“In a high-rise, you really sense the weather changing. It’s fascinating to see the clouds rolling in. The view is most breathtaking by night – the light shows on buildings are amazing,” says Pauliina Louhiluoto, sipping green tea in the living room of her 27th floor penthouse.
Louhiluoto enjoys a panoramic view of Shanghai’s Luwan and Xuhui districts. Buzzing with energy, the noisy streets below are populated by boutiques, bakeries and spas, yet the traffic is inaudible.
For Louhiluoto, the main perk of high-rise living is being in the heart of a bustling metropolis far removed from the noise and commotion.
“I have my own little world up here. We don’t see the cars or people in the streets, but we can sense the local culture around us,” she says.
The same feelings are reported by the majority of respondents in KONE’s Tall Buildings survey. The top three reasons people gave for choosing a high-rise were the scenery (88 percent), absence of traffic and other noise (60 percent) and privacy (47 percent).
“We occasionally hear car horns, fireworks or dogs barking, but never traffic. And we love listening to the window cleaners singing on their suspended platforms,” says Louhiluoto, CEO of Helsinki-based fashion and design firm My o My. She and her family relocated to Shanghai last year due to her husband’s posting in China.
SO LONG, SUBURBIA
Shanghai is a city ambitiously pushing skyward. According to the KONE survey, four out of five Shanghainese regard tall buildings as a vital part of their cityscape. Nearly 80 percent see skyscrapers as a space-efficient form of urban development.
While most foreigners in Shanghai choose quiet expatriate compounds, Louhiluoto fell in love with the energetic Puxi neighborhood – an unconventional choice for an ex-suburban family with three kids. “I honestly don’t miss the suburbs! The kids miss playing football in the backyard, but there’s a tennis court and outdoor pool right here in our building,” says Louhiluoto, who often retreats to her rooftop garden, a restful oasis, where she reconnects with nature.
AT YOUR SERVICE
But to reconnect with the chaos on the ground, Louhiluoto will have to rely on the quickest mode of transportation – the elevator. Long waiting times for elevators are among the major drawbacks of “living tall” reported by 31 percent of respondents.
The growing need among high-rise dwellers for speed and convenience is being addressed by rapid advances in high-rise elevator technology. KONE is at the forefront in delivering comfort enhancing solutions such as super-fast double-deck elevators and intelligent access control systems that automatically identify passengers and take them directly to their own floor.
High-rise living has brought pleasant surprises for the Louhiluoto family: the youngest son learned to count with the help of elevator buttons!
KONE’s Tall Buildings Survey Highlights
- Nearly 70 % of people living in cities around the world see tall buildings as an essential part of the modern cityscape.
- 63% believe that building upwards is a sustainable way to develop urban areas.
- Asians and Middle Easterners view tall buildings even more positively than Europeans and Americans.
- Singaporeans and Parisians are the most eager to live on high floors and men are slightly more enthusiastic than women about living and working in high-rises.
- Three-quarters of respondents like working in tall buildings because there is generally easy access to services such as shops and public transport.
- People from Shanghai (79%) and Dubai (71%) in particular appreciate the close proximity to business partners offered by working in tall buildings.
- And the top reasons to love living high? - Nearly 90 percent of respondents mentioned the view while more than half appreciated being able to rise above the traffic noise.
*This survey had 4000 respondents from eight cities - Dubai, Chicago, London, Moscow, Mumbai, Paris, Shanghai and Singapore.