'Tall structures suitable for dense population'

William F Baker, the structural engineer is a celebrity in the field, considering his popularity in the engineering world. 

He shared his views with Deccan Herald on the Burj Khalifa Towers and the viability of the super-tall structures vis-a-vis the surrounding environment on the sidelines of the International Colloquium organised by Structural Engineers World Congress in the City.

Having built the world’s tallest structure in the world, what is your personal take on such tall buildings?

Personally, I would rather undertake projects that involve low-rise. The reason being you can give that much more attention to the design and environment of the structure. I am a person who believes in efficiency and “more in less” concept. Super-tall structures also need enough funds considering their dimensions.

 Currently, I am handling the low-rise buildings and couple of structures in association with sculptures designing the buildings.

Do you think super-tall structures are a viable option for the world?

Tall structures are viable only if there is density (of population). In low density areas, there will be unnecessary acquisition of land that can be used for farming or for other vocational

purposes. The mass transit system is the key in such constructions for mobility of people. This is where I like the Bangalore Metro project which will  encourage more tall structures in the City.

In specific reference to India, do you believe the country needs to build such tall structures. With a history of low-rise buildings do you think that it will be suitable for this country?

Why not? I am not saying that you should build super-tall structures every nook and corner. Take the example of Chicago, where there are three mountain peaks in the form of three high rise buildings. India can have a few mountain peaks of its own.

The structures will serve as landmarks in the particular City to encourage tourism and add more social value to the surrounding. People will identify with such buildings.

In the fight between modern day architecture and colonial era buildings, where do you stand?

I do not believe in the construction but more in the philosophy of the structure. The kind of technology at our disposal should be utilised. The buildings should amalgamate with its surroundings and environment.

So after Burj Towers, do you have further plans for more?

It would be a shame if people stop at this (Burj Towers). Currently, we are planning on a kilometre of length construction and let us see where it goes. Also, there are projects in China, New Delhi and other areas currently under way. But most are low-rise.  

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