Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Young Professionals Committee: 2015 Achievements and Event Success
March 16, 2016
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NEW YORK CITY – The first meeting of the CTBUH Young Professionals Committee (YPC) – New York City Chapter was held at the offices of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) on March 16th to discuss the successes of past events and plans for future initiatives.
Since the group’s inception in early 2015, the YPC, in coordination with the CTBUH NY Chapter, has garnered high interest within the local AEC community with a goal of providing an avenue for the local community to discuss the evolving role of tall buildings in the city and its impact on the urban environment. The chapter held numerous activities and events leading up to the 2015 CTBUH Conference. Furthermore, post-conference, the need for a local CTBUH presence was realized and the chapter has kept up with hosting regular activities into 2016. 
YPC Events Manager, Larry Giannechini, Engineer, Thornton Tomasetti and CTBUH Trustee Denis Poon, Vice Chairman, Thornton Tomasetti, address the group.
At the SOM meeting, an introduction was given by YPC Co-Chairs Ilkay Can-Standard, Architectural Designer, Kohn Pedersen Fox, and Hardik Doshi, Design Engineer, McNamara / Salvia, which included a summary of past activities and numerous upcoming events. Committee members Larry Giannechini, Senior Engineer, Thornton Tomasetti, and Elizabeth Geldres, Architectural Graduate, Rafael Viñoly Architects, discussed event setup up procedures and documents generated to efficiently manage large scale symposiums. 

Membership Manager Michelle Roelofs, Senior Engineer, Arup, discussed attendance trends from 2015, highlighting the diversity of attendance and companies represented. Education Committee Chair Dave Freedman, Architectural Designer, Foster + Partners, discussed the YPC mentorship program with Pratt Institute’s “High-Rise Design Studio” and upcoming review sessions involving a multidisciplinary CTBUH review panel.  Also present, CTBUH Trustee Dennis Poon, Vice Chairman, Thornton Tomasetti, told the group of his early involvement with the Council and the importance having a CTBUH presence in New York.
SOM's Kim Van Holsbeke, Architectural Associate Director and Preetam Biswas, Structures Associate Director, discuss the Manhattan West Development.
The second portion of all YPC meetings includes a presentation and roundtable discussion on a topic chosen by the hosting office. For this meeting, SOM’s Kim Van Holsbeke, Architectural Associate Director, and Preetam Biswas, Structures Associate Director, discussed the Manhattan West Development, their rising three-tower development on the far West Side of Manhattan. The project consists of two 60-plus-story office towers, a residential tower, retail and dining amenities, and 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares) of open park space. The project kicks off with the construction of a 120,000-square-foot (11,100-square-meter) platform over the exposed active rail yards that connect Penn Station to New Jersey. 16 post-tension pre-cast segmental bridges complete the surface upon which the entirety of the five-acre (two-hectare) development will rise. The cores of the towers will be constructed on bedrock to the north and south of the platform. “The three towers will be a significant architectural icon for the West Side, and the street-level amenities and open space will create a vibrant new neighborhood for the benefit of New York City residents and businesses.”

The YPC would like to thank SOM’s Matthew Streeter, Structural Engineer, and Yunlu Shen, Associate, for helping host the March meeting. There are always volunteer opportunities available, and if you are interested in being involved with the YPC please email us at

Download the meeting minutes here!