World’s biggest building: Crystal Island

Crystal Island. Moscow

Designs for mega-buildings like Crystal Island in Moscow are popping up all over the planet. While they are certainly dazzling and some are decidedly green, they also clearly are for the monied class only. Everyone else stay out unless they are the hired help. I’m sure security is a major design factor and with impenetrable doors and security cameras everywhere.

One could easily live and work in a city-inside-a-building like this, and never have to leave. The area outside, around the building, would probably become a sterile wasteland (except maybe for support services for the building) as residents wouldn’t need to go outside to eat, socialize, etc. as they could do all that inside. Order a pizza? Not from a pizza place outside the building, because parking and getting through security then up the elevators would take too long. No, the pizza place would have to be inside the building. Thus, any bustling street life around the building would probably vanish.

Buildings like this seem primarily about making a statement, and while they might be green, they stand apart from and contribute little to the city they are in. To make a real city, buildings need to be designed to consciously be part of the surroundings.


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