Do Atriums, Skygardens, Skybridges and Other Communal Elements in Tall Buildings Bring a Return?

Jaron Lubin
Safdie Architects, Boston

Pearl Chee
WOHA Architects Pte. Ltd., Singapore

Tom Kwan
Vice President / Branding Director
CityGroup Design Co., Ltd, Guangzhou

Satoshi Ohashi
Zaha Hadid Architects, Beijing

May Wei
Vice President
CallisonRTKL, Shanghai

As the world’s population increasingly occupies cities, the optimization of at-height spaces and connections pushes the urban realm into the third dimension, providing the possibility for greater texture, dimension, and utility than ever before. An increased emphasis on the role of the atrium, skybridge, and skygarden in knitting the tall building into public realm has activated a proliferation of special programming and design features, ensuring that visitors and occupants alike find value in them. Investing in these spaces, many of which include free and publicly accessible amenities, may not offer a direct return, but through the inclusion of themed retail, restaurants, and other amenities, may offer a clear and rich elevation of the entire community that they serve. This session discusses the programming of skybridges, skygardens, and atriums and explores the possibilities of the types of value they can generate.