ALEX CASKEY, MArch

A Theory of Vertical Architecture


When cities grow vertically, current building regulations, land ownership laws, zoning, financing, and private interests, ensure they default to “Common Towers” as the only practical urban design solution for verticality. “Common Towers” are all types of towers meant to multiply the value of the ground plane by stacking private space within a self-contained, independent volume. They leave the public realm planted firmly on the ground and support only the most profitable unit types within their height.

This thesis found that there is both architectural and urbanistic potential in vertical architecture that can not be realized through the default approach to verticality. It explored the vertical extension of the surfaces and spaces that make up the public realm as a means of driving the three-dimensional organization of a city within its own Volume.

Research diverged from existing multiple ground urbanism theories that create fragmented semi-public spaces in the air. Instead, it explored the vertical extension of the city through a continuous, unconditional, and externalized three dimensional network. It also explored the vertical adaptation of urban design principles that promote walkability, neighborhoods, community, and public transit.





This thesis explores the vertical extension of the city through a continuous, unconditional, and externalized three dimensional network.


Ryerson Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.