The fascination with all things tall!

It seems like the issue of tall buildings in Melbourne’s city centre is never out of the papers.

I’ve heard the rumblings of dissent. Melbourne and its liveable image is under pressure, with ever increasing land value and smaller available city sites developers argue that to have viable projects they must build higher. It’s too bad if it means we have to live in their shadows.


Image source: architizer.com  
So who is to blame for this? Let’s take a look across the pond. I recently saw this startling infographic above and it really got me thinking. With non-occupiable space reaching up to 30% of these “tallest” buildings, what’s it all about?

Too often it seems to me these buildings are about spectacle and ego and rarely make a contribution to the city at ground level. I’m going to say something controversial – I went to Dubai and I didn’t like it! My problem is that it doesn’t seem to be about the users of either the buildings or the city.

Melbourne is not Dubai. The tallest buildings here would possibly just make the cut on the lower end of that infographic list, thankfully. I’m not anti-height in the city centre far from it, I’m pro density company living, but since when has it become the norm to push above height restrictions where possible? Melbourne has an excellent record for public realm design with the ‘human scale’ of streets and squares long being ‘high’ on the agenda, let’s be careful now that we keep it so!

Banner image source: David Iliff License- CC-BY-SA 3.0

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