~ a city enhancing skyscraper


The cityscraper is a skyscraper typology that focusses on the city, rather than on the sky. Cityscraper don’t stand out through architecture or height, and therefor tend to go unnoticed and underappreciated in skyscraper land. But what a cityscaper lacks in appearance, it makes up for it in urban smartness. Cityscrapers represent the underlying principle of the skyscraper, as in being an embodiment and a catalyst of urban density.

Vancouver is the home of the cityscraper, where a mix of strategies are aimed at creating a the pleasant urban density (see: vancouverisation). Vancouver is full of cityscrapers (see above) which allow regular, urban minded folks to enjoy a pleasant highlife, citylife and streetlife through relatively affordable but smart designed appartements, shared amenities and the proximity urban amenities. →

First and foremost, the cityscraper adds the right people to the city. Typically the going rate of the apartments in a cityscraper is whatever one to two normal incomes will allow you to buy. Cityscrapers are home to many starters, young couples, urban elders, or anyone who enjoys living in the city. Contrary to those owning a tropypad or skypalace, the cityscaper is populated by many, and those people actually use their apartment, the amenities and everything the city has to offer.

As the sharing of space is a quintessential characteristic of the city, another distinction of the cityscraper are the in-house amenities. Instead of having extra rooms in the apartment, the usages of these spare rooms are organized through some of the amenities the building offers, such as a shared office space or a guest room, but also a party room, roof deck, a gym or little swimming pool.

cityscraper01High-Rise integrated with low-rise. The latter is the plinth of the first.

Having many apartments and residents under one rood is an opportunity to offer residential services such as house cleaning, dry cleaning, and even car sharing.

Cityscrapers also add to the streetlife as typically a cityscaper is composed of a residential tower on top of a podium, which contains the parking levels, but more importantly, the shops, restaurants or any other city stuff on street level. The roof of the podium offers great opportunities for outdoor amenities.

Well designed cityscrapers leave no room for unspace or sidewalk shunning. If commercial usage of ground space is not an opportunity, houses can be designed inside the plinth of a cityscraper. This adds many front doors to a street, which visually enhances to the idea of livability of an area. →

A cityscraper is designed from the inside out, meaning that design serves the usability and not the other way around. As a result, some critics regard the cityscraper as bulky, repetitive or boring, but really, as long as you have many cityscrapers adding people and amenities that is a better thing to have in the city, especially in an environment that is already dense and urban.

The cityscraper deserves a far more detailed study then this posting can provide, but hopefully you have got the idea. As you have already noticed through the links provided in this introduction, the cityscraper leans heavily on terms that were coined for this dictionary, which I think shows how unknown these qualities are, as as such how underappreciated the cityscraper.

Cityscraper was coined for this dictionary, and as such it is the 100th term!