Chairman NYC Department of City Planning, New York City
The Opening Plenary commenced with warm words of welcome from CTBUH Chairman David Malott, who reflected on the true meaning of the words Global Interchanges. “It means the flow of capital, of materials, of ideas, and technologies across the world – so that a project in New York is not just a New York project anymore, but it represents part of the greater world,” Malott explained.
Next, a spirited opening keynote speech was given by Carl Weisbrod, Chairman of the City of New York Department of City Planning. With a candid fervor and clear passion for the urban future of The Big Apple and cities abroad, Weisbrod emphasized the critical role played by the numerous industry professionals present in the room, noting, “All of you here today have a hand in shaping the skylines of the great and growing cities throughout the world; you create dynamic feats of architecture and engineering, and you develop innovative financing mechanisms and partnerships with government. These buildings twist, turn, shine, glimmer, and shoot skyward and inspire people with talent and energy to come to cities with the promise of opportunity and intellectual excitement.” Brief and to the point, Weisbrod’s presentation set the scene for the following panel discussion chaired by Executive Director Antony Wood, which featured four of the most active and influential developers in New York: Gary Barnett, President, Extell; Ric Clark, CEO, Brookfield Properties; Joseph Moinian, Founder & CEO, Moinian Group; and Larry Silverstein, Chairman, Silverstein Properties. Having these four individuals on stage at the same time was in itself a landmark moment. Panelists provided a rare glimpse of the oft-shrouded thought processes behind some of the city’s preeminent skyscraper projects.
The global theme of the conference was clearly illustrated when Wood asked the panelists to name some of the biggest changes in skyscraper development since the recent economic recovery. Barnett asserted, “The whole world really wants to come to New York City and in the past five years we’ve seen a resurgence of investment…everybody is realizing that the United States is very stable politically and economically, so we’re seeing a tremendous inflow of capital in both debt and equity.” Ric Clark echoed this point, but added that New York City remains competitive with other major global cities in terms of property value. “In addition to being a safe haven it’s actually a pretty good value proposition,” he surmised.
Touching on the treatment of debt since the recession, Moinian mentioned, “The credit market came back with much better discipline…and came back with funding for making sure that a project is more financially viable.” Finally Silverstein concluded to the panel, “One of the things we’ve seen is that the degree of turmoil that exists in certain parts of the world has, if anything, increased the flight to safety for capital – global capital. And certainly, as has been stated by my colleagues, New York and the United States is the desirable location for this capital.”
Video of this presentation will be posted here soon.
The acute global concern about resource depletion is driving a reconsideration of the tall building typology. Expectations for energy and material efficiencies are ever increasing - particularly for a highly-engineered building type like the supertall - and it is imperative that we as the designers, builders, and consumers of large quantities of these resources strive to develop solutions that place less of a burden on the planet. The Guiyang World Trade Center, a 380-meter mixed-use tower at the center of a new district of Guiyang, a city of 3 million in the hills of China’s Guizhou Province, employs an unconventional structural concrete skin that may represent a changing attitude for the design of supertalls away from all-glass towers and towards more sustainable opaque towers.
Partner Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, Chicago
Supertall towers, when done correctly, are the catalyst for the city or district around them. They give an area an identity. They increase the local economy and connect that local community to the global one. If done right, a supertall tower will put a city on the map in terms of tourism, increased business ventures, and increased future development.
Partner Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Challenges and Benefits of Integrating Public Space into Tall Buildings
Lead Designer Rafael Viñoly Architects, New York City
The integration of publicly accessible amenities into tall buildings is a desirable approach to expand the use of a given building to ever-broader segments of the surrounding urban populations – creating a sense of community that centers on the public amenity and dispelling the notion that the building is devoted to a privileged few. Space typologies including restaurants, viewing platforms, and sky gardens are common. Dedicated, segregated circulation systems for visitor access, service access, and egress, may be required depending on the size and nature of the amenity, augmenting core requirements of the building as a whole. Rafael Viñoly will elaborate on this theme, including varied planning approval processes and agency requirements worldwide, with a focus on three examples: Samsung Jongno Tower in Seoul, South Korea; Mahler 4 in Amsterdam, Netherlands; and 20 Fenchurch Street in London, United Kingdom.
As architecture keeps expanding vertically – with the skyscraper having long become the predominant typology of architectural production in most geographic regions of hyper-growth, we need to investigate and understand the consequences of vertical stratification and generate alternative typologies of spatial quality and social sustainability in the urban realm.
This case study presents Mahanakhon as an architectural prototype that generates shared spaces of social interaction and manifests the creation of spaces not only within, but through and around its specific urban context. It aims to describe the project’s capacity to direct the dialogue of tall buildings towards a more holistic and comprehensive understanding of its place in the creation of cities and social realities.
It illustrates, in its specific configurations, unique strategies to (re)address and (re)instate the importance and quality of space within architectural production, and its responsibility towards a greater whole – to inhabitants, the city, and the society.
Efficient Energy Production for High-demand Tenants of Tall Buildings
Chief Development Officer The Durst Organization, New York City
Tall Buildings in urban landscapes present a unique challenge in the field of sustainable building. These structures tend to attract a tenant base of dynamic industries such as financial services, communications, technology and digital media. Such workforces demand intensive energy usage, sometimes around the clock, and consequently the energy use intensity (EUI) of the buildings they inhabit is consistently higher than EUIs of commercial buildings with other tenants. The mandate of the sustainable builder of tall buildings is to deliver this energy as efficiently as possible. Large-scale natural gas-fueled cogeneration facilities are potentially the most efficient means of producing onsite energy, although the successful and safe operation of such facilities depends upon the cooperation of local public utility companies. This presentation examines the successes and failures of onsite energy production in a select group of buildings built and managed by The Durst Organization in New York City.
Chief Development Officer The Durst Organization
High-Density, Mixed-Use Developments and the Guiyang Riverside Theatre Project
Senior Vice President CallisonRTKL, Shanghai
This presentation examines the strategies necessary to create responsible and profitable high-density, mixed-use developments, specifically in the Asian market. Using the Guiyang Riverside Theatre project as a case study, the challenges of optimal site, land area utilization and balancing private space with the public realm, as well as the role of the tower and the retail podium, are considered. Five principles are suggested to inform the design process: the importance of anchors, high-density retail podium vertical structure, diverse food and beverage offerings, identity and presence, and creating a district. Due to the density required to meet urban development needs and market demand, important considerations to capture the full potential value of a site are discussed.
Tall buildings are bigger, better, faster and more prevalent than ever. The race among the world's cities to build the tallest, ultimate record-busting skyscraper on the planet is fast and furious. Well-executed skyscrapers can be a real economic-development driver, leaving a legacy city beneath, that can benefit from a programmatic approach. By looking at the overall development as a whole program of works, identifying the deliverables required to achieve desired business outcomes, managing the interfaces with the surrounding infrastructure, and establishing robust planning and scheduling the bigger picture becomes clearer, as does the route to benefits realization. Supertall buildings and surrounding developments are unique projects facing unique risks; risk management is at the core of this programmatic approach. Focusing on trends, forecasting, and actively managing and mitigating the risk from the outset will have tangible, measurable, and beneficial impacts on the outcomes for the development and the wider city environment.
New York’s most iconic buildings, the early 20th-Century high rises, were designed as aspirational symbols of urban life with carefully sculpted forms that mediate between the great height of the structure and life at street level. These stepped skyscrapers created a “fifth façade” of roofs, terraces, and balconies that took advantage of daylight, natural ventilation, and preserved views. Inspired by biophilic design, New York City architects are designing new urban highrises as modern interpretations of the materiality and language of these early buildings, repurposing iconic sculpted forms to integrate nature into the built environment with a fifth façade of planted space. This presentation discusses architectural precedents and their modern interpretation as environmentally responsive New York high rises.
Partner Kengo Kuma and Associates, Tokyo
As the lead interior design architect in collaboration with Ian Schrager on the EDITION Hotel in the MahaNakhon, Kengo Kuma and Associates employed their extensive Asian design experience to inform the hotel’s unique public interiors and guest rooms. Since each EDITION Hotel is expressive of its cultural context, it was critical to engage an architect that had a deep understanding of local design imperatives, and Kengo Kuma’s commitment to regional materiality proved particularly applicable to the philosophy of this new hotel brand. Mr. Kuma’s experiences throughout the Tohoku and Shikoku regions of Japan in the 1990s had a great impact on his architectural work and forever changed his outlook on the connection between place, relationships, and the built environment.
This presentation chronicles the development and design of 432 Park Avenue, New York, which, when it opens will be the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the world’s most luxurious. The extraordinary building is deceptively simple in appearance, when in fact it is the culmination of years of intensive optimization under challenging financial, engineering, and regulatory constraints.
Macro-Policy to Micro-Implementation: Responses to China’s Inward Migration in Guiyang’s City Center
Principal Designer Thomas Balsley Associates, New York City
This presentation explores the nature of investment in China’s interior as a result of the 12th Five-Year Plan’s imperative towards medium-size western cities and away from the major coastal mega-cities, a marked change in migration patterns from the past three decades of growth. Focusing on Guiyang’s Nanming CBD as a case study, it proposes a set of six design strategies to translate national policy into on-the-ground city development. As the gateway to Western China, Guiyang represents an opportunity to shape a new paradigm of urban growth for this dynamic region focused on nature, culture, quality of life, and sustainability in historic city centers.
As part of the booming development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Langan international was hired to assist in all phases of soil investigation and foundation design for the Kingdom Tower. The objective of this presentation is to present the aspects of the site investigation; discuss the challenging geology of the site chosen for the Kingdom Tower; present the results from in-situ, laboratory, and full scale foundation testing; and address the sophisticated computer modeling. Emphasis is placed on geotechnical parameter selection, soil-structure modeling, and the interaction between structural and geotechnical engineers to achieve convergence between the foundation analysis results of the geotechnical and structural foundation models. The soil-foundation-structure-interaction analysis led to some surprising results that ultimately determined the final foundation design. Estimates for the pile loading, raft sharing, and foundation deflections are presented.
In urban centers dominated by tall buildings, access to outdoor space is important. We will explain how two urban office building developments provide valuable outdoor open space in different ways. In Chicago, the development involves transforming an open urban scar into one of the city's largest public landscaped areas. The development is located on a key CBD site along the Chicago River. The result is a unique 52-story structure of which enclosed ground floor space occupies <25% of site area; offering public landscaped open space. Result: A Tower in the Park. In San Francisco, a developer is building a 42-story tower that covers virtually the entire site, with at-grade outdoor space limited to recessed entries. This lack of outdoor space is overcome on the upper floors, which feature large outdoor landscaped terraces. Total area of terraces almost equals the ground floor site area. Result: A Park in the Tower.
This presentation traces the development of One Vanderbilt from early design through the complex city approvals process that is ultimately allowing for its realization. From the onset, the building was not only charged with creating state-of-the-art Class A office space in a part of the city burdened by its outdated building stock, but also with a civic duty to strengthen Manhattan’s Midtown core, and particularly, the Grand Central District. While sites elsewhere in the city have mostly been developed through as-of-right zoning, adding density in such a central and historically significant location necessitated a special permit obtained through a discretionary public review process. The resultant Vanderbilt Corridor rezoning plan outlined a framework to spur private commercial development by financing notoriously underfunded public improvements. As the anchor of this new development, One Vanderbilt will provide iconic architecture with multi-level connectivity to the landmarked Grand Central Terminal transit hub.
Challenges and Opportunities for Structural Design of the 123-Story Jamsil Lotte World Tower
CEO & Chairman Chang Minwoo Structural Consultants, Seoul
The Jamsil Lotte World Tower, a high-rise component of the 2nd Lotte World Amusement Complex, is being constructed at Jamsil, Seoul, Korea. This 123-story building with six underground levels consists of a mall, offices, residences, a hotel, and an observation deck at the top of the building. The height is 555m and it will be the tallest building in Korea. The lateral load resisting system is composed of central RC core walls, two sets of steel outriggers, eight RC mega-columns, and two sets of steel belt trusses. The uppermost lantern is made of exposed diagrid frames. A series of wind tunnel tests were conducted and the results were reflected in the structural design. To prevent any structural robustness, important members like spandrel girders, belt trusses, and perimeter columns were designed to have redundancies. Structural Health Monitoring has been performed to assess the current state of system health.
This presentation describes how the use of self-climbing elevators, can significantly improve building construction efficiency.
The self-climbing elevator uses the building’s hoist-ways while under construction. The elevator follows the formwork as the building grows, providing greater load capacities and speeds than rack-and-pinion hoists. It operates regardless of weather conditions such as wind, rain, and snow and the building’s external profile that may twist, bend and turn.
Self-climbing elevators provide faster, safer, and more reliable elevator service for people and materials throughout construction enabling greater productivity, better quality, and reduced costs. They can shorten construction schedules by as much as 20%, providing greater return on investment.
Shorter schedules and better material flow also provide savings on insurance and storage costs. Because fewer external lifts are required and construction progresses more rapidly, self-climbing elevator helps to reduce the project’s overall impact on the surrounding community.
Home to 7 of the 10 tallest buildings in New Jersey, and 16 of the top 20, Jersey City is the growth engine of North Jersey. Situated at a strategic junction between New York City and Northern New Jersey, Jersey City has attracted acceleration investment and development. With a diversifying new economy, elected officials consistently support tax incentives and an aggressive approach to modernizing zoning code that has transformed Jersey City's skyline, economy and culture. Starting with historic preservation in the 1970's, followed by a new wave of redevelopment planning in the 1980's, the city's Planning Division has developed an approach to urban planning that has taken advantage of the dynamic market forces while requiring quality urban design. This presentation will detail the evolution of Jersey City's zoning and redevelopment code with site specific, customized regulations that balance the needs of developers, architects, engineers, community groups, and elected officials.
Bouygues-Thai was appointed by PACE Development Corporation PLC as the structural contractor for the design-build contract of MahaNakhon Tower, soon to be the tallest tower in Bangkok, Thailand standing at 314 meters. This presentation presents the “behind-the-scenes” story for the design and construction of the main structural components: the mat foundation, core walls, mega columns, outriggers and floor plates. It is particularly notable that the set-back architectural layout on the higher floors creates an undesired lateral displacement of the tower due to its unbalanced gravity loads. A pre-setting strategy was adopted to address this problem.
A Landmark Sustainability Program for the Empire State Building
Chairman & CEO Empire State Realty Trust, New York City
This presentation underscores the extraordinary commitment that Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. has made to establish the Empire State Building as one of the most energy efficient buildings in New York City. Just as extraordinary as ownership’s commitment to making the Empire State Building sustainable is the decision to provide a high degree of transparency so that other building owners have a model to follow in pursuing their own sustainable projects.
Just as it did when it opened in 1931, the Empire State Building has raised the bar for the future of office space, this time in a sustainable fashion. This presentation looks at how the goals established by the Empire State Building team have been met, how the model has reverberated in private markets, and what the team leaders are doing to ensure these lessons are converted into effective and groundbreaking public policy.
The Statue of Unity, a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is slated to be the world’s tallest statue at 182 meters in height. It will be constructed at the Sadhu-Bet Island, 3.5 kilometers south of Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadia in the Narmada district of Gujarat, India. Following the conceptual design, planning, and programing of the authors, the project has been successfully tendered and the design-completion and construction began in 2015. The project is expected to be completed in 2018. Of the many challenges facing this project, this presentation details the logistical and structural challenges associated with the conceptual design and planning. Downstream of the Narmada Dam, the Statue of Unity project is surrounded by remote, mountainous terrain providing uncommon logistical and construction challenges. The Statue, with exposed feet and lower legs—i.e., inverse proportions to all other large statues—posed significant structural design challenges requiring unconventional structural solutions.
When it is completed in 2019, the 167-story mixed-use Kingdom Tower will become the new World's Tallest Tower. It will contain multiple, stacked mixed-use population zones, including subterranean parking, building entry/amenity/retail floors, office zone floors, hotel levels, serviced apartment floors, residential zones 1-6, and two roof-top Observatory/Sky Terrace Levels, served by double deck elevators. Each of these zones will be served by their own sets of local and express high speed sky lobby shuttle lifts. The project will be equipped with 36 gearless and 22 machine-room-less (MRL) elevators and 8 escalators serving the estimated 4000 - 5250 tenants/occupants. The elevator groups will be provided with the most advanced, all-digital destination dispatching, motor, and motion controls. Lift safety designs will include lifeboat evacuation capabilities, seismic and high wind designs, world class lift car ride qualities, and high car pressure (windage) mitigations.
The Network of Urban Spaces Surrounding Tall Buildings
Urban Design Manager City of Toronto Planning Department, Toronto
This presentation focuses largely on the Toronto context and investigates the network of urban spaces surrounding tall buildings, the tall building as place makers and how tall buildings meet the street. As contributing elements in the fabric of the city, tall buildings often have associated urban spaces which surround them. The network of these urban spaces frames the public realm, and becomes the figure ground for the way we experience our cities.
This presentation will highlight all scales of urban spaces and feature the urban spaces visited on two CTBUH Urban Habitat / Urban Design Committee Global Walking Tours, in winter and summer.
There is an urgent need for a transformation in the way we design and build our cities that will bring down costs, and that will attract people to live in dense transit-based urban neighborhoods. This presentation will explore a specific proposal for a new type of modular building system, an approach to mass-customized modular architecture that can be manufactured and marketed on a global scale, based on the re-design of the standard shipping container as a purpose-engineered chassis for mid- to high-rise buildings. The ramifications of a globally distributed system of modular building are far-reaching, and will engender new modes of project delivery and new relationships among architects, planners, developers, builders and a nascent global modular manufacturing industry.
Michael Adlerstein shares his insights into how the United Nations Secretariat Building, an aging icon of Mid-century Modernism, was renovated to meet the security, efficiency and sustainability requirements of the 21st century, while at the same time preserving the architectural character of the building and restoring, with a completely refurbished curtain wall, the towers' compromised exterior to its original appearance. He outlines why the building was made recycled and pleads to include the preservation of existing skyscrapers in the resurgence of the skyscraper city.
Assistant Secretary General UN Capital Master Plan
Designing a Non-coplanar Exoskeleton Supertall Tower that Transforms the Skyline of Chengdu
Vice Chairman Thornton Tomasetti, New York City
The city of Chengdu is quickly becoming the center for high-rise development in southwest China. The focal point of this new vertical landscape will be the Chengdu Greenland project with its 468-meter mixed-use main tower. The tower’s complex architectural geometry consists of facets sloping in all directions to resemble the region’s snow-covered mountains. Accordingly, the structural design adopts a non-coplanar 3-D exoskeleton system that integrates columns zigzagging along the height and steel mega braces on the edges of the surface facets. The tower will also be China’s first supertall building to adopt a tapered tower core. Tapering the core avoids the need for wall transfer or thicker walls at the lower levels to support the upper walls. The design features above allow the structural support elements to be seamlessly incorporated in the tower's complex multifaceted architectural shape, minimizing intrusion of structure into usable space, and thus increasing the building's efficiency.
Director, Division of Planning & Building Guidelines & Regulations Israel Ministry of Finance, Jerusalem
The commandment to keep the Sabbath as a day of rest appears in the Bible many times. Jewish law prescribes an intricate set of rules regarding which activities may be performed and which are prohibited. A Sabbath elevator is an elevator which operates in a special automatic mode as a way to circumvent the prohibition of operating electric switches on the Sabbath.
Sabbath elevators can typically be found in Israel, where they are mandated by law, and in other countries with large Jewish populations. These elevators enable observant Jews to reside in tall buildings and take full advantage of facilities in hotels, hospitals, synagogues, and other public buildings.
This presentation summarizes the technological innovations in vertical transportation as they pertain to the Sabbath elevator and the differing reactions to them within Jewish law. It further examines their technical, social, and communal impacts on tall buildings and the skyscraper city.
Director, Division of Planning & Building Guidelines & Regulations Israel Ministry of Finance
The High Line Effect
Principal BuroHappold Engineering, New York City
Density and development come in many forms – not all of them tall. One of the most successful development initiatives undertaken in New York City in the last decade has been a horizontal, rather than a vertical, project: the High Line. The development of this linear park was not the idea of a savvy developer, nor of a far-sighted urban planner or city agency, but of residents who wanted to save a viaduct from demolition. The tools used to carry out the transformation from an abandoned rail line into a park included a combination of public and private money, fortuitous zoning changes, respect for the historic fabric, and a simple landscaping aesthetic that would make the park a world-class attraction. This presentation identifies the ingredients that allowed this confined linear park to serve as a catalyst for urban transformation. It also examines the replicability of its success for other cities.
The SOHO Tower is a 29-level modular building in Darwin, in the far north of Australia, a cyclonic region. The building was designed to incorporate a basement and eight floors built with conventional reinforced concrete followed by 21 levels of volumetric modular apartments. The modules were constructed and fully finished in Ningbo, China and shipped to Darwin.
Unlike most modular systems, a concrete floor was used with concrete columns poured on-site into formworks contained within the modules. The buildings lateral stability system came from the central core using a modular precast concrete system, above level 7.
The choice to "go modular" was driven by a constrained and high-cost labour market. The concrete floors were initially a client request, but proved to have other advantages. The concrete columns satisfied the loads generated by 21 levels of concrete-floored modules.
A Model Modernization: Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building and GSA’s Mid-Century Inventory
Chief Architect General Services Administration, Washington D.C.
Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building (EGWW) is an 18-story federal office designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and constructed in downtown Portland, Oregon, in 1975. In May 2013 the tower’s owner, the U.S. General Services Administration, reopened the building after an extensive modernization spearheaded by Cutler Anderson Architects, SERA Architects, and Howard S. Wright Construction. The project’s suite of passive and active sustainability strategies included replacement of the curtain wall and installation of an angled rooftop photovoltaic canopy, dramatically transforming EGWW’s original drab Modernist appearance and saving taxpayers approximately $400,000 in annual operations costs. It also encapsulates GSA’s increasingly tried approach of designing a high-performance retrofit according to a building’s historical merit. The new EGWW especially reflects the agency’s desire to elevate its largely underwhelming mid-century inventory, in order to express the character of their communities as well as national ambition.
Though the skyscraper has been with us for a century, we are yet to discover how to deploy it as an effective building block for contemporary urbanism. Before the age of towers, we could take for granted that buildings aggregated to create boulevards, streets, squares and crescents—wholesome places for the public realm. Today, the dominant typology of towers is a singular, autonomous structure— experienced as a sculptural object. Alternatively, and becoming more common, are clusters of mixed-use towers atop a podium, predominantly designed as self contained, introverted, and privatized environments. Planning, zoning and urban design have not provided the tools to accommodate and regulate the great inter-dependency of towers in the city, the impact on light and view on each other and their surroundings.
The challenge going forward is to recognize that towers are highly interdependent and require new planning tools to resolve their relationship.
CEO China Construction America/Plaza Construction
Global Best Practice for Creating Socially Engaging Tall Buildings within their Communities
Regional Director, Head of Premium Asset Group, Office - Asia Pacific JLL, Sydney
Driven by diverse factors that include the constant march of urbanisation, the changing demographic of the workforce, changes to the nature of city working, the continual blurring of our personal and professional lives and emerging expectations of the workplace experience, the nature of property, and the roles of property professions are rapidly evolving. The focus is changing from the fabric of buildings and their performance, to how they support people in all aspects of their lives and how they foster communities through engagement and social connection.
This presentation seeks to provide insight into global best practice in the management and operation of large scale urban renewal developments and existing tall building stock which at their core, focus as much on creating and sustaining interesting, well-engaged places as they do on seeing their investment objectives realized.
Regional Director, Head of Premium Asset Group, Office - Asia Pacific JLL
ICC Hong Kong: Exemplary Performance
Sr. Technical Manger Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong
The International Commerce Centre (ICC) is a landmark skyscraper located in Hong Kong. It is the tallest building in Hong Kong with office spaces, fine dining restaurants, an observation deck and a world class hotel.
ICC has firmly established itself as a world class business address that offers the highest quality in property and facilities management, providing quick and responsive services while maintaining an environmentally friendly and sustainable operation.
To manage this supertall high-rise commercial building, a life-cycle commissioning and optimization approach is adopted and ISO 50001:2011 energy management systems are implemented. By continuously exploring various innovative technologies and the application of many energy savings strategies, environmental impacts of the building are reduced while delivering benefits in terms of energy efficiency, indoor air quality and cost savings to landlord and occupants. This presentation details the history and current status of the energy management quest of ICC.
Sr. Technical Manger Sun Hung Kai Properties
The Logic of Luxury 2.0
Founding Director The Skyscraper Museum, New York City
This presentation recaps the “what and why” of the super-slender type and gives an abbreviated illustration of the mechanics of the “logic of luxury." The second part of the presentation considers the impact of the towers on the New York skyline, on streets and parks, and on the broader market for housing. These issues are hot topics in current critical discourse and public debate. Among architectural critics, the towers have few defenders, and civic groups and community boards have called meetings to rally against them. While there are serious considerations of how to address such issues as significant shadows on treasured public spaces such as Central Park and questions of fairness in tax policy that should be raised, in general, the rhetoric of critics needs a reality check. The histrionics that surround the frequent trope of “towers of inequality” and “towers of secrecy” require more dispassionate analysis.
This presentation examines the role of skyscrapers in a well-planned mixed commercial development that is not driven by speculative short-term investment goals in revamping the physical landscape of a city, transforming the skyline, and catalyzing urban growth. In this presentation thoughtfully compiled by the KLCC Master Plan, the PETRONAS Twin Towers project is used as a case study. This skyscraper, together with its surrounding complementing developments, has reshaped the physical landscape and surrounding amenities of the city. It also conveys an important message to the local authority on the importance of utilizing scarce land for optimal development with the construction of skyscrapers. Further, this high-impact development also redefines the city as a global hub drawing rapid urban growth and an overwhelming demand for spaces into the city. This success story is a significant milestone in our journey of realizing the Vision 2020 for Kuala Lumpur as a developed nation.
This presentation will provide a data-driven analysis of building performance from three eras: the early 1900s, mid-twentieth century, and today. This longitudinal analysis will illustrate how buildings from each era speak to a particular aesthetic and specific points in our global culture and economy. At the times they opened, these buildings were groundbreaking designs that defined their eras; work and people have drastically changed since then, and these styles of building no longer enable the work styles most valued by many of today’s forward-thinking enterprises.
Technology companies are driven by agile processes and fueled by the demands and lifestyles of younger generations, with an emphasis on collaboration, efficiency, and a sense of purpose. The design of tall buildings must support this new economy with qualities that we know to enhance health, happiness, and productivity – things like greater connectivity, variety, choice, and proximity to natural light, views, and nature.
Integrated and Intelligent Buildings: An Imperative to People, the Planet and the Bottom Line
President, Intelligent Building Technologies United Technologies Corporation, Jupiter
With the impact of urbanization, larger cities, operating pressures and the rise of megatall skyscrapers, today’s new and existing buildings are increasingly being engineered as integrated systems, linking heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), security, fire, lighting, energy management, water and elevator systems with information technology systems and controls. The proven benefits of integration include: energy savings, improved vertical transportation, and healthier, safer buildings leading to cost savings and improved occupant experience. Intelligent, integrated buildings can lead to higher occupancy and rents, lower energy consumption and more productive employees. Innovation is a key enabler in developing these high-performance buildings. Case studies will be presented that demonstrate the impact of these technologies.
432 Park Avenue, the MoMA Tower and Steinway Tower at 111 West 57th Street are the first of a new generation of supertall buildings in New York City. 432 Park Avenue will stand as the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere; MoMA Tower will be fully supported at 1050 feet despite its lack of vertical architectural lines; and 111 West 57th Street will break the record for the world’s most slender skyscraper. With limited horizontal space and increasing demand for high-end residential real estate, the sky is the city’s next frontier. In a climate such as this, engineers are constantly challenged to pioneer the technical advances that make these structures possible.
Managing Director - Asia & Middle East Arquitectonica, Hong Kong
For architecture and engineering firms working for development clients who build large-scale urban projects in various corners of the world, the effort is often facilitated by regional satellite offices to ensure that the ambitions of each of the client’s projects are tailored to the local idiosyncrasies of design, culture, zoning, building codes and construction techniques. Some of these clients will develop globally, beyond their home territories, while many focus only on specific regions of comfort, be it foreign or domestic. In this case, similar to A/E teams, developers are seeking local partners for success in more unfamiliar geographies and for establishing a local presence. Through research and case-studies, this presentation illustrates how the success of projects produced for globally-active developers differ in their respective markets. The case-studies will include projects for an Asia-based and a US-based multinational developer, and will cover projects with geographies from the United States and Asia.
Managing Director - Asia & Middle East Arquitectonica
The Impact of Private and Shared Open Space on Liveability in Subtropical Apartment Buildings
Adjunct Associate Professor Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
As the number of tall apartment buildings significantly increases in most cities across the globe, their ability to deliver quality lifestyles for residents becomes an issue of sustainability for the community. While apartment architecture may respond to international design trends, buildings that relate culturally and climatically to their location increase sustainability and liveability. The purpose of the presentation is to explore whether private and shared open spaces contribute to positive or negative perceptions of liveability of apartment buildings in a subtropical urban context.
First-hand resident evaluations of everyday experiences of residing in inner urban high-density environments in Brisbane, Australia are explored through a survey of 636 residents and interviews with 24 residents.
Private balconies are highly valued, but resident satisfaction would be enhanced by spaciousness for diverse activities, privacy and climate-responsive design. Communal spaces and facilities are used infrequently by many residents who prefer interactions with community outside the building.
Adjunct Associate Professor Queensland University of Technology
Buildings Finally Get a Brain: Di-BOSS
Vice President Rudin Management Company, Inc, New York City
Di-BOSS is the world’s first Digital Building Operating System that acts as a "Brain" for buildings. All subsystems are integrated into a Systems Integration Facility that archives all past operational data such as energy consumption, occupancy, and space temperatures. Di-BOSS uses computational memory to learn thermodynamic responses of individual buildings under specific weather conditions, so that its Total Property Optimizer (TPO) can combine this with future weather forecasts to optimize all building energy usage (electric, steam, gas), as well as automate other critical building performance operations such as modulating VFD frequencies throughout the workday. Di-BOSS uses this situational awareness to perform continuous commissioning and capture maximum energy efficiency and sustainability gains throughout a portfolio. Cost savings averaged 12% year-over-year in eleven commercial office buildings of the Rudin Management portfolio with Di-BOSS in 2014. That translated to energy savings of more than $5 million for the Rudin commercial portfolio.
Slender, supertall, luxury residential skyscrapers have dominated much of the conversation surrounding New York’s current high-rise building boom. These structures have received praise for their architectural ingenuity and considerable criticism for their apparent disregard for affordability and local context. For better or worse, they have sparked a debate about height that will undoubtedly impact future development in the city. Presentations in this session focused on the myriad aspects of super slim buildings, including their detailed engineering solutions as well as a review of the rhetoric employed by critics to disparage them.
Video of this presentation will be posted here soon.
Jeddah Economic Company's mission to envision, to design, to build, and to manage – in short, to master plan in the fullest sense – an unprecedentedly vibrant urban center is discussed. Kingdom Tower will establish the city of Jeddah as a functional equal on the international scene of great modern urbanization, alongside the best new cities of the region and the world.
London is considered one of the world’s safest harbors for investment capital. However, it has also been one of the lightning rods in the rapidly developing debate over the influence of global capital on the built environment. To say that some tall buildings have recently been controversial is an understatement. But amidst this, it is worth knowing in more detail how the UK’s tallest building, and one that is very much emblematic, and complementary of London, came to be. This is the story of the Shard.
As Thailand becomes an increasingly important economic force in Asia, the quality of its architecture has risen to match the expectations of an increasingly sophisticated clientele. MahaNakhon, a 314-meter, mixed-use tower, will be the tallest building in the country and command its highest rents. The international design and development team has created a project that is optimized for the tropical climate of Bangkok, and introduces a level of international design quality previously unseen in the capital. Its “pixelated” design concept affords highly valuable outdoor space to tenants, while breaking down the its mass so as to better integrate with the urban fabric. Importantly, the project also addresses the city’s notoriously congested traffic conditions and its lack of open spaces by connecting directly to the SkyTrain rapid transit system, and by using its design to return part of the property to public use.
Developing Tall Buildings and Urban Places, in Japan and Elsewhere
Director & Executive VP Mori Building, Tokyo
A city is a stage where a wide range of activities take place. An internationally competitive city is one in which diverse human interaction and cooperation yield new businesses, new value, and new lifestyles, all of which have a tremendous global impact. The magnetic power of the most successful cities in fierce global-level competition with other cities is rooted in their overall comprehensiveness. To increase cities’ overall comprehensiveness, we must look beyond pure economics to also focus on urban functions, such as research and development, cultural interaction, livability, the environment, safety, and accessibility, in order to ultimately design ever-more excellent cities.
Urban Planning in Dubai, Cultural and Human Scale Context
SVP, TCT Global Director Hill International, Dubai
The rapid urbanization of Dubai and regional Middle Eastern cities presents challenges with respect to the traditional local city fabric and the advent of modern high-rise towers. This presentation explores the needs for project stakeholders to consider cultural values, local environment, human scale, and existing historical urban fabric in their approach to addressing project requirements which, in most cases, call for "iconic high-rise buildings" ignoring basic and fundamental conditions in producing sustainable buildings forms and comfortable usable spaces. Developer companies and building regulations should address social and community needs for well-planned and comfortable urban spaces – balanced with project development financial benefits and return. High-rise, though rooted in local culture, is not always the answer for local residential needs. Land use zoning and urban plans should consider comfortable diversified building heights, open spaces, and social mixed development briefs to encourage value integration between locals and expat residents.
The world’s first rope-free passenger elevator system for high-rise applications enables the building industry to face the challenges of global urbanization. This presentation presents the realization of a new elevator system offering several cabins in the same shaft, moving vertically and horizontally, permitting buildings to adopt different heights, shapes, and purposes. It represents a landmark revolution in the elevator industry and a new and efficient transport solution for mid- and high-rise buildings. Now, the long-pursued dream of operating multiple cabins in the same elevator shaft is made possible by applying the linear motor technology of the magnetic levitation train Transrapid to the elevator industry.
A traffic control concept for a shaft changing multi-cabin elevator system is included into vertical transportation planning. The propulsion and guiding system of multiple, low-weight elevator cabins overcomes traditional rope elevators. Also, functional safety goes beyond current solutions.
Head of Product Development thyssenkrupp
Head of Elevator Traffic and Group Control thyssenkrupp
Three Points of the Residential High-Rise: Designing for Social Connectivity
Founder and Principal Studio Gang Architects, Chicago
In this presentation we discuss the terms “exo-spatial design,” “solar carving,” and “bridging” as strategies for creating more socially connective tall buildings. As a typology, high-rise residential buildings have a unique set of challenges to becoming fully activated urban participants in the cities in which they are located. While there is a general recognition and appreciation that tall buildings provide identity to a city, there is often criticism of how they relate to their surroundings. Critics have posited that tall buildings are insular and foreboding by their very nature. This presentation explores several design avenues for architects to consider in order to improve the social aspect of tall buildings. As all cities become taller and denser to accommodate growth, the need to design social space in, on, and around tall buildings must be continually examined if we are to have cohesive urban fabric that supports communities.
Founder and Principal Studio Gang Architects
From New York to Busan: Reflecting Culture in Urban Design
Founder and Principal Architect Studio Libeskind, New York City
Overpopulation, climate change, aging infrastructure: the threats facing tomorrow’s cities are, in many ways, design problems. The challenges of today’s world have to be solved with creativity that supports the development of an inspired, innovative, and diverse society for the future. As we look to create vibrant, global cities, the biggest challenge is how to build tall without losing the culture, history, and spirit of these rapidly changing places. Design solutions have to embrace the values of humanism in architecture that is forward-looking, sustainable, and bold. Cities have to respond to the dynamic nature of urban living, with new patterns of planning that can adapt as freely and quickly to the ever-changing world to be successful, desirable, and lasting. How do we build tall while enhancing the human scale of neighborhoods and street life?
Founder and Principal Architect Studio Libeskind
Tel Aviv's Midtown/Azrieli North Development as an Integrated Complex of Tower Urbanism
President Moshe Tzur Architects, Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv’s Midtown/Azrieli North Complex is the new hub of the northern CBD that functions to connect the activity centers of the historic city to the emerging urban developments in the north and east. The article describes the genesis of the project as a multi-functional urban complex of tower urbanism and demonstrates how this model of integrated vertical urbanism can achieve unique contributions to urban regeneration.
The article discusses modern historical precedents of urban complexes of multi-functional vertical urbanism, presents the formal and functional components of this important emerging model of urban restoration and development, and defines the design elements of this model as a unique ensemble of urban design principles.
With over half of the world’s population now living in an urban environment, major world cities (especially) will always grow in population over time. To avoid city sprawl, urban densification will be required. This will need to happen at a steadier and more sustainable pace contrary to the “boom and bust” cycle we now take as the accepted model for economic growth.
To maximize vertical efficiencies, a framework for flexible vertical growth within an established and controlled master plan is required– a 3D vertical master plan.
The feasibility of various financial models for this approach would become apparent, making it possible for developers to realize the full plot value over time. Understanding which potential legal conflicts could arise between built and in-progress developments will also inform the outcome.
Once these realities are addressed, the concept of building vertically through long-term phased increments can hopefully be realized.
Video of this presentation will be posted here soon.
At the turn of the century, building design began to evolve. Improvements included indoor plumbing, the advent of escalators, and creation of the “Chicago window." Perhaps the most notable change was development of the skyscraper. Innovations in steel production were integral to the era of the skyscraper. In 1897, Henry Grey revamped the rolling process to include wide-flange sections, enabling designers to create taller, more efficient structures. Improvements continue to influence the skyscraper city and its revival. From Bay Adelaide in Toronto; to 150 North Riverside in Chicago; to 1WTC and 225 West 57th Street in New York, many projects have been designed and constructed quickly and efficiently thanks to processes that have doubled the yield strength of wide-flange beams. In this presentation, attendees will learn about the history of steel in buildings; innovations in production; and the value in design, efficiency and sustainability that steel can bring to projects.
In recent years Mexico City has seen a surge in tall building construction, concentrating around the new Central Business District on Paseo de la Reforma, and culminating with four new skyscrapers clustered at its west-central end. Arup has led the structural engineering design of three of these towers as well as Torre Pedregal 24, a striking new office building a few miles away. These buildings have been designed using innovative structural solutions to provide Grade A office space in this highly seismic zone. This presentation will provide an insight into their design and the unique challenges that building tall in Mexico City presents.
Once completed, the four towers: Torre BBVA Bancomer; Torre Reforma 509; Torre Reforma; and Torre Pedregal 24, will provide over 200,000m2 of prime office space overlooking the impressive Chapultepec Park.
Associate Principal Samoo Architects & Engineers, Seoul
An essential element of skyscraper architecture lies in its adaptability to an existing environment. For its massiveness in height and size, a skyscraper, while becoming a new landmark, brings inevitable influences – both positive and negative – to its surroundings. It is in that notion that Haeundae Resort Project (HRP) seeks for inspiration in nature as a key design principle, believing it is what will effectively bridge a high-rise and society together.
This presentation will deal with the horizontal versus the vertical, the campus style sprawl versus the high rise.
Why is it that cultural and educational buildings that deal with creativity and innovation are horizontal, whilst those dealing with land value are vertical? And how can we inject creativity and culture into the tall buildings, which they need, in order to be sustainable, given that land space is at a premium, both in terms of cost and availability?
Drawing on his considerable experience of working in Qatar’s new sustainable downtown, Msheireb (where Mossessian & Partners is creating 26 new buildings and a public square), Michel will talk about education and the embracing of local cultural context as the key factors in city building. He will argue that this is how one can make high-rise building not only economically viable, but appealing and sustainable.
Major designs by internationally renowned architects, are currently under construction in Italy in the cities of Milan and Turin. In the decade 2005-2015, a dramatic change in the appearance of the cities occurred unveiling their modern European character. The resurgence of new heights is testified by important tall buildings such as Palazzo Lombardia, the CityLife and Garibaldi-Varesine developments in Milan, and the 'Intesa San Paolo' Tower and the New Regione Piemonte Headquarters in Turin. This building, designed by M. Fuksas, with its height of 207 m will be the tallest in Italy. Its structural design was carried out by the Author and it is the successful result of a series of choices and analyses for providing efficient solutions for resistance, durability, sustainability and constructability of the building. The synergy between architectural and structural design make it an outstanding example of a modern tall building exploiting state-of-the-art technology.
VP of Advanced Programs Schindler, Lucerne
This presentation provides an overview of advancements in technology that will allow for more creative building designs. Smartphone-based technology tied with elevator destination technology can be the glue to meld disjointed groups of tall buildings into a true urban community. The evolution of technology will allow our customers to become unconstrained by the century-old elevator-driven building configurations of the past.
Video of this presentation will be posted here soon.
With 25 floors and 40,000 cubic yards of concrete in place, 111 West Wacker stood for nearly 4 years on its prominent Chicago River site as a reminder of the recession that brought construction across the city and around the nation to a standstill. With so much of the tower already in place, transforming this shell into a vibrant part of the Chicago landscape offered both challenges and opportunities. The design sought to reimagine the built elements and reconstitute a complete whole from the parts left behind. The process involved forensics – first discovering what was actually built, and whether it was structurally sound – and creativity, as spaces planned for a hotel needed to be repurposed for residences. OneEleven opened in 2014 and is the largest single rental building in the Loop. In January 2015, the building was sold, setting a new price record for apartment buildings in Chicago.
Director Fender Katsalidis Architects, Melbourne
This presentation will amplify the positive physical and symbolic impact that tall buildings can have on a city. Fender Katsalidis has been at the forefront of high-density, high-rise residential buildings in Melbourne since 1995, and this typology has proven critical to the city’s energy and evolution. Republic Tower, the first high-rise residential tower in Melbourne; Eureka Tower, the tallest (at the time) residential tower in the world; and the soon to be realized 100-story Australia 108, which will be the tallest residential building in the Southern Hemisphere, have changed inner city Melbourne from a 9-to-5 working environment, into the vibrant, 24/7 "Most Livable City in the World” that it is today.
As the centerpiece of the King Abdullah Financial District, the CMA Tower is evidence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification strategy. The faceted crystalline iconic structure, which rises 385 meters and 80 stories, serves as the headquarters of Capital Market Authority, the government organization responsible for regulating Saudi Arabian capital markets. The design responds to the design guidelines and vision set forth by the developer of the district, the Al Raidah Investment Company. The region’s climatic and environmental challenges inspired the development of a high-performance integrated enclosure system that incorporates solar shading, photovoltaics, facade lighting, and an innovative facade access system. Floor plates are designed to provide clear span lease depths that facilitate flexibility, efficiency, and natural daylight. An innovative vertical transportation system represents the world’s first large-scale use of twin and double-deck elevators in one unique system. This integral sustainable design strategy is targeting LEED Gold certification.
Stainless steel is a key material in modern skyscraper architecture, exploiting the material’s sustainability, functionality and aesthetics. After an outline on some general features of stainless steel this article provides an overview of current façade projects in which Outokumpu acts as the stainless steel supplier. New developments of matt but lively surface finishes based on the superposition of one fine and one coarse pattern are presented. Three of these novel matt finishes are compatible with the recently revised restriction regarding the reflectance of façade material in Singapore. Furthermore, alternative grades to 316L with higher corrosion resistance are identified and their suitability to be provided with classy finishes is discussed. The article closes with an outlook on current research activities at Outokumpu which target the development of a matt and maximal omni-directional surface finish for curtain wall applications.
This presentation summarizes the results of a two-year-long research project conducted by the CTBUH on the life cycle assessment (LCA) of tall building structural systems. The research project was made possible thanks to a $300,000 contribution from ArcelorMittal and the support of some of the most important structural engineering firms and players in the tall building industry.
The research analyzed all life phases of a tall building’s structural system: the extraction and production of its materials, transportation to the site, construction operations, final demolition of the building, and the end-of-life of the materials. The impact of the building structure during the operational phase (i.e., impact on daily energy consumption, maintenance, and suitability to changes) was also investigated, but no significant impacts were identified during this phase.
Sydney 2050 investigates how an increased height limit in Central Sydney can allow for both sustainable population growth and also benefit the public. The vision links the city’s economic development to the public benefit of a sustainable transport network. For Sydney to be sustainable with increased density it needs a Rapid-Transit system. To link development to this transport network, supertall buildings are allowed within 200m of a Metro station in the city centre. This generates a city skyline that is directly linked to and celebrates its transport system. Financially the economic uplift of additional floor space above the current height limit is linked to financing this transport system through the purchase of “Supertall Floor Space” from the government. Revenue raised will fund the Metro system by phasing out government infrastructure bonds. These principles have been quantified in a parametric model to generate a vision of Sydney in 2050.
This presentation explores contextualism in the increasingly globalized urban habitat. While the ever increasing global interchange of capitals and ideas have created immense opportunities and growth in cities around the world, the physical manifestation of this energy in the urban habitat risks becoming generic in the face of growing global interconnectivity.
This presentation draws inspiration from selected projects around the world by Henning Larsen Architects. It draws attention to the role of public realm between tall buildings and its potential in the creation and accentuation of a local identity that fosters vibrant urban life, a quality that is diminishing in the increasingly globalized urban habitat. This presentation addresses "global interchanges" by examining its repercussions on the urban habitat, a renewed focus of CTBUH. It seeks to address the gap between local and global, and buildings and their environs, both recurring themes in the built environment of the global era.
The thinking out of the box approach for advanced façade design and technology takes into consideration form and function of the façade as well as aspects of production, installation, maintenance and demolition. Modularly designed façades - with scalable functional groups having optimized interfaces and standardized functional principles - can be planned and executed efficiently and with a high quality. The introduction of cyber-physical systems (CPS) into the façade business will comprise smart machines, storage systems, production facilities and building site terminals capable of autonomously exchanging information, triggering actions and controlling each other independently. Our future will be based on the continuous digitalization of the process chain, connecting architects and engineers as well as main contractors, system suppliers, façade and maintenance companies with their specific activities spread all over the world. This will radically transform the competence profiles of all involved parties.
Senior Vice President Schüco International KG
FacadeRetrofit.org: An Online Database-driven Resource for the Façade Renovation of Existing Buildings
School of Architecture University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Much of the existing tall building stock is burdened with aging and underperforming facades, resulting in opportunities to substantially improve building performance through facade retrofit. Deep-energy whole-building retrofits, with the façade as an integral component, are an effective means to transform the overall performance of the commercial building sector. Yet little data is available on practices or outcome from past façade retrofits, resulting in uncertainty about the sustainability and effectiveness of current practices. In response, a database of façade retrofits has been developed organizing relevant pre- and post-retrofit conditions. The progress of the database and online resource has accelerated in the wake of funding provided through the CTBUH 2014 International Research Seed Funding with the support of ECADI. A synopsis of the research shows the results to date, progress on the database and website resource, information on how to access and utilize the resource, and plans for future development.
The tower and podium form is a widely accepted typology for urban intensification across the globe. However in the subtropics it may not be the ideal device for creating a sustainable urbanism, where architectural principles of porosity to light, air and breezes, and integration of landscape experience are favoured.
Brisbane City Council predicts that in the next 20 years floor space demands will translate into 50 new tall buildings in our very compact city centre. Through a re-thinking of the podium form, these 50 new buildings could have a transformative impact on the urban spaces of our city. Learning from the very practical adaptations to climate and locale of the vernacular architecture, the presentation proposes a series of typologies for urban spaces at the base of tall buildings that are well-adapted to our subtropical city, signaling a more ecologically oriented approach to creating 21st century cities.
Dubai is a city that emerged only in one decade. Though facing successive challenges it has built an attractive reputation around the world. Criticized and envied, it multiplies the superlatives and keeps being talked about. Its notoriety is impressive compared to its relative size.
Dubai holds in its name a fantastic power of attraction, and Burj Khalifa (828m, 162 floors) became the emblem of the new century. Its opening ceremony confirmed its reputation and won the crowds’ sympathy. The Burj was the most viewed building showcased on the media. During the launch show more than 2 billion people saw the event, proving the benefits of the positive image created by broadcasting around the globe.
Thanks to its impossible architecture and its record height it acquired a universal symbolic status.
People will be intrigued to discover the real amazing story behind presenting this new global icon.
Global Architecture Powder Coatings Marketing Manager AkzoNobel, Columbus
Skyscraper cities, while conceptually rooted in mid-20th century architecture, are being reinvented to appeal to a new generation – and a new market. The iconic glass and metal curtain wall, however, continues to epitomize upscale, modern construction. It is imperative that these wall systems be technologically sufficient to meet contemporary standards of durability. Secondary components of the system, such as finishes, must be carefully considered. By understanding the third party organizations that certify architectural coatings, and by specifying the correct coating for each skyscraper’s individual situation, the service life of the entire structure can be optimized.
Global Architecture Powder Coatings Marketing Manager AkzoNobel
The TopDownWay: An Innovative System for Skyscrapers’ Controlled Demolition
North America Sales Manager Despe Spa
The future calls for vertical cities, which will inevitably get rid of what no longer works, is not tall enough or is no longer efficient.
Despe has created TopDownWay@, a solution that demolishes what's old, to make space for what's new. The intelligent system enables the controlled demolition of skyscrapers of any shape and size. It is an innovative solution that prioritizes safety and guarantees no impact on the environment because it contains all demolition byproducts (debris, noise, dust, vibrations) by completely enclosing the skyscraper. TopDownWay@ is a useful tool for renovating both the cities of today and those of tomorrow.
Founding Partner Bjarke Ingels Group, New York City
With the rise of technological solutions, the practice of architecture is often divorced from the cultural, social, and environmental contexts where we build. Buildings have become closed systems, connected to life-support machinery that compensates for the design principles we have forgotten over time. This is particularly true of tall buildings, especially since the rise of the International Style in the middle of the 20th Century. We have much to “re-learn” from vernacular architecture in the regions where we work, but we must also put our latest technological advances to work in realizing these principles. This presentation articulates a vision for a world in which tall buildings can be “engineered without engines.” It is a call for architects to return to a more central, yet more collaborative role with engineers, rather than let the content of their buildings be driven by engineering standards’ conflict with arbitrary shapes.
Mediating Scale, Performance and Iconicity: A 21st Century Supertall Tower for Guiyang
Vice President Zhongtian Urban Development Group Co., Ltd, Guiyang
Design Director Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
A series of challenging site constraints prompted an innovative structural solution for the Guizhou Culture Plaza Tower (GCP), through which a new performance-based expression was created for Guiyang’s skyline. This presentation explores the integrated and collaborative process that produced a design solution that values performance, iconicity, and the public realm with equal weight. By leveraging technology, the GCP Tower is an example of an emerging new design language that is reshaping the way we think about supertall tower design; an integrated workflow that is based on solving performance-based criteria as its primary focus.
Yongmin (Stephen) Yuan
General Manager – Risk Management Department Ping An Life Insurance Company of China, Shenzhen
The Ping An Finance Center is located at the commercial center of the Futian District in Shenzhen, on the southwest intersection of Fuhua Road and Yitian Road, next to a shopping center and opposite the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center. The project is a large commercial complex comprising department store, office and hotel functions. It is designed to consist of 2 towers- the height of the south tower is above 250 meters, while the north one reaches 600 meters’ height, with 118 floors above the ground. The project is a gigantic construction scale, a long construction period, complex engineering technologies, a large number of participants, and a wide range of contributing environmental influences, which resulted in extensive risk factors.