Potentials and limitations of supertall building structural systems: guiding for architects

Ilgın, Hüseyin Emre
In the past, the forms used in design were restricted but currently freedom in the design of supertall buildings has significantly increased, along with a contemporary widening of the form spectrum in design. Owing to the advancements particularly in architectural design methods and innovations in computer technologies, today’s supertall buildings could be realized with exceedingly daring forms that are almost never found in their predecessors. Increasing demand for "iconic" supertall buildings in new urban developments - challenging race for inserting the most extraordinary tall building among big metropolis’ thorough the world in their urban silhouettes, and contemporary architect’s enthusiasm for creating unconventional building forms - has begun to define the state of the architecture of today’s skyscrapers. Contemporary approaches in supertall building design sometimes bring about exaggeration of aesthetic concern in architectural design, which can pose adverse outcomes in structural design because of the inadequacy or lack of an advance level of interdisciplinary collaboration, specifically between architectural and structural designers. In other words, abovementioned attitude may cause the problems in the structural design addressed after the architectural form articulation, which unavoidably limits the structural design role to solving the issue rather than handling the structural architectural design together. On the other hand, it must be known that the structural costs of tall buildings can constitute up to nearly 30% of the total construction cost and increase significantly with height. The architects of today who design supertall buildings must be aware of the fact that some forms, especially unconventional ones, could be put into practice with only certain types of structural systems in order to catch the feasibility and efficiency in structural, aerodynamic, technical and of course last but not least financial/economic concerns. Because of these reasons, the architects inevitably must have profound knowledge of potentials and limitations of supertall building structural systems. Consequently, today, the role of the architect in the development of supertall buildings’ form has become progressively a major concern. Such a role presents the architect with an even greater challenge to realize the conceptual ideas as not only visually pleasant, but also as viable from the structural and constructional points of view.


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Citation Formats
H. E. Ilgın, “Potentials and limitations of supertall building structural systems: guiding for architects,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2018.