Software, Skyscrapers and Goodbye to Stumpy Towers in L.A.

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The city of Los Angeles has just cast out an old rule that mandated that skyscrapers have helipads on their roofs. Dating back to 1974, the rule had produced very few rooftop rescues and a skyline of “flat topped” stumpy towers (as in photo above by Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times.)

Does ending that rule means the shackles are off for developers and designers wanting L.A. to join other world cities in the race to build the shapeliest skyscrapers?

DnA turned to architect Scott Johnson. A founding partner of Johnson Fain, he is a designer of tall buildings himself, and author of the new book Performative Skyscraper: Tall Building Now. Listen to the interview here, and read a longer Q and A with him here.