Alternatives to High-Rise? Peter Rees on Density, London-Helsinki

Interesting article in (via @OliMould) with an interview with Peter Rees on high density and high-rise in London.

His answer to the question of what alternatives there are to high-rise:

“The idea that to increase density you have to build high is, frankly, bollocks. To achieve high density, you build around the edges of a site, put a nice garden with trees in the middle, five to seven storeys tall. Cities from Helsinki to Naples have developed like that over 100s of years. When you build a high-rise block in the middle of a site, the open space is in the wrong place, it’s around the outside of the site where the traffic is. It doesn’t feel private. You don’t want to sit in your deck chair looking out on Vauxhall Cross.”

I’ve never heard someone sum up the key characteristics of the Helsinki inner/central city so well – or the alternative to such inner-city blocks. The plans for future Helsinki are emphatically designed to have more of such inner-city-like squares, with much urban life and bustle. So how come this will be the result?


Picture: Cino Zucchi Architetti

Part of my ongoing research is spent trying to put the pieces of those different story-lines together.

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