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Reconstruction of Manhattan


New York

(Photo by Stephan Edelbroich)

"Cities are extraordinarily resilient places, as we witnessed immediately after September 11th in New York City, and adversity, far from undermining civic confidence, can bring about a renewed and determined spirit of community and common endeavour."

HRH The Prince of Wales


(Invensys Conference, London, 11th of December, 2001)


The Flatiron Building, Manhattan, New York

(Photo by Stephan Edelbroich)

This fine and elegant highrise building built in 1902 by Daniel Burnham is of a rare composition and detailing.
Its appropriate urban location might justify its exceptional vertical monumentality,-however what a contrast of scale and quality between this 20 floors high urban and architectural jewel and the 110 repetitive floors high monotony of the former World Trade Center!


Urban Dialectics: The Skyscraper and the City
(Photo: Tripod Image Gallery)

"Alone an architecture which resigns from the use of any grammar can produce pure solutions; but an architecture which abandons the use of any grammar does not speak a language anymore."
Julius Posener
"Lectures on History of Architecture"

The Reconstruction of Manhattan without Skyscrapers


Little Italy, Manhattan, New York

(Photo by Stephan Edelbroich)

Some Thoughts on the Reconstruction of the World Trade Center Site

A reflection on the reconstruction of the WTC referring to the virtues of traditional city-building as documented in New York's popular neighbourhoods Greenwich Village, Soho, Little Italy and in its best examples of civic buildings, enhancing the comfort and happiness of the citizen rather than the vanity and hubris of  architects and speculators. 

Here below the link to the complete illustrated article:


Skyscrapers:Typologies or Typological Aberrations

Sketch by Leon Krier

"The most beautiful and pleasant cities which survive in the world today have all been conceived with buildings of between two and five floors. There is no ecologically defensible justification for the erection of utilitarian skyscrapers; they are built for speculation, short-term gain or out of pretentiousness."

Leon Krier

"The Future of Cities: The Absurdity of Modernism"

(Interview of Leon Krier by Nikos A. Salingaros in Planetizen)

To access the complete Planetizen article, please click on the link below:



Boston: Skyscraper in the city
(Photo: Tripod Image Gallery)

Following articles regarding the reconstruction of the WTC site in New York are developing substantial arguments for an intelligent and responsible strategy of urban rebuilding.
They also engage in a necessary reevaluation and critique of skyscrapers and about their inappropriateness within the context of new urban neighbourhoods!

"Tall Buildings"

A speech by The Prince of Wales

(Invensys Conference, London, 11th of December 2001)

The complete content of the speech "Tall Buildings" by The Prince of Wales can be accessed by clicking the link below:



Skyline of Downtown New York with WTC

(Photo by Stephan Edelbroich)

"Curious thing, but solely the military officials, together with the artists, have given some importance to the works of Le Corbusier, to his "Plan Voisin" and the "Ville Radieuse". The lieutenant-colonel Vauthier wrote in 1930 in his book on the danger of air-attacks and the future of the country: "Regarding large cities, our preferences will always be in favour of the system Le Corbusier."

Paul Fierens

(L'Architecture D'Aujourd'hui, Numero 3, Mars 1936)


Vertical Sprawl and Horizontal  Sprawl: two faces of Modernism!
(Photo: Tripod Image Gallery)

"The idea of architecture and urbanism as a discipline that is based on knowledge instead of being the endless battleground for competing and shifting opinions is surely not a new one."
Demetri Porphyrios


Skyscrapers for every Taste!
(Photo: Tripod Image Gallery)

"The ordered simplicity in the hands of the great artist, may flower into a bewildering profusion, exquisitely exuberant, and render all more clear than ever."
Frank Lloyd Wright
"An American Architecture"

"The End of Tall Buildings"

James Howard Kunstler and Nikos A. Salingaros

This very passionate refutation of tall buildings shortly after the 11th of September tragedy was considered by many as a sacrilegous provocation!

However since then the idea of rebuilding excessively high and technologically provocative skyscrapers has not found a convincing majority and the arguments of "The End of Tall Buildings" have gained an increasing attention among planners and developers!

To access the full content of this Planetizen Op-Ed feature, please click on the link below:


Historical highrise urban architecture and "pure" vertical objects!
(Photo: Tripod Image Gallery)

"At issue are our everyday moral and political experiences. Are we to believe that there are moral objectives of the true, the good and the beautiful, and social and political objectives of the just, or are we to relegate the definition of such norms to chance or individual fancy?"
Demetri Porphyrios