallest building (currently) is the Burj Khalifa. The building is 2,717 feet high and has 163 floors. One of the stories telling why the UAE decided to build the world’s largest building in the desert Supertal. The book discusses the considerable complexities of building at an altitude in an environment (sand) that is not hospitable to large buildings.

Our skyscraper university doesn’t have to be 163 storeys. Tell 100 stories, come to the top of the list of billionaires at a height comparable to the new species of super-cylinder tower built in Manhattan.

These skyscrapers are notable for their 10: 1 or higher height-width ratio (Steinway Tower 24: 1).

Some of the most enjoyable chapters Supertal Driver details of technology, economy, aesthetics, and policy that enabled the rapid development of ultra-thin towers.

What would it be like to look like a college in a single tall building?

Floor-10 to 10: Community Space

  • The largest university spaces should be under the building. One can take pictures of an underground basketball / hockey field and a large auditorium for performances. The launch must be offsite.
  • Parking will be a problem. But maybe not. Inside Supertal, Al (a NY-based Dutch architect) describes how subway stations are built directly under the skyscrapers of Hong Kong. Our skyscraper university can rely on public transport and reserve street level space for cover bicycle parking.
  • The first few floors of the university’s skyscraper will be reserved for a combination library and student center. Pitts Cathedral of Learning (42 stories, 535 ft. – First class held in 1931) While watching this video, the ground floor appears to be a student gathering place. I envision an integrated library and social space, with the necessary 30-foot ceilings and tons of natural light.
  • A wide variety of dining and cafe options.

11th to 40th floor: classroom and lab

  • The floor plan of a skyscraper seems to lend itself well to the new type of active learning classroom we need. When we learn face to face and learn, we want flexible spaces with plenty of natural light. We want flat floors and movable furniture.
  • A skyscraper university can integrate classroom and lab space in innovative ways. Studios, labs and classrooms can be designed as a single space. Floors can be designed to interconnect with balconies and grand staircases.
  • If we are going to spend money to build a purpose-built university skyscraper, then of course we will have dollars to invest in all the classrooms where Hyflex is ready.

Floors 41 to 66: Students face administrative space and faculty and staff office:

  • The public infrastructure that goes into running a university is often hidden. Having all the people needed to build a university in one building can help make those functions more visible. Let’s join the advancement team with IT, Registrar and Campus Security.
  • If the faculty office is a two-minute elevator ride, will the students come more often during office hours? How can the life of an academic department be designed in a way that invites student participation in the work that takes place?
  • At our Skyscraper University, all faculty and staff get separate offices. Open-plan offices are prohibited in this supertal.

Floors 67 to 100: Student housing and more community space

  • Let the students give the best feedback. How many students can we keep on the 25th or 30th floor? Maybe we need to build higher.
  • An interesting development that Stephen Al discusses Supertal How skyscrapers have moved from business to residential use. Companies have found that the design of skyscrapers can be poorly suited for collaboration. The new model is the Apple HQ, where the horizontal floor space is preferred to accommodate many people at the same physical level. Another theme of Supertol is how growing wealth inequality and wealth density have driven demand for multi-million dollar skyscraper units. Skyscraper uses the university building in a mixed-use way – and reverses this trend with the best view of students (each income level).
  • The upper floors of our university’s skyscrapers have been given more community space. I give the library a penthouse. Librarians have to sit on top of our supertal university, metaphorically and physically.

Skyscraper University is a good idea?

One of its themes Supertal Environmental costs of skyscrapers. These huge buildings are amazingly energy-intensive for construction and maintenance.

Even if we do not build a fully regulated university in a single skyscraper, the practice of designing such an institution can reveal much about our value.

I thoroughly enjoy immersing myself in the skyscraper world by reading Supertal. One of the strengths of the book is the comparative method, as opposed to how skyscrapers are built and experienced in NYC, Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Dubai.

Books that help us imagine a different world are often worth reading.

Those who work on low-altitude college campuses can enjoy spending some time in the clouds.

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