17-21 November 2014

NEW YORK CITY – Plans for the 2015 CTBUH Conference in New York are now well underway, beginning with an initial meeting of the Conference Steering Committee at the Bank of America Tower Nov. 18, kindly hosted by The Durst Organization. Close to 30 representatives of New York-based member firms began to hammer out the details with CTBUH Chairman David Malott, Executive Director Antony Wood and Events Manager Jessica Rinkel, who had traveled to New York for a week of meetings in support of the Conference. With the fantastic view of the Empire State Building and lower Manhattan from the Durst boardroom as a backdrop, the group learned about the conference plans in more detail, and committed to seeking further support among their networks.

The Steering Committee meets in the boardroom of The Durst Organization in the Bank of America Tower

The Steering Committee meets in the boardroom of The Durst Organization in the Bank of America Tower

View from the Durst Boardroom

View from The Durst Organization Boardroom

The campaign continued throughout the week with a series of meetings.

Prior to the Steering Committee meeting, Monday the 17th’s agenda included Turner Construction, represented by Nick Billotti, Chairman; and Carol Willis, founder of the Skyscraper Museum.

CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood (left) meets with Charles DeBenedittis, Tishman Speyer

CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood (left) meets with Charles DeBenedittis, Senior Managing Director, Tishman Speyer

Aside from the Steering Committee, Tuesday saw meetings with TF Cornerstone, represented by Jon McMillan, Director of Planning, and Tishman Speyer. The meeting with Tishman Speyer, represented by Charles DeBenedittis, Senior Managing Director, resulted in a fascinating tour of Rockefeller Center, including the rooftop gardens and the recently re-opened Rainbow Room at the top of the GE Building. The group was joined by CTBUH Fellow Irwin Cantor, founder of the structural engineering firm that would later become WSP Cantor Seinuk.

View of Central Park from the offices of Vornado Realty Trust

View of Central Park from the offices of Vornado Realty Trust

On Wednesday, Antony and Jessica met with Vornado Realty Trust, represented by Eli Zamek, Senior Vice President – Design & Construction and The Related Companies / Oxford Properties, represented by Stacy Feder, Vice President of Marketing and Dean Shapiro, Senior Vice President. On the evening of the 19th, Wood attended the New York Building Congress dinner as a guest of George Leventis, Managing Principal / Managing Director, of Langan Engineering, which took place in the Grand Hyatt, the CTBUH Conference venue, facilitating many connections for the Council.

A meeting with Bob Sanna, Executive Vice President & Director of Construction & Design Development, at Forest City Ratner’s Brooklyn office started off the 20th, followed by Lend Lease, represented by Ralph Esposito, President of Project Management & Construction; Boston Properties, with Robert Schubert, Senior Vice President of Construction; Brookfield Properties, with John Durschinger, Senior Vice President, Global Design; and The Trump Organization with Andrew Weiss, Executive Vice President, which featured fantastic views of Central Park from the Trump Tower.

The final two meetings occurred on Friday 21st, with Aron Kirsch, Senior Vice President of Development of the Moinian Group and John Gilbert, Executive Vice President and COO and Gene Boniberger, Senior Vice President, of Rudin Management, which included an intensive demonstration of the company’s cross-portfolio real-time MEP performance tool, Di-BOSS.

By fortuitous coincidence, the Tongji University / CTBUH tall building design studio — funded by KPF through its Gold + Student Research Package Sponsorship of the 2014 Shanghai Conference — held its class trip to New York, the site of its semester project, the same week. The team, accompanied by CTBUH Research Assistant Peng Du, was able to join Wood for dinner and update him on their findings.

The journey and initial meeting cemented the early impression that the 2015 Conference will be a great success.

Meeting Attendance

Tara McAdam KassalAECOMChief Marketing Officer
Samuel LuckinoArquitectonicaVice President
David FarnsworthArupPrincipal
Bertram BeisselAteliers Jean NouvelPartner
Kai-Uwe BergmannBIGPartner
Robert FrancoBuro HappoldAssociate Principal
Paul AllegrettiCBREAsset Services/Invester Services
Darin ReynoldsCOOKFOX ArchitectsSenior Associate
Gretchen BankCosentini AssociatesDirector of Business Development
Steven LynchCS (Construction Specialties) GroupTechnical Sales Manager
Jessica RinkelCTBUHEvents Manager
Antony WoodCTBUHExecutive Director
James BonannoDeSimone Consulting EngineersAssociate Principal
David TepperEnnead Architects LLPAssociate Partner
Dan KaplanFXFOWLESenior Partner
Jim KeenGenslerAssociate Design Director
Gary HandelHandel ArchitectsPresident
Kenneth DruckerHOK, Inc.Senior Principal, Design Principal
Chris ColasantiJaros Baum & BollesAssociate
David MalottKohn Pedersen Fox Associates, PCPrincipal
George LeventisLanganManaging Principal; Managing Director
SawTeen SeeLeslie E. Robertson Associates, RLLPManaging Partner
Ryan DowMcNamara/SalviaPrincipal
Arnold LeeNBBJDesign Director
Jay BermanPei Cobb Freed & PartnersPartner
Steve AchillesPei Partnership ArchitectsPrincipal
Satoshi ToyodaRafael Viñoly Architects, PCPartner
Meghan McDermottRAMSAPartner
Edward DePaolaSeverud Associates Consulting Engineers, PCPresident & CEO
Dana GetmanSHoP ArchitectsProject Architect
Carla SwickerathStudio Daniel LibeskindCEO & Principal
Aine BrazilThornton Tomasetti, Inc.Vice Chairman