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Report reveals global climb in demand for skyscrapers

Zlota 44 by Daniel Libeskind Studio
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Skyscrapers’ main use is shifting from offices to homes and their number has risen by 300 per cent in 15 years, according to new research by a property consultancy

The Sky High Living report reveals the rise of residential luxury tower blocks in London and other major cities around the world is benefiting people in surrounding areas, as skyscrapers shift from serving as offices to providing homes.

According to the document, which is backed by starchitect Daniel Libeskind and property firm Savills, there are now more than a thousand buildings higher than 350 feet globally, with the number of tall buildings having risen almost 300 per cent since 2000.

Writing in the foreword,  Libeskind says: ’Constructing tall, well-designed skyscrapers that provide hundreds of homes in a built-up city can have such a positive impact on the local community and its wider surroundings.’ He adds: ’The purpose of the skyscraper is steadily changing, from shows of wealth and decadence, to luxury office space to now beautiful buildings offering high-quality housing, providing a fantastic quality of life.’

The report cites London, New York, Dubai and Warsaw as cities ’where a finite amount of land and a rising population have combined to make vertical living a common reality’.

High-rise apartment buildings trigger an increase in property prices in the areas in which they are situated, it says. The research, by property consultancy Lawrie Cornish, draws on data from Dataloft, a property market analysis consultancy, and input from international property agency Savills. 

The report continues by stating that living in high-rise luxury apartments is so common in New York that ‘starchitects’ are used as a way of differentiating between rival developments. High-rise living is continuing to grow in Dubai, where 11 residential towers are in the construction pipeline. In Warsaw, by contrast, just a handful have been built. However they include Zlota 44 (pictured), designed by Libeskind. At 629 feet high, it is currently the tallest residential building in Europe.

One example of the impact residential towers have on local property prices is London’s South Bank. Home to a number of high-rise residential developments, average sale prices in the area have gone up by 120 per cent in the past decade. This is significantly higher than the 85 per cent average rise in London during this period.

Residential towers also add value to public spaces, benefiting tourists, local workers and other residents through the investment they bring to areas, according to the report.

With a shrinking supply of land combined with a rising population, planners and developers are starting to turn to luxury residential towers ’to help alleviate a housing crisis’ in London. There are 189 new buildings in various stages of development in the capital – a steep rise from the 10 residential towers which have been built in the past 16 years, states the report.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Isn't that like McDonald's creating a report suggesting that consuming foods high in trans fats can cure cancer?

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  • The report is not very academic. Based on anecdotal evidence and case studies rather than causal analysis. 15 mentions of Libeskind's Zlota 44 detract from what research there is and make it feel instead like a marketing piece.

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