Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
“Towards Zero Carbon” High-Rise Design Studio
Culminates in Final Review
January 2014
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See the Tongji University Studio Visit to Chicago
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SHANGHAI – Thursday January 9th, 2014, marked the culmination of a semester of intense work for the students and tutors involved in the “Towards Zero Carbon,” a collaborative design studio undertaken by the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) at Tongji University, with assistance from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and Permasteelisa Group. Final reviews were held at the CAUP, Tongji University, Shanghai. Travelling studio kindly supported by:
Studio academic advisors include CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood, CAUP Prof. Linxue Li and Prof. Zhendong Wang, CTBUH Researcher Peng Du, and UPM Prof. Rafael Guridi and Researcher Sofia Melero Tur. The object of the Towards Zero Carbon studio is to design tall buildings that make positive additions to the city’s skyline – visually, urbanistically and environmentally. Students worked with tutors to establish a unique set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that work toward goals set by the Chicago DeCarbonization Plan, established by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture in 2009.
The reviewers and students gather in CAUP on final review day for a group photo.
The zero-carbon project kicked off in November, 2013, when a group of nine students and two faculty members from Tongji University visited its project site at Wolf Point, a parking lot at the junction of two branches of the Chicago River owned by the Kennedy family. After many recession-related delays, construction has begun on a $1 billion, three-tower mixed-use project Pelli Clarke Pelli and Wolff Landscape.
Silas Chiow, Director of SOM China, gives his thoughts on high-rise design. Students present their work at the final reviews.
Supported by CTBUH, the students and faculty also visited the CTBUH 12th Annual Awards Symposium, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture’s offices, Studio Gang ArchitectsAqua Tower, Roosevelt University Tower, and Antony Wood’s Sustainable Vertical Urbanism Studio at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).

For more on the Chicago visit, click here.

After their return to China, the Tongji students continued developing KPIs for the project based on a consideration of five different aspects of sustainability – water resources, waste recycling, vertical farms, low-carbon life, and wind energy. In addition to the final reviews, work from the studio will be further developed, and submitted for the Third Annual CTBUH International Student Design Competition. A poster exhibition of up to 30 semi-finalist entries will be exhibited and finalists will be selected to present their schemes at the CTBUH 2014 Shanghai Conference.
Renderings of the five towers, designed by students working in groups.
Guest Critics:
Silas Chiow Director of SOM China
Zhong Zheng Project Manager at SOM
Jiliang Chen Deputy Chief Architect, Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tongji University (Group) Co., Ltd.
Rafael Guridi Professor at Polytechnical University of Madrid (UPM)
Cristina Tartas Ruiz Professor at Polytechnical University of Madrid (UPM)
Sofia Melero Tur Researcher at Polytechnical University of Madrid (UPM)
Hong Chen College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP), Tongji University