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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

Sky Exposure Plane

New York

The Sky Exposure Plane is a virtual surface that is inclined toward the inside from the boundaries of the zoning lot and beginning at a certain height. The gradient varies by district, and such surface can be interrupted only under certain conditions. This allows light and air into the street.

  • Anti Equitable Building Rules—five (still) common ways to administer the Set Back by geometric definition. Such rules finally turn urban design from a 2 ½–dimensional into a 3–dimensional endeavor.

Rule category

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