Highrise Examples

Join our knowledge quest!

The Context of Our Quest

Like many of our Western cities, Amsterdam is on the brink of intensive urban densification. The metropolitan area of Amsterdam plans to add 100,000 new dwellings, mostly within the existing urban fabric. Compact studio apartments and new situational typologies of high-rises are part of the program, which will increase the densification even further. How are we to retain a human scale in these new highdensity environments, especially at the street level where our social fabric is shaped? This calls for a new array of examples and precedent studies of successful existing “Great High Density Environments.” What are their design properties and how are they programmed? How do they succeed in retaining a human scale?

These questions are central to the Sensing Streetscapes Project initiated by the Chair of Spatial Urban Transformation at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). In a consortium of spatial design offices and clients of large scale projects, action research is explored along three lines. First, building on the classic works of Allan Jacobs, Jan Gehl and the like, six of the most-used reference locations for these new environments are deconstructed by research through design. Second, neuroarchitectural technologies (eye-trackers) are deployed to uncover the visual impact of the applied design principles: What are the patterns? Do these design solutions indeed mitigate the high density and intensity to a human scale on the level of the streetscape? Finally, an algorithm is developed to trace the most suitable best practices via AI. This is where the submitted examples will be used.

The Chair of Spatial Urban Transformation at the AUAS is committed to building an open-access repository. Sharing best practices across the globe is becoming increasingly vital, especially as many of our western cities are on the eve of unprecedented densification.

Highrise Examples

Alberni Street – Vancouver

High rise – Tall buildings – Human scale

George Gershwinlaan – Amsterdam

Human scale – Pedestrian-centric – Façade Variety – Oriel window

Gustav Mahlerlaan – Amsterdam


Tactile materials – Active ground floor

Wellington Street – Toronto

Mixed-use – Tall buildings – Plasticity

King Street, Toronto

High rise – Tall buildings – Pedestrian centric

Lucka – Warschau PL

High density housing – Tall buildings – Human Scale – Inner city

Submit Your Example of a Great High-density Environment

Please add your best example(s). These can be your own project(s) or projects you use as an inspiration or as an example to show to clients, students, etc.

The requirements are:

  • Residential environment in an inner-city area
  • Built within the last 30 years – or about to be ‘opened’ soon
  • Built for High Density with some high-rise buildings
  • Success in creating a human scale at eye-level on the street
  • Some level of mixed functions, green design, etc. – anything that increases the livability of the environment.

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