Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
CTBUH Supports High-Rise Construction 2017 Conference in Russia

September 4-7, 2017

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SAMARA – The High-Rise Construction 2017 Conference, a partner event between the CTBUH and Samara State Technical University, took place from Sept. 4-7 at the university. In six sessions spanning two days and comprising 22 speakers, the state of high-rise design and construction was presented to about 200 academics and students. Most of the speakers were from universities and practices in Russia, but a small international contingent represented Italy, Bulgaria, the US, and the CTBUH itself.
Audience members listening to a presentation.
The speaking roster included Chicagoans Jason Gabel, Communications Manager, CTBUH; Daniel Safarik, Editor, CTBUH; and Sara Beardsley, Senior Architect, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

Gabel presented “Tall Trends: Quantifying the Skyscraper Phenomenon,” which summarized the results of the 2016 Year in Review undertaken by CTBUH, and expanded upon the report to characterize design trends observed globally throughout the year. Gabel also clarified the CTBUH criteria for defining and categorizing tall buildings.

CTBUH Communications Manager Jason Gabel presenting “Tall Trends: Quantifying the Skyscraper Phenomenon."

Beardsley discussed “The Design of Akhmat Tower,” a 435-meter mixed-use building being constructed in Grozny, Chechnya, Russia, in honor of the Chechnyan President Akhmat Haji Kadyrov. She explained how the siting of the tower capitalized on view axes from major points in the city, including the Presidential Palace and the city’s main mosque. The shape of the tower was inspired by the traditional watchtowers in the region, which were built between the 13th and 17th centuries and known as nakh. Philip Nikandrov, Chief Architect, Gorproject, added additional insight on Akhmat Tower, for which his firm is the local architect, and spoke on the Evolution Tower, Moscow, and the under-construction Lakhta Tower in St. Petersburg, in his own presentation.
Sara Beardsley presenting “The Design of Akhmat Tower.” 
Safarik presented “Megacities and Tall Buildings: Symbiosis,” showing the sometimes surprising lack of correlation between the world’s largest and densest cities and the number and height of tall buildings they contain.
CTBUH Editor Dan Safarik presenting  “Megacities and Tall Buildings: Symbiosis.”
Several other interesting presentations kept the crowd’s attention throughout the two days of the conference. Among these was “Spatially Organized ‘Vertical City’: A Synthesis of Tall Buildings and Airships” by Olga Gagulina, senior lecturer, Volgograd State Technical University. Noting the development of cities based on modes of transport, from foot to the current automobile-dominated model, Gagulina proposed that the world is on the verge of a “fourth wave” of urbanization, a “spatial city” that would evolve in three dimensions. Airships would construct, serve, and in some cases, provide not only transportation, but accommodation. The new vision melded 1930s attempts to use tall buildings as mooring masts for airships and contemporary visions of “flying cities,” as well as “the Flying House of Congress of the USSR” by conceptual architects Krutikov and Iozefovich.

“Urban Forest Revolution” was presented by Anastasia Kucherova, a Russian-born architect, and Stefano Boeri Architetti of Milan, Italy. Kucherova advanced a strong argument in favor of greenery-clad skyscrapers, given the environmental benefits offered by both vegetation and urban density. This included project examples such as the completed Bosco Verticale in Milan, as well as new “forest city” projects underway in Utrecht, Netherlands; Guizhou, Liuzhou, Nanjing, and Shijiazhuang, China; and Lausanne, Switzerland.

Olga Gagulina presenting "Spatially Organized ‘Vertical City’: A Synthesis of Tall Buildings and Airships."
Tatiana Vavilova, Professor of Residential and Public Building Architecture, and Dr. Efim Vyshkin, Chair of the Linguistics Department, Samara State Technical University, offered an intriguing take on the use of high-rise structures for sustainable tourism in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The professors showed a wide range of observation structures, from Moscow’s Gorky Park (which included a parachute jump) to the Kobe Port Tower in Japan. Of unique interest were several observation towers in rural, forested areas of Eastern Europe, many of which were rendered in organic materials and shapes.
Professor Elena Generalova, Department of Architecture of Housing and Public Buildings, Samara State Technical University, presented on “Mixed-Use Development in a High-Rise Context,” demonstrating that despite growing interest in mixed-use development, the proportion of mixed-use skyscrapers to the overall number was still only about 26.4% of tall buildings completed in 2016, up from 24.2% in 2015. Of the 410 mixed-use buildings of 150 meters or greater in height, in fully 50% of the cases, the residential function was the dominant one (defined as 50% or greater of the building’s height). Only about 15% of the buildings in the survey group supported three or more functions. Thus, there is plenty of room for growth of the vertical city typology, Generalova concluded.
Professor Elena Generalova and Professor Viktor Generalov.
CTBUH would like to acknowledge the kind hospitality extended by Professor Generalova and Professor Viktor Generalov, the event’s organizers, to the out-of-town speakers. The group enjoyed the local food and several tours of Samara’s historic architecture and natural surroundings, including a visit to the wartime bunker of Josef Stalin and a sunny cruise on the Volga River. It is hoped the strong spirit of collaboration will prevail in future partnerships.

Featured Speakers
Jason Gabel Communications Manager, CTBUH
Daniel Safarik Editor, CTBUH
Sara Beardsley Senior Architect, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Olga Gagulina Senior Lecturer, Volgograd State Technical University
Anastasia Kucherova Architect, Stefano Boeri Architetti
Tatiana Vavilova Professor of Residential and Public Building Architecture, Samara State Technical University
Dr. Efim Vyshkin Chair of the Linguistics Department, Samara State Technical University
Professor Elena Generalova Department of Architecture of Housing and Public Buildings, Samara State Technical University
Professor Viktor Generalov Samara State Technical University
Philip Nikandrov Chief Architect, Gorproject