Back to the Future via the Tower of Babel: A Utopian Idea of Raising Landscape through Skyscrapers

By Denny Husin.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 9, 2016 $US5.00

From the utopian dream of creating rooftop and hanging gardens in the heavens to the dilemmatic consideration of nurturing a horizontal-vertical landscape in modern cities, the evolution of the skyscraper has led to the development of vertical landscape architecture, a hybrid between landscape and architecture. The concept of landscape architecture has provided more opportunities to present “civicness” to the wider public; even when developed within a limited space, landscape architecture is able to accommodate diverse programs and vertical structures. Unfortunately, the skyscraper has remained fundamentally unchanged since its first construction: a series of homogenous layers, stacked vertically one on top of the other, presenting an isolated free-standing structure in the city. In this paper, qualitative details are presented in a descriptive method, illustrating both contemporary lifestyles and the pressure of urbanization. A redefinition of the term “tower” as a type of skyscraper is required to create more productive and gratifying working and living urban environments, greater multiplicity, and diversity with less fragmented fabrics. Today, the typology of the tower encourages a network compilation of plazas, parks, and communal spaces in the sky, which may support a more open environment for the wider world, presenting a new urban landscape in the near future. The construction of towers without regard to the city’s overall development is not ideal. A more connected urban fabric is necessary. Megaform, well known as a topographical urban fabric that corresponds with its landscape, can be demonstrated through the concept of the mat building. The mat building mimics the megaform’s organic networks. This paper aims to test a new possibility of the mat building to connect towers with other towers as well as the rest of the city via landscape architecture.

Keywords: Architecture, Landscape, Skyscraper

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.61-71. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 9, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.471MB)).

Denny Husin

Lecturer, Department of Architecture, University of Tarumanagara, Jakarta, Indonesia