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Chair of Architecture and Urban Design
Asst. Prof. Dr. Alex Lehnerer
Grand Urban Rules

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

Flat Cap


The maximum permissible building height is 35 ft (11 m). This threshold may be surpassed only under certain conditions (e.g. PS, TDR, PB).

  • Frequent and often belated changes of the building height limitations in Chicago (1888–1958).
  • Map of allowable heights and their zones in San Francisco. From SFA General Plan.

Rule category

Managing Bulk: basic stipulations regarding the object's form and bulk
The Kind of Rule
Rule that is NOT related to any preconceived zone or area.
Rule that stipulates an upper limit.
Rule that stipulates a fixed limit.
Rule that has a strong influence on urban density and its distribution.
Rule that regulates building heights.
Neighborhood Rule: Rule that works at neighborhood scale.