This week, SkyriseCities' 'Explainer' series returns with an overview of the so-called 'groundscraper,' a neologism that's catching on as an emerging term in the urban vocabulary. Though not always as conspicuous or evocative as their high-rise counterparts, groundscrapers can have just as much of an impact on the urban realm:
We focus most of our coverage on skyscrapers, which have an indelible impact on skylines around the world. But just as important to the urban fabric of a city are low-rise and mid-rise buildings, which contribute to the pedestrian experience, and often form a consistent street wall of multiple uses. For short buildings that occupy a large amount of land, the ground-level entry and exit points are usually given increased attention. They don't have enormous height to make a statement, so any eye-catching architectural articulation has to happen at close range to the user. Gradually entering the vocabulary of urban planning and architecture, the term groundscraper denotes a large building, typically containing office uses, that principally stretches horizontally rather than vertically. Here, the importance of the plinth is emphasized, given the sheer size of the footprint.
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