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  #121  
Old 04.09.2012, 00:54
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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One of the things I hate about overseas travel are those hotels where you can't open the windows and you can't stop the air conditioning short of using semtex. Give me an honest draught and a rattling window any day.
Unfortunately it's because many modern upmarket hotels are built on busy junctions or main roads, so that without a closed triple-glazed window it's not possible to get any sleep.
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  #122  
Old 04.09.2012, 03:37
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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That is so true. It is so funny that many people here claim that they have very high quality of life living in apartments of Swiss standards. Laundry in dark, smelly basement, elevators that can barely hold 2 people, no airconditioning at all. It looks more like a developing country
Not that I know the places you dwell, but, where is that? I have never lived like that since being here. And have lived in Paris where finding a 2 person elevator was a luxury.
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  #123  
Old 04.09.2012, 03:47
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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As Skyscrapers make it possible for more people to live in the same building, it is much easier to have more amenities than a small building with just a few households. It is very common to have a swimming pool in those luxury skycrapers. but it is almost economically impossible to have a swimming pool for a building with only a dozen units.
That doesn't make any sense. If you have 2000 people living in a building, and 1 swimming pool, that means a lot of people not in the pool and telling their neighbors they have a pool, while only a few people at a time really can take advantage.

I don't know where you are from brother, but since you are comparing your back home, I'll throw mine in as well. It's common that a dozen units will share a pool where I am from.

But it's strange your argument. You say why aren't there skyscrapers, as too many people have to live near the airport, and people can't afford a good place to live. To them also getting swimming pools.
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  #124  
Old 04.09.2012, 08:19
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

It is faintly absurd that in one thread you get people moaning because they don't have air-conditioning fitted as standard to their homes then in another thread people are moaning that there's only two weeks of summer in Switzerland.

If you live in Singapore where it's hovering around 28-30 all day every day then air-conditioning is probably needed but here, where it drops to about 16C and less for most of the year, with a spike up to 25-30C in summer for a month at best, it's a bit of a pointless drain on the environment.

The whole skyscraper argument is a bit silly, too, really. Do they REALLY fit in a small alpine country? Do any of the other surrounding countries have them? How many do you see in Vienna, for example? I don't think they improve quality of life as much as they kill it. In the UK, they are constantly dynamiting those soul-less high-rises, built as quick fixes after the war, which just became havens of crime and poverty and, instead, building housing estates instead with more spread-out housing and green spaces.

Last edited by Sandgrounder; 04.09.2012 at 08:31.
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  #125  
Old 04.09.2012, 10:52
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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In the UK, they are constantly dynamiting those soul-less high-rises, built as quick fixes after the war, which just became havens of crime and poverty and, instead, building housing estates instead with more spread-out housing and green spaces.
That's because of the stigma (due to years of builders constructing absolutely rubbish ones) of living in them. Most Brits want a house, and will rather moan that they can't afford one than buy something more practical. Until some very nice, solid, modern and comfortable tower blocks are built, and used, this won't change. And no builder is willing to risk that kind of investment.

I assume (from the "we are a developing country" set phrase that they're all taught to say at school whenever someone criticises them; and most times it's actually a very valid reply!) that the OP is from China.

I've got quite a few friends living in tower blocks in a couple of cities. Not surprising, as there isn't much choice. One of my friends does live in a "hutong" courtyard house, but most have been demolished and rebuilt as tourist shop/cafe enclaves. Anyway, I digress ...

the modern apartment buildings in, say, Beijing, are expensive and marketed as very trendy. Let's take one of the best known (to those who know Beijing) ... guomao.

They look cool from the outside. Yes, all the communal space is simply concrete, but then building parks and swimming pools holds little interest to the locals - they have those elsewhere. But go inside one of these new apartment blocks and it's falling apart. The infrastructure has already failed in some cases (front doord to the block don't shut; security system has failed; two of four lifts are permanently out of order) and inside the apartment there are cracks everywhere due to plastering being done before the building was properly settled. Fixtures and fittings don't often work well.

In other words, like unfortunately many things at the moment in China, the emphasis is on appearance more than reality. I don't think they will still be standing in 15 years time. That might not be a big problem (assuming compensation/relocation) but you don't want to be inside one if it properly fails.

As another random point ... when many years ago I wondered about the lack of old apartment buuildings in Singapore I found out that there is a system whereby after a number of years all the residents (most people own rather than rent) get together, and if a set percentage agree, they are ALL bought out by the developer and use the money to move. The complex is then demolished and rebuilt in a more modern way. Obviously, the old tenants could simply move back in, but they'd need to pay a higher price to buy the new apartment.

I found that interesting, as if you wanted to stay but, say, 85% wanted to take the cash, you were bought out and your home demolished. That would never happen in the "your home is your castle" UK, but it ensures most people live in places which aren't run down. I make no comment (as I've not thought about it enough) on whether I agree with this concept or not. Just sharing.
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  #126  
Old 04.09.2012, 10:57
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

China is probably not a great argument for high-rise housing. The ghost towns of China would probably make most countries baulk, never mind the Swiss.
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  #127  
Old 04.09.2012, 11:27
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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China is probably not a great argument for high-rise housing. The ghost towns of China would probably make most countries baulk, never mind the Swiss.
That's not China, that's Inner Mongolia... which is a bit too far away from the booming regions for a daily commute. One might think they spoil the view, but there is nothing to look at or people who would be looking at something anyway.

China has a huge real estate bubble because people do not have the opportunity to invest their money in much else - the banking sector is the last thing somehow stuck in communism. So people buy a second or third home and believe it is a safe investment - which of course makes no sense. As always in a bubble do the construction companies pull a fast one and sell shitty build flats for outrageous prices. I know cause I wanted to buy a flat in Beijing and after looking at some and how badly they were put together decided against it. That has very little to do with Skyscraper or Switzerland.
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  #128  
Old 04.09.2012, 11:59
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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The whole skyscraper argument is a bit silly, too, really. Do they REALLY fit in a small alpine country? Do any of the other surrounding countries have them?
None of the surrounding countries is as crowded as the Swiss Mittelland.

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I don't think they improve quality of life as much as they kill it. In the UK, they are constantly dynamiting those soul-less high-rises, built as quick fixes after the war, which just became havens of crime and poverty and, instead, building housing estates instead with more spread-out housing and green spaces.
That's not a high-rise problem per se. If you let any housing complex turn into a low-income ghetto, quality of life will suffer, high-rise or not.
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  #129  
Old 04.09.2012, 12:48
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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I have been to Japan recently... they manage to have both earthquakes and skyscraper. As a matter of fact is it very likely safer to be in a well build steel structure during a quake than some traditionally build three story brick house.
You are correct. In fact very tall slender buildings generally have excellent resistance to earthquakes, primarily since they are de-tuned from the frequency of the seismic event. A good example of this is the many minarets you can see in Istanbul, which have stood for many years and withstood numerous eathquakes.
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  #130  
Old 04.09.2012, 13:26
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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You are correct. In fact very tall slender buildings generally have excellent resistance to earthquakes, primarily since they are de-tuned from the frequency of the seismic event. A good example of this is the many minarets you can see in Istanbul, which have stood for many years and withstood numerous eathquakes.
And those minarets are probably bricks and mortar, not steel.
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  #131  
Old 04.09.2012, 13:52
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Re: Why are there no skyscrapers in Switzerland?

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Are there really so many homeless people in Zurich and Geneva (and more than London or New York - which do have skyscrapers)?
Yes, there are homeless people but thanks to council and charity services who provide night time shelter to those who want it, you rarely see them half frozen in doorways on your way out of the opera.

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I think you must just be really bad at finding an apartment or your looking for something too specific.

Found my apartment, 10 min from downtown, good price, good size in 2 weeks.
"Good price" is relative. Zurich rents are bats compared to what you can get in other world class cities.

One issue of concern is the ghetto effect; Zurich is not alone in having several neighbourhoods where only the very wealthy can afford to live. This in turn pushes 'the rest' to outer limits, where social problems become concentrated. (Seefeld vs Bülach, for example.) Have a look next time you're passing through Riesbach how many dark skinned people you notice, or rather, how many blonde people there are.

Wealthy - and let's face it, connected and dodgy - landlords buy up anything which becomes available, moderately renovate and set a new rental price five times higher than previously demanded. This rent inflation is ignored by the megabucks earners but drives out locals. Of course, NIMBYs won't care as long as there's a place for the SUV, but it brews trouble.

Nobody wants a pretty place spoiled by over construction and there's little chance a place like Zurich Stadt would plonk massive structures in the old quarter, but ZüriWest has tall buildings popping up every three months.

Having the option to live in an affordable, modern, Swiss quality built High Rise apartment would be snapped up by many; the paradox is such appartments are sold in London Real Estate offices two years before completion for £1m+, which is hardly a remedy to the armlock of the current property market.
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Last edited by Uncle Max; 04.09.2012 at 14:07.
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  #132  
Old 04.09.2012, 14:35
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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And those minarets are probably bricks and mortar, not steel.
Sure, but what are minarets made of in Switzerland?
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  #133  
Old 04.09.2012, 14:39
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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Sure, but what are minarets made of in Switzerland?
How many Swiss minarets were destroyed in earthquakes?
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  #134  
Old 04.09.2012, 14:41
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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Sure, but what are minarets made of in Switzerland?
They are made of Controversy.
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  #135  
Old 04.09.2012, 14:42
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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Sure, but what are minarets made of in Switzerland?
Hate. .
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  #136  
Old 04.09.2012, 14:49
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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Hate. .
The Minaret thread's closed. For a reason.
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  #137  
Old 04.09.2012, 14:55
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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The Minaret thread's closed. For a reason.
It got too tall; no one likes a high-rise thread. Up to around 4 stories(sic) is acceptable.
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  #138  
Old 04.09.2012, 14:58
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Re: Why are there no skyscrapers in Switzerland?

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One issue of concern is the ghetto effect; Zurich is not alone in having several neighbourhoods where only the very wealthy can afford to live. This in turn pushes 'the rest' to outer limits, where social problems become concentrated. (Seefeld vs Bülach, for example.) Have a look next time you're passing through Riesbach how many dark skinned people you notice, or rather, how many blonde people there are.
Actually, one of the things I like about Switzerland is that there isn't that much of this effect. Of course there are pockets where top earners will congregate and price everybody else out. But fortunately those pockets are mostly well out of the way in places like Freienbach and Wollerau, so not much of a loss. And yes, at the other end of the scale there are pockets where the extreme poor and problem cases will migrate towards, also staying out of the way. But again, these places are few and far between. Where I live in the downstream part of Kreis 6 there is a very diverse mix of different age group, social classes, professions, incomes and backgrounds/origins. And in fact a lot of Zürich and its suburbs are like that. There is much less of a ghettoisation than other places I've lived. And BTW, Bülach isn't anywhere near as downmarket or ghettoised as you suggest. Don't judge the entire town by the folks who may hang around the station on a Friday night.

And another BTW, don't equate skin colour with income or social status. I know several Indians who are high-ranking managers and live in high-rent luxury appartments.
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  #139  
Old 04.09.2012, 16:12
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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Not that I know the places you dwell, but, where is that? I have never lived like that since being here. And have lived in Paris where finding a 2 person elevator was a luxury.
I haven't either. Plus every apartment I've lived in I but a washer/dryer in the bathroom. We did live in a building from 189x's with 3 meter ceilings and beautiful hardwood floors, fireplaces, eat in kitchen and seperate bathroom & toilet. But wait! The beautiful original metal elevator could only fit 2/3 people and no air/con or pool. OMG! How did I survive that!?

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China is probably not a great argument for high-rise housing. The ghost towns of China would probably make most countries baulk, never mind the Swiss.
Are those skyscrapers? Geneva has a whole neighborhood filled with +/-15 story apartment buildings.
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  #140  
Old 04.09.2012, 16:22
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Re: why there is no skyscrapers in Switzerland

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I haven't either. Plus every apartment I've lived in I but a washer/dryer in the bathroom. We did live in a building from 189x's with 3 meter ceilings and beautiful hardwood floors, fireplaces, eat in kitchen and seperate bathroom & toilet. But wait! The beautiful original metal elevator could only fit 2/3 people and no air/con or pool. OMG! How did I survive that!?
Are you sure you were in Switzerland? Sounds more like slums in Sao Paolo.
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