• The importance of Context and Public Realms in the Urban Habitat

    As part of this year’s Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) 2015 conference, Louis Becker, Partner and Design Director, and Julian Chen, Architect and Urban Planner at Henning Larsen Architects, will be giving a presentation exploring contextualism in the increasingly globalized urban habitat.

  • The presentation by Louis Becker and Julian Chen will address the increase in “global interchanges”, resulting in a growing gap between local and global, and buildings and their environs. In relations to the overall theme of the conference, “Global Interchanges: Resurgence of the Skyscraper City”, the presentation will draw attention to the role of public realms between tall buildings and its potential in the creation and accentuation of a local identity that fosters vibrant urban life. This is a quality that is diminishing in the increasingly globalized urban habitat and a major concern for Henning Larsen Architects.

    The presentation will draw inspiration from selected projects around the world designed by Henning Larsen Architects. One of the selected projects is the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which is currently in progress. The urban strategy for KAFD is a good example of how tall buildings can help foster a vibrant urban life; the combined strategy of shading and breeze channeling from the coordinated placements of the 30-plus tall buildings has the effect of reducing the outdoor temperature by up to 46⁰F (8⁰C), making the district a viable urban habitat.

    The temperature of the public realm has been lowered by optimizing the building proportions to reduce direct solar radiation, as well as using light façade materials maintaining humidity, and implementing water features and vegetation in the landscape. 

    The presentation will take place on Tuesday, October 27, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Manhattan, New York.  

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