For projects in cities that regulate the profile of new development on the skyline, such as San Francisco and London, KPFui has developed a tool that allows for the easy design of the skyline from any point in the city. For specified vantage points, the preferred skyline can be sketched in 2D. That profile is then project in 3-dimensions back over the site. The projects of all vantage points are intersected to create build envelope that will produced the desired skylines from each view point. Finally, a massing is automatically generated on the site to test if the designed skyline allows for the target area and commercially viable floors. This tool has been used to illustrated the trade-offs between target densities and the impact on the skyline with city planning agencies.
Below is an illustration of the skyline design tool applied to a site in San Francisco where three post-card views identified by the city planning department.