Dutch canal houses are another classic example of how rules and regulations can shape structures. Taxed on their canal frontage rather than height or depth, these buildings grew in tall and thin. In turn, this typology evolved narrower staircases, necessitating exterior hoist systems to move furniture and goods into and out of upper floors.
That’s from an excellent post by Kurt Kohlstedt at 99% Invisible who gives many other examples of taxes having long-lasting effects on the built environment.
Hat tip: Devon Zuegel.