Office of Urban Regulation

Design Rules and Design With Rules!

Cities as cultural products are neither ‘built’ nor ‘planned,’ at best they are guided and steered in a certain direction. Therefore, rules and regulations are one of the few tools that are actually suitable to guide future development within such collective and complex urban settings.

We strongly believe that the field of (urban) design should not simply adhere to these standards as some neutrally existing context but should actively engage in discussing them in order to make them subject to design as well. read more

Office for urban regulation

Plaza Bonus

New York / Seattle

In exchange for providing certain public amenities, buildings may in some cases surpass the maximal values that normally apply (max. building height, utilization, etc.). A catalog specifies the levels of such bonuses for specific public features.

  • The building that gave the city the idea of the private plaza as public space, Seagram Building from 1958. Picture taken in 1969.
  • And its successful plaza, model.
  • Another beautiful example of the outcome of the Plaza Bonus Rule, the Citi Corp Building from 1977.

Rule category

Managing Bulk: basic stipulations regarding the object's form and bulk
The Kind of Rule
Rule that works as reference, ratio, or dependency.
Rule that is tied to a certain zone.
Rule that stipulates an upper limit.
Rule that has a strong influence on urban density and its distribution.
Rule that influences programmatic and functional issues.
Rule with direct impact on architectural or urban form.
Rule that regulates building heights.
Plot/Block Rule: Rule that relates to the scale of a city block or plot.
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