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What Is a Groundscraper?

Did you ever come across this term and wondered “what is a groundscraper?” and how does it compare to skyscrapers? Imagine yourself walking on a sidewalk in a place where there are tall buildings that give shade to all the people while the weather is pleasant. Looking up to the structures around you, you might find it fascinating to notice how society is bustling and busy with the various things they do to live for each day.  How do these buildings bring art or aesthetics to the essence of a community? Why are these structures built? How do these affect our lives? What can we achieve within these constructions?

The phenomenal groundscraper

Human’s most common understanding or imagination when they hear the word building is that it is tall. Well, obviously, that is what most people often notice; therefore, that becomes our ideal image of what a building is. The socially acceptable truths about buildings are that we should reach for the sky, see the view from above, facing our fears, or believe that we are at the top of the world; that is why people find skyscrapers captivating.

Around the world, we can see remarkable, towering constructions, such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Empire State Building in New York City, the Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, and many more buildings that are tall. With their given attribute, which is being elevated, the goal is to go upwards in order to appreciate the elements of a skyscraper. But what about those people who are afraid of heights and prefer staying on the surface? Perhaps they just want to go for a long walk while feeling the peace and safety of the ground. The good thing is that architects have thought about building a groundscraper.

Common features of a groundscraper

Instead of extending vertically like a skyscraper, a groundscraper is built horizontally. Additionally, it can also provide a massive amount of room for a community, especially for global corporations like the headquarters of Apple in California. They have a building known as the “spaceship” that is shaped like a circle, four stories in height, and has a one-mile circumference. Imagine how long it would take for a person to explore all the areas of their headquarters; it must be fun.

The Google Headquarters is one of the other famous horizontal buildings found in London. To put it simply, it has two buildings incorporated occupying an area of about 650,000 square feet. More interestingly, they also have a swimming pool, roof garden, and a basketball court, arguably making it one of the most desirable workplaces to be in.

We can say that these buildings are interestingly massive because of how many structures, leisure, and utility they can construct into them. Even though groundscrapers are not that new, their uniqueness and efficiency are impressive. If we compare it to skyscrapers, these do not have any influence on city skylines. To add to that, they do not cost as much as skyscrapers since building them costs less.

More importantly, it can encourage staff to have more engaging interactions with other colleagues or the community outside the working environment, unlike skyscrapers that may limit the interactions of each individual from top to bottom. It is essential to consider how to keep the harmony and balance of society even in the way of how a building is constructed.

Another thing is that groundscrapers can conserve more energy than towers that often require more significant amounts of mechanical climate control. The only serious disadvantage of a groundscraper is that it inhabits a larger space than a skyscraper. Apart from that, it can impact wider areas of the habitat of different living organisms compared to towers. Considering that notion, can architects think of a way to solve that kind of situation? Can they make the ideal architecture that will not have any casualties? Maybe in the future, we will find out.

With all those in mind, we can see how beneficial groundscrapers are. Overall, they are safe, stable and can also create a wonderfully friendly environment for everyone. In the end, every architectural design is valuable for a busy world. We may not see it, but these designs can influence our minds in how we view the environment around us and how we interact with it.

A debate can go on and on about an ideal design for a building, but it will always depend on the situation of the location. We just have to trust the creative and utopian minds of the architects who are fighting for a better and decent world for us to live in. You may soar high like a skyscraper, but you must also not forget to keep your feet on the ground like a groundscraper.


YouTube: What are “Groundscrapers”?

Photo credit: The feature image has been taken by Carles Rabada.
Sources: Alex Anderson (Harvard University Graduate School of Design) / Jordan Waite (Londonist)

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Pauline Nicole Sael
Tech Journalist

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