Skyline

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A skyline is the outline or shape viewed near the horizon. It can be created by a city's overall structure, or by human intervention in a rural setting, or in nature that is formed where the sky meets buildings or the land.

City skylines serve as a pseudo-fingerprint as no two skylines are alike. For this reason, news and sports programs, television shows, and movies often display the skyline of a city to set a location. The term The Sky Line of New York City was first introduced in 1896, when it was the title of a color lithograph by Charles Graham for the color supplement of the New York Journal.[1] Paul D. Spreiregen, FAIA, has called a [city] skyline "a physical representation [of a city's] facts of life ... a potential work of art ... its collective vista."[2]

History[edit]

Early examples[edit]

Modern city skylines[edit]

Some natural skylines have been unintentionally modified for commercial purposes.

Features[edit]

High-rise buildings[edit]

Skyline of Detroit, Michigan, ca. 1929

High-rise buildings, including skyscrapers, are the fundamental feature of urban skylines.[3][4] Both contours and cladding (brick or glass) make an impact on the overal appearances of a skyline.

Towers[edit]

Towers from different eras make for contrasting skylines.

San Gimignano, in Tuscany, Italy, has been described as having an "unforgettable skyline" with its competitively built towers.[5]

Sports stadiums[edit]

The Colosseum and 2008 Beijing Olympic Stadium give varied sport stadium skylines.

Remote locations[edit]

Some remote locations have striking skylines, created either by nature or by sparse human settlement in an environment not conducive to housing significant populations.

Apollo 17 Moon landing site panorama

Architectural features[edit]

Notable architects influencing skyline[edit]

Nuremberg in September 1936.

Norman Foster served as architect for the Gherkin in London and the Hearst Tower in Midtown Manhattan, and these buildings have to added to their cities' skylines.

Albert Speer made a notable night time skyline with searchlights at Nuremberg.

Use of skylines in media[edit]

Skylines are often used as backgrounds and establishing shots in film, television programs, news websites, and in other forms of media.

Subjective ranking of skylines[edit]

Several services rank skylines based on their own subjective criteria. Emporis is one such service, which uses height and other data to give point values to buildings and add them together for skylines.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Moving Uptown". New York Public Library. Archived from the original on 2014-12-29. When Charles Graham's view of New York was published, the new term used in the title, "sky line," caught on immediately.
  2. ^ Paul D. Spreiregen (1965). Urban Design: The Architecture of Towns and Cities. McGraw-Hill.
  3. ^ Heath, Tom; Smith, Sandy G.; Lim, Bill (July 2000). "Tall Buildings and the Urban Skyline: The Effect of Visual Complexity on Preferences". Environment and Behavior. 32 (4): 541–556. doi:10.1177/00139160021972658. ISSN 0013-9165. S2CID 5199331.
  4. ^ McNeill, Donald (February 2005). "Skyscraper geography". Progress in Human Geography. 29 (1): 41–55. doi:10.1191/0309132505ph527oa. S2CID 220928675. geographers have tended to neglect the substantial impact of skyscrapers on urban life.
  5. ^ Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Historic Centre of San Gimignano". whc.unesco.org. Archived from the original on 2016-08-04.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]