Architects "haven’t learned" how to connect skyscrapers to the public realm, says Safdie

There could have been 10, 17, 18 buildings forming a crescent but they all subordinate themselves to the idea of building a crescent. At the centre of the development is a triple-tower structure connected by a roof garden with a 65-metre cantilever at one end. Architecture needs to make cities have this connecting.”
“Think of a traditional city, you built individual buildings and they formed a boulevard, they formed a square, they formed a crescent. New York skyline. Photograph by Iwan Baan”The connectivity of a building informs its design. London skyline. Image courtesy of ShutterstockIn an earlier interview in our series, he explained that he had designed the building to propose a new kind of public realm, in opposition to developments of skyscrapers that were disconnected from their cities. “Like a lego piece needs to have the clicking connecting before you can connect it to the next lego piece. Safdie was speaking to Dezeen at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore earlier this year, where he used his closing keynote speech to call for a “reorientation” of the way cities are designed, saying that the vogue for skyscrapers and the privatisation of public space is creating cities that are “not worthy of our civilisation”. We haven’t learned how to do that. Movie: in the final video interview from our exclusive series, architect Moshe Safdie says that architects are too concerned with designing objects to create skyscrapers that work with the city. Related story: Marina Bay Sands offers “a new kind of public realm” says Moshe Safdie”We have to find a way to deploy towers in a way that creates additively, collectively, public realm. Individual buildings had an urban role, you could not separate one from the other.”

Updated: 22.12.2014 — 10:15